Went down to Taggs Island for the high tide this morning, and managed to get really close to the roosting waders without spooking them - obviously that is the job of dogwalkers, horseriders, horseriders with dogs etc.
Let the birds come to me as the tide edged them in - Grey Plover, Ringed Plover (including some displaying birds), Knot, Dunlin, Turnstone, Barwits, Knot, Oystercatchers - just superb.
Small numbers of gulls including one argentatus Herring Gull, and at least seven Skylarks in full song.
Two or three groups of Meadow Pipits - the start of passage perhaps?
Offshore, four Scaup (males) with up to 70 Goldeneye in several groups.
One Great crested Grebe.
After the groovy wader vibe of the high tide I headed back to Weld Road with my snipe rader set to maximum and managed 8 Common Snipe and one sneaky Jack Snipe in the reedbed.
A pair of Stonechats showed well, but getting a shot of the ringed male was frustrating - it never kept still.
From Taggs I drove up to Marshside, and met Bazzo on the top of Mt Baker, where he was watching four Goosanders tootling round offshore in the shallows - at least one young male and three females I think.
A Marshside tick for me, so I'll have to drink some cold beer once I've blogged this lot to celebrate.
Bazzo was doing the count today on Marshside One, and had three Avocets dozing in front of Nels Hide, and a Chiffchaff in the willows there.
A wintering bird or a very early migrant???
Jellyhead called to say he'd had two Short Eared Owls earlier on the outer marsh, but all we could see was a distant Marsh Harrier quartering the water's edge.
About 800 Pinkies out there and Merlin too, but strangely, no sign of the Little Egrets today.
The two Scaup still on the Sandplant Pool, where the island has been scoured and the pumping station removed now - the island looks like it could be good for nesting waders this summer.
From here I drove over to Mere Sands with Bazzo in tow, but there were too many people.
Managed Bullfinch, Goldeneye, three Goosanders, and a few Great Crested Grebes.
Headed for home past Martin Mere (Whooper Swans, Pinkies) and stopped off on Churchtown Moss, where we had at least 65 Rooks with smaller numbers of Jackdaws and Carrion Crows, about 15 Corn Buntings and a Merlin.
Plus the usual Red Legged Partridge and Pheasant.
Not a bad day at all....
Eyes to the skies everyone. eyes to the skies....