On the way back from Northumberland we made a detour to RSPB Blacktoft Sands, it was a scorcher of a day, so I suppose predictably the reserve was pretty quiet from a birding viewpoint and as it was really only a lunch stop, we concentrated on the hides to the right of the visitor centre.
As usual at Blacktoft (that makes it sound like we go there a lot, in fact it was only our third visit in 6 years) the stars are the Marsh Harriers. However photography is difficult on such a hot day with the heat haze and that they never really come that close to the hides.
Grey Heron and Little Egrets were plentiful,
A Bittern did put in a very brief appearance unfortunately I was looking the other way and only saw it drop into the reeds, but that was well worth the stopover for our (late, as usual) lunch.
A few ducks were spotted, Mallard, Shoveler, Tufty, Teal and Gadwall, plus Little Grebe and of course a must at Blacktoft, Tree Sparrows near the visitor centre.
A lovely lunch stop, although it did add nearly an hour onto our travel time, but worth it!