There was a big tide out on the Mersey estuary at 13.40 hrs so I was in plenty of time sat waiting on the south bank of No.6 tank. A steady trickle of Black-tailed Godwit were joining in with a flock of c550 already present. Those that were sporting their summer colours were some of the most impressive plumaged birds I’ve seen here all Spring. The majority were non-breeders and subsequently here for the Summer.
The high tide didn’t produce anything worthy of its 9.7 metres despite the salt marshes getting a good soaking. The 20 Ringed Plover and 12 Dunlin were late lingerers and included 3 frosty birds which I guess MSG would describe as ‘arctica’ candidates.
A Little Egret was attempting to concealed itself amongst the godwits but a lumbering Grey Heron was given a wide berth.
As I have already mentioned it was a rather slow and lethargic wader roost but it did give me the opportunity to admire the splendid plumage’s on show. The threatened rain didn’t materialised but a fresh south-easterly breeze kept the temperature down.
The ducks were all busy paired up and feeding and included: 60 Gadwall, c100 Mallard, c50 Common Shelduck, 70 Tufted Duck and 5 drake Common Pochard with a single female.
The mitigation pools on No.3 tank held 15 Avocet and the odd Gadwall.
The female Marsh Harrier glided through taking a tour of the reed beds before heading off to the south.
A female Reed Bunting had a bill full of bugs and Whitethroat were scolding from the nettle beds while a Cetti’s Warbler rang out loud.
Observer: WSM (images 1-11 & 16).
I started this morning along Brook Furlong where a pair of Bullfinch flew across the lane and disappeared in the brambles. The song of a Cetti’s Warbler burst from the hedgerow, while a Brown Hare skipped its way through a field of Buttercups.
A flock of Starling were busy feeding their hungry young in the cattle fields by the River Weaver and Reed Warbler were singing along the ditch. Out on the river the Tufted Duck, Common Shelduck, Mallard and Gadwall were all in good numbers. A pair of Great Crested Grebe are still present here.
A Great Black-backed Gull made an attempt at reducing the Canada Goose surplus by snatching a gosling off the water in front of its angry parents. There were even more gulls waiting for their chance. Two pairs of Oystercatcher and a pair of Ringed Plover were alarm calling as I walked along the river bank.
A light phase Common Buzzard sat on a post staring idly at the ground below, while above a Skylark belted out a tune.
A couple of hundred Black-tailed Godwit were feeding out on the estuary mud and they were later seen dropping on to No.6.
Along Moorditch Lane there were singing Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap and in the ditch alongside a Mallard had a large brood of ducklings.
Painted Lady butterfly have begun to arrive and several were feeding on thistle heads at the south end of the sludge tank and a Common Blue Damselfly sat for a photo. A couple of young Carrion Crow which were not long out of their nest were seen crash landing in the trees along Lordship lane.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 12-15).