A weekend afternoon 9.4 m tide out on the River Mersey is always worthy of a watch looking over No.6 tank.
There was quite a bit of aerial nuisance from the model aircraft flying over the sludge tank with a huge 3 metre wing spanned aircraft droning about. Eventually their flying was reduced which allowed the arrival of shorebirds to spend the tide getting some vital rest, food and preen before the tide ebbed and their return to the mudflats.
At first small numbers of Black-tailed Godwit started to join those already present and eventually 779 birds were gathered in the open water.
One (above image) particular bird (male, estimated to be 2 years old) was this colour-ringed bird was first controlled on 01.04.14. Moeze, France (P Delaporte) then in Saint Denis du Payre, France (P Trotignon) on 17.03.15 then relocated to Frodsham Marsh on 27.06.15 (S O’Hara) and again today (WSM).
A superb summer adult red Knot joined the godwits and 34 Redshank included a wholly luecistic bird which flew in and out as quick as it came. c1200 Dunlin were frustratingly distant for the majority of the observation. A lone Common Snipe was hiding in the vegetation, while a Whimbrel flew in and settled for a while, 12 Ruff included 3 juvenile birds and a solitary Avocet added to the species list.
A female Garganey with a dozen Common Teal is probably the bird seen over the last week but a female Ruddy Shelduck (well found by Findlay) was the first of the summer here and apart from 3 Shoveler it was again quiet for ducks.
A Little Egret was seen heading over and a Cormorant was struggling to swallow what looked from its bulky crop like an eel.
A male Marsh Harrier was watched food passing to a juvenile bird over the godwit flock. Shortly after this event the male departed to the east but the juvenile was curious of its admirers (us lot) and came close for an investigation…what a bird!
A small passage of Yellow Wagtail moved through and juvenile Common Whitethroat were feeding on and along the track on No.5 tank.
Hirundines again featured passing Sand Martin and Swallow with Swifts moving high to the south.
An adult Wheatear had a juvenile in tow (were these local birds?).
Marsh harrier video: https://youtu.be/ikMQmzLs5Kk
Observers: Alyn Chambers (video & images 9 &12-14), Frank Duff, Heather (image 3) and Findlay Wilde, WSM (images 1-2 & 4-8 &10-11).
Black-tailed Godwit count from No.6 tank.