A small group from the A Rocha friends in the North West met at Southport to enjoy the predicted high tide. As we arrived at the car park, a pair of oystercatchers soon let us know where they were and overhead skylarks were bursting their lungs announcing that spring was really here. In contrast to that lovely sound, the cacophony of black headed gull calls threatened to drown out everything else. We called in at the Sandgrounders hide for five minutes and noticed the blackthorn bushes coming into bloom.
. Back to Sandgrounders hide where another birder said he had seen a spoonbill. We noticed about 20 avocets, more wigeon, shovelers, black-tailed godwits, and coots. A large white bird in the distance tried to fool us for a while, but its black pointed bill and yellow feet confirmed it as a little egret rather than a spoonbill. It was nearly time for some of our party to head for home and one of them mentioned he had never seen a water rail. Mere Sands Wood was on their way home so I guided them to that Lancs Wildlife Trust reserve. On our way to reception a few tree sparrows were busy at the feeders along with chaffinches dunnocks and more robins. We made our way quickly into Lancaster Hide and within two minutes the water rail put in its appearance along with its entourage of more reed buntings and dunnocks. All the party left for home after a very enjoyable morning.