Early start at a breezy Hesketh, and the reserve was full of ducks and geese. About 4,000 Wigeon on the West, but despite several goes at them I could only find 30+ Pintail and a female Shoveler. Like wise the Geese – just a neck collar Pink (VLX I think), the bird with the white flanks and a distant orange neck collar Greylag (probably a Windemere bird, but it looked better with the Pinks than they normally do) offering any variation.
A Short-eared Owl was sat distantly on a post and a couple of Marsh Harriers caused some disturbance.
A look at the Boundary Lane, Banks Whooper herd produced my first Bewick’s of the winter – 3 birds in total, but beware the Whoopers with muddy bills!
On to Marshside where the Scaup I found yesterday was still in the Tuftie flock from Hesketh Road – it only took its head out for 30 seconds so grabbed the best shots I could.
The marine lake held a nice argentatus Herring, but not that many large gulls there today with some rowers on the water. Finally a look from the Sandplant produced the rest of the Magnificent 7 raptors – the star was the male ringtail Hen that hunted along the shoreline causing havoc with the Skylarks and a Twite flock of c50 birds. Such an acrobatic bird when hunting and its fantastic to almost guarantee one each time you go birding on the Ribble at the minute – looks like there are 4 birds in total.
Also a couple of Stonechats out on the marsh flitting from post to post.