Certainly felt a bit grey and dusty down on the marsh this morning, after I'd picked up Jellyhead early doors, but conditions were good on paper - cloudy, with a light SWly - yet the dust cloud was almost palpable as we wandered about.
Surely this high level volcanic dust stuff won't stop birds moving??
A few Chiffchaff and Blackcap singing on the golf course, but only two Willow Warblers and a single Sedge Warbler in the SSSI ditch. Greater Pecker bounding about and a Tree Pipit calling as it moved north in the gloom above.
At least the Water Voles on the ditch were a bit more amenable - 3-4 of the critters out munching on fresh grass stems, before the path got too busy with walkers.
A Swallow hawked around the platform at Hesketh Road, and a few Wheatears were around the Sandplant and peninsula, with singing Willow Warbler in the remaining hawthorn scrub there.
Nowt on the outer marsh, bar a few Lilttle Egrets, and the feeling that the hazy conditions were down to the mucho bumbo grande in Iceland - it felt dusty all morning.
Nels Hide was quite good, with no fewer than 10 Little Gulls while we were there, hawking about and settling to preen - superb wee birds.
A few other odds and sods amongst the squawking BHGs there too, including an almost albino BHG and a first year Med Gull, both a bit too far off to get pix...
A handful of Golden Plover in spangly spangly summer kit amongst the roosting Blackwits, with a few Ruff at the back of the marsh and the funky Llamas were showing well too - and being groomed by local Jackdaws.
Does their presence really put off wader-marauding foxes?
We shall see.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...