23.04.17. Birdlog

We had an engagement in Manchester with Maximo Park this afternoon so I took the opportunity to cash in on an early bird(watch) this morning. Arriving on No.5 tank to look over the north side of No.6 and the hugely impressive flock of c1000 Black-tailed Godwit were again bunched up close to the banks. I managed to get a peep at the colour ringed leg of a dozing Blackwit but the sleepy heads in the flock remained static and it was difficult to see both legs. This bird didn’t stir throughout the period of my time this morning so it was just the one colour combination noted. After preening for long periods the Bar-tailed Godwit spent most of the time asleep tucked in tightly within the other godwits.

Already present were small flocks of Dunlin with others arriving in dribs and drabs before they eventually reached a group of 450 birds. I was expecting to pick out the previous days Curlew Sandpiper but on this occasion it was absent (presumably relocated to Burton Marsh today?). The Redshank numbered 140 with a dozen Ruff. One particular male Ruff was strutting his stuff to a totally indifferent Reeve. I felt a bit of embarrassment for him after his rejection but we’ve all been there (haven’t we lads?). The Avocet groups reached c30 birds at various locations and 2 Whimbrel and a flock of Ringed Plover were on the drier ground.

The Marsh Harrier couple continues to be spotted but are ranging widely.

Video of Bar-tailed Godwit here: https://vimeo.com/214412121

Observer and images & video: WSM.

A walk around the marsh today resulted in 16 Wheatear and the first Whinchat of the summer. Four Grasshopper Warbler were ‘reeling’ away.

Over on the Weaver estuary there were 5 Common Sandpiper and a Swift zapped over. Close by there were three Wheatear on No.1 while 10 were present at Marsh Farm and a White Wagtail was seen. The days total brings a grand total of 29 Wheatear. General birding across the marsh produced 2-4 Cetti’s Warbler, 15 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler, 5 Blackcap, 18 Whitethroat, 13 Sedge and 6 Reed Warbler…Phew!

Observer: Alyn Chambers.

Additional sightings: Ron Brumby and Mike Turton.

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