A brief break in the mist and greyness for an hour or two this morning, before the heaven's opened again.
Managed to get down to Sands Lake in the hope of something unusual sheltering after last night's storms, but there was nothing out of the ordinary.
Count of 214 Tufted Duck was quite pleasing though.
Little Grebe etc there too.
Drove up to Marshside, where from Hesketh Road, the whole of Marshside One (or whatever it is called now) was like a gigantic duck soup, with hordes of Teal, Wigeon and Pintail shifting through the water like crazy.
These wigeon where the only ones asleep I could find.
Good flock of 900+ Black Tailed Godwits at the top end too, and at least four kestrels hunting along the road today.
90+ Pochard on the Sandplant Lagoon, where there was also a male Stonechat.
Met up with Si Glinn who had a Scaup on the pools earlier, and we heard Jack Snipe was seen on the outer marsh, and a Goosander in front of the Sandgrounders Hide - neither of which were about by the time I got there, but both are very good Marshside records.
No sign of the Water Rail from Sandgrounders Hide today, but a huge grazing flock of Wigeon were out on Crossens Inner and Marshside Two (several thousand birds), and were habitually spooked by passing GBBs.
Nice to see the Pintail close in to the hide - superb ducks, with grouchy rattling calls.
About 1,000 Golden Plover on Marshside Two, with perhaps half as many Lapwing, and a small gull roost at the back.
On the outer marsh we had a nice juv Merlin perched up before we scaled the Devil's Staircase to the top of Mount Baker.
From there, at least 2,000 Pink Feet were visible feeding in the vegetation and in the distance a Marsh Harrier, probably an immature (althoug the light was awful and the bird a long way off) quartered the end of Crossens Channel, landing in the grasses frequently.
Two or three Little Egrets around the wetter areas.
Another Stonechat at the southside of the Sandplant and I hit the road as the murk and rain rolled in again.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies - and a Happy New Year!