Got down to Marshside for high tide again today, but although it was bigger on paper than yesterday's monster, it didn't cover the marsh.
The wind was in the south west and at Hooley Force Six (nun's wimples under threat, umbrellas ill-advised) on my new Hooley Scale (I'll work out the rest of the windspeed definitions soon and forward them to the Met Office so they can dispense with Beaufort and adopt the much more accurate Hooley Scale), but the water just didn't surge in.
Despite this there were a few Little Egrets on the wing and a single Short Eared Owl gamely took to the air, perching on the outer marsh just in front of us all.
Way too windy and dark to get a decent pic.
Peregrine, Merlin and Kestrel out on the marsh too today, with small groups of Pink Feet sheltering close to the road, especially south of the Sandplant.
The hail showers were something of an inconvenience, but at least the shiny male Scaup was in with the Pochards on the Sandplant Pool.
Asleep as usual.
Sandgrounders hide was infested with birders from Leeds and Lichfield, but the heavy squalls drove everyone in there and soon Jellyhead, Tropical, Neill, Mike S, Pete Allen and I were steaming gently in the throng with Graham Clarkson.
Quite social really. I've seen drier soup than Jellyhead was today.
Neill and Tropical had found the elusive Green Winged Teal off Nels hide again so I wandered down there with Stephen Menzie.
Plenty of wildfowl, blackwits, a nice Merlin and a few Snipe, but no sign of the yankee Teal.
I expect it had just sneaked behind one of the islands for a snooze.
Took a snap or two of big-nosed Shovelers to pass the time...
Then I had to head for home and get rid of the Xmas tree.
I was hoping to beat my record for holding onto one and leave it blowing around the garden until June, but Mrs D wasn't having any of it....
Ah well, when the hail stops it should be getting colder, so we might get some good winter birds at last.
I want my white-wings.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...