A day off and a mid afternoon birding walk along the track on the south side of No.5 but looking south to No.6 tank. A fine gathering of summer ducks included: 116 Tufted Duck, 11 Common Pochard, 4 Shoveler and the usual commoner ducks with their ducklings in tow.
The 3 Little Egret were again wading through the tall boggy grass on the south side with 19 Mute Swan for company. A Great Crested Grebe was standing guard over his brooding partner while a family party of Dabchick scooted past.
The Black-tailed Godwit flock were as always feeding in the flooded vegetation and equally frustrating was the views of 24 Common Teal which are rapidly moulting out of their breeding plumage. I say frustrating because I agree with Mr Craven over at Hale that the Green-winged is possibly concealed here somewhere?
There were a few Redshank dotted about with a couple of finely plumage Ruff and a new high count for the marsh of 42 Avocet. Presumably these are birds displaced from Burton Mere?
The godwit and duck flocks were very agitated and would often fly up and around for short periods as if there was an imminent threat! It all came apparent when a male Cuckoo flew across the area (all Sparrowhawk like).
The recent arrival of low flying Common Swift were again in their hundreds over the banks of six.
The Peregrine was again perched up on the blue-topped chimney before being disturbed by the ‘copper chopper’ patrolling over Weston Point and the surrounding area on the lookout for ‘scrote’ activity no doubt.
Observer and images: WSM.
Out and about this morning making a start from Ince Berth and around tanks 4 and 6. There was a Marsh Harrier over 4. Followed by two groups of Raven each holding court to a sheep carcass out on Frodsham Score, while another group were tag-playing in the wind above the Manchester Ship Canal.
A long line of Canada Goose were strung out on the edge of the Mersey marshes and a solitary lonesome Curlew fed forlornly on the salt marsh.
The Canal Pools were quiet with only Coot noted, the smaller pool is covered in lily’s which will be a sight to behold once they flower.
There was no sign of the any Avocet on No.3 or 6 tanks? The Black-tailed Godwit flock were feeding close to the bank and could be heard chattering away. The three Little Egret were still about and fed with the godwits and Common Teal. Other species present included: Mallard, Shoveler, Gadwall and Shelduck. A male Sparrowhawk passed over head and put a section of godwits in to the air and a second bird (a female) was seen later over No.4 tank.
Skylarks were numerous throughout my walk with some singing loud and proud. Other passerines like Reed and Sedge Warbler were still holding territory and Chiffchaff and Blackcap were noted. A very pale phase Common Buzzard could be the bird from previous years and just the two Kestrel were hunting around the embankments of No.6 today.
Observer and images: Paul Ralston.