Parking my car on Brook Furlong Lane I decided on a hike out to the Bailey Bridge at the eastern end of the marsh. Starting from the horse paddock field along Brook Furlong Lane and stopping beside Redwall reedbed overlooking the River Weaver and Weaver estuary.
There were plenty of ducks to keep my interest level ticking over with, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 23 Goldeneye with all the drakes (7) in courting mood. 134 Tufted Duck, 4 Common Pochard, 8 Gadwall, 34 Mallard and 100 Common Teal bringing up the numbers.
A Barnacle Goose out on the river was in the mood for love so without any of its own kin it paired up with a Canada x Greylag Goose and was seen later in the day with the Canada’s on No.1 tank and still paying close attention to his partner within the herd…There goes the neighbourhood!
I continued following the course of the river towards the Weaver Bend taking in the Shooters’ pools en route. The only distraction was 8 Black-tailed Godwit and I guess the pools were having a breather before the main action next month?
Walking around the I.C.I tank was uneventful at the start with no passerine migrants on offer. The highlights were the fields east of the tank. Frodsham and District Wildfowlers have been working on the fields and have created two large scrapes for their own use. In the meantime, it will no doubt attract spring migrants and summer breeders soon. This area is primed and you are all cordially invited to drop in on your next visit and pull the biggy out of the bag here.
Continuing around the tank and walking by the Bailey bridge only served to remind me of the Spotted Crakes that once appear there. Alas, the area doesn’t get the coverage that it deserves. My reminiscing was short-lived when a bugle sound from the sky above the Weaver Bend draw my attention to a Common Crane flying overhead, it continued its flight with a couple of hoots before disappearing to the north-east. No local birders about today Arthur Harrison had been on the marsh earlier but Duffy was carless for the afternoon and Broomey was enjoying the delights of the seafront at New Brighton and its American visitor. It wasn’t a Frodders tick for Frank but Tony would have been keen to have seen it.
Video of Crane here: https://vimeo.com/122878843
A male Stonechat was by The Lum reed bed and worked its way along the fence line until it was lost in the vegetation to the Shooters’ pools. A courting pair of Brown Hares were being coy between the grassy tussocks.
Marsh Farm is traditionally a good spot for summer migrants but again it didn’t produce the goods.
A heavily cropped pic of the Iceland Gull out on Frodsham Score Banks.
I set my scope up overlooking Frodsham Score with the intention of checking the gulls on the gantry wall. After a short period my scoped sweeped up a 2nd summer Iceland Gull out on the mudflats from Frodsham Score Banks.It dawned on me that the boys were ‘off site’ and they both needed it for their patch lists. I sent a text and made calls out to rally the troops and eventually Broomey arrived and filled his boots with a minute to spare. On the other hand, Frank was out in the sticks and like a damsel in distress he sent up a Batman signal in despair. I can’t bare to see a grown man cry so I duly obliged and went to collect him from his home and then chauffeured him to the marsh. He jammed onto it with seconds to spare before it took flight and headed out to the salt marsh and was lost to view!
Observer: WSM (images 1-6).
Tony Broome (image 7).
Additional info: 8 Ruff on No.6 tank per Arthur Harrison.