13.05.17. Birdlog

I started today along Brook Furlong Lane with the tunes of Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Cetti’s filling the leafy byway. Onward and the river beckoned where good numbers of Common Swift, Swallow and Sand Martin were darting over the water. Several Common Shelduck males were fighting over their suitors while a number of drake Gadwall were chasing a single female.

Waders were scarce on my visit to the estuary with only a Ringed Plover seen.

While I was sat on the river bank a couple of Brown Hare passed by closely followed shortly after by a third one.

Retracing my steps I ended up at No.6 tank and another Cetti’s Warbler was heard and both Reed and Sedge have already claimed their territorial patches. A pair of Common Pochard were with the Tufties.

The Coot nest on the Holpool Gutter now holds a clutch of young but these were being closely watched by a Common Buzzard which was sat on the bank nearby.

Back along Lordship Lane a flock of Stock Dove fed alongside the Rook and Jackdaw flock feeding on the newly seeded crop fields. There were more Reed and Sedge Warbler singing in the ditch and they were joined by a few pairs of Reed Bunting. The drainage ditch alongside No.6 was full of Fresh Water Shrimp which attracted the attention of a Grey Heron.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-5).

I (AC) totalled 76 species from my 9 hours on the marsh today: 21 Mute Swan on No. 6 tank with another 2 on River Weaver, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, 211 Common Shelduck, 54 Gadwall, 12 CommonTeal, 114 Mallard, A drake Pintail was on the River Weaver while on No.6 12 Shoveler, Tufted Duck tallied 67 and a pair of Common Pochard were present.

On No.1 there were 4 released Red-legged Partridge and several Pheasant.

Two Grey Heron on No. 6 tank while a Little Grebe was at the ‘Splashing Pool’, Great Crested Grebe – 3 on River Weaver and 1 on Manchester Ship Canal. There were two Marsh Harrier over No. 6 tank with a Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard noted. The usual low numbers of both Moorhen and Coot were again on No.6 tank.

Just a single Avocet on the Weaver Bend and 9 on the Mersey estuary. A solitary Oystercatcher joined the protective Lapwing parents guarding 8 chicks on the No.6 and two Ringed Plover flew in for a short sortie.

The Curlew which is generally scarce this time of year reached 4 on No. 6 tank this early morning. The Black-tailed Godwit flock reached 254 with a Whimbrel, 3 Redshank and 23 Dunlin a Greenshank circled yhe tank before heading back to the river which were all on No.6, while the Weaver Bend had a Common Sandpiper.

A Dunlin fell victim to a Peregrine on No. 6 tank which put the frighteners on all of the other waders here. A small flock of Black-headed Gull were also on 6 with Greater, Lesser Black and Herring Gull in small numbers.

A passage of Common Swift were hawking over the north bank of six while a couple of Kestrel were hovering nearby.

Other birds of note: Cetti’s Warbler – 3, 5 Song Thrush,  3 Whinchat – 3 by Redwall Reedbed and 2 Wheatear  by Marsh Farm and a Grey Wagtail on Weaver.

Observers: Alyn Chambers (image 9), WSM (images 1 & 6-8).