I decided to take my Mum for a tour of the marsh this afternoon. It was wild old day with a bit of everything thrown in, rain, hail, strong wind and finally some sunshine. The highlight of the day was a Goldcrest by the Pig Farm at Ince by the start of the track and some stunning views of a sheltering or possibly an ambushing Sparrowhawk just taking it all in as Linnet and Goldfinches found it hard to settle on a stormy day.
Observers (and image 1): Stuart Maddocks (and Mum).
After a night of heavy rain and NW gales, the morning began with a strong N Westerly and heavy showers with rainbows. With a temperature of only 4c, it felt bitterly cold. A brighter late morning and afternoon saw stronger gusts and the temperature rose to a balmy 5c. Without gloves, fingers froze and it was difficult to search for birds out on the Score as the tripod shook.
No.6 tank was a busy place with 30 Herring Gull, 40 Black-headed Gull, 70 Common Gull, 1 Great Black-backed Gull. 17 Redshank, 1 Grey Plover, 200 Lapwing, 8 Shelduck, 200 Teal, 4 Shoveler, 19 Curlew, 1 Grey Plover, 2 Common Snipe, 300 (long-billed) Dunlin and 9 Ruff were settled on the water and bare mud.
An influx of wintering Song Thrush numbered c20 at various areas, 60 Redwing and a Sparrowhawk was along Brook Furlong Lane.
No.4 tank: 3 Common Snipe flew out of the tank and an estimated 10-15,000 Starlings gathered for the evening roost. Also noted a Kestrel and Sparrowhawk joined the melee. Further over by Lordship Lane there were 300 Fieldfare, 100 Redwing and a Stonechat was close to the model aircraft field.
The Lum fields attracted a Barn Owl at 16.40 hrs which was seen hunting over the rough grassland and phragmites in the dark (presumably the same bird noted midweek hunting in the daylight).
Observer: Tony Broome (images 2-10).