With no sign of any decent winds to make seawatching worthwhile on this sequence of high tides, Marshside is probably worth a butcher's tomorrow (assuming I don't crack and head to Shetland...)
With this in mind, here's the latest press release from Jen Walker from the RSPB, detailing a series of events starting tomorrow, for those who like their birding organised.
The nifty Knot pic above is courtesy of Andy Hay/rspb-images.com
Over to Jen....
"There will be a wonderful wildlife spectacle happening along the Ribble Estuary this week as the October high tides provide fantastic views of the birds and wildlife at RSPB Marshside and Hesketh Out Marsh nature reserves.
The RSPB, which looks after both reserves are running four days of 'Big Tide Birding' events from Thursday 27 to Sunday 30 October. These spring tides only happen a handful of times each year and can completely flood the saltmarsh, making thousands of wading birds come close to roost and attracting birds of prey like hen harriers, marsh harriers or short-eared owls.
Join staff and volunteers at RSPB Marshside nature reserve, near Southport for a guided walk out onto the saltmarsh to get a close up view of the hide tide excitement on Thursday 27 October from 10 am to 1 pm and on Friday 28 October from 10.30 am to 1.30 pm. Meet in the car park on Marine Drive, Southport (next to reserve and the old sand works).
On Saturday 29 October from 11.30 am to 2.30 pm, be inspired by the tide and wildlife at RSPB Hesketh Out Marsh nature reserve and on Sunday 30 October 12 noon to 3 pm join a guided walk and watch the speed of the tide as it completely floods the marsh. Volunteers will be on hand with telescopes at the viewing platform. Meet in the car park at the end of Dib Road, off Shore Road.
Both events are suitable for all levels of experience. No booking is required for any of these events. The walks cost £5 adults (£3 RSPB members). For more information please phone: 01704 226190.
Alex Pigott, reserve warden said "The sights and sounds of huge flocks of coastal birds as they come closer inland with the incoming tide as well as the dramatic display of birds of prey, makes it an experience to remember. We hope you will fancy joining us."
The Ribble Estuary is an internationally important area for the vast numbers of geese, ducks and wading birds that rely on the marshes during the winter months.
You can visit RSPB Marshside nature reserve any day of the week for free. As well as seeing a variety of birdlife, this is a great time of year to see pink footed geese and wintering wildfowl. Free parking is available in the Sefton Council car park opposite the junction of Marshside Road and Marine Drive. For more details phone: 01704 226190 or visit www.rspb.org.uk/marshside.
You can visit RSPB Hesketh Out Marsh anytime on foot along the coastal footpath from Southport or Hesketh Bank. You can visit by car too, but please take care along the very bumpy track. For more details phone: 01704 226190 or visit www.rspb.org.uk/heskethoutmarsh"
Been shovelling sand for the last three days, so I haven't had a chance to bird the coast, although Grey Wags, Redwing, Fieldfare, Skylarks, Mipits etc have all been moving through, and a Woodcock was calling over Dempsey Towers last night.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...