I received a text message from Paul Crawley of a Redstart on the pipes that cross No.1 tank, by the time I had arrived at the spot he had re-identified it has a female/1st summer Black Redstart. It has been nearly 40 years since my last one here so it was great to have had the opportunity in getting this on my 21st Century list.
The species have bred locally but the site is in accessible to the public and this could be a bird en route to that area? A Cetti’s Warbler gave a brief burst of song from two locations.
Paul and I travelled up to the Ince Marsh fields where there are proposed developments, again the fringes of the marshes are being chewed away by big business. There was a Wheatear in the fields off Lordship Lane on the way and the Ince area had the pale morph Common Buzzard circling over and an adult female Peregrine high over head. A look across Frodsham Score proved to be rather lacklustre with a couple of Little Egret being the only slight diversion.
Paul went back for a second helping of the Black Redstart while I continued along the hot dusty track that separates No.6/4/3/5 tanks. A few ducks were sweltering in the heat but the receding mitigation pools on No.3 held very little. A couple of Marsh Harrier were lazily flapping over and the ringed Kestrel was seen again.
The area of mud on No.6 tank is attracting Black-tailed Godwit flocks again with c800 present during the period I was watching over them. One bird slowly revealed its coloured leg rings ((Dutch bred?) continental Limosa limosa was ringed in Hernan Cortés, Extremadure, SW Spain 15.02.17 and also seen in Ireland in 2017. It took nearly an hour for the bird to wade out of the belly deep water for me to get the full colour combination. A couple of Bar-tailed Godwit were hiding amidst the flock and gave some great views whilst they preened. A solitary Dunlin spent most of the time swimming through the godwits legs and a Whimbrel flew over whistling.
A plethora of butterflies included: loads of Orange-tip, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Green-veined White and Brimstone’s.
Observers: Paul, Crawley (images 1-3 & 6-8), WSM (images 4-5).