23.11.13. Birdlog (500th Post)
A sunny but cold start to the morning ended up fairly mild with murky grey skies at dusk. A picture perfect Common Buzzard posed on an Elder tree on No. 5 tank surveying the rough pasture for breakfast.
A flock of 400 Fieldfare loitered in the hawthorn trees scattered along the north bank of No. 4 tank late in the afternoon a handful of Redwing were also present. A mixed flock of 150 Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Greenfinch joined the thrushes.
I only had my mind set on birding the Score from along the Manchester Ship Canal tow path today. My scope set up and a sweep from left to right revealed the obvious white forms of 16 Whooper Swan gathered loosely with Mutes. Two Bewick’s Swan were more selective and kept themselves to themselves further out toward the tide edge. Several hundred Canada Geese continued to attract 61 Pink-footed Goose to their margins.
On the rising tide were small numbers of Wigeon, a Green Sandpiper and hundreds of Dunlin, Golden Plover and Lapwing. The birds were gathered to roost on the grassy marsh directly across the canal from me and easily scoped on full mag. A couple of yellow beaked Twite were feeding with them and looked a bit odd as they manoeuvred through the much larger Lapwings, Dunlin and Redshanks.
There was no sign of any Great White’s today, 9 Little Egret made up the short fall.
A couple of Buzzard were prey mantling scraps of dead sheep from the pestering Raven which outnumbered them by ten to one. Watching over all this action was a female Merlin and a small adult Peregrine perched and sat on the distant salt marsh toward Mount Manisty.
No. 6 tank at dusk held 340 Common Teal, 1 Shoveler, 3 drake Pintail, female Wigeon, 7 Pochard and 3 calling Water Rail. 500 Lapwing gathered with Curlew and Golden Plover on No.5 tank to spend the night here.
A shrimp boat sailing into the estuary on the incoming tide looked tiny compared to the river and expanse of salt marsh.
Observer and images: WSM
The Weaver Bend had 100 Teal, 30 Redshank and a single Black-tailed Godwit
20 Redwing flew over from field at base of No. 1 onto No. 5.
On No. 3 tank were 200 Lapwing, 20 Golden Plover and 50 Curlew.
Observer: Lee Lappin
“I had an amazing encounter on the grass path by the I.C.I tank where I stumbled across a Stoat killing a rabbit (one of the many thousands that live there), which it then dragged into the long grass and presumably had quite a satisfying meal. Something I never thought I’d see in person.”
Observer: Michael Giverin