19.05.15. Birdlog (Team Tuesday Birders do Frodsham Marsh)
Team Tuesday field trip brought them to a very blustery with the threat of rain and sunshine to start their field trip at the marsh on the motorway bridge off Marsh Lane this morning. We followed the track out along Brook Furlong Lane splitting off to follow the edge of Redwall reed bed along the Weaver Causeway to the Weaver Bend alongside the I.C.I tank before retracing our steps back to the motorway bridge and then onto No.6 and No.3 tanks, three and a half hours later and back to the cars for home.
Brook Furlong Lane rang out to the sound of wind and summer with both Whitethroat and Blackcap being the most notable songsters. The most notable birds seen at the start of the walk were a couple of Red-legged Partridge and presumably birds ‘put down’ by the local shooting group.
Reaching the River Weaver, Reed and Sedge Warblers were keeping a low profile by singing down in the bottom of the Phragmites reed beds with the occasional bird venturing up to see what was going one. On the river hundreds of hirundines and Common Swifts were hawking low over the water and grassy banks providing some stunning views of these aerial birds. There were 4 Great Crested Grebes with 8 Gadwall, 87 Tufted Duck, Oystercatcher, Redshank and a mobile flock of 200 Black-tailed Godwit.
Eventually we reached the Weaver Bend where more Tufted Duck and even more Common Shelduck were attempting to find shelter below the banks of Weston Marsh tank. A Common Tern was by far the highlight of the day when one flew in from the north-east and headed straight back out to the Mersey estuary.
Below the banks of The Lum more Gadwall were present and a couple of pullis Lapwing were feeding along the muddy margins of one of the Shooters’ Pools. The paths were swathed in cow parsley and fall by the wayside oilseed rape but due to the cold wind no insects or butterflies were observed!
After heading back into the challenging wind we made our way to Moorditch Lane where we continued to bird watch en route. No.6 tank still held a pair of nesting Grey Heron despite the rising water level and 34 Tufted Duck joined the ever-present Common Shelduck. 120 Dunlin were with a flock of 16 Ringed Plover and were sheltering inside the cracked mud.
The mitigation on No.3 tank had a smaller flock of Dunlin with a handful of Ringed Plover. 6 Avocet were notable here and ended a good watch with good company in not so good weather.
After the group left I continued to watch over the area and typically as the last person disappeared into the day, out popped the male Marsh Harrier quartering the reed beds on No.6 tank. The ‘Snowdrop’ ferry boat sailed through on its way to Eastham Locks and looked odd with Avocets in the same scope view.
Observers: Team Tuesday https://ttbirders.wordpress.com/ and WSM (and images).