It’s been a river of two halves recently with the good ship ‘Hale and Hearty’ sailing away with all the bird bounty comparing, Unfortunately our leaky old tub the ‘Mary Celeste’ is ploughing a lone furrow and in need of a life buoy. Anyway enough of mixed metaphors.
I just managed to get my WeBS count in after working this weekend. I was also hoping in vain that the ‘ibis’ might find its way to this side of the water during the high tide, but it’s taste is presently favoured to the north side. All said and done there was little in the surprise department far as new birds were concerned. I have listed the species worthy of note below.
A female Marsh Harrier was sat on the fence post bordering the track on No.5 tank but all I managed to see was through the cars rear view mirror before it flipped over the bank. It did reappear later quartering the fields of the tank. There were quite a few Raven loafing about on both No.5 and over on Frodsham Score. A flyover Yellow Wagtail is typical of their performance this summer and to be honest they’ve not been that regular this summer.
The main aim of my visit was to record the number of waterfowl on both No.6 and the mitigation area on No.3 tanks. A drake Wigeon was on No.3 tank with a few Gadwall and 20 Greylag Goose. Another Wigeon flew in and disappeared into the vegetation on the far side of six. The commonest bird on the water was Tufted Duck which were gathered closely on the eastern side of the tank and thus easy to count the 243 birds, with the tufties were just 3 Common Pochard. Common Shelduck adults were surprisingly scarce and those here were keeping an eye on the 50 youngsters feverishly feeding up. Gadwall and Mallard both mustered 32 and 54 respectively while Common Teal reached a good 43 birds. A small gathering of Canada Goose were in the flooded daisy beds with the rest out on the Mersey estuary no doubt. There were just 3 Mute Swan today along with an adult and juvenile Great Crest Grebe and 4 Little Grebe out in the open. Shorebirds were thin on the ground with just a single Ringed Plover and 6 Common Snipe.
A big barrel chested Peregrine sat out on the blue-topped chimney (pictured above) and watched all the comings and goings on out on the big river.
The skies above No.5 tank were alive with 500 Common Swift feeding above the tree line.
Observer and images: WSM.