13.07.17. Birdlog

Straight after work I made by way down to the marshes a few hours after a mid afternoon tide out on the River Mersey. I was hoping ¬†there would be enough shorebirds still lingering on No.6 sludge tank to keep me entertained…and there was.

A quick look over the eastern part of the tank where perhaps the water is at its deepest there was a circular flock of 159 Tufted Duck. It was strange behaviour to find them in this formation and I suspected that they had been scared off (perhaps) the Weaver estuary earlier? Whatever the reason they were presumably non-breeding birds? A female Tufted was with 8 ducklings below the bank so some are breeding here. A gathering of 14 Little Grebe were mostly juvenile birds that had been born on this tank and a healthy population at that.

The Black-tailed Godwit flock were back in their rightful place gathered on and in the western section of water. There were again various stages of plumage moult from handsome orange-billed russet red post breeders, to large pale watered down tea coloured non-breeders. Hiding in their throng were the 3 Ruff and 100 Redshank, so even the latter are beginning to pass through here now. A flock of 230 summer plumaged Dunlin were of various sizes and bill lengths but no sign of any Curlew Sandpiper or Little Stint just yet.

One of the juvenile Marsh Harrier was sat low down in the trees with only its head visible.

Observers: Arthur Harrison, WSM (images).