A blustery and wet morning session at Hesketh, was challenging and rewarding at the same time. The waders were constantly moving in the wind and with birds coming and going, it was very difficult to get any decent images. However, I managed to get up to 16 species which is not bad going.
A few highlights – first was a lone Whimbrel, which feasted on a small crab before it flew off towards the estuary.
3 LRP’s, 4 Common Sands, at least 4 Greenshank, Spotted Red, 3 Snipe, 40+ Golden Plover, juv Ruff, 3 Ringo and a flock of around 100 Dunlin – not the 10,000 birds from last weekend at Ainsdale, but still nice to look through – nearly all juveniles, which is in stark contrast to the birds at the coast which were mainly adults. The best though were 4 fly through Turnstones – only the 2nd time I’ve seen them here. A group of 3 and then a singleton. The 3 let in, but were flushed by a dog walker before I could get to them to photo – they headed off inland, so it will be interesting to see if Martin Mere record any today.
A new Marsh Harrier was hunting the East – this one had really nice orange/cream shoulder panels.
A juv Peregrine was giving the Lapwing some stick and Yellow Wags continue to zip up and down onto the marsh to feed.
The West is still very full, but a 2nd Marsh Harrier (light cream dotted shoulders) was hunting and my first Wheatear of the autumn was hopping about on the posts.
A quick visit to Marshside, and a few hundred Black-tailed Godwit on Rainford’s had my first juv’s this year in their ranks – lovely looking birds, and some so small and fresh that I wondered how they’d made the journey. I couldn’t get an image of the smallest birds as they were constantly harassed and moved on by the adults – these 2 will have to do.
3 Pochard also on there was my biggest count for a while.
Finally the 2nd juv Peregrine of the day went through, and I managed a blurry shot of it banking.
Away next weekend – hope the water levels have dropped by the time I come back……..