Shocking weather today, roof at Dempsey Towers leaking, Peroni levels low in fridge, Baby Black Death low on fuel - just perfect.
Was heading down to the marsh via Bazzo's house, when Jellyhead called to tell me about the Red Necked Grebe at Mere Sands Wood.
Picked up Baz and headed inland to Mere Sands, but when we got there, altho' John Aitchison, Bones, Dave Fletcher, and later Mike and June were there, the grebe was not.
It swan off into a bay apparently and no one clapped eyes on it again.
At least there were three Goosanders on the water in atrocious conditions.
The Kingfisher was perched up by the Redwing Hide, and Siskin, Tree Sparrow and Jay were around the feeders, and a few hundred Teal were tootling about, with smaller numbers of Wigeon and Pintail.
A Water Rail was right beneath the Lancaster Hide as one torrential downpour followed another.
We headed back to Marshside grebeless, but the Water Rail was feeding under the Sandgrounders Hide again.
Three Little Egrets out on Marshside Two/Crossens Inner and there was a fine Peregrine that spooked everything on Marshside Two, only to totally screw up its hunting pattern, then sidle off towards the outer marsh pretending it didn't really mean to catch a Wigeon anyway.
Earlier in the day the Kingfisher was perching on the posts to the right of the Sandgrounders Hide and fishing for a while - just where I got the shots of it in October.
Water levels are coming back up now, with winter flooding finally starting properly, so hopefully wildfowl numbers should continue to rise.
43 Pochard on the Sandplant Pool, and flocks of Blackwit, Lapwings and Goldies hunkering down in the rain.
Excellent RSPB mince pie at the hide. Ho ho ho.
Before heading home we gave the top of the Marine Lake a quick look, in case any storm-blown seabirds, grebes etc were about but no luck.
The two Black Swans were sheltering by the breakwater with the Mute Swan flock.
As each wave of spray, rain and rubbish broke over them they honked plaintively.
I think the rough translation was : "Strewth Sheila why did we ever jump that bleedin' Pommie fence in the first place?"
Going feral isn't all its cracked up to be.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies....