Tuesday, 1 November 2016

RSPB Marshside, Southport

We made only our fourth ever visit to Marshside yesterday and the weather gods shone on us! It was a lovely mild sunny day, a great day for a walk.

We started by parking up at the small reserve car park and crossing the road down to the visitor centre and one of two hides on the reserve. Our attention was drawn immediately by the locals and warden to the 4 or 5 Cattle Egrets dotted around the lagoon in front of us. While we have seen Cattle Egrets before on our travels these were the first we had ever seen in the UK.
So a really good start to a very good day! As you would expect at this time of year there were plenty of wintering duck around, mainly Wigeon,
but plenty of Teal as well,
but the Duck highlight of the day were the 20 or so Pintail that we found at the second hide:
In  addition to these were of course Mallard, some Shoveler and a few Shelduck.
On the wader front the only sightings were Black-tailed Godwit and
There were a few raptors about with all this free food on offer a couple of Buzzard put in an appearance, a Kestrel showed well,

and a Sparrowhawk gave us a hunting demonstration:

One of the reasons for visiting Marshside was to get our first views of Pink-footed Geese this Autumn and there were plenty about,

Other birds of note during the day were a Great White Egret, Water Rail and Tina had the briefest view of a Kingfisher as we left the golf course on the circuit of the reserve.

We also had some distant sightings of Brown Hare which was nice, so a lovely day out and a great days birding!

We finished the day by dropping by Martin Mere (WWT) on the way back for a final cup of tea and a doughnut as it got dark in the hope of seeing large numbers of Pink Foots and did we!!

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