Typical dark old afternoon at Marshside today, but as Bazzo pointed out, it is still quite a spectacle at this time of year, with 1,700+ Blackwits, Pink Feet on the outer and inner marsh, hordes of wildfowl and plenty of waders.
From the remains of Mount Baker I watched two Peregrines over the outer marsh, which also had Merlin and two or three Kestrels, 5 Little Egrets and larks and pipits.
Briefly got onto a big egret flying south away from me over the lorry road - all dark legs and feet - interesting...
From the Sandgrounders Hide a Common Buzzard came in from the west and headed inland, spooking all the waders and there were more Little Egrets and another hunting Merlin.
Ruff amongst the Goldies, Lapwings and Curlews on Marshside One.
As the light was fading and the wind really picking up, Bazzo and I watched this aythya duck on the Junction Pool, with a degree of difficulty as it kept diving.
Clarko is probably right in that it is just a juv Tufted Duck, but it had a very round reddish head, long and wide bill and an odd pale collar round the neck - which may suggest more dubious parentage.
Clearly it has a lot of Tufty in it, but as the morals of ducks are generally lower than those of the average politician, who knows? What do you think - pure juv Tufted or a Heinz aythya of some sort?
Perhaps we'd been looking at the marsh too long.
Wigeon and Pintail galore now, with the male of these two Wigeon happily displaying to the female below the Hesketh Road platform.
Up at Crossens, Graham (and Neill) had had 7 Curlew Sandpipers and Little Stint earlier in the day, and with the light fading Bazzo and I managed 4 Curlew Sands and at least 1 Little Stint amongst the Dunlin, Golden Plover, Snipe and Lapwings.
Hyperactive Linnet flock feeding here too.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...