A drop in to Carr Lane at Hale Village for the adult Pectoral Sandpiper which gave some good views along with a few hundred Black-tailed Godwit (one with an orange colour ring) before high tailing back across the river to look for something similar on Frodsham Marsh.
After the morning rain it didn’t take long to wait for the inclement weather to subside and in glorious sunshine a watch over No.6 tank was rewarded with 3 ‘summer’ Turnstone and a mixed flock of 600 mostly (some juveniles) Dunlin and Ringed Plover. They appeared to have dropped in with the rain front and then in the sunshine, tucked their heads into their backs and went to sleep. The occasional Common Sandpiper and Black-tailed Godwit added to their numbers.
A passage of Common Swift and hirundines were moving ahead of the weather front in a steady passage.
Birding along the edge of the River Weaver was punctuated by the sound of someone shooting Wood Pigeons in the fields by the Shooters’ Pools.
Most of the shorebirds took refuge where they were resting or feeding along the shoreline with 6 Common Snipe, 12 Redshank, 7 Oystercatcher and 50 Black-tailed Godwit being most noticeable. 2 pairs of Great Crested Grebe with young, a mixture of Mallard, Common Teal, Common Shelduck and Tufted Duck on the river paled compared to the volume of Canada Goose numbers on the Weaver Estuary and was an obvious sign of another successful breeding season for them.
A short drive to Marsh Farm and a watch over the incoming tide which displaced 400 Black-tailed Godwit from the score. The mini-canal cruise boat ‘Snowdrop’ disturbed several hundred moulting Mallard from the Gantry Wall. 3,000 Common Shelduck, 14 Great Crested Grebe and 40 Cormorant were already out on the remaining mudflats or by the Weaver Sluices and made it into the note-book.
The tarmac track to the Canal Pools had resting sheep with 14 Yellow Wagtail attending to and picking off bugs and flies that the sheep attracted.
A malevolent storm heading in from the west dropped a few hailstones over Hale before turning off and then off loading its deluge over North Merseyside and Lancashire. Image #6 shows a hail storm over Hale!
Image #7. Female Southern Hawker Dragonfly was perched up on reeds by the track to Redwall reedbed.
Observers: Tony Broome (images 1, 4, 6 & 7). WSM ( images 2, 3 & 5).