A couple of days have been thick and drizzly this week – the kind of rain that soaks your outer layer in an instant and cuts visibility down to zero.......my mum used to call it scotch mist, not ideal conditions for digging out your binoculars but you just never know what might turn up.

Saturday saw a visit from the Sefton coast landscape partnership group who spent a number of hours with John Dempsey exploring the reserve, cold winds didn’t dampen their enthusiasm and they managed to identify 46 species in total. Sky lark, black tailed godwit, merlin, and a mixed flock of twite and linnet were all sighted during the walk – A hen harrier was also seen way out on Crossens out marsh and a tundra bean goose was identified amongst a flock of pink footed geese - a couple of sightings for the bean goose were logged on Rimmer’s marsh and marshside sands.

We have had another excellent week at Sandgrounder’s hide with regular kingfisher fly-by’s on and around Rainford’s pool and the great white egret continues to show itself on most days. Gadwall, pochard, tufted duck and pintail have arrived in good numbers and can be seen at numerous areas within the reserve. Nel’s hide was a good spot for tufted duck today.....

Tufted ducks at Nel's by Barry Smith

Across the reserve there are constant sightings of peregrine, sparrowhawk, kestrel and buzzard with raven and great black-backed gulls providing an imposing presence around the pools.

With the sun shining I decided to get out for a quick look around the marshes this afternoon, there was plenty to see from the viewing point at Fairclough's pool and it was nice to capture a brighter view of the reserve.

Viewpoint by Barry Smith

And just a final note that 3 cattle egret were seen on Sutton's marsh earlier this morning, I had heard reports of them roosting with the little egrets but had not seen them myself since the cattle were moved off the marsh - great news.