29.04.17. Birdlog

The 36 Whimbrel on No.6 tank at dawn had all gone by 06:30 hrs. A Yellow Wagtail was on Rake Lane. There were 2 Grasshopper Warbler were reeling along Lordship Lane.

Things change rapidly on No.6. One minute there are no Black-tailed Godwit, then the next minute you look and there are 175. Yesterday I counted 470. Observer: JR.

A long weekend ahead and a family engagement later in the day and tomorrow meant a limited time in the field over the holiday period.

I set up above the northern banks of No.6 tank where the expected arrival from the advancing high tide out on the Mersey estuary was eagerly anticipated. A group of 200 Dunlin and a flock of 400 Black-tailed Godwit were already present but as circumstances transpired these were the highest counts of those species all day. It was 5 hours to the actual highest point of the tide but suddenly the whole of the flock were spooked and they flew off in scattered groups out to the river. It felt a little like being invited to a party and arriving on the wrong day. It was beginning to be a no-show.

Orange and black ruffed Ruff video: https://vimeo.com/215350708

The ducks were not too concern by the disturbance that affected the godwits and soon settled but there was no sigh of yesterdays Garganey but c100 Tufted Duck, c200 Common Shelduck, a pair of Pintail and 150 Common Teal were present.

With the approach of the incoming tide small parties of Black-tailed Godwit started to arrive back and with them came a few Dunlin, 23 Avocet and Ringed Plover. A thorough scan of the godwits did not unearth a single colour ringed bird but 5 Ruff more than made up for this by their colourful feather decorations. Five Whimbrel tumbled out of the sky and soon after an adult summer Mediterranean Gull dropped in to bathe with a party of Black-headed Gull before circling the tank and headed out to the river.

All this activity drew the attention of a passing Peregrine that made a poor attempt at attacking the godwits. A pair of Marsh Harrier were performing well in the distance.

Most of the summer migrants have effectively made their pressence known so far and both Cetti’s, Reed and Grasshopper Warbler were all heard singing on the marshes today.

Observers: Frank Duff, Paul Miller (images 5 & 8 & 10-11), Phil Oddy, WSM (images 1-4 & 6-7 & 9 and video).