Unfortunately I had to get going as I had to count my WeBS sector on Birkdale/Ainsdale beach/sands lake and had arranged to meet Pete Kinsella at 10. Pete duly turned up and we set about the serious business of counting and searching through flocks of waders and gulls. Our total counts were; Knot 18200; Sanderling 3070; Dunlin 410; Bar-tailed Godwit 275; Curlew 22; Grey Plover 198; Ringed Plover 5; Oystercatcher 3600; Lapwing 11; Little Egret 2;Cormorant 36; Mallard 119; Tufted Duck 56; Shelduck 15; Common Scoter 1290 (with many more further offshore); Coot 18; Moorhen 4; Little Grebe 3; Sandwich Tern 144; Herring Gull 397; Lesser Black-backed Gull 74; Great Black-backed Gull 37; Common Gull 145; Black-headed Gull 393; Med Gull 1. Decent totals of Knot, Sanderling, Oystercatchers, Common Scoters and Sandwich Terns, but disappointingly low counts of Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit and Grey Plovers. A Peregrine did it's spook everything act and I saw a Wheatear near to the old pleasureland site. It was great to catch up with Pete, one of the north-west's more experienced birders, and share some thoughts with him.
I dropped Pete in Formby to catch his train home to look through some Little Crosby Pink-feet and I headed down onto Plex Moss. While driving home I received a text from Alex (Marshside warden), simply saying; Blue-winged Teal at junction pool. Intrigued I headed for Marshside and was met by Neil Hunt (who'd found the bird - nice one Neil), Barry McCarthy, Tony Baker, Alex, Mark Nightingale and a few other local birders. The bird showed well for a short while and I managed a few shots (see below). A discussion regarding the birds age and sex was inconclusive, but I was certainly mistaken to suggest it was an adult female. It certainly looks like a male, but is it eclipse or juvenile? I'd have to see it again to decide, but I'll certainly look at my photos and look through any decent literature. A nice bird to top of a good morning.