29.07.17. Birdlog

An early morning walk around No.6 tank passing Frodsham Score salt marsh and the Canal Pools. No.6 was very quiet with waders noticeable by their absence with only a single Black-tailed Godwit, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Ringed Plovers and a few Lapwing which were feeding in the shallow water. Duck numbers were also down with many leaving the tank and making their way out to the estuary. A large flock of Black-headed Gull on the water with a roost of c70 Lesser Black-backed were on the dry mud. There were 3 juvenile Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk active around the tank with Common Buzzard and Raven interacting in the summer breeze over No.3 tank.

Sedge and Reed Warbler were feeding their young as seen from the path and a family of Common Whitethroat were in the nettle beds. A pair of Jay could be were heard in the trees on the ramp to six but could not be seen.

A Green Sandpiper was on its usual pool on No.3. The pair of Stonechat were again along the canal path with Swallow, Sand Martin and Common Swift hawking over the Canal Pools. Skylark and Meadow Pipit were fairly common place in the sheep fields closeby. Walking back along Lordship Lane the corn has been cut and bailed with Wood Pigeon and Stock Dove feeding on the leftover grain.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-5 & 10).

I didn’t managed to get down to the marshes until mid morning so dipped on bumping into Paul. My walk out to the Weaver estuary took in the track along Brook Furlong Lane where the hedgerows were bouncing with birds most being juveniles of many species. Reed, Sedge and Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Long-tailed and Blue Tit and a family party of Bullfinch were all noted.

The River Weaver was alive with Sand Martin ahead of a rain front moving north and an estimate of c800 birds with 500 Common Swift and lesser numbers of Swallow. All of these aerial feeders were flying low over covering both the river and the adjacent fields on No.1 tank. A Wheatear was also present along the pipes there.

A couple of Peregrine were hopping on and off the tall blue topped chimney at the entrance to the Weaver sluices.

The Weaver estuary had 400 Black-headed gull and a good proportion of the huge Canada Goose herd that generally winter just over the Weaver sluice gates. A flock of 143 Tufted Duck and 30 Mallard  were also were present. 54 Redshank, 3 Common Sandpiper were with a male Ruff and 40 Black-tailed Godwit did their best to hide a sleeping Fulvous Whistling Duck. This exotic escape wildfowl was joined by a second bird 30 minutes later and is presumably two of the three that were here a couple of months ago?

Walking back I decided to see what No.6 tank might have on the build up to a tea time tide. On arrival a flock of 98 Black-tailed Godwit were busy feeding up while another Ruff joined the Lapwing flock and over the course of my watch Dunlin numbers increased from one bird to 81. A couple of Common Sandpiper were typically squabbling below the bank where I was watching from and were given the cold shoulder by an adult and juvenile Little Ringed Plover.

The Marsh Harrier was getting a hard time from the resident Raven troupe and almost going unseen without being noticed was a juvenile Whinchat on the fence line across No.5 tank.

Observer: WSM (images 1 & 6-9 & 11- 15).