Bazzo and I headed down to the Sandplant again this morning for another high tide hit at Marshside.
Goldcrest, Blackbirds, finches etc in the compound as we arrived, but unfortunately a breeze coming off the land slowed the tide and it failed to engulf the marsh as it should have.
Plenty of birds around all the same, with dizzying numbers of Wigeon, although perhaps not as dramatic a spectacle as yesterday.
Pinkies with three Barnacles feeding under the western edge of the compound, with Rock Pipit in the air again, and Skylarks, Reed Bunts, Mipits etc.
Four Twite heading south were noteworthy (on their way to Weld Road no doubt - sorry Pete, I couldn't read the colour rings in flight!).
Up to three Merlin, Peregrine, Kestrel, Sprawk and at least two Marsh Harriers, but the water never edged in enough to flush out any Short Eared Owls lurking in the grasses.
Offshore, two parties of Eider - five out in the mouth of the Ribble (5m,1f) and another group of four further up the estuary (4m,1f), plus a winter plumaged Great Crested Grebe.
The family of five Whoopers was still out there.
As the tide fell, we headed up to check Crossens Outer - hordes of Dunlin, Ruff, Golden Plover, Lapwing and Snipe, Little Egrets, Merlin, the Marsh Harriers and lots of wildfowl suggested this area may have been a better bet to start with!
Good to watch the young Marsh Harriers up together - it made a break from grilling the Dunlins and double-taking the distant Grey Plovers.
Goldcrest in the bushes up here too.
Just as we were preparing to leave, a pair of Ravens flew in to croak and rip the turf to pieces - superb....always love seeing these birds, huge bills, big, big, big birds full of character, dwarfing the Lapwings etc on the marsh.
After 20 minutes or so, they flew off up the Ribble to the north east - I wonder where they wandered from?
Presumably birds from the Pennines instead of those knocking around the dunes at Formby, but you never know.
I'd love to get close enough to one to get a decent pic one fine day, but they are just about the wariest birds going.
At least they'll talk to you if they're in the mood - try loudly "bock bock-ing" one next time you see a Raven - they'll often swing round to answer, or just laugh before disappearing on those lovely big black wings.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...