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Same again please.

Posted by on February 2, 2014 2:36 PM | 

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As is often the way, the high tide today at Marshside wasn't quite as exciting birdwise as yesterday - I didn't see any Short Eared Owls, or Jack Snipe - the former often clear off after their first soaking, and you need to be lucky with the latter at the best of times.
Good to see so many people out though - nowhere to park around the Sandplant, so I had to tazz up to Crossens instead, which was okay, as I wanted to concentrate on that end.
It was still a fine spectacle of course, and the sun was shining, which was an added bonus and as I walked on, the Crossens Channel was already flooded out.

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I slipped down the bank and settled into the same place as I sat yesterday and waited for the water.
It wasn't long before it came sweeping in, covering much of the vegetation, although perhaps not as quickly as yesterday, and I saw no voles paddling for dear life today - which didn't stop the GBBs patrolling on the off-chance.

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All very menacing, but no other raptors as I sat there, apart from one Peregrine which ripped through when I was leaving.
Impressive nonetheless as flocks of waders swept past and Pinkies headed off over the road.

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A Wigeon, floating by a few feet below me looked confused by it all.

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As long as you don't get "skylined" by standing on the pavement (just sit quietly below on the bank) the passerines come quite close on the tide, and I had good fun trying to digiscope the Rock Pipits (goggles on!) and Skylarks again.

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All very pleasant.
As I headed home, there was a big gull roost just south of the Sandplant, which I probably should have checked, but you can't cover it all!
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...

4 Comments

No raptor-fest over the saltmarsh at Marshside-Crossens over the high tide 1200-1440; those who braved yesterday's gales and squalls deservedly reaped the benefit, but my best count of Rock Pipits here for many a year: at least 12 between the Compound and Crossens Channel.

3 Harbour Porpoise off Ainsdale over the tide at lunchtime, also 4 Red Throated Divers, 7 RB Mergs, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Razorbill, and just possibly a Slav Grebe, which I completely fumbled and lost today!
Huge numbers of Common Scoter on the horizon in a long broken flock, moving slowly south.

I had a quick look at lunch at the tide at Marshside, masses of birds including a flock of Dunlin roosting on Crossens Inner.
I called in at the Esplanade roundabout, pulling in at the Emergency Services ramp. A large number of Skylarks feeding on the tide wrack right up by the seawall, at least 50 of them and 60 plus Twite just along from the ramp southwards, two then came to within a few yards of the car.
A female Merlin whizzed through but didn't get anything and carried on south.

For a change I went to RSPB Deeside wetlands and Burton Marsh today. From the reception building (nice and warm with coffee and cakes available) there were loads of Lapwing, 200+ Golden Plover, a small flock of Dunlin and a Little Stint, and a Water Rail put in an appearance, racing across the grass in defence of a fish that had attracted the attentions of a marauding Moorhen. Very funny. Two Ring-tails, a Peregrine and a Buzzard kept the birds on their toes (or wings). At the marsh, a Marsh Harrier saw to this, and repeated scanning of the huge flock of Mipits failed to reveal a Buff-bellied version. At least 50 Linnets in the tide-wrack, and a delightfully confiding pair of Stonechats made it worth braving the cold wind, but - isn't this typically British? - the sun was in the wrong place!!! Dazzling reflections at all points.

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