My cunning plan was to get up good and early this morning and hit Marshside just after dawn, before the grey clouds and drizzle of the front from the south west moved in.
So I decided to forego another night in the Legless Arms with the rest of the tribe.
Unfortunately, with Mrs D's folks staying at present, I ended up drinking more red wine than a French dipsomaniac, so only shuffled out of my pit at 8.45am today.
Time for Plan B - an hour or two around the Sandplant Compound and Sandgrounders.
By the time I got to the marsh the clouds were edging in, but there were a few bits and bobs in the Sandplant Compound - 8+ Robins, some singing away, a single Goldcrest, 4 Blackbirds, 2 Redwings, 1 Song Thrush, a Grey Partridge and the usual Mipits, Skylarks, Goldfinch and Greenfinches.
From the top of Mount Baker, I could see the hunting female Marsh Harrier (see pic at beginning of entry), and large numbers of Black Headed Gulls foraging over the marsh - the high tides looked very good today, but I didn't have time to stay out too long (lunchtime o'booze with Mrs D's dad was calling).
At least eight Little Egrets were out in the mist, and a few hundred Pink Feet to boot.
A single Merlin was perched up.
Way off in the distance at least 27 wild swans were on the marsh near Banks - probably Whoopers?
Seven Pochards, 3 Little Grebe on the Sandplant Pool, and the Water Rail was mooching round the Sandgrounders Hide earlier on.
The Glossy Ibis was sweeping the ditches again, and at one point perched up on the fenceposts by Polly's Pool for a bit of a preen before it was ousted by a Carrion Crow.
A few hundred Lapwing and Golden Plover around Polly's, with smaller numbers of Pinkies, Black Tailed Godwits and a gull roost of the commoner species.
I was heading back to the car, when I decided to have a quick look at the Junction Pool, and lucked onto the male Green Winged Teal, dozing on the southern bank, in pretty much the same place that Bazzo saw it a fortnight or so ago.
Now its moult is almost complete, although the top of its flanks are still a bit scabby. The bird spent most of the time asleep as per usual - nice to see it back again.
Texted everyone who may want to see it, and then headed for home, and an afternoon sesh at the Sands Pub, Ainsdale.
As a leprous smoker I stood outside with Mrs D's dad while necking pints of Theakston's - Great Spotted Woodpecker, a few Mipits, finches and a handful of Redwings went over.
Great big Brown Rat around the bushes. Don't think it was Geoff.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...