Today I took time out because last weekend was a wash-out and this coming weekend is forecast to be even worse.
No orange latte today, just straight down to the marsh to make the most of the first sunshine for days. It wouldn’t last.
I parked at the old log and walked along Brook Furlong and to the Weaver.
Around 6 Redwing exploded noisily out of the hawthorns, a female Bullfinch flew across the track and a Lesser Redpoll came and perched up near me, although a good view was obstructed by twigs.
The water had 4 Goldeneye on, all female types, 21 Pochard, 100+ Tufted Duck, 60+ Redshank, 3+ Ruff and a handful of Black-tailed Godwit. An interesting pipit flew past calling and revealed itself to be a Water Pipit. Singles of Grey Wagtail and female Stonechat were seen on the way back to the car.
I had a drive up to Marsh Farm, Frodsham Score was full, high tide whipped up by the strong SW wind. Small parties of Starlings flew in from the east and continued west.
Back to No.6 tank, where a flock of gulls included around 75 Common, Ducks included 20+ Wigeon, 50+ Shoveler, 200+ Teal, 12+ Gadwall and numerous Mute Swan. a few Tufted Duck were present. The water level was very high and apart from a few Common Snipe flushed by an immature Marsh Harrier, 3 Kestrel and another Grey Wagtail, there was little else of note.
The cloud rolled in and the rain started to hit the side of the car from about 2.30 pm, as a deep area of low pressure, Storm ‘Abigail’, which was ex-hurricane ‘Kate’, began to approach the country from the south-west. Scotland could expect 90 mph winds and the first snow of winter…
Observer and images: Tony Broome.