"Massive passerines passage, Marshside", the text from Bazzo read, bestowing the kiss of death on any gardening duties today (you should see the back garden at Dempsey Towers, it looks like God has forgotten to tend the Amazon again).
But Bazzo was right - pulling in and then heading into the Sandplant Compound, the air was full of Meadow Pipits, Skylarks, Goldfinches, alba Wags, and Grey Wag - streaming through in the benign conditions.
Small skeins of Pinkies kept coming in from the north.
Goldcrests were calling in the willows, and a Greater 'Pecker swooped along the remaining bushes on the southern side.
Meeting Bazzo and John B, we were drawn away by another text, this time from Clarko, who was watching the young Arctic Skua on Marshside One.
Unfortunately, by the time we schlepped down to Nels, the Arctic Skua had moved past us and was out toward Crossens Inner (Sod's law), but at least there were two Greenshank, over 50 Snipe and 500+ Blackwits in front of the hide.
A Wheatear flitted across the road as we sauntered down to the hide.
40+ Pinkies in the middle of M1 and a Merlin tazzing about too.
We headed back north again, and I stuck it out in the Sandgrounders Hde, while the boys walked up to Polly's Creek.
Another two Greenshanks were calling away in front of the hide, and the juv Arctic Skua suddenly reappeared plugging south over Crossens and M2, pausing only to seriously stress out Black Headed Gulls.
Lisa had seen the skua earlier on the pool in front of the Hesketh Road platform, so I decided to head down there, in case it called in again.
Sure enough, it whizzed through, attacking Black Headed Gulls over the golf course, before drifting off south, over the Muni.
Cursing my stupidity for not digi-blatting the skua as it sailed past (it was only 20 feet away), I was scanning the Municipal Golf Course in case it came back, when I saw a Honey Buzzard sliding in off the sea at about 200 ft - superb.
Apologies at this point to the nice couple, who were sitting on the platform with me, but I always feel the richest of expletive-ridden sentences are the most effective way to get someone on to a passing raptor...
The bird started circling, so quick mobile calls saw Bazzo and John, and Clarko, screeching down Hesketh Road in time to see the Honey before it drifted off inland.
Marshside on top form - it's nice when fate stops kicking you between the legs for a moment or two, only to smile down and make the air crackle with the joy of a thousand rattling Migrant Hawkers' wings...
Sorry, lost the plot a bit there, back to the birding.
As the Honey Buzzard drifted off inland the Arctic Skua reappeared and landed on the pool beneath the platform...lovely close up views of the little bully.
Returning to Dempsey Towers to weigh up the perennial "horticultural hard labour v Peroni" equation of life, the garden had singing Chiffchaff, plus Blackcap and 'crests, while a single Pink Foot, Common Buzzard and 3 Sparrowhawks went through.
Bazzo texted with news of 2 Curlew Sands and 12 Ruff on Crossens Outer, as I settled down to watch the weeds grow in the autumn sun.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...