Waiting for the tide

Little Grebe at RSPB Marshside
A rare day off work and by a complete coincidence there just happens to be a large Spring Tide forecast.

Heswall, Hoylake, Point of Ayr, Marshside I quickly ran through the list of  high tide roosts before deciding on a trip up to Southport, Lancashire. In the past we’ve been lucky to enjoy some excellent views of the thousands of over-wintering waders as they’ve been forced to flee the rapidly disappearing saltmarsh and seek refuge in the various scrapes and pools of RSPB Marshside.  With a couple of hours to go plenty of time for a walk down to Nel’s hide.

Plenty of birds to be seen, or perhaps more accurately bearing in mind the blinding light reflecting off the water plenty of bird silhouttes. Interesting to see a female Scaup, a couple of Rats fighting over some food and the return of the Avocets. Rather bizarrely a Meadow Pipit crashed into the hide and dropped into the water. No sign of a Sparrowhawk – perhaps it was an omen….

Male Stonechat outside the sandplant
A walk back up the road and behind the sand plant. Fortunate enough to witness an amazing close-up view of a Merlin relentlessly chasing a Meadow Pipit to death.
Improvised seat !
Who needs a hide?
 Little Egret on the salt marsh
Hmmm…….. not much water around. At least the Little Egrets are making the most of it.
 High tide
 Here it comes………….or rather it would have done if there hadn’t been a large area of High pressure sitting over the country.
Redshanks in flight
Still, plenty of Redshanks.
Curlew flying west
Curlews….
Another Curlew in flight
another Curlew..
More Redshanks flying west
more Redshanks..
Spaniel enjoying the high tide
and finally with all the other waders now in their Arctic breeding grounds – a Spaniel.

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