A few days in Liverpool gave me the opportunity to do some birdwatching in one of my favourite areas of England. Today saw me heading towards Southport. The first stop was Marine lake, a boating park in the summer but now quiet.

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Interested to see 3 Little Egrets roosting on the islands – these are now widespread in England where once they were a rarity.
The whole coast north of Southport is wide mudflats and coastal marsh. My next stop is at RSPB Marshside, which consists of a stretch of coastal marsh.

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The first pink-footed geese of the winter had already arrived, just a small party of 8. The NW of England, together with Norfolk, are the two best areas to see these winter visitors.
Pink-footed Goose stretching
photo by Steve Garvie (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rainbirder/)

The waders present included a small party of Golden Plover, together with around 40 black-tailed Godwit and a dozen curlew. A Water Rail close to the hide was a nice sighting. The was also a noticeable movement of Swallows and House Martins on migration.

Leaving the reserve I walked back into Southport whilst looking for roosting waders on the mudflats. There were good numbers of Oystercatcher, Curlew, Redshank, Knot and Black-tailed Godwit.

Black-Tailed Godwits

Black-Tailed Godwits

There was also a single Ringed Plover.

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Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
European Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)
Common Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius hiaticula)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Red Knot [sp] (Calidris canutus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)

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