Lucky sevens this evening with some fresh-faced birds on the menu. The weather today was a bit murky and muggy with small patches of watery blue sky peering out from the low clouds. When I arrived I typically had the place to myself only sharing it with a bunch of shorebirds present on and in the dwindling waters on No.6 sludge tank. The majority of waders were 71 Redshank with 3 splendidly plumaged male Ruff in their midst. A couple of Avocet were with a dozen or so Black-tailed Godwit which got me wondering where the other godwits had got to while I was away on my jollies?
The 6 Ringed (1 juvenile) were busy defending the rights to feed against 4 adult and 2 juvenile Little Ringed Plover on the wetter margins of the tank. There were 37 Dunlin two in non-breeding plumage and one of the rest in summer dress had rustic staining to its underparts. I wonder if that was staining from its feeding grounds further north or east? A Green Sandpiper was calling from the bank below where I was watching from and it nervously flew out to find a more secluded spot to feed.
A pair of Common Pochard were with 34 Tufted Duck and 9 Common Teal were with 63 Mallard and 5 Cormorant in the eastern area of the tank.
A short visit this evening was rewarding and it’s good to know things we be moving in earnest in the next month or two.
Observer and images: WSM.
I started today along Brook Furlong Lane where several Chiffchaff were still singing along the way down to the river. A Badger had dug out a bee’s nest from the bank and must have suffered for its sweet dessert. Along the river bank a small flock of Black-tailed Godwit were feeding and a Ringed Plover joined their company.
There were loads of butterflies out in force with Comma and Meadow Brown just a couple of species noted along the lane.
There were 4 Common Sandpiper dotted about the river and a small colony of Sand Martin were busy feeding their young.
Over on the Mersey Estuary there was well over a thousand moulting Canada Goose (continue their world domination of this corner of north-west England) marching out across the mud flats. A few of the younger stragglers were running to catch up with their parents. Raven are always present out on the salt marshes but it was nice to see against a cobalt blue sky for a change.
A quick look over No.6 tank and c200 Black-tailed Godwit were resting with a flock of Lapwing and a small number of Dunlin.
Observer and images: Paul Ralston.
There were 13 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plover, 5 Redshank, numerous Black-tailed Godwit, 47 Shelducklings and a new brood of 9 on No.6 tank today. Also present there were 5 Little Grebe joining those birds mentioned. A Lapwing with a newly emerged chick was present on the mitigation area. The 33 Sand Martin seen could be local breeders, 3 House Martin and 20 Swift made up the rest.
Observer: Mark (Whipper) Gibson.
An early evening walk around No.6 tank with a Chiffchaff still calling on Moorditch Lane and a family of Common Whitethroat in the hawthorns. Two female Common Pochard were in with the Tufted Duck flock and several broods of ‘Shelducklings’ were again out on the water. Both Mallard and Gadwall were present in good numbers and a lone male Common Teal was seen. A family of Little Grebe were close to the bank and c800 Black-tailed Godwit were feeding in the shallows with a dozen or more Dunlin, several Redshank seen while a Curlew was heard overhead but not located. A pesky Jay was searching the reed bed for unattended warbler chicks.
The female Marsh Harrier was sat in a bush in the reed bed while the male was seen over No.4.
A Common Buzzard was hunting Kestrel style over No.3. A pair of Stock Dove have made use of one of the owl boxes on the marshes. A tiny toadlet made its way across the dusty lane and Reed Warbler was quietly singing in the ditch close by.
Observer and image: Paul Ralston.
A walk around No.6 tank this evening was uneventful. A Chiffchaff was calling near the ramp and a couple of Reed Warbler were singing in the ditch. A parent Moorhen was keeping an eye on its young as I walked by (as if!). A Blackcap with 2 young were in the bushes next to the ‘Splashing Pool’ and the male Marsh Harrier was being escorted off the premises by three pairs of lapwing. No godwits(!) were seen on 6 where there was just a single Avocet, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Redshank and several Lapwing. The wildfowl fared better with good numbers of Common Shelduck with their young and many Tufted Duck, Mallard, Gadwall and a single Common Teal were on the ever shrinking water level. A solitary Mute Swan joined the action.
Observer: Paul Ralston.