I was out early this morning with a start at No.6 tank which held several hundred Canada Goose as well as good numbers of ducks but Bill will note them later. The mitigation pool on No.3 tank held Wigeon and Shoveler with small parties of Curlew passing overhead.
The walk alongside the flooded fields on Lordship Lane had a flock of c100 Curlew with a few Ruff in the mix. There was also family group of Mute Swan near the blue slurry tank with 5 cygnet and 2 adult. A small flock of Redwing were feeding in the hawthorn hedgerow.
A Peregrine was sat on its watch lookout from the Growhow Works and a Merlin was spotted over No.4.
Further numbers of Curlew and Ruff were in the stubble field alongside the Holpool Gutter. There were more swans at the far end of the gutter as I made my way along the path by the water course. I was surprised by a party of 7 Whooper Swan which passed silently by but overhead a faint call was uttered.
Out on the salt marsh there was a Marsh Harrier being harassed by one of several Raven and there Little Egret and a Great White Egret noted.
Observer: Paul Ralston (image 2).
I made my way along Brook Furlong Lane where I met Dave (Sorry, I forgot your surname again) who mentioned that he had seen a couple of Whooper Swan leave No.6 tank with some juvenile Mute’s. I guess these are the birds Paul had seen earlier?
A Cetti’s Warbler was calling from the hedgerow ditch but typically remained elusive. A band of roving Long-tailed Tit had a few Blue & Great in tow with a Goldcrest adding the its shrill tunes. A pair of Bullfinch and a few Chaffinch were also noted.
A trio of Pink-footed Goose were seen to drop onto the Weaver Bend and apart from a small number of Wigeon and Shoveler on the Weaver estuary sheltering from the strong winds blowing up river that was about the lot.
I eventually made my way to No.6 tank and managed to find some shelter from the blustery westerly causing the ducks present on the water below to keep safe on the open water. There were huge numbers of ducks today with 370 Wigeon, c900 Common Teal, 143 Mallard, 72 Pintail, 23 Gadwall, 156 Shoveler, 46 Tufted Duck, 17 Common Pochard, 1 Common Shelduck and 2 (unringed) Fulvous Whistling Duck.
It was a careful observation of the ducks in the difficult observation conditions but after 3 hours of watching most of the duck were scrutinised and countered. Small numbers of birds were coming and going so when a juvenile Marsh Harrier flew over followed by a Merlin and then a juvenile Peregrine which all combined to flush other ducks from their hiding. It was after such a disturbance a drake Green-winged Teal was picked out from the teal throng and stayed long enough to be seen by Roger Wilkinson twitching it from Chester.
A video of the FWD’s here: https://vimeo.com/240390194
A small flock of 5 Ruff and 16 Black-tailed Godwit flew in and out because the water level was to high for them.
Other birds of noted included a Great Spotted Woodpecker and another Cetti’s Warbler on No.5 with a third Cetti’s calling from No.6 tank.
Video of the teal from today: https://vimeo.com/240318990
Observer: WSM (images 1 & 3-10).