20.03.17. Birdlog

The morning rain eventually gave way to bright sunshine and it was in these conditions that I did a spot of birding after work. A Chiffchaff was singing from the hawthorn trees alongside Moorditch Lane. Looking over the open water on No.6 tank the Tufted Duck flock had presumably relocated here from the River Weaver and with them were 4 Common Pochard. The Common Teal flocks were again feeding in the cover of the gone over daisy beds and 210 were flushed out by an unseen predator.

The waders were settled in the shallow water close to the sticky edges of the sludge tank and included 230 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Dunlin, 10 Avocet, 15 Ruff, a few lingering Golden Plover and an increase in the number of Redshank which are presumably north bound passage birds with 533 in two flocks.

The flocks of shorebirds were a little edgy after a Merlin shot through but appeared transfixed as a Peregrine circled high overhead. A marauding Marsh Harrier was sent packing by a few of the 50 Raven present in the area.

The mitigation area on No.3 tank had 54 Shoveler, 100 Common Teal, 12 Gadwall, 20 Mallard and 34 Black-tailed Godwit.

Finally the Whooper Swan herd was butted close against the crash barriers in fields by the M56.

Walking back to Frodsham the looming blackness and rain was heading in from the west but not before the sun finally provided a fine example of itself.

Observers: Arthur Harrison, WSM (and images).

NB. Earlier in the day my first Willow Warbler was heard singing from Spike Island, Widnes.