After the viz-mig trial on Overton Hill (see part one) we headed down towards the marsh and Brook Furlong Lane in the hope of finding a Yellow-browed Warbler, with two reported across the river at Hale. I had to stop off at a leading coffee shop emporium and get some lattes including a brew for that other stalwart of the lanes and sludge tanks, Bill. He wouldn’t let me on the marsh if I didn’t take him a coffee. We walked up and down the lane for an hour or more without any success apart from the odd Goldcrest, tits, Chiffchaff and a flyover Redpoll.
Another skein of 45 Pink-footed Goose flew in against the watery sun veiled by the clouds and moved back north. Nearby 5 Pintail circled the Weaver Bend and 11 Jackdaw headed south in a tight flock. Chiffchaff called unseen or fly catched from the tops of trees in the warm air, a balmy 18c in the afternoon as the Scandinavian high continued to exert its influence westward. We moved around to No.6 tank and sat eating lunch overlooking No.3, before moving onto No.4.
One plus Siskin whined south overhead, 2 Grey Wagtail followed shortly afterwards. Raptors were showy with the local Common Buzzard kettles sparring with the Raven kettles, a Peregrine came in at speed towards No.6, possibly in the hope of ambushing the ducks there, and there were Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and a single Marsh Harrier. A pair of Stonechat were perched up on thistles by the mitigation area and as we headed around to the south of No.6.
The ‘Splashing Pool’ had a few Tufted Duck on the water with a pale phase Common Buzzard perched up by the pumping station and an arboreal juvenile Moorhen feasting high up on the elder bush berries.
Meanwhile, Bill heard a singing Cetti’s Warbler and watched a juvenile female Garganey on the ‘Secluded Pool’. While watching from the bank he spotted a Little Egret flying over the ship canal bank, a flock of 170 Black-tailed Godwit and 10 Common Snipe which were disturbed by a low flying Peregrine.
Garganey video here: https://vimeo.com/186097280
I was watching from the southern banks of No 6 which held on the open water and muddy margins were 9 Pochard, 10 Ruff and a Kingfisher plus all the usual ducks.
Other critters on the wing included: 5 Red Admiral, a single Migrant Hawker and 3 Common Darter, plus a large ichneumon wasp spp which more or less made up the insect species. Not a bad day in the sunshine with all the raptors about, even if the true stars, the migrants, were going over above our heads at a height that made them invisible from the ground.
Observers: Tony Broome (images 3, 9 & 11), WSM (images 1-2 & 4-8 & 10 & 12-13).