Well not a bad day birding by all accounts with a lifer for both of us and hitting the 50 different species target we had set ourselves at the beginning of the day. We decided to start early, well earlier than we usually visit Martin Mere anyway, by getting there for opening time at 9.30.
By the time we had walked down to the Ron Barker hide via the In Focus shop to see what was around we’d clocked up 14 species with Goldfinch, Wood Pigeon, Swallow, Mallard, Pochard, Moorhen, Coot, Shellduck, Blackbird, Robin, Chaffinch, Long-Tailed Tit, Tree Sparrow and Collard Dove. We then joined the hardened birders (well most were dressed in full camouflage and had more equipment than most can afford never mind carry), who had no doubt turned up to find the Green Sandpiper and the American Wigeon.
We spent 2 hours hoping to catch sight of either to no avail though our count for the day increased to 36 with Avocet (including several young), Black Headed and Greater Black Backed Gulls, Pheasant, 3 Whooper Swan, Ringed and Little Ringed Plover, Redshank (including young), Dunlin, Gadwall, Oystercatcher, Teal, Swift, Shoveler, Canada Geese, Lapwing, 30+ Black Tailed Godwit, Tufted Duck, Starling, Water Rail, Linnet and Carrion Crow. Hunger took over and we headed back to the visitors centre to grab a sandwich. After our lunch we headed down to the Marsh Harrier hide calling in the other hides on the way down. Our sightings increased to 49 with Blue and Great Tit, Greenfinch, House Martin, Little Grebe, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Sedge Warbler, Skylark, Grey Heron, Cormorant, Wren and Jackdaw.
We thought we’d be stuck on 49 but a chance second visit to the In Focus shop and we saw the Green Sandpiper sat in front of the Raines Hide.
Having hit our target we headed home calling in at Meresands Wood for half an hour on the way back. Not much close to the car park but we did manage to see a family of Great Crested Grebe as well as a Jay and a Mistle Thrush that posed well enough for Reece to grab a few shots.