Good heavy mist over the coast this morning, and while my first Wheatear of the year was overdue, it was still a real joy to see that white backside flashing over the sand at 8.45am, before a cracking male perched up at the south end of Ainsdale beach.
The murky conditions clearly grounded a fair bit of stuff around Ainsdale first thing.
Loads of Mipits moving through in small groups, with occasional parties of alba wags - all the ones I saw were Pied, and at the top of the beach, at least two Chiffchaffs feeding in the frontal blowouts, tired migrants picking insect grub up where they could.
The regular super-pale Common Buzzard, which does a passable imitation of a Rough Leg (as long as you don't look at the tail) was up circling over the southern dunes, with another six Buzz-buzzes up over the NNR pines, and Lapwings tumbling over the slacks.
A further two fine male Wheatears were feeding at the north end of Ainsdale beach in the afternoon.
Superb birds, that never sat still for long, which was just as well, given my risible "point and press" shot above.
Lashings of Goldcrest were passing through the frontal dunes around Ainsdale, with 20+ birds around the end of Shore Road, and more in the dunes to the north and south.
An Avocet dropping into the Queen's Jubilee Nature Trail over the Coast Road was a surprise - I've never seen them in that area before, but the bird was probably just prospecting new sites, although I don't think the Queen's Jubilee will be much to their liking.
A few Siskins heading north during the course of the day, and a heart-warming Sand Martin hawking over the Sands Lake mid-afternoon.
Another six Goldcrest there too.
Wonderful - here it comes.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...