Blog readers like Colin Gould (see recent comments) are right when they highlight the difficulty of dealing with grey winter day heebie-jeebies, after a stonking trip like the recent one to Thailand.
But the blue skies and astonishingly early Swallow* seen by Dave Pennington galvanised me and got me down to Marshside this afternoon - and after a truly grim few recent visits, it wasn't half bad.
The Spoonbill was sifting and sweeping along a drain at the back of Crossens Inner, and largely out of sight, and a cracking male Hen Harrier was quartering the outer marsh.
It came fairly close, but it was too fast for me, and the only digiscoped shot I got was its rear end disappearing into the wobbly haze...
Plenty of Little Egrets and some nice Golden Plover in full summer plumage, with one or two Rock Pipits in flight over the outer marsh, and Merlin, Peregrine and Sprawk out there too.
A mixed flock of 15-20 Mipits and alba wags at the back of Marshside Two was encouraging.
Growing numbers of BHGs squawking round Sandgrounders.
Met up with Bazzo and we walked up to Crossens Outer.
A few thousand Pinkies strung out towards Banks and diminishing numbers of wildfowl, habitually spooked by marauding GBBs.
This was much more fun than recent trips to the mosses, which have just been black soil and grey skies a go-go, enlivened only by the odd group of Fieldfares or gulls following tractors.
The walk back to the Sandplant today produced a second Hen Harrier - this time a ringtail - so it was a worthwhile afternoon.
Back at Dempsey Towers, a male Blackcap has been joining the finches at the feeders, although attempts by a small group of 8 Redwings to come into roost early evening are being thwarted by an opportunistic Sprawk.
No such problems with raptor hassle for "Percy" the male Pheasant, which has been in residence now for a month or two, and has won Mrs D's heart by beating seven shades out of a cat dumb enough to jump on him a week or so back.
All power to the fella....
Watched him taking the early morning rays on top of the hedge yesterday morning - the thing is indubitably in fine nick, if only we'd got such good views of Hume's on Doi Chiang Dao....sigh.
Raven knocking about the Birkdale dunes this week, with occasional Bittern sightings round Slack 20 still.
Chaffinch, Robin, Reed Bunting, Wren and Dunnock in song out there.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...
* Earliest Lancs record for Swallow before today was 10/3/97!