I had a trip out to the Ribble Estuary this afternoon before realising that putting the clocks back on the weekend was going to make it a short visit - the light started dying around 2:30pm but for a brief spell we had golden sunshine and almost no wind. I didn't manage to get many shots as there wasn't that much to see and none of my target birds put in a appearance.
I started by looking for Curlew Sandpiper, American Wigeon and Marsh Harrier at Hesketh Out Marsh. I think I had a brief view of a Merlin as it flew over the car park, but although there were plenty of birds about, none were my targets.
I'd been told that a Curlew Sandpiper was showing in one of the pools, and so I spent a long time looking at a very distant small wader, which in the end turned out to be a late Dunlin, possibly of the Alpina race as it had a long bill.
The only decent shot I got here was this one of a Linnet.
A marvellous charm of Goldfinches briefly appeared on the barbed-wire fence too, but I didn't get a good shot - damn that depth of field thingy!
I then moved on to Crossen's Marsh, north of Marshide RSPB where I got my best photo of the day. These Golden Plovers looked stunning in the dying light - the golden hour was very early today.
Then I went on to Sandgrounders Hide at Marshside RSPB when there was only this Little Grebe and Teal of note.
I did call in at Lunt Meadows on the way home in the hope of seeing at least a Barn Owl, but nothing was showing and light quickly faded.