Raced down to the Sands Lake after work, delirious to see the sun shining in a clear blue sky after eons of cloud and rain.
Nothing out of the ordinary on the water - two male Pochard, 31 Shovelers, 48 Tufties and one or two gulls.
Robin and Great Tit singing away. A guestimate of the Mallards was somewhere between 100 and infinity (or 150 to be more precise) as most of 'em were hidden by the overhanging branches. It seemed rude to disturb them while they were asleep.
One of the Little Grebes was getting a bit chestnutty about the cheeks, but it stuck to the reeds too much, and I wanted to get down to the beach before it got too dark.
With the tide out, it was obvious that huge numbers of gulls were feeding in the water's edge and shallows, along with Oystercatchers, Sanderling, Barwits, Dunlins etc, but I didn't have the time or the light to check through them.
That said they were 20 deep from Ainsdale north to the top of Taggs, and didn't flush even when Cocklin' Pete got amongst 'em for some bait.
If you've got the time and the inclination, working this many gulls would surely repay the effort. A few Herring and Common Gulls etc were a bit closer, until flushed by scurrying baitmen, anxious to do battle with the mighty ragworm, or whatever it was they were digging up.
80+ Cormorants, mainly young birds were roosting out on the sands, and as the sun began to set, a party of Curlew came winging in over my shoulder, so low you could hear the wind in their wings, superb.
On the sea I picked up a single Common Scoter, and one male Goldeneye.
Walking back through the dunes (the slacks are still full of water), I got good views of two Water Rails at the north end of Sands Lake in the low branches at dusk, and a Mistle Thrush was in full song.
Not bad at all.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...