Far out

With yesterday’s south easterly greatly diminished, the Cetti’s Warbler in the SSSI ditch at Hesketh Road was really getting its groove on today.
Plenty of rich, loud bursts of song as it snorkelled through the reeds and Sea Buckthorn, occasionally perching to glare out at me – there may have been a second bird calling, but they never kicked off at the same time, and they do move about so…
The Water Rail squealed from cover too, but the traffic drone started to bug me so I headed up to the Sandplant.
A fine male Hen Harrier was doing one of those high altitude elegant flapping circuits before drifting off north in to the murk.
Very far out, but better views than yesterday when I watched the male and a ringtail swooping and towering around a Merlin there in the mid-afternoon in the high winds.
They were too far out to determine how much malice there was in the interaction in the challenging weather conditions.
The Merlins aren’t having much luck at the moment – I watched a female type make four scorching supersonic passes at a Snipe on Suttons Marsh today.
It knocked the Snipe out of the air just south of Polly’s Creek on the fifth pass, but even though it turned on a sixpence two Carrion Crows were on the Snipe before the falcon could get to it.
One hungry Merlin flew off to scowl from the fenceline.

Two Great White Egrets on the outer marsh this afternoon, one in the usual place, the other further out.
A pair of Ravens were ripping a carcass up on Crossens Outer, a Peregrine was perched up off the Sandplant, and a few Rock Pipits and Mipits were in the air.
Lesser Celandine flowering on the path down to Sandgrounders, while a pair of Stonechat were below the road on the seaward side.

Back at Dempsey Towers the male Blackcap is finally starting to get a bit more regular on the feeders after a winter of intermittent appearances, and the partially albino Goldfinch is still dropping in.