Mighty bright and mighty breezy at Marshside this afternoon, with as much action as you'd expect for the end of February - plenty of wildfowl still about - Wigeon, Teal, Pintail, Gadwall, Shoveler etc, especially on Marshside One.
Spooked by GBBs occasionally, although the hordes of Blackwits (at least 2,500 on the site today) seemed a lot more chilled about the whole "nasty gull coming" thing.
Equally cool were the flotilla of Tufties dozing close to the reeds just north of Nels Hide, which included a young male Scaup-type.
Its head looked a bit too cresty at the back for my liking, suggesting a bit of "aythya hanky panky" in its gene pool, but that could have been the wind blowing the crown feathers about.
Never really woke up to give me a good look, but its flanks were very, very white.
Not much of a gull roost - mainly BHGs, with a few LBBs and a handful of Herrings, plus one Avocet on M1, looking thoroughly miserable - well, if you will persist in expanding your range northward, what do you expect?
Hawaiian shirts and suntan cream?
Small groups of Pinkies flying about the site, with a few hundred strung out on the edges of the outer marsh, way too far off to work, and three Cormorants roosting on the Sandplant pool - for those who persist in beating themselves up about sinensis types, may I suggest the following excellent id paper?
Sandgrounders Hide was quiet (if you don't count the wasp-fart blare of a scrambler bike from the compound across the road, yet again), so I walked up towards Crossens.
Yet more Black Tailed Godwits here, including several colour ringed individuals, but the Feb sun was so bright it was hard to be sure of the sequence....yellow, green, white etc all looked very shiny shiny. Lapwings tumbling in display on Crossens Inner, but one of the resident Brown Hares seemed to have the right idea - just hunker down till the wind stops.
A fine flock of at least 1,000 Golden Plover up here too, with two birds already in full summer plumage, Curlew, and another small gull roost. No sign of any Stonechats today...oh dear.
On Crossens Outer, two Marsh Harriers were sailing about with ease, despite the strong wind which grounded the other usual raptors, apart from Kestrels.
Watched them (both youngsters from last year) as they effortlessly cut through the air as if it was flat calm.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...