Duck watching is always worth the effort and often scrutinising the flocks can occasionally turn up a few surprises.
About three weeks ago I came across two immature Scaup on No.6 tank from one of my counting sessions. These seaducks aren’t renowned for their site loyalty and they generally move on without lingering on the marses too long. The two that I found are still here and look well settled on the edge of the Common Pochard (39) and Tufted Duck (23) rafts.
The Shoveler flock are still retaining their big numbers with an impressive 358 birds and with 24 Pintail, 200 Common Teal, c100 Mallard, 21 Common Shelduck, 7 Gadwall and a couple of Fulvous Whistling Duck all make up for the lack of drier ground for the shorebirds we had during the late summer period.
A skein of 80 Pink-footed Goose flew in from the east at dusk.
Those shorebirds that were available were over on Ince marsh fields where a couple of thousand Lapwing were spooked from their rest by a marauding Peregrine. A flight of 78 Golden Plover flew off the salt marshes and circled the area before heading back out. A flock of 36 Redshank, 50 Curlew and 12 Common Snipe were also noted.
Birds of prey featured the pair of young Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Kestrel, 2 Merlin and 2 more Peregrine (male and female) perched up on top of the blue chimney at Weston Point.
Passerines included a roving band of Long-tailed Tit with Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and nearby on No.5 tank was a Stonechat.
The Starling roost was again remarkable, but not so remarkable was their dropping immediately into the night roost within the reed beds. There were no significant murmurations with birds moving from their main roost to relocate in the dark to another roost deeper into the bed.
Observer: WSM (and images).