Just the ticket

Bitterly cold during the 7am survey at Marshside today with a cruel north westerly that stopped any migration dead in its tracks.

Plenty of Pink Feet still close to the road, but everything else seemed to be keeping its head down.

Survey completed, my next task of the day was to fix a noticeboard deep in Ainsdale LNR, and while I was down there I bumped into Andy Spottiswood, still trudging his unending patch circuit.

A few Willow Warblers sang on despite the cold, and a handful of Redpoll buzzed through, but then Andy found a fine male Redstart, which I caught up with in one of the newly cleared areas near to Gate 3 on the coast road.

Calling occasionally the Redstart typically shuffled around at the bottom of a hawthorn, tail quivering and flitting between patches of scrub, before coming out to perch in the hard sun.

Blat blat blat.

What a cracker – first meetings with Redstarts are one of the high points of spring on the Sefton coast for me, odd when you consider how frequently you encounter them on the east coast in autumn… but then it has been a long, long winter.