An Avocet at Marshside, Southport last week. This species was very rare in the northwest of England when I was a kid but now they are everywhere.

Marshside is near where I grew up and was one of my favourite local birding spots. It is now an RSPB reserve and I managed to get in 3 visits when I was back. There were 2 pairs of Mediteranean Gulls in summer plumage, numerous Black-tailed Godwit, Little Egret (another recent colonist), Ruff, Pink-footed Goose, Shelduck, Gadwall, Shoveler, Little Grebe, Common Redshank and Oystercatcher.

At the nearby reserve of Lunt there were more Godwits as well as Cettis Warbler, Blackcap and 2 Black-necked Grebe, a UK tick for me.

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