30.04.17. Birdlog

An early start this morning and a whistle-stop tour of No.6 tank. There was no sign yet of any Little Gulls or Black Terns that have featured both side of the river boundary this morning, so an update later will be required as and if any appear during the day ahead.

The flock of c300 Black-tailed Godwit were tucked in close to the southern banks of the sludge tank out of the brisk south-easterly that blow across the marshes. A small number of Ruff were present with 12 Avocet and the Redshank flock.

A male Marsh Harrier was watched moving east over Lordship Marsh.

The usual ducks were still present with the Tufties increasing to 114 birds and this slight increased in numbers may have been responsible for 8 very wary Common Pochard being present this morning. Suffice to say soon as they became aware of my presence they took flight and were led by the only female. All of them flew out to the Weaver Bend area (where no doubt the Black Tern or Little Gull is waiting to be found?

A Yellow Wagtail buzzed over head in an easterly direction.

Observer: WSM (images 1-3 & 7 & 9).

I started at Brook Furlong Lane once again this morning where Cetti’s, Reed and Sedge Warbler could be heard. Continuing along to the River Weaver and another Cetti’s Warbler was calling close by . A single Whimbrel was in the fields close to Redwall reedbed while Sand Martin, Swallow were hawking over the water and a lone Swift passed by. The river had Tufted Duck, Mallard, Gadwall and Common Shelduck with many Canada and Greylag Goose. Herring and Great Black-backed Gull were on gosling patrol while Raven scoured the river banks for something similar. 4 Common Sandpiper were at the river edge along with 2 Oystercatcher and several Redshank.

Two Yellow Wagtail flew over the Manchester Ship Canal and settled on Frodsham Score salt marsh, another 4 more dropped on to the bank near where i was sitting. 12 Wheatear were also on the canal bank. A Third Cetti’s Warbler was calling as I made my way around the tank.

Observer: Paul Ralston (4-6 & 8).

So, after bumping in to Bill on the marsh this morning, he encouraged us to add any other sightings from our day… A male Marsh Harrier was out over the Frodsham Score getting hammered from all the Lapwings around, a Little Ringed Plover on the mitigation area of No.3 tank, 8 male Ruff and 3 Reeves in amongst the Black-tailed Godwit flock, with a couple of the males starting to display.

We continued towards the Marsh Farm, there were 5 Greenland Wheatear, including a gorgeous male! A Reed Warbler singing by old log, and at least 8 Sedge Warbler in the reeds toward the Weaver Bend, while we were there a Whimbrel dropped in to the former Shooters’ pools, and after its seven note whistle it headed toward No.6. There was a Common Sandpiper on the bend, and good numbers of Orange Tip Butterflies. A fairly constant passage of Swift and Swallow was in evidence throughout the morning. A couple of Whitethroat were spotted, and up to 10 Blackcap were having a singing practice at various locations, a lovely, if breezy day.

Observers: Paul and Daph Whorton.

After our family engagement Sparky and myself decided we would take a hike and the decision to walk along the tracks of Frodsham Marsh was purely my own. Shortly after it started to rain so the waterproofs were thrown into the back seat of the car and we drove along the track of No.5 to look over the viewing area on six. A group of 13 Ruff included some newly decorated males with ‘Mr White’ taking centre stage from ‘Agent Orange’ of yesterday (who incidentally was nowhere to be seen today). The numbers of Avocet haven’t change from this morning and most of the godwit flock have vacated the area.

If you regularly watch over No.6 tank it can appear at first to hold the same type of birds but life here is constantly changing. The flock of 25 Mute Swan were not here earlier and the 1st summer Little Gull (subtle pink flush to its underparts) was definitely fresh in. The gull was watched hawking over the water in the centre of the tank before coming closer and then settling with some Avocet for a few minutes but mystically vanished when FD arrived!

Observer: WSM.