An after work visit and another birding quest to add YbW to the marsh list (although I did find one today but not here).
I walked along Brook Furlong Lane but a long arm hedge strimmer was working the patch of lane I wanted to cover, so I guessed there wouldn’t be much in the way of passerine activity. Looking along the pipes across No.1 tank revealed two male Stonechat.
I continued along Moorditch Lane where the ploughed field produced 8 Ruff feeding in the troughs with both Lapwing and Starling flocks. A Goldcrest was calling from the Ash trees but nothing else worthy of attention.
Taking the ramp track to No.5 tank I positioned myself overlooking the mitigation fields. Apart from a couple of Black-tailed Godwit feeding in the rapidly diminishing wet scrapes and several hundred chattering away unseen in the excluded pools there wasn’t much else to report on. Things started to pick up when an adult winter Mediterranean Gull flew over heading towards the Mersey estuary.
Returning back to look over No.6 tank it was rewarding to see 15 Common Snipe emerge from the daisy beds while Water Rail were screaming from the reed bed below where I was standing. A couple of Kingfisher were playing tag along the edge of the pool and a male and female Sparrowhawk were hunting the 500 strong Goldfinch flocks gathered in and over the thistle beds.
The young female Garganey made a reappearance since Saturday and was associating with a Little Grebe on the open water but when it caught sight of me it became agitated and flew off into the reeds.
Several hundred Common Teal and Shoveler were a return to late September numbers while Pintail where in double figures and as the sun was setting I conjured up an eclipse drake Red Crested Pochard with a group of 6 Common Pochard but by then the light was fading fast so I only managed a few record shots.
The evening concluded with a gathering of Starling against a sunset sliding behind the turbines…But another blank on my continued YbW quest.
Observer and images: WSM.