11.04.17. Birdlog (X2)

Another day off and another afternoon birding. I managed a watch from mid morning tide until 4.00pm. We walked out along Moorditch Lane to watch the shorebirds from the south side of No.6 tank. There was an obvious and substantial build up of Black-tailed Godwit today with c2000 birds bunched up close to the bank. A couple of marauding Marsh Harrier high overhead made part of the flock skittish and some left for the estuary while the majority resettled on the north side.

After a while we continued our circumnavigational walk of No.6 tank. There was little in the way of spring migrants in the stiff north-westerly breeze. The mitigation area had tens of Sand Martin riding the wind over the open water. There was the accustomed cluster of Common Teal, Shoveler and Gadwall with a pair of Wigeon adding a minor surprise.

Eventually we started a watch from the north banks where the birds were a lot closer. The main edge of the body of Black-tailed Godwit alos contained 33 Knot, 89 Dunlin, a solitary Little Stint, 16 Avocet, 15 Ruff and plenty of Redshank. It appears most of the Golden Plover may have departed the area?

On the way back to the car a Cetti’s Warbler was making its self known while competing in the spring hit parade were numerous Chiffchaff.

In the sheltered areas and out of the wind butterflies were very prominent with Orangetip being the most numerous.

Observers: Sparky & WSM (and images).

11.04.17 X2

I managed a second bite of the Frodders cherry when I was being taxi driver to Sparky and her friend Jo for a girls night out in Chester. Driving west along the M56 en route I spotted a dead Polecat on the hard shoulder just before the junction 15. On my return journey I saw another Polecat (a kit) dead on the hard shoulder at junction 11 on M53. Pondering these and the two or three dead Badgers seen I missed my turn off for the M56 Junction 14! I ended up taking junction 12 instead so it wasn’t to much of a disaster. Driving over Frodsham Swing bridge and the Avocet were back on the flooded field (but were absent on my return at dusk).

When I eventually got to the marsh most of the Blackwit flock that had been present earlier in the day had departed with just a few stragglers left. The advantage of a smaller scattered flock is the opportunity to spot any colour ringed birds and tonight was no exception.

I managed to find a new colour ringed Blackwit which was first banded in Ireland (more details below) standing alongside a Whimbrel.

The Whimbrel was a pleasant surprise and was still present when I left. Another chose to settle in the tall rank grass some distance away. A few Ruff were still feeding on the margins of the mud with a small group of Redshank and 13 Common Snipe flew noisily out of cover and headed east.

The open water had 230 Common Shelduck, 46 Tufted Duck and 24 Shoveler.

A passage of Sand Martin were heading west in force with perhaps several hundred being noted.

The pools on No.3 tank had what is becoming standard fare with Shoveler, Common Teal, Gadwall and a few Common Shelduck. The Wigeon numbers increased from this afternoon with 4 drakes and 3 females.

A big female Peregrine was tearing away at its supper on the lofty heights of the Blue topped chimney.

The history of the Irish ringed Black-tailed Godwit here:

GN W= N 29 September 2014 Lough Beg, Ringaskiddy, Cork Harbour, County Cork. bom
GN W= S 16 May 2015 The Slob, Youghal, Co.Cork Bob Rock
GN W= S 28 April 2016 Melasveit, Borgarfjarðarsýsla, W Iceland JAG/GFA
GN W= S 05 July 2016 Carr Lane, Hale, Liverpool Rob Cockbain
GN W= S 03 August 2016 Carr Lane Pools (Mersey Estuary), Cheshire David Craven
GN W= S 14 November 2016 Thurstaston Shore, Merseyside, England Steve Hinde, Richard Smith
GN W= S 23 November 2016 Thurstaston Shore, Merseyside, England Richard Smith
GN W= S 24 November 2016 Thurstaston Shore, Merseyside, England Richard Smith
GN W= S 28 November 2016 Thurstaston Shore, Merseyside, England Richard Smith
GN W= S 06 January 2017 Thurstaston Shore, Merseyside, England Richard Smith
GN W= S 17 January 2017 Thurstaston Shore, Merseyside, England Richard Smith
GN W= S 30 January 2017 Thurstaston Shore, Merseyside, England Richard Smith
GN W= S 14 February 2017 Thurstaston Shore, Merseyside, England Richard Smith
GN W= S 11 April 2017 Frodsham Marsh, Chehire, England Bill Morton

Observer and images: WSM.