Some good totals today with highlights being; 2270 Dunlin, 603 Sanderling, 11600 Knot, 2260 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1355 Oystercatcher, 253 Grey Plover, 36 Ringd Plover, 2 Jack Snipe & 6 Common Snipe. A pair of Red-breasted Mergansers and numerous Common Scoters offshore were good to see and both Brian and Dave saw a hunting Merlin, while Dave also saw a pair of hunting Peregrines that Chris and I saw a single of. 68 Twite feeding along the top of the beach were a good end to a good, if cold, count.
Feeding Twite on the Green Beach, Birkdale. 10/03/13.
Straight after the count I nipped over to Steve Sweetnam's for a brew and bacon butty (that suddenly also had black pudding and a fried egg added......). Steve and I headed out to Marshside and quickly picked up a female Hen Harrier hunting over the saltmarsh, she alighted on the ground and disappeared from view and was joined by a male, who I only managed to get a brief view of.
Female Hen Harrier distantly over Marshside saltmarsh with the White Church at Fairhaven in the backgound. 10/03/13.
A female Stonechaton the sandworks was my first of the year, as was the Spoonbill feeding on Sutton's marsh. The reserve at Marshside really is a special place and the birding spectacle is superb at this time of year. Do try and visit if you've never been to this part of the Lancashire coast - I'll show you round.
Female Stonechat at Marshside 10/03/13.
Spoonbill showing full spoon at Marshside. 10/03/13
Steve and I searched for the Crossens Waxwings but didn't see them and then headed inland to check a heronry that I keep an eye on, 12 nests of which 7 had incubating birds that was good news. I dropped Steve off home and saw a couple of Grey Partridge and a flock of 85 Linnets on the way home. The final birding of the day was along Crabtree Lane, one of my regular dog walking routes - 48 Fieldfares, 14 Redwings and a happy Labrador made that final effort worthwhile. A good day, I must do it all again soon.......