As we walk the embankment at Quaker’s Stang a flock of lapwing takes to the air. There are starling and a flock of greylag geese on the salt marsh pastures.
Outside the Morecambe Hide, Jew’s ear fungus grows on elder. We hear the call of redshank, the whistle of widgeon and silhouettes of birds show on water resembling molten metal.
Red-breasted merganser is a diving duck, a sawbill catching small fish with its thin serrated bill. Surfacing from a dive, a bird has a drop of water on its bill. It’s a while since I’ve seen red-breasted merganser and I long to see them spot-lit, their eyes like rubies. They're a rare treat, even in silhouette. Formal portraits are more composed. Our merganser are the mood music of the day, elemental as they swim out into molten pewter amidst the call of redshank.
In autumn, red-breasted merganser gather in large flocks and Morecambe Bay is one of their overwintering locations. I’m hoping to make a date to see a sunlit flock.