Black Flag

An early start at Hesketh to beat the heat. A Barn Owl as I arrived on the car park was a good start, and Shelter Pool had quite a few birds on it as I peered over the sea wall. Dunlin, Avocet, Curlew, Redshank and Avocet all feeding on the fringes, but best of all was a full breeding plumage Spotted Red at the bank edge of the pool – what a stunner! Managed a short video and popped it on YouTube – not too bad if you watch in HD given distance.

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The rest of the reserve was less busy, but still held singing Corn Bunting, Yellow Wagtail, Common Sand, Eider, Greenshank, Snipe and the usual Terns. All distant as you can see! There had been a small influx of Teal with 11 birds on one of the pools.

On to Marshide, where Nels is now just a sludgy puddle, perfect for Plovers and only really Lapwing and an LRP now present. 2 Greenshank had been there earlier in the week.

As I’d driven in, I noticed Polly’s looked lively so I walked down to the bench and set up for an hour. Scanning distant waders, into the sun with bad heat haze is not ideal, and the soundtrack of flapping England flags streaming down the coast road didn’t add anything to the experience, but I enjoyed it all the same. Another Common Sand, 2 Knot, 100 Dunlin, Ruff and best of all an early Curlew Sand feeding with the Dunlin flock made 15 species of wader for the day. Pretty much impossible to photo (look at the Knot – the grey ones!) and only the Dunlin in the nearer channel showed well enough for images.

Plenty of Gatekeepers on the wing, Lapwing chicks running from reed to reed and another Ruff on Junction ended the day.

A nice heads up from Ian Walker this afternoon about a Glossy Ibis he’d seen from the north bank of the river probably on Hesketh East. That’d be a site tick for me and is only the 2nd record for the reserve so hope it sticks. Maybe tomorrow…..

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