A heady cocktail of biting wind, snow, hail and sleet made a trip to the marsh a tad challenging today.
With much of the water still frozen up, many species had cleared out - Blackwits, Redshank and Snipe toughed it out, but there were fewer Wigeon, Teal, Lapwings etc than normal, as is always the way in a freeze-up.
Two Water Rails to the north of Sandgrounders Hide, with Little Egrets dotted here and there and plenty of Grey Herons on the outer marsh, where the male Hen Harrier was hunting away despite the conditions, spooking larks and pipits as it drifted on the wind.
Down at Nels Hide, a small flock of Teal and bobbing Coot hung around the unfrozen water, and there was a small gull roost.
On the outer marsh south of the Sandplant a few hundred Pinkies were feeding away, but this wasn't the day to grill 'em in the squalls.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...