Early start at Hesketh hoping that some mud was showing again after a week without any tidal top ups, but its still too high for small waders. The visit started well(ish) with a pair of Egyptian Geese flew over the car as I arrived in the car park. A full patch tick even though they probably squeak if you squeeze them.
A relatively quick visit, but still 2 adult Spotted Red on Shelter Pool and another one further up the reserve, Greenshank, 2 GWE, Avocet (doesn’t look well), 2 Peregrine (ad, juv), 3 Ruff (2ad, juv), 8 Dunlin, 3 Golden Plover, 8 Black-tailed Godwit and 5 Jackdaw through. There was a lot of geese over and I half expected my first Whoopers, but they didn’t materialise.
A quick call in at Marshside, and the 4 Cattle Egret were on Fairclough’s – part of the southern influx from last month moving north I imagine.
On to Ainsdale for a crack at the gulls. There must have been 3-5,000 LWHG on the half a mile of beach north of Shore Road and I went through them for around 3 hours. 4 interesting birds with mantles intermediate between Herring and LBB – a sample of each one here:
Never straight forward are they! I suspect all of these are hybrid Herring/LBB for a variety of reasons – head too streaky, legs not yellow enough, structure not robust enough etc etc. I deserve a nice easy adult YLG soon surely!
Something that was straight forward was an absolute gem of a juv Little Gull that flew over my head and landed up the beach for a short wash before it was out to sea again – the highlight of my day…..