I thought I’d have a day in the sunshine and I wasn’t to be disappointed at least with the weather which peaked at 26 c in a bright easterly wind. Every (almost every) inland water in the county appeared to have a tern of one description or another. Surely Frodders would deliver? After 10.5 hours in the field, a few warblers, the odd wader and it still hadn’t delivered and I was a little exasperated. Of course it’s always nice to see the common migrants, but every now and again it would be good to expect the unexpected…I’m thinking about across the river at Hale where tonight Iggy found a Broad-billed Sandpiper feeding with a Dunlin flock within sight of Frodsham Marsh and still their Temminck’s Stint lingers.
Anyway, what did I manage to conjure up on my 10.5 hrs in the field? There were singles of both Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, three new in migrants a Cuckoo along Brook Furlong Lane, 2 Yellow Wagtail heading north and 7 Greenshank on No.6 tank. After that warblers were out in force with 20 Sedge, Reed Warbler and Whitethroat, while Swift moved through in small numbers. A few Common Sandpiper worked the banks of the River Weaver while hirundines hawked the ‘bend’.
Shorebirds also included 74 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel, 27 Redshank and 7 Ruff on No.6 tank, the latter were in their ritual posturing display. Rather late this spring were five 1st summer Common Gull. A female Marsh Harrier was briefly watched over No.4 tank while a Peregrine fought with another over the spoils of a recently caught pigeon.
Nine Avocet was present while 76 Gadwall was a really good summer count with another 20 on the River Weaver nearby. There were also 72 Tufted Duck and likewise 50 on the river. Four Shoveler and 3 Common Teal made up the rest. Oddly enough I only saw two Raven all day.
I scanned the River Mersey at high tide but missed the 50 Arctic Tern that Iggy had spotted. Sometimes birding doesn’t always deliver…next time maybe?
Observer: Tony Broome (images 1 & 3).
Images 2 & 4 by WSM.