All the rare bird action seems to be happening elsewhere this Spring/Summer, so it was a little gratifying to find a 1st summer Little Gull (image 3) resting with a small group of similarly aged Black-headed Gulls on No.6 tank. The Little Gull disappeared without trace for a short while before reappearing to settle again. That was before a sub-adult Peregrine flew over munching on a small wader in flight (Hobby like). The gull didn’t linger much longer and departed to the south-west over Helsby Hill.
As I have mentioned in previous posts the ducks just prefer being on No.6 tank and there were totals of 164 Tufted Duck with Common Pochard whiched today numbered 19 drakes and a single female. There were 6 Shoveler, 23 Mallard, 54 Gadwall, 50 Common Shelduck and 64 Common Teal (while the Green-winged is still enjoying its stay across the river at Carr Lane). The area is flooded with water from a combination of recent heavy rain and the pumping of sludge from the Manchester Ship Canal. These are ideal conditions for ducks and the 2 pairs of Little and a pair of Great Crested Grebe are taking to it kindly.
The summering Black-tailed Godwit flock of 447 birds have taken to feeding and roosting in the newly emerging Sea Aster/ Michaelmas Daisy clumps and a foppy dressed male Ruff joined them for a period.
A female Marsh Harrier was knocking about out on the marsh while the occasional Kestrel and Common Buzzard were present.
There were still plenty of passerines either feeding young in or out of the nest including a singing Reed Warbler using one of the (ready to be inserted) turbine rotor blades as a resonating sound board (top two images). The high flying build-up of Common Swift continues with birds a plenty over the marshes.
A car burst into flames on the M56 (west bound) with smoke billowing high over Lordship Lane and was visible from No.6 tank.
Observers: Frank Duff, Dermot Smith, WSM (images 1-2 & 4 & 6). Image 3 by Tony Broome and 5 by Alyn Chambers.