When a high Spring tide and a southerly gale coincide, the face of the earth changes dramatically. That happened on Tuesday (17/4/18).

The saltmarsh flooded. The only evidence of the Saltmarsh Pool was a thin line of grass to which a small number of Oystercatchers were clinging to.

Saltmarsh inundation.

Waves whipped up by the gale.

Saltmarsh Pool inundation with Oystercatchers clinging on.

Oystercatchers braving the fierce conditions.

Also the eight Natterjack pools which had recently been refurbished by the workparty, had disappeared from view -  with only a few solitary poles sticking out of the water, to which an opportunistic Sparrowhawk used as a viewing perch.

Flooded Natterjack pool area.

Male Sparrowhawk surveying the scene.

The bonus of all this though was a continuous stream of small flocks Barnacle Geese coming through, having been flooded off their Inner Estuary marshes.

Barnacles at high tide . . .

. . . flying over the saltmarsh.

Skein after skein . . .

 . . . flying low over the water's edge.

As the tide receded they still kept coming.

Other birds started to return on the ebb-tide:  three Whimbrel, a few Mallards and a little Egret staking a claim to one of the pool islands.

Whimbrel scavenging about on the Pool's edge.

Mallard searching for pickings left by the tide.

Little Egret on one of Saltmarsh Pool's reappearing islands.