Wirral Bird Club members enjoyed a guided walk across the marsh starting from Marsh Lane. The group then continued along Half Furlong Lane and across the lane and along the field leading to Redwall Reedbed and the River Weaver beyond.
Starting with the ever-present Peregrine sat sentry like on the top of the blue chimney overlooking the Mersey and Weaver Estuary. Several hundred hirundines probably totalling 2,000 birds were observed hawking insects low over the river and amounted to 500 Swallow, 1500 Sand Martin. A spell of morning rain was responsible for this activity and provided some excellent views of these departing summer visitors. 24 Common Swift were also to be seen. Along the edge of the Weaver Bend several migrant Pied Wagtails were joined by a couple of Yellow Wagtail.
Shorebirds featured a single Greenshank, 100 Redshank, 3 Ruff, a Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel (TB) and a solitary Curlew. 80 Coot, 200 Tufted Duck, 4 Pochard.
The Weaver Estuary was full of Tufted Duck with 6 Great Crested Grebe, 200 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Ruff. The highlight from here was the ship Stolt Redshank manoeuvring from the Manchester Ship Canal through the waters of the River Weaver and disturbing a flock of real Redshank (see image).
Retracing our steps we made our way to No.6 tank to witness the gathering wader flock which were pushed off the River Mersey to find shelter on the drier areas of this sludge tank. 3 Greenshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 125 Lapwing, 70 Ringed Plover, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 500 Dunlin including a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and 1 adult and 6 juvenile Little Stint didn’t disappoint.
Also present were 5 juvenile Goosanders which dropped in on the action for 15 minutes before taking to the wing and disappearing as quick as they arrived out towards the Mersey Estuary. The eclipse drake Pintail, 10 Gadwall and 170 Common Teal added to the watch.
All in all a great start to Wirral Bird Club’s field trip season. For further details see this link: http://www.wirralbirdclub.com/
Observers: Hugh Stewart and the members of Wirral Bird Club, Tony Broome (image one), Frank Duff, Mark Payne, Heather and Findlay Wilde (image four), WSM (all other images).