01.01.18. Birdlog.

A fresh start to the new year and still some old friends hanging out to join us today. We decided a walk around No.6 tank was called for with the forecast predicted for 15.00 hrs to be wet and windy.

The first part along Moorditch Lane was uneventful except for a Great Tit feeding low at the base of an elder tree. The bird appeared healthy from its left hand side but once it turned its head it revealed an outbreak of avian pox over its orbital area. Although rendering it blind on that side of its head, it was nevertheless energetic and flew along the hedgerow unimpeded.

Further on along to Lordship Lane was rather quiet with a small tree harbouring a flock of Redwing and Fieldfare, with a Reed Bunting and a Stonechat being the only birds of note.

A little further still and nearing the slope track to No.4 the flooded fields had a few Curlew and Lapwing with both Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail choosing the area by the lane to feed.

Over at Spring Farm the c23 Whooper Swan herd was tucked in close to the hedgerows and were difficult to see clearly but they looked like the same number as yesterday (2017).

A couple of Common Buzzard were riding the wind above the sludge tank banks while two Marsh Harrier drifted from the east. These two were joined by a male a little later over the reed beds on six. Over above the Weaver estuary a pair of Peregrine were spiraling in a pair bonding session before alighting on the lip of the blue topped chimney. The above image taken a few days ago shows the female eating a Common Gull.

Another Stonechat was on No.3 tank while the leucistic Starling reappeared with the Starling flock feeding within the grazing cattle in the fields there.

Ducks on the waters of No.6 tank included the expected c318 Shoveler with c350-400 Common Teal. There were reasonable numbers of Pintail, Gadwall, Mallard, Common Shelduck, Common Pochard present, and not forgetting the two Festive Whistling Duck.

A nice walk before the rain set in for the day.

Observers: Sparky & WSM (and images), Jacqui & Idris Roberts.

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