I spent a couple of hours stomping about the stubble fields around Burnt Mill Farm, hoping that the recent good showing of Buntings would continue. However it wasn't to be, with only 4 Yellowhammer, 7 Reed Bunting and a handful of Linnet and Meadow Pipit the rewards for the trudge. The only bonus was a pair of Red-legged Partridge that I kicked out of the hedge south of Burnt Mill Farm (maybe some recent shooting releases given their scarcity over the last few years?).
Heading to Pickerings Pasture I was hopeful that there may be at least a few bits to keep me entertained.......! I spent the next couple of hours searching through every single Gull present (of which 99% were Black-headed), and failed to pick out anything. A couple of the local Common Buzzard were causing the few "large" Gulls present to go off in hot pursuit. A scattering of waders held a few Golden Plover, Dunlin and a single Knot, but very little else.
Sadly even the Little Owl was not playing ball, and the Marsh itself was fairly dead. A single Little Egret stalking the near edge, and a Common Buzzard sat on the posts. However scanning back over towards the decoy I quickly picked out a rather nice Great White Egret. Although not a rare bird at all on patch, it was the first I had seen on the Hale side of the Mersey in a number of months. Sadly the light wasn't great, so despite half decent scope views the pics don't quite do it justice. With little else to keep my attention, I decided to call it quits and head home.