Out around No.6 tank this morning and a group of Common Teal resting in a dead tree on the bank with a pair of Reed Warbler feeding below them. A juvenile Marsh Harrier went by in the direction of the River Weaver. Several Little Grebe were on the water as were Coot and Moorhen. On the ‘Splashing Pool’ a Kingfisher was doing a circuit around the flooded area and another Reed Warbler was seen. A small flock of waders on the mudflats south end of six were too far out for me to identify with my bins but AC had his telescope on them earlier and helped with the specifics.
Walking along Lordship Lane the wader flock was spooked by an unseen predator and several Black-tailed Godwit and Redshank flew over followed by a single Little Egret. A female Wheatear was sitting on a drainage tower and a pair of Kestrel were hunting the bank.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-4).
Started this morning at No.6 tank. Out on the water the ducks included 39 Shoveler and 5 Common Pochard. Moving around to the west end of the tank 9 Ruff were present among small numbers of Lapwing and Redshank. A Green Sandpiper dropped in during a shower and the female Marsh Harrier flew through.
The bushes along Brook Furlong Lane held 4 Lesser Whitethroat with the usual Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Whitethroat.
Heading back to No.6 tank for high tide a Greenshank was circling but headed back out to the estuary. At the west end of the tank the wader numbers were starting to build. Mixing with the Dunlin and Ringed Plover were at least 25 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Little Stint, 2 Knot, 1 Common Sandpiper and a Black-tailed Godwit. Most of these scattered and headed back out to the estuary when a Peregrine shot through.
Observer: Alyn Chambers.
Once a month a collection of volunteers are dispersed out along the north and south banks of the river to collectively count the waterbirds that frequent or pass through the Mersey Estuary and its upper and lower reaches. Today was that time of month and my patch are the sludge tanks on Frodsham Marsh. After yesterdays shorebird haul and the reporting on the ‘Frodblog’ post it was encouraging that a couple of keen birders were stationed on the west banks of No.6 tank to sample the delights of Frodsham Marsh.
The ducks present on the open water at the eastern end of the tank were not easily visible with many of the Common Teal hiding in the fragrant infused Michaelmas Daisy beds but those that were visible numbered 87 birds. Common Pochard have reassembled their recent numbers with 12 birds. Common Shelduck, Shoveler, Mallard and Gadwall were also present. Tufted Duck are the bread and butter birds for my countjng and today 134 were gathered with a further 17 on the ‘Splashing Pool’.
Birds of prey were again evident and both female and juvenile Marsh Harrier were seen and a juvenile Peregrine caused quite a lot of consternation amid those aerial shorebirds which at high tide had gathered in the south-west corner of the tank. Dunlin numbers were lower than yesterday but still in the 1000 mark, 230 Ringed Plover, 2 Knot, a single Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Ruff, 2 juvenile Little Stint, 26 Curlew Sandpiper (all juveniles with the one adult from yesterday), 2 Avocet, 300 Lapwing and 10 Redshank. Not a bad little tally with an obvious nationwide invasion of Curlew Sandpiper which I’m expecting this count to get even higher?
The Black-necked Grebe had relocated to the Weaver Bend.
An adult Mediterranean Gull was with a flock of 200 Black-headed Gulls in a recently ploughed field adjacent to Moorditch Lane/M56.
Above a couple of images from Lordship Lane with Helsby Hill and a wheat field while a short turn of the head looking east are the wind turbines and the Growhow Works.
Observers: David Bedford, Alyn Chambers, Sparky, WSM (images 1, 5-8).
Thanks to Shaun Hickey for his image of the turbines over on Frodsham Marsh taken from the Mersey marshes on the WeBS count today.