After my week away I was gagging to get down to the marsh to see what was about. I parked up by the ramp and was immediately greeted by a singing Lesser Whitethroat in the fully leafed hedgerow bordering the fields that leads out towards the motorway from Moorditch Lane…a good start. Soon after a reeling Grasshopper Warbler, Whitethroat and Blackcap had obviously arrived since my last visit. A Comma Butterfly sunning itself on some garden flytipping stayed long enough to be snapped.
No.6 tank lacked a bit of gusto with 17 Tufted Duck, 6 Mute Swan, a few Common Teal and Common Shelduck being meager fare for the seasonal migration. I continued along the newly paved track above No.6 and headed off to the mitigation area on No.3 tank. There I met Sean who had been scoping the birds on the scrapes in the rain.
Three Avocet looked likely to be establishing a territory here with 4 Ringed Plover, a Dunlin and a Black-tailed Godwit. Soon after Sean departed I was happily scoping the surrounding area but a squall of rain forced me to seek cover in a belt of trees (just a few remnants from the mass clear out of trees here recently). The rain came in, back up by the Icelandic wind the weather man had promised earlier on the forecast. Just after the rain was beginning to ease, all of the duck and waders rose from the water and there overhead was an Osprey! I presume the raptor had dropped height when passing over from the hills in the squall. With all my camera gear securely tucked away from the weather I gave up attempting to get a picture and just watched it fly over to the Canal Pools before heading out towards Hale Head.
Soon after the Osprey flew through the rain cleared and out popped the male Marsh Harrier hunting the reed beds of No.6 tank. The usual Peregrine was perched on the big blue chimney at Weston Point.
The rain brought in a Swift, 40 Meadow Pipit, Swallow and Sand Martins.
Observer and images: WSM.
After Sean had departed he made his way down to the Weaver Bend were there were plenty of Swallow and a few House Martin. On the river was a small flock of 26 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Redshank, a Ruff (in stunning summer plumage), 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Swift high over heading north and 4 Wheatear along the pipes on No.1 tank.
Observer: Sean O’Hara.