First things first, our avocets have well and truly returned!!

On 2nd March there were six reported at Hesketh out marsh and another six were reported from Nel’s hide. Hot off the press today is a revised total of twelve avocets at Marshside, all of which were identified at Nel’s pool.

Avocets at Nel's by Barry Smith

There have been numerous sightings of water pipit this week, including two seen together on Crossens out marsh – they are one of our more scarce winter visitors so it's nice to see that they are sticking around. Black headed gulls are continuing to gather noisily with around 300 at Rainford’s pool, keep an eye out for the mediterranean gulls hidden amongst them.

Black headed gulls by Barry Smith

Other notable species this week include an influx of mute swans and four whooper swans, a water rail has been seen in the ditch on Rimmer’s marsh and we have had a good number of pied wagtail and grey wagtail.

I took a walk along the road out into the saltmarsh this afternoon, accompanied by the song of sky larks. It was a couple of hours before high tide but there were some large flocks of waders already being forced inland by the on rushing water.

Small mixed flocks of dunlin, knot and grey plover were feeding in the mud nearby – offering great views through the scope, with a good number of curlew and redshank searching further out. Shelduck and oystercatcher were also busy along the shoreline and a single turnstone was sitting quite still amongst the tussocks.

Unfortunately I couldn’t wait for the tide to make it to it’s high point as the wind and rain sent me back to the van. On my way back I noticed 14 little egrets were feeding together along the ditch near the main car park. A last glance over my shoulder confirmed that there were lots of birds along the water line and taking flight out towards the estuary......I’ll get back when the weather is kinder!!