As is often the way, Marshside saved the best till last this morning, when I was just returning to the Baby Black Death with Bazzo on Marshside Road at 11.20am, when I saw a dove hurtling over the road at warp speed 20.
Got the bins on it - dark underwings and undertail, gleaming white belly, and when it banked, lovely rich chestnut back and coverts, spotted black, with a bluey wing panel and sharp, dark primaries.
Turtle Dove! Yeehaw!!!
The bird flew over the coast road and Bazzo and a few others got onto it, before it dropped down out of sight behind the ridges of the southern edge of the Sandplant.
I thought it may have landed, but despite a good deal of searching, we couldn't find the bird again - superb flight views though, and a great record for the marsh.
Last time I saw one of these things locally was, oh, I' don't know when...such a rare bird in Lancs/Merseyside now.
My best bird on the marsh this spring I think.
Earlier, a few Redpolls were going over the Golf Course, with new Willow Warblers arrriving, and Swifts piling north.
The Whitethroats, now firmly back on territory, were going beserk, singing away despite the difficulty of sitting up in the easterly.
Sedgies doing much the same.
Our first check round the Sandplant revealed about four Wheatears, Mipits, Swallows tanking north and the resident young female Kestrel, sneakily trying a new hunting tactic, by hiding against one of the sand mounds.
It's camouflage was remarkably effective.
Few Linnets and Pied Wags about too, and more Whitethroats.
Incidentally, yesterday the Lesser Whitethroat was still rattling away in the Haskayne Cutting, with the usual Yellowhammers, Whitethroats etc.
This morning, it was good to see the Shelducks have settled down again after the outrageous gang banging episode earlier in the week.
Plenty of Dunlins on Marshside One, plus the two Little Egrets, and the Garganey had been about on the Junction Pool earlier, but all in all, it was a Turtle Dove morning!
Could be good again tomorrow, or even later today - if you get anything, please let me know.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...