It was grey overcast and generally miserable, but time to get out of the house. For the past two years I have been convinced of sightings of a Merlin down at Newton Marsh but it has always been a glimpse here and there or at the extreme limit of any optics I might have with me. Finally in the right place at the right time as it flew in across the marsh and landed on a fence post in front of me. I took a couple of photos through the windscreen, hence the 'blue' cast to the image as I thought it may be the only opportunity for a photo. Thankfully it dropped off the post, flew across the road in front of me and landed on the opposite fence posts. Sadly it was just too far away and at the limit of the cameras ability and I didn't want to spook it. It sat for a few minutes and gave good views thorugh the bins before taking off and flying back off over the marsh.
The Wigeon have returned with a small flock of about 60 with the usual suspects, small numbers of Mallard (12) Teal (20ish) and Shoveler (3 males) while around 30 Shelduck flew over north.
I went on to Lytham and again at the end of my optics clocked about 50 Pintail on the foreshore while skeins of Pink Footed Geese were making their way north. At Fairhaven three male Tufted Ducks were making the most of limited open water and on the way home I was fortunate to come close to a Jay, which in the poor light, constantly on the move, proved very difficult to follow, focus upon and then take any photo but I managed these two.