After working the Bank Holiday weekend it was with some keenness that I ventured out into the aftermath of Storm Katie. As it turned out there wasn’t much in the way of storm driven seabirds or hoards of advancing northbound migrants either.
I took on the assault course that is the pot-holed trench tracks along Moorditch/Lordship Lanes to reach the mitigation area on No.3 tank (note to Peel Energy/CHC contractors – pull your fingers out with regard to filling in that pipe-line ditch on the ramp track to No.5 tank and give us our access back).
When I eventually reached my destination and the shaking from driving subsided, I set up my scope to view the flooded fields of No.3 tank. A few Ringed Plover joined the displaying Redshank along with small flocks of Black-tailed Godwit and Ruff. Also present were scattered Dunlin, Common Teal, Gadwall and Shoveler. A pair of Raven were in mid-flight above the raised banks of No.5 tank using the air currents to produce lift. One bird was carrying a patch of dried grass in a ritual display to its partner. A little later another was having fun pulling the long tail feathers of a male Pheasant. Perched up on the blue-topped chimney was the Peregrine.
Over on No.6 tank the water level had risen since my last visit, probably due to the biblical rains we had on Saturday. The birds present included: a single Great Crested Grebe, a few Common Snipe, 6 Wigeon, 4 Pintail, 12 Tufted Duck, 200 Common Teal, and 213 Shoveler. A Common Buzzard was feeding on worms along the track above No.6 tank.
A Cetti’s Warbler singing from a reed bed was again notable.
Observers: Paul Ralston, WSM (images 1-11).
On the way back there was a male Stonechat between No’s 4 and 6 and a male Sparrowhawk on 4. There were a lot of Curlew on Lordship Marsh between the airfield and the M56 later joined by a dozen or so Black-tailed Godwit and a (released) Red-legged Partridge also in the field next to the airfield. A worm eating Kestrel have a welcomed photographic opportunity (see image).
A report of an Avocet on the Weaver Bend and a Chiffchaff were the only addition to the day.
Observer: Paul Crawley (images 12-13).