Despite two hard frosts, Marshside was pretty good today - admittedly I didn't check Marshside One, as it was largely frozen over, but one of the first birds I saw, scanning north over the estuary was a distant white wing gull over Crossens Outer.
Looked big, but I was too far away to be sure whether it was a Glauc or an Icy, so I drove up to Crossens with Phil Johnson.
Initially there was no sign of the bird, but about 1,000 Pinks up there held Barnacles and several White Fronts.
Marsh Harrier, Lapwings, Goldies and Little Egrets to divert the attention until the gull flew back into view, again distant, but with what appeared to be a dangly leg - presumably the 1st winter Glauc from Weld Road on his holidays.
This was at 1-1.30pm, so if anyone saw the 1st winter Glauc at Weld Rd at that time, please let me know using the "comments" thingy.
In fact use the "comments" thingy anyway - the blog stalwarts are still sending me gen (thanks guys), but not many other folk are.
Mebbe no one is reading the blog anymore - although the stats suggest otherwise.
We left the Glauc and headed back down to Sandgrounders, meeting up with Bazzo at the hide.
A few Snipe knocking about and three drake Pochards on the lagoon.
Three Barnacle Geese were by Polly's Pool, close to a small, but uneventful gull roost, and the usual duck species and Blackwits were looking fine in the hard sun.
Phil, Bazzo and I decided to go out to the compound as the tide came in, and began scanning the outer marsh in good light.
Rock Pipit calling overhead, Skylarks, Mipits and at least two, possibly three Marsh Harriers quartering the vegetation.
All appeared to be juvs, one was clearly a male.
About 1500 Pinks were grazing close to the compound, giving us an opportunity to give them a through checking - which quickly produced more Eurasian Whitefronts, their foreheads blazing in the sun.
Lovely geese - there were up ten birds scattered through the flock.
A fine Merlin was tazzing about at a million miles an hour, but didn't trouble the large flocks of Starlings much, and a bright male Sprawk, despite looking particularly murderous, failed to pounce either.
As we scanned the marsh, I picked up the Great White Egret, a long way off, feeding behind the fence line up at Crossens, but still elegant and stately as it strode about looking for prey.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...