Muddy Waters

Inspired by the American waders that are travelling with the Dunlin flocks on the East coast, I tried my luck on the estuary this afternoon at high tide. Not a big one so a serious amount of trudging in the gloopy mud, at one point my wellies weighed more than I did. Eventually, after walking half way to Lytham, I found a lovely flock of around 5,000 Dunlin.

I really gave them a good go, scanning the constantly moving flocks for around 2 1/2 hours, but I just couldn’t tease out anything special. Not to worry as it felt like maybe I could, and sometimes in birding, that’s enough. So many birds that it almost takes your breath away as you’re frantically trying to get through them before they shift again – my favourite birding, followed closely by goosing and Wigeon sifting.

100 of so Sanderling, 6 Ringed Plover including my first juv of the year, and 12 Grey Plover the only variety, but every juv Dunlin gave me a moment of excitement before reality set in. I found a position and the birds moved around me, some landing really close, the Sanderling being particularly daring.

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On the way back, a pristine juv Marsh Harrier flew towards the pier between me and the coast road – what a contrast to the adult from yesterday, look at those immaculate wing feathers!

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Hopefully next week I’ll have a bit more luck……