Sea Aster is just starting to flower at Hesketh Out Marsh
Met up with Tony Baker, RSPB Ribble sites manager, early this morning at Hesketh Out Marsh to carry out the fourth and last breeding wader survey of the year there. A grey and miserable morning is always brightened up by peace, freedom and bird song and this morning was no exception. Numerous singing Skylarks always seem to ease the burden don't they? Plenty of waders in evidence out on the marsh (marsh, eh? Who'd have thought it seven or eight years back?), Oystercatchers are still getting annoyed out there, c.80 Curlew were milling around, several juvenile Redshanks were in the creeks and nine Common Sandpipers, a Greenshank, an Avocet and Lapwings are allways good to see. Tony also bumped into a flock of 80 Dunlin. Four Common Terns and an Arctic Tern were fishing the lagoons and creeks and the single Little Egret I saw still seemed exotic to me. Mallards are moulting out there and c.40 Sheluck were feeding in the creeks, two near fledged juveniles legged it when I peered into one of the creeks.
Wandering out amongst the creeks isn't conducive to carrying a 'scope, so two distant Marsh Harriers were left unaged. Two Kestrels seemed to be finding plenty amongst the thick grass on the old, breached, seawall. A Yellow Wagtail over was the only other bird of note. The scurvy grass has mainly gone over with just a few sweet smelling flowers remaining, whereas Sea Aster is just starting to flower; any ungrazed parts of the saltmarsh sward with erupt into a sea of purple n the next couple of weeks. A productive way to start the day and get the blood pumping ready for work.
Creek four looking towards BAE at Warton