Grey, dark November afternoons, raw and bleak, are made for a trip to Taggs Island for a splash around the creeks and reedbeds, so that's what I did today, and it was pretty good.
Not many gulls on the beach (the tide was right out), but several Pied Wagtails and Mipits around the Weld Road beach entrance, and in the marsh itself, 18 Snipe and at least 2 Jack Snipe, the latter plump little brown and golden striped balls bursting into the air under my feet, always good to see them.
About 200 Pink Feet headed north overhead, presumably aiming for roosting grounds at Marshside.
Plenty of Wrens and Song Thrushes lurking in the bushes on the seaward side of Taggs, but a big fat Woodcock that flushed from the base of one of the bushes and flapped a short distance north again, giving great views, was a surprise - I can't remember seeing one on Taggs before.
Two Stonechats a fair way down, and on the beach Redshank, Shelduck and Curlew.
As I was walking back I noticed a Ranger's Land Rover slowing down on the wet sand - and close to it three pale bellied Brent Geese.
A young bird and two adults, they cropped the marsh grasses on the hummocky islands at the edge of the marsh as the light faded.
Shame I didn't come across them earlier, I may have got better pix with more light.
One of the adults had a yellow colour ring, but I couldn't make out the detail in the growing gloom.
Even trying a blow-up in the fading light, it was Sod's Law that its left leg was hidden by mud, such is life.
They may stick around....they were walking slowly north and grazing almost off Weld Road by the time I left them.
Skylarks and another Jack Snipe on the saltmarsh edge here, so not a bad afternoon for Taggs - Woodcock, Jack Snipe and Brent Goose is not to be sniffed at!
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...