10.08.14. Birdlog (Hen Harrier Day)
The blustery wind with insistent rain abated on several occasions. At one point during late afternoon when the sun shone, you could be forgiven for thinking it was all hype until it started again.
But it was the tail end of a tropical storm so the reality was a temperature of only 13c with a WNW 6-7 and at times horizontal driving rain. It did feel like 2c and very cold with hands failing to operate. All the same us intrepid souls braved the elements and were rewarded with 2 Ruddy Shelduck off Frodsham Score. The two RS’d’s have been in the area for a week now and with new arrivals arriving in the country it appears that the usual summer immigration is already underway. A mixed flock of 1000 Black-tailed Godwit and Curlew added to the watch here.
Observer and images: Tony Broome.
I braved the heavy rain, windy conditions and elephantine reeds growing over the path for a walk along the causeway to the Weaver Bend starting from Redwall Reedbed and turning back after the bend itself. By far the highlight was a juvenile Greenshank on the bend near the lozenge-shaped island with a small group of Black-tailed Godwit, 52 Redshank, 2 Common Sandpiper and a Little Ringed Plover.
Further upriver and c400 Black-tailed Godwit were on the small marsh bordering the Weaver Estuary (out towards (‘the Corner’). A Little Egret flapped low upriver past Redwall Reedbed at 10.30
Hirundines were forced down by the weather with c500 Sand Martin and c100 Swallow, while 21 Swifts appeared from the north after the first burst of torrential rain petered out. They then lingered for a while.
With only an hour left I went to No.6 tank for the high tide with low expectations. It has been quite poor on my recent visits. As soon as I got out of the car I could hear the same or another Greenshank flying around somewhere. Up at the tank I could immediately see quite a big flock of small waders so I settled in for a proper high tide. The tail end of Hurricane Bertha and the heavy rain must have driven the tide a bit higher and forced some of the birds off the estuary.
There were 405 Dunlins and 88 Ringed Plovers (one chick joined the flock). I scanned through them pretty carefully but I couldn’t find anything different. It was very enjoyable because the light was good and the birds were reasonably close.
The Greenshank I saw on the bend was there between about 11.00 and 11.40. I heard it at No.6 at about 12.05 but by the time I got up to the tank it had gone.
Observer and top image: John Spottiswood.