With a clear southerly passage of Skylarks over Dempsey Towers this morning, I decided it was worth a trip up to the marsh in the afternoon, once I'd gotten my chores out of the way.
The hooley was easing down and the skies were brightening, with no sign of a repeat of last night's mental weather.
Good numbers of Pinkies were out on the reserve, with a juv Marsh Harrier putting the willies up the growing flock of wintering Starlings on the outer marsh, with Little Egrets there too.
Nice bit of dodgy exotica on the Sandplant Lagoon, but little else there apart from a few eclipse duck.
Nels however was a different kettle of fish, or rather waders.
Big roost of Blackwits on the island directly under the hide, and with them five Curlew Sandpipers, scurrying around between the legs of the godwits and wildfowl in search of food.
Another three Curlew Sands on the back edge of the lagoon.
Always good to see 'em close.
At least ten Ruff on the back of the lagoon, with one small reeve doing a passable Buff Breast impersonation for the unwary.
Small groups of Golden Plover going through, with the usual Redshank and Lapwing in the creeks.
Later in the afternoon skeins of Pinkies began to drop in, stopping off for a wash and brush up before roosting out on the estuary.
About 500 birds on Marshside One, with more coming in all the time from the mosses, and more still at the back of Marshside Two.
A lone Barnacle Goose sneaked in to bathe with one skein, but spent most of the time lurking at the back of the Pinkie horde.
All very pleasant to watch the birds coming and going in the hardening October sunlight.
Two of the Blackwits were colour ringed - managed a shot of one that I don't think I've seen before....anyone got any gen on it?
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...