The plan was to have a good look around Hesketh Out Marsh then head up to Marshside to both see what was about and try my new lens out but with the temperature at -8 when I left home I wasn't for stopping out for long! I spent about an hour or so at each place and called in at Preston docks on the way back to see if I could catch up with the Iceland Gull again.
At HOM there seemed to be plenty of Meadow Pipits around, Reed Bunting, Goldfinch 2 Kestrel and 3 Song Thrush. Curlew and the odd Redshank were the only waders I managed to see and a single Little Egret as I left the reserve. The supprise of the trip was this Barn Owl which I watched for 15 minutes as it searched for a meal along the path.
After watching the Barn Owl I decided to head back to the car to thaw out and make my way up to Marshside. No one seemed to ba around when I got there so I headed around the Sand Plant to see if there was anything showing. A large flock of 20+ Greenfinch, Goldfinch and again plenty of Meadow Pipit. The only raptor to make an appearance was a male Kestrel which was a dissapointment after last year but there's plenty of time yet. I sat for about 45 minutes behind the sand plant watching the Pink-footed Geese come and go hoping to pick something out but as usual no such luck.