An after work visit to look over No.6 tank and it was bitterly cold with the wind coming a long way from the icy north. Duck numbers are variable at the moment so a count of 640 Common Shelduck was a little surprising. 67 Tufted Duck, 20 Shoveler, 12 Common Teal, 23 Gadwall and a few Mallard were either courting or already paired up.
A couple of female Marsh Harrier were hunting the marshes while the occasional Common Buzzard, Kestrel were noted.
The shorebirds present on No.6 tank included 400 Redshank, 6 Ruff all attaining their finery, 6 Avocet, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 12 Lapwing and 43 Black-tailed Godwit, the latter were back to low numbers compared to last weekend.
The advancing hail storm approaching from the north included a few thunder claps and when one particular loud rumble sounded overhead the entire flock of waders and ducks rose into the air together. The Redshank flock headed for the relative safety below the embankments while the rest circled round until the storm passed over before resuming their feeding routine.
A Reed Warbler was singing by the secluded pool while a few Sedge Warbler were present by the ramp track. A big mixed flock of hirundines were feeding low over the pools.
Observer and images: WSM.