It is well-known that the Marshside regulars NEVER bird beyond Hesketh Road to the south and the Plough roundabout to the north, because anywhere past these points (according to Bazzo at least), has been proven scientifically to be the realm of leprechauns, trolls and assorted bogeymen.
So ten out of ten to Neill and Tropical who bravely ventured into the uncharted territory of the willows along the side of Fleetwood Road today (there be dragons here, or at the very least, golfers with a truly flawed sense of aim, if the number of times I heard "fore" from the Muni is anything to go by), and almost immediately got onto a male Redstart.
I quickly joined them, but although the bird called a few times, it remained frustratingly elusive.
Plenty of Willow Warblers, Orange-tips, Small Tortoiseshell too - nice habitat.
From the Hesketh Road platform, a male Garganey was feeding on the pool, but a bit distant for good digi-scoping.
Two Whimbrel came through low, heading south, and at least two Reed Warblers were singing in the SSSI ditch. Male Wheatear here too.
Earlier, I checked the golf course from about 8am - 5 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcap and numerous Willow Warblers singing, with 3 Chiffies and a few Lesser Redpolls feeding along the public footpath.
Swallows going through early on, although a fair few were heading south, and a Sedge Warbler was singing by the Marshside Road junction.
Two Grey Partridge around the Sandplant compound.
Graham Clarkson had Curlew Sand, Little Stint and 16 Dunlin from Nels, but I never got round to getting down to the hide.
A quick foray up to Banks Marsh (leprechaun/troll/bogeyman threat off the scale here) with Ron Jackson and Phil Collins late morning produced a flyover Tree Pipit and Grey Partridge.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...