Great, if surreal, morning down at Marshside today - with good "winter" birds passing thro' but not much in the way of summer migrants.
Where are all the bloody hirundines????
Checking along the embankment footpath between Hesketh Road and Marshside Road, I had 1 Redwing, 5 Siskin, 1 Redpoll, singing Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and best of all a Goshawk, being harrassed by the two local Sparrowhawks.
Got very good views of the Gos as it circled over me before drifting off inland, with the sprawks in pursuit.
At least a third as big again as the female Sparrowhawk, its long white vent and rump feathers blew about in the wind, it had a good secondary bulge in the wing, nice rounded tail, barrel chest, dark cap and clear white supercilium - a stunning bird.
Couldn't see any jesses on it, but I suppose it could have escaped from a falconer.
Don't usually believe sightings of Goshawk on the marsh, but I had no doubt about this one - brilliant, a Marshside tick!!!!
Apart from that, the inland areas were pretty quiet, with the Carrion Crow above the only bird prepared to sit still for a photograph.
I met up with Bazzo, Neill, Mickey Boy Stocker and John Bannon and we checked Marshside One, where a fine male Wheatear was appropriately running about feeding near Wheatear Corner (we had a second male in the bushes on the Sandplant ramparts later), and small groups of Mipits headed north.
Two Little Stints and a few Dunlin were around a fine Golden Plover flock (most in summer plumage) just north of Nels Hide, and there were at least 51 Avocets on Marshside One.
Another three Redpoll headed north over us on the other side of the Sandplant, and three Little Egrets were on the outer marsh.
Incredibly the Green Winged Teal was STILL asleep in front of the Sandplant Hide (a three week siesta - not bad), and the Ruddy Ducks were on the lagoon.
From Nels Hide we watched the Mute Swans throwing their weight around - some good threat display and argy bargy on a sunny morning.
Went home to drink cold beer and scan the skies in anticipation of the White Tailed Eagle seen over Wirral and Crosby earlier today flapping over Dempsey Towers - rather predictably fell asleep in the sun and woke up with no beer and no eagle - such is life.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies....