An alphabetical list of species seen this morning are: 8 Avocet, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 23 Black-headed Gull, 34 Coot, 1 Cetti’s Warbler, 46 Gadwall, 38 Lapwing, 37 Mallard, 42 Common Shelduck and 2 Shoveler.
Observer and image 1: Joe (Chester).
A walk along Brook Furlong Lane and along the River Weaver this morning started with Goldfinch and a House Sparrow flock feeding their hungry broods. A pair of Bullfinch were again in the hedgerow and a Kestrel was watching from a post close by. Out on the river Canada Goose, Mallard, Common Shelduck and Gadwall were all feeding and a flock of 20 Coot were noted.
On to No.6 tank and Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap were seen and heard and a vocal Cetti’s Warbler was seen moving from bush to bush. c400 Black-tailed Godwit were at the waters edge while more Common Shelduck, Mallard, Gadwall and Shoveler were about and some of the Mallard are going into their moult and no longer look pristine. There were 13 Avocet were on the mitigation pool with a couple of Lapwing.
Along Lordship Lane the Reed Warbler continue to sing and one had a bill full of insects, A few bushes have been attacked by the Ermine Moth caterpillars and are striped bare of leaves with their frost like cobwebs. A fine display of Marsh Orchids can be seen at the north end of the tank.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-4).
Later in the evening I took my turn to look over No.6 and a good part of Paul’s godwit flock were either coming or going. An impressive show of birds filing out like a volley of artillery fire raining across the turbines towards the estuary. A flock of 17 Ringed Plover and 60 Dunlin were busily feeding on the damp margins of the waters edges. One particular beefy individual, a long-billed (female?) alpina was still in its non-breeding plumage.
Ducks were very much a feature of the pools and 67 Tufted Duck, a lone drake Common Pochard and 43 Gadwall were all present and accounted for.
A look over the pools on No.3 tank revealed 20 Avocet but little else of note.
The threatening rain brought down several hundred Common Swift but despite my thorough scanning of their forms in the vain hope of something different drew a blank. Perhaps a last grasp of unreality before this month dwindles away. A Cetti’s Warbler singing from the bramble bushes certainly brought me back to reality.
Observer: WSM (images 2-4).