The Weaver estuary and Bend wasn’t at its best today. However, you have to deal with what’s on offer so, 214 Tufted Duck, 1 drake Common Pochard, 14 Goldeneye, 16 Little and 4 Great Crested Grebe and a Water Rail started the days birding up and running
Further out on the margins of the marsh a Chiffchaff and a Cetti’s Warbler could be heard.
Observer: Frank Duff.
Marsh Farm and the salt marsh across from the Manchester Ship Canal offered a better alternative with 2000 Dunlin, 2400 Lapwing and 120 Black-tailed Godwit. All these birds were flushed by a couple of wildfowlers out on the top banks. After a while and when everything eventually settled down, a Merlin spotted a Meadow Pipit and then gave chase, the aerial combat took some time before we lost both birds below the embankment and it all seemed enviable? A (Lesser) Redpoll flew east over the farm and a Grey Wagtail took time out to perch up.
Three Stonechat (including a nice male pictured above) were along the fence and pipes of No.1 tank and a pair were by the brick pit at Marsh Farm.
Along the waters of the Manchester Ship Canal was 21 Little Grebe and nearby a male Kingfisher was perched up.
A drive across the marsh to watch over No.6 tank was well worth the time there when the juvenile Marsh Harrier was watched hunting the western reed beds. The distant barking of a skein of 63 Pink-footed Geese flew in from the north. They flew purposely heading south west towards the Gowy Meadows but did a hand brake turn and circled back on themselves before returning north out to the estuary.
An increase in duck species on the waters of the tank included: 22 Common Pochard, 40 Tufted Duck, 26 Shoveler, 2 drake Pintail. 12 Mallard, 12 Gadwall and 178 Common Teal. Shorebirds featured a solitary Ruff, 230 Dunlin and 470 Lapwing.
Finally, a bird that isn’t particularly common anywhere on the marsh is the Collared Dove. When I was leaving the marsh I spotted two perched on wires by the caravan park, a welcome bonus for the day list.
Observers: Frank Duff (and image 4), WSM (and images 1,2,3, 5 and 6).