Overnight and early morning rain kept a visit to No.6 tank at bay until 9.30 am. The lay by at the north-eastern edge of the sludge tank was more than sufficient for the purpose of conducting my WeBS count. The added attraction of loads of low flying Common Swift does help when you’re watching from the banks.
The first brood of 10 ‘shelducklings’ with their parents was a first for the summer. Tufted Duck were back to something like their regular counts with 63 birds present. A raft of 10 drake and a single female Common Pochard joined the tufties. The Common Shelduck count was much reduced with only 111 birds. A drake Shoveler and 4 drake Common Teal were leftovers from last evening. The usual 43 Mallard and 64 Gadwall joined in the action as did 2 Little Grebe, 43 Coot, 2 Moorhen, 4 Mute Swan, 14 Canada Goose and 8 Grey Heron.
A female Marsh Harrier was seen over the reed beds. Nearby a Cetti’s Warbler serenaded during the course of the watch, while c100 Common Swift regularly whizzed past. and 60 Sand Martin were feeding low over the water.
A juvenile Little Grebe was on the ‘secluded pool’ and a pair of Marsh Harrier were both in the air together. There was also Common Buzzard and Kestrel along Lordship Lane, where the usual Reed Warbler and Bunting both were tuning up in the ditch alongside it. Butterflies produced Painted Lady and a single Brimstone were noted.
Observers: Paul Ralston (images 6-8), WSM (images 1-5).