31.08.15. Findlay Wilde and Friends Posting
Despite the awful weather, No.6 tank produced some great bird watching today, one of the main factors probably because of the high 9.5 meter tide, so when Bill told me about it, I was on my way down instantly. High tide was at 1 pm, I arrived at about half past, however the birds had stayed put, and I instantly locked on to the whole array of birds out on the pumping (west) end of No.6 tank.
Waders included (and end count of) about 400 Dunlin, and an overwhelming but impressive 350 Ringed Plover (the most I’d ever seen on the marsh, and probably anywhere). Mixed in with the Dunlin I picked out an adult summer Curlew Sandpiper in fantastic plumage that really stood out from the other waders.
Also feeding with the Dunlin was a solitarly Little Stint. About 20 minutes after I arrived, there were still birds arriving, including more Ringed Plover and Dunlin, however there were also 3 Greenshank that flew in, along with a Bar-tailed Godwit, (only 6 Black-tailed Godwits noted). A flock of 6 Whimbrel were feeding on the mud and about 100 Curlew flew over in several flocks.
Other Waders included a party of 30 Lapwing, joined by 6 Golden Plover. Also on the mud there were 4 Yellow Wagtail feeding alongside a couple of Redshank which later flew off to join 30 Ruff.
Gulls included 50 Black Headed Gulls, 7 Common Gulls, and one strange oddball gull, see picture below, this gull had jet black legs and a dark bill, it was a bit bigger than a Common Gull which was alongside it, and looked different, with also a different head shape. Any advice on it would be appreciated. Probably just a Common gull, looking at colour you can make out on the bill, it made me look more than twice.
Other birds of note included a Whinchat, 30 Tufted Duck, and about 500 Swallow. The Swallows were gathering in massive numbers all along the fences on No3 tank.
Observers: Findlay Wilde with assistance from Heather Wilde (all images HW except # 6 by WSM).
…and the friends saw…
An additional Little Stint to the above sighting plus a Spotted Redshank on No.6 tank (FD), 30 Black-tailed Godwit were out on the Weaver Bend, 23 Redshank and a Green Sandpiper was at the Lum with a late Sedge Warbler (SO). Golden Plover increased to 7 birds and a Yellow Wagtail dropped in.
Observers: Frank Duff, Sean O’Hara.
A walk from the Growhow works saw Shaun pick up 3 Wheatear in stubble fields, 3 Common Buzzard, 20 Swallow, a mixed flock 0f 40-60 Linnet and Goldfinch, a Grey Wagtail while a large flock of Lapwing present on No.6 tank.
Observer: Shaun Hickey.
A little more detailed reports came from Ray and his sightings included (in no particular order: 127 Lapwing , 1 Lesser Whitethroat , 4 Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, 7 Blackcap (site wide), 52 Goldfinch, 155 Tufted Duck (No.6 tank), 6 Sedge Warbler, 1 Willow Warbler, 4 Raven, 7 Dunlin, 20-30 Ringed Plover, 12 Ruff, easily 80 B/W Wagtail on 6 tank, 4-5 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Little Stint on 6 tank, 4 Snipe, 314 Black-headed Gull on 6 tank and adjoining fields, 6 Common Gull, 2 Buzzard, 2 Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler , 1 Swift above Lordship Lane, 1 Grey Wagtail on Weaver Bend plus 7 Little Grebe, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Whinchat on No.1 – Pipeline with 3 Wheatear.
Observer: Ray Scally