Another brisk cold day out on the banks of the Dee at Parkgate in readiness for the second 10.1 meter high tide. Saying that, the tide was pushed in further today helped by a stronger wind and came right up to the golf coarse footpath wall.
There were more birds to see today and actually saw three pairs of Short Eared Owls flying around ... the first one had been spotted around 11 o'clock going to ground and stayed there for two hours watching me, watching him .... then the rising water pushed him off the tuft of grass that he was hiding next to, then to join the others.
A Merlin appeared on a post and stayed there surveying the area before being evicted by a crow ...
A kestrel joined the watchers in a near by bush alongside the footpath and vantage point over the marsh and gave us all a nice under wing display before darting off across the marsh looking for scrambling voles etc.
|BH gull and unfortuante|
It was quite noticeable that the gulls were picking up more voles than the birds of prey.
I didn't see any Water Rails this time at all and only one Hen Harrier was spotted east of the swimming pool car park .
|Soggy Hare doggy paddle|
Just as i was leaving I spotted a Hare making its way across the flooded marsh ... kind of a doggie paddle really ... towards the footpath wall but on reaching it, obviously couldn't jump or climb it as it was far too high. So just had to follow the wall along its base until it reached a lower section then to escape the icy cold bath for the more friendlier green fields of the golf course.
I was glad to get back to my car even though I had a spectacular day and to get out of that biting cold wind and more so to get the car heater working at full blast to get my blood flowing and feeling back into my fingers again ...
Cheers Neil .............
All images Neil prendergast