The summer doldrums continue with what appeared at first to be a dearth of birds. I waited until the morning rain ran its course. I took up my surveillance overlooking No.6 tank from the north side. A gathering of 156 Tufted Duck associated with 7 Common Pochard, a few Common Teal, much reduced numbers of Gadwall, a couple of Shoveler and the usual Common Shelduck upending across the waters of the tank.
A female Marsh Harrier was busy hunting along the banks of No.5 tank before drifting off to the east. Apart from a Kestrel that was it for my raptors today.
I was about to give it all up until I heard a flock of Black-tailed Godwit flying in from the estuary. These were followed by smaller flocks and in excess of 700 birds eventually settled frustratingly in the flooded dense daisy beds. After some thorough scanning I managed to extract out a flock of 50 Dunlin, 1 Common Snipe and 19 Redshank. A couple of Ringed Plover made up for anything else on No.3 tank.
A little later a flock of 13 Avocet flew over but with the recent pumping of sludge and heavy rain the water level was quite high and didn’t suit their needs.
The summer build up of Common Swift was again impressive with birds ridiculously close on many occasions. I’ve included a few images but alas, the light didn’t help in capturing their detail. Also present was a gathering of 300 Sand Martin with a few House Martin.
Observer and images: WSM.