No one could have predicted that the easterlies were so strong as to blow a Golden Pheasant to Marshside, but the high stepping proof was wandering around on the bank and track by Sandgrounders today...
It was looking rather bewildered - but then so would you if your owner told you that you were off for a luxury trip to "Pheasant World" (all the seed you can eat, and lots of Lady Amherst's to boot) before chucking you out of the car by the Coast Road!
Or maybe it leapt from a passing van, lured to the joys of Marshside by the resplendent sight of the Glossy Ibis (well, it certainly ruffles my feathers).
Either that or it's on a sponsored walk.
Which is unlikely.
Quite good skulky fun at first, before it wandered out onto the track and began walking north towards Polly's Creek, presumably hoping it might get a lift back home.
Lurvely plumage, but my knowledge of immature/female pheasant exotica is mercifully limited...do female/young male Golden Pheasants usually show big red patches over the eye?
Honestly, if you're gonna dump a cagebird at Marshside, at least make it a nice Meadow Bunting or a Mugimaki...
In terms of real birding there were plenty of hirundines over Sandgrounders Lagoon, with Little Stint and a few Dunlin on Polly's Pool.
I didn't have time to check Marshside One, but I'm sure it was Ibis and Garganey-tastic.
Incidentally, has anyone actually seen two Glossy Ibis together? Birdline Ted (09068 700249) reported two Glossy Ibis at Marshside today, but I don't know who put the report in.
If you have seen two ibis at the same time, please let me know...
While I was out, Graham Clarkson texted with news of an adult Med Gull at Shore Road, Hesketh Bank and a male Yellow Wagtail at New Lane, Crossens.
Meanwhile back at Marshside, I watched Linnets and Meadow Pipits around the top of Mount Baker, and out in the estuary a party of five Gannets plunge diving at 5.15pm.
Some very distant terns further out too, Commons and a few Sandwich I think, but they were nearer Eire than Mount Baker!
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...