15.02.14. Birdlog (WeBS Count)
The build up to the high tide brought with it some more of the wet stuff and a squall of hail thrown in. It didn’t make for an enjoyable WeBS count on No. 6 tank with almost continuous rain making viewing difficult but not impossible. The picture above shows the waves on the River Mersey crashing over the gantry wall into the ship canal at Weston Point as seen from Frodsham Marsh.
The ducks on the tank were again keeping close into the bank getting whatever shelter they could get from the strong tidal wind and cold. A drake Pintail was displaying and then mating with a female while an additional 2 drakes were enviously watching on. 6 Tufted Duck, 4 Pochard, 87 Mallard and 448 Common Teal made for a low count.
Shorebirds forced by the rising tide to seek shelter on the sludge tank consisted of 7400 Dunlin, 14 Knot, 10 Redshank, 100 Curlew and 114 Grey Plover. Nearby 430 Golden Plover and 800 Lapwing were in much reduced numbers from previous counts. The waders were no doubt seeking sanctuary elsewhere on the Mersey marshes.
Upwards of 17 Raven were riding the updrafts from the west side of No. 5 tank, while a very vocal Chiffchaff was keeping low in the reedy ditches off the track and again on the west side of No. 5 tank.
Observer and images: WSM