Driving along Lighthouse Lane I could hear a couple of singing Chiffchaff singing from the gardens, presumably fresh in which raised my hopes. The dark clouds were still looking rather heavy as I parked up and walked down the track to the Lighthouse. Other than a few Grey Partridge, Skylark and Reed Buntings it was quiet. Scanning Frodsham Score I picked out 9 Whooper Swan, a few Pink Footed Geese and very little else. It was starting to drizzle when I picked up an interesting Gull quite close to me; I watched it for about 5 minutes before deciding that it might be a little "more" interesting and attempting a few shots, sadly it started to pelt it down with rain and I retreated to the cover of the bushes by the Lighthouse.
Walking along to Within Way was exceptionally quiet, with very few passerines and even less out on the Mersey. Reaching the end of Within Way I was surprised to find an impressive count of 43 Gadwall feeding on the short grass, easily my largest count on patch by quite some way. A rather lost looking Ringed Plover posed on the rocks at the end, but there was little else. Turning back towards the Lighthouse I picked up a few Wagtails that had just dropped in, followed by a few more and a few more. Suddenly the field was alive with about 40 Pied Wagtails (still no White's???) and 3 Wheatear.
The fields were suddenly alive with Reed Bunting, Linnets, Skylark, Pied Wagtail, whilst the corvids that had appeared held a few Raven. Nearly back at the car and a massive male Peregrine nearly took my head off before heading towards the Lighthouse and across Hale Shore.
Moving round to Carr Lane Pools it was great to see 4 Avocets feeding in the shallow pools, supported by 2 Little Ringed Plover, 5 Ruff and 57 Black Tailed Godwit. The sun by now was providing a bit more warmth and 12 Buzzards were thermaling over Great Boar Wood, with singles of both Sparrowhawk and Kestrel. A female Wheatear was feeding busily in the field in front of me, whilst a few Grey Wagtail flew over.
A return multi-tasking visit to Pickerings Pasture later in the afternoon didn't provide much of interest, though another Swallow battled west against the wind, whilst a single Chiffchaff was singing halfway along the hawthorn river wall. So Spring is arriving in fits and starts, but it won't be long until the mad April rush. At least I shouldn't have too many Gull traumas for a few months now......back to Gulls revision for me over the Summer.