A walk after work along the Weaver Causeway and out to the ‘Bend’ to stretch the auld legs. In its day, the Weaver Bend was a place of high expectations but, alas that was a few decades ago. Today the water level is kept artificially high to maintain the right level on the Manchester Ship Canal for navigable ocean-going ships. These ships require access to Manchester via the Weaver Estuary at its confluence with the canal.
The walk was interrupted by the juvenile Little Gull which was fairly busy flying up and down the river collecting flies in mid-flight. A family party of Little Grebe were fishing mid-water where a juvenile Great Crested Grebe was present.
On the ‘Bend’ was a sizable flock of 30 Redshank which always seemed to prefer this area in early autumn. Black-tailed Godwit numbered 15 which included a colour ringed bird from a few weeks back. Other shoreline birds along the margins included a Common Snipe, Common Sandpiper, 3 Ruff and 300 Lapwing. The latter were very jumpy especially when a sailing boat disturbed everything.
Retracing my steps I hiked up to Marsh Farm and paused to watched 4 young Stonechat along the pipes and fence line. They were in moult from their scaly juvenile plumage into something familiar to us. I was speculating to their origins, were they local to the marsh? This is their third day in this spot.
I met up with FD at the pipes after he had left No.6 tank where a sudden arrival of hundred s of mixed Swallow, House and Sand Martins were feeding.
At dusk a sizeable movement of Meadow Pipit started to drop onto the pipes and presumably were using them for a roost site?
A couple of (non-native) released Red-legged Partridge were along Brook Furlong Lane looking a little furtive but it’s wise for them to be so.
After I left the marsh at the junction of Marsh Lane and Main Street in Frodsham a flock of 150 House Martin were low over the street lights and gathering for a roost nearby.
Observers: Frank Duff, WSM (and images).
Teasel in the evening sunlight from the Weaver Bend.