By lunchtime the rain hadn't let up but as today was the Last Chance Saloon as far as big tides and Water Pipits went we fired up the Solihull Special and headed to the marshes. 45 minutes later (it's only 10 miles for crying out loud!) we pulled up just as the rain started to get heavier and a chill wind had struck up.
Only two other birders were already in situ which seemed a bit odd given that the tide was already well over the far edge of the marsh. They were kind enough to put us straight on to a Merlin sat on a post far closer than we normally see them here.
Scanning the marshes we couldn't find the Great White Egrets or the Avocets from the other day. We found a flight of Bar Tailed Godwits and five Black Tailed Godwits. Apart from Redshanks three weren't many other waders. There were however plenty of Shelducks and a few Eiders but a pair of Gadwall were an unusual find here.
The younger of the two lads told us he'd had a Short Eared Owl earlier but raptors were in very short supply, a Raven cronking up and down the top of the tide was a first for us at this site.
The same lad then said he was on a pinky plain breasted pipit and a confirmatory look down his scope gave us a fairly close Water Pipit (149), but sadly too far away for a pic in the very dreary conditions.
The tide continued to rise but there were no more Water Pipits, no Jack Snipe, not even any Common Snipe.
At the top of the tide the water reached our feet, on the other side of the bank and the flotsam held a small flock of Meadow Pipits and a female House Sparrow. Just as we were leaving we saw two Little Egrets sneak round the corner, where were the rest of them?
Not the best Meadow Pipit pic you'll ever see!
Back at Base Camp a Blackbird bathed vigorously in the bird bath; again not the best pic too high ISO to wet windows!
CR phoned with news of something large upsetting the gulls over his house, we grabbed the bins and dashed outside but couldn't see anything until a female Sparrowhawk came into view being mobbed by a Carrion Crow - not the bird he'd originally phoned about. See his latest uploads for some pretty spiffing Hawfinch shots!
Where to next? End of the hols so it's back to work and Patch 2 might produce something passing by.
In the meantime let us know if the rain ever let up in your outback.