A slow walk along Brook Furlong and then an hour or two at Marsh Farm in the sunshine, looking for migrants. I only had a few hours and arrived at around 1.00pm.
It was great to feel the sun on my face, even though the north-east breeze took the edge off it. Despite a very noisy helicopter going directly overhead, Brook Furlong seemed to have singing Chiffchaff everywhere with at least 12, mostly singing, birds. 2 Siskin went over calling heading north and a female Brambling briefly showed itself in a Hawthorn before flitting across the road and disappearing.
A male Kestrel hunted over the pheasant fields and 4 released Red-legged Partridge fed along the field edges and a large flock of Jackdaws, probably around 60, fed in the Go-kart field.
At Marsh Farm there were Common Buzzard soaring overhead most of the time with 8 birds noted. 4 Sand Martin flew briskly north and disappeared out over the River Mersey towards Hale. Both male and female Sparrowhawk put in an appearance but alas, no Osprey. Ravens squabbled in the blue sky, fighting over territory and mates.
On the way out I stopped by the ramp up to No.6 tank, still closed. A Jay flew over the car and 6 Rook fed in the field alongside the motorway. A Peacock Butterfly flew past and Buff-tailed Bumblebee were numerous, with at least 15 out and about. A nice, but brief excursion.
Observer: Tony Broome (images 1-3).
After work and a visit to Marsh Farm to check for migrants and although there wasn’t any obvious new arrivals it did provide some interesting sightings.
A scan across the embankments of the Manchester Ship Canal to the Gantry wall adjacent to the Weaver Sluices was rewarded with a 3rd winter Iceland Gull in with the many hundreds of other large gulls. A 1st winter Great Black-backed Gull was feasting on a dead lamb close to the track on No.1 tank (and a gruesome sight it was too!).
A fine setting sun topped off a cold but good evening bird watch on the marsh.
Observers: Paul Booth, WSM (images 4-7)