I sat on the banks of No.6 tank with a cooling breeze and the sun sliding slowly over to the west. The light was providing an excellent side lighting to the assembled horde of birds spread out on the tank below. The only interruption to this idyllic scene was the construction traffic for the wind farm thundering past and occasionally shaking the ground beneath my tripod.
The Black-tailed Godwit flock consisted of 200 birds and these didn’t linger when a passing raptor put everything up into the air. Most of the other birds resettled but the majority of the godwits headed back out to the River Mersey with 50 birds remaining.
On first inspection it didn’t seem to be much of a variety of species present but, during the course of my watch of three hours I did manage a respectable list of goodies. The Dunlin flock from last evening remained and 4-500 birds gave some really close views. The Ruff continued to be seen and the 3 birds present hung around with a flock of 67 Redshank.
A flock of 54 Curlew dropped in for a pre-roost bathe and preen and with them came a Whimbrel.
A family party of Avocet (2 adults, 2 juveniles) also had an additional adult to keep them company. It is possible these are the birds from the Weaver Bend area but not the chicks observed at the weekend. Lapwing numbers are increasing and when the wader flock got spooked earlier they rose from the tall vegetation and I estimated there were 200 birds.
Duck species were in very low numbers, 3 Shoveler, 7 Tufted Duck (excluding 2 family parties containing 12 tuflings), a handful of Shelduck, Mallard and Gadwall were not what I was expecting. However, a small flock of 8 Common Teal brought with them a female Garganey.
There were several hundred Sand Martin feeding low and high above No.6 tank and 200 Common Swift were doing likewise.
Observer and images: WSM