Back to my old stomping ground




Because I finish work early on a Friday, I thought I'd take a trip over to Southport to look for a few migrants. First call was Marshside and after a brief look from Hesketh Road viewpoint, I made my way down to Nel's hide - perfectly positioned in front of te main wader pool. Here there were the usual flocks of Black-tailed Godwit as well as the nesting Redshanks, Avocets, etc. A late flock of Golden Plover sat at the back of the pool. In amongst then were a small group of Dunlin and a very nice Little Stint. A little further left there was a Curlew Sand just starting to come into Summer plumage, whilst further round to the right I found a semi-concealed Spotted Redshank roosting. Having been buzzed by a Sparrowhawk, the waders git more active and the Spotted Redshank was in full summer plumage - a great sight.
I caught a brief snatch of what I thought was a Grasshopper Warbler. I opened up the window to teh right and a few minutes later, the unmistakable reeling song rang out. There were several Wheatears on the marsh and loads of other commoner stuff - Marshside is a really good place, but I thought I'd have a go for the Cattle Egrets on Plex Moss.
I used to cycle around the mosses as a teenager and have seen plenty of good birds. Plex Moss is one of my favourite routes as there is very little traffic on the potholed, single track road. I found the spot and the herd of cattle that the birds were probably associating with, but no white things anywhere. After a while I drove further down the road and came accross 29 Whimbrel, Red-legged Partridge and a large flock of Wheatears with a single White Wagtail. I glanced back at the field and there were two white blobs there!
The Egrets were distant but in superb plumage. An old friend, Simon Jackson appeared and said that they had been rather elusive recently. A hooded Crow in a nearby field was a welcome bonus bird. A brief call into Brockholes for the avocets proved surprising fruitless (don't know where they had disappeared to!) but I did get a Black-tailed Godwit and two more Whimbrel.

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