An early start and Marsh Farm was the venue for a watch looking out to the Mersey estuary beyond the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal.
Several small flocks of Skylark and Meadow Pipit with singles of Swallow were the only proper passerine migration underway. The highlight of the smaller birds was a Stonechat which was fairly mobile but captured here by Tony at Marsh Farm. An ‘Acro’ warbler was “tuck tucking” by the ‘Splashing Pool’ while several Goldcrest and Chiffchaff were out and about along the tracks.
Out on the Mersey mudflats an adult Ruddy Shelduck was evident and appeared a little darker in plumage than the birds seen last month, so perhaps a new individual out there? A Little Egret just about made the audition today. 45 Oystercatcher, 2 Grey Plover (surprisingly, the first this autumn), 16 Ringed Plover, 500 Dunlin, 700-850 Black-tailed Godwit and 200 Curlew were on the move.
We made our way to No.6 tank as the tide ripped through the river and arrived in time to see the Dunlin flocks beginning to arrive. A concerted effort revealed 16 Ringed Plover, 340 Lapwing, 4 Ruff, 780 Dunlin, 4 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 8 Greenshank and a solitary Common Snipe. After the tide a Golden Plover was on then over No.3 tank.
Ducks featured 130 Common Teal, 24 Common Shelduck and 9 Tufted Duck.
A kettle of 8 Common Buzzard were circling high over the blue-topped chimney where they were watched over by the ‘big’ female Peregrine. A Sparrowhawk was noted stealthy hunting the waders on No.6 tank and a Kestrel was active at Marsh Farm.
Landscape images taken during early afternoon but the sunshine broke out and provided excellent light soon after.
Observers: Tony Broome (images 1, 5 & 6), Frank Duff, WSM (images 2, 3 & 4).