I don’t really know what I was expecting from my watch over No.6 tank this evening but I was totally enthusiastic when I peered over the north bank to look out across the declining water line. The prolonged period of dry weather is making the sludge tank very, very interesting. It has been a few years since the water level has been this low and the continuing presence of summering Black-tailed Godwit is a fine example of what can happen when the water level is low during the migration season.
A flock of c500 Black-tailed Godwit were split into two groups. The first was below the south bank whereas the second group occupied the centre of the water. Birds came and went during the course of my watch but numbers started to increase before I departed. I wasn’t expecting to see any other shorebirds with the high tide being earlier in the day but 340 Dunlin managed to include a partial summer Sanderling and 2 Ruff. From the sky 4 Whimbrel dropped in for a bathe and brush up before they flew north calling on their way. Whimbrel have been quite common this spring, I even had one fly over my house yesterday.
A drake Garganey was with the Common Teal but did not seem settled and was ranging widely across the water. It eventually settled to preen below the bank long enough for me to get some photos. Other ducks that were on the tank included: 230 Common Shelduck, 67 Tufted Duck, 24 Shoveler, 56 Common Teal, 20 Gadwall and numerous Mallard.
A small group of Sand Martin and Swallow moved through with Sedge and Reed Warbler busy defending their territories while in the distance a Cetti’s Warbler song rang out loud. Nearby the mitigation pools on No.3 tank had 4 Avocet and a small number of Black-tailed Godwit.
Garganey video here: https://vimeo.com/216570214
Whimbrel video here: https://vimeo.com/216573084
Sanderling with Dunlins video here: https://vimeo.com/216575096
Observers: Colin Butler, WSM (images & videos).