Morning call

The high tide was barely big enough to trouble the edge of the saltmarsh at Marshside this morning, but the sunny periods and light north easterly were pleasant, and the light was good.
A few thousand Pink Feet were on the outer marsh, with a Great White Egret dropping in briefly before flapping off north, and passage Chaffinch, Redpoll and Mipits calling in the blue.
At about 10.20am the harriers woke up and suddenly there was up to five Marsh Harriers in the air, at one point congregating off the old wildfowlers’ car park.

They were soon sailing up and down the water’s edge.
A ringtail Hen Harrier appeared, flying high and purposeful so I followed it through the ‘scope as the bird flapped south east far out over the estuary, before it turned to circle and drift back toward the Fylde.
I lost it, so the harrier could easily have dropped back onto the Ribble.
The Merlin was perched up in its usual spot behind the Sandplant, occasionally peering skyward and doubtless considering Skylark elevenses as several flocks were chirrupping overhead.

Beyond the Shelduck and Wigeons in the shallows, seven Common Scoter were dozing out on the estuary swell – the group appeared to be one female and six males, but they were a long way off.
The Sandplant scrub held two Goldcrest, Robins, Blackbirds and a few Blue Tits.
A Greater ‘Pecker that came bounding out across Marine Drive was almost certainly a migrant.

Five Cattle Egrets were “Max Wall-ing” about amongst the cows on Rimmer’s Marsh from Marshside Road, while at the other end there was a large Black-Tailed Godwit roost and at least 28 Ruff, including a white-headed bird, from the Hesketh Road platform.

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