With a warm south easterly at my back, Marshside came up trumps on Sunday, with my first osprey at the reserve (Marshside ticks are best!!), adult female marsh harrier, little egret and arctic skua.
I found the osprey while scoping a dark morph arctic skua moving south along the waterline on the rising tide.
The fish hawk was tearing its lunch to pieces at the end of the "lorry road" and put a grin on my face as wide as the Ribble.
More on this superb bird in my Daily Post column on Saturday.
The adult female marsh harrier came through froom the north and thermalled high before moving inland _ one of several raptors, including merlin and sprawk, using the strong south easterly winds to gain lift as they migrated across the estuary.
Gannets were fishing offshore, and at least seven great crested grebes in winter plumgage bobbed about behind the low waves.
The local peregrines stayed low to the ground, often loafing around on the sand beyond the saltmarsh _ they use this as a successful hunting technique, waiting for flocks of waders to be pushed close to them by the rising tide before they pounce.
They still look odd sitting out there though _ not very dignified for this uberfalcon.
Our long staying little egret put in an appearance, but thro' the scope its blotchy yellow brown legs suggested captive origin rather than a wild bird _ who has lost an egret?????
Swallows were pouring south, while at home a hummingbird hawkmoth, migrant hawker, red admirals and speckled woods made attacking the leylandii hedge with a chainsaw almost enjoyable (thanks to Tom for his sterling work...but did you have to go home BEFORE we cleared away all the crap off the garden???)
The first WILD pink feet should be arriving any day now, listen out for the calls.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies.
PS _ Barn owl hunting in the early morning drizzle on Southport Road, Thornton, again today.......