In view of an exceptionally high tide, 10.2 metres, I headed upriver for a change towards the old sandstone quay below Neston’s sewage plant. Seaward it proved rather quiet – numerous Shelduck, a dozen or so Pintail, one Short-eared Owl and four Little Egrets, busy stabbing at the water and drifting vegetation and unusually vociferous. As I wandered the fields, hedgerows and copses birds were in full song – numerous Greenfinches and Chaffinches, Great and Coal Tits, Robin, Dunnock, Song Thrush, Blackbird and at last a Chiffchaff, eventually joined by another. March is that transition month because in the paddock five Redwings were feeding in the grass by the horses.
To have my lunch and survey the flooded marsh I sat on the old quay. I hadn’t been there long when two pipits landed on the wall about 40ft away and what a contrast. One was an obvious Meadow Pipit with its boldly black-streaked underparts while the nearer bigger bird was more upright, longer-legged and with an overall sandier brown plumage and brown streaks confined to the upper breast. It was a Richard’s Pipit and so convenient to have the two birds together. They stayed for a few minutes before the inevitable dog frightened them off.