After work sojourn on the Weaver Bend and the banks of the disused I.C.I tank wasn’t the best birding I’ve had here but it did produced some interesting sightings.
On the far banks of the ‘bend’ and 3 adults and 2 juvenile Avocet looked all the world as those that were on No.6 tank a couple of weeks ago. A 200 strong flock of Black-tailed Godwit didn’t linger and flew out to the Mersey Estuary. A lone Common Sandpiper and a family party of Little Grebe were the other highlights.
I was contemplating making an early dart for home but the lure of No.6 tank was too inticing so I made the effort and was rewarded with an arrival of 560 Dunlin to feed on the midge infested waters. A group of 5 Common Snipe with hanging out beneath a clump of vegetation on the waters edge and a good move this proved to be when a female Sparrowhawk ambushed the Dunlin flock and grabbed one unsuspecting individual.
A couple of Green Sandpiper soon settled after the raptor departed and became fairly tame feeding out in the open along with 20 Ruff. The Black-tailed Godwit flock were again present on the open water with an estimate of 600 birds.
A Marsh Harrier was distantly seen over No.4 tank and likewise the Peregrine was back on her lofty perch on the power station chimney at Weston Point.
There were hundreds of Black-headed Gulls high in the sky feeding off flying ants and at junction 12 on the M56 several were picking them off from the grass verges.
There were plenty of young Chiffchaff wandering about in the trees, thickets, ditches and reed beds today.
Butterflies included numerous Gatekeeper, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White and a Painted Lady.
Observer and images: WSM.
Another observer reported seeing a perched Short-eared Owl on No.5 tank.
Earlier in the day a sub-singing Willow Warbler was on Runcorn Hill.
…and finally, on a sadder note is the Shooters’ pools which would have attracted lots of birds this summer if they hadn’t dried up. CWT “a win, win situation” it is not!