Hardly been birding on the Ribble since my holiday, so it was nice to get out early this morning for a walk along the bank at Hesketh. There might be a heatwave coming next week, but it was decidedly chilly this morning in the stiff breeze. A great start when I came across a group of waders on shelter pool and they turned out to be Knot – 25 in total, the most I’ve ever seen on the deck here. Even better was a full patch tick Turnstone hunkered down in the middle of them – it only stayed a couple of minutes and was off calling, but thankfully I managed a record shot as it took to the air.
The other highlight was only my 2nd local Hobby of the year having a half hearted go at a Starling pack before heading off towards the Fylde across the marsh. Great to see that both Arctic and Common Terns have got chicks, but there seemed to be less Arctic than my last visit – maybe last weeks big tide flooded some nests out. Both Tern rafts are being used and some of the chicks are quite big so hopefully they will fledge.
At least 10 Avocet juvs, 2 Eider, 26 Dunlin, single Curlew, Corn Bunting, another single Knot and a calling Greenshank the other birds of note.
After seeing a few juvenile Little Egrets on Southport Marine Lake yesterday afternoon, I thought I’d go have another look to see if I could get a more accurate count. After a few attempts, I managed 31 in a single scope sweep. Undoubtedly there are more in the middle of the island, but still an impressive count and a local success story.
The Cattle Egret was sunning itself in front of Nels – giving a nice comparison with a Little.
Plenty of Black-tailed Godwit, a feeding Shoveler family, a male (semi) Ruff, Reed Warblers, and some smart looking juv Redshank with their orange legs and spangly feathering – but nothing else of note.
Finally, the Spoonbill was still on Polly’s (does it ever move from there), but at least it was on the front bank today so it was recognisable in the pics. 5 male Wigeon there too.
Earlier in the week, the Spotted Red was in front of Nels and a couple of Common Sands were on the Marine Lake – signs that the first waders are trickling back. Roll on the downpour…