With some time to kill before meeting up with Sparky after her school session. I made a trip to look for the Green-winged Teal that had gone AWOL of late even venturing out to the sticks at Neumann’s Flash near Northwich. Alas, it wasn’t available for comment despite 340 Common Teal reluctant to budge from the flooded daisy beds on No.6 tank. The Common Pochard flock comprised 24 birds of which 7 were females. A loose group of 16 Wigeon, 34 Shoveler, 23 Gadwall,c100 Mallard and a senensis Cormorant resting up with a carbo on the roost tree.were noteworthy.
The Lapwing tide roost was very nervous and a couple of distant gun shots sent them to the skies, only to resettle and then redo the whole procedure again whenever a threat loomed over the horizon. Within their midst were a few Golden Plover but the main contingent were beyond the west end of No.4 tank where the sky was filled with several thousand Lapwing (mostly) and Goldies. A small number of Common Snipe flew over but other than that these were the only waders present during the time I was there.
An artillery blast by the wintering Cetti’s Warbler below the teal viewing banks of No.5 tank was a welcome surprise and a fair size flock of Chaffinch were loitering around the dung piles adjacent to Moorditch Lane. A mournful singing Song Thrush and a few Redwing were about the horse paddock field.
Away (half) Day Special to the Wirral
After collecting Sparky from work we took a half day off from our usual preamble and shot over to West Kirby to ogle at the Great Northern Diver that has been present there for several weeks now. We had a unique experience when the diver started to lurch out of the water to fly catch some winter gnats above its head. In my excitement to capture this event I inadvertently knocked the dial setting on the camera and ended up with a series of under exposed grainy images (that’s my excuse anyway) and a selection of which are featured at the bottom of this posting.
We then proceeded down to Heswall to see the Pallas’s Leaf Warbler which has taken up residence at a water treatment plant at the end of Target Road. I met Paul Ralston there and he told Sparky that I “know the best places to take a girl out to”. Her look said it all!
A video by Greg Baker of the Pallas’s Warbler here: https://vimeo.com/151003433
A big thank you to Mike Malpass and his wife J for allowing me to publish his excellent images (1 & 7) of the Pallas’s Leaf Warbler and to Paul Ralston for his image (8) and my poor efforts are (images 2-12).
Great Northern Diver fly catching at West Kirby marine lake.