An earlier start for the second instalment in my walks for Frodsham Town Council and their parish awareness initiative through a series of walks within the town area. After the initial safety notes we headed along Moorditch Lane but were soon halted by the warblers singing alongside us. A Chiffchaff and Whitethroat song comparison enabling everyone to get their ears accustomed to the background south of the walk ahead.
Arriving on the track between No.5 and No.6 tanks we just about managed to glimpse of a flock of Black-tailed Godwits that were heading back out to the estuary. A Common Sandpiper busily feeding along the edge of the eastern fringes did its best to blend in nicely with the pale brown mud it was walking along. There was a big reduction in the numbers of ducks with most now paired up and off to find their respective nesting sites. A few Tufted Duck, Common Shelduck, Common Teal, Gadwall and Mallard were the ones that could be seen.
Along the way Sedge Warbler were singing from the ditches while a Dunnock fed with a male and female Reed Bunting on the track ahead. Several more male Reed Bunting could be seen singing from the tops of scrubs and the reed beds.
The mitigation pools had a couple of nesting Coot with several paired up Gadwall and territorial Lapwing ‘pee-witting’ over the grassed areas.
The hoped for Marsh Harrier found the barmy warm weather to stifling and were not to be seen during the period we were there. A Peregrine that flew over may have been responsible for the premature departure of the godwits earlier?
The wet areas adjacent to Lordship Lane have recently been ploughed which is a great shame because a pair of Ringed Plover looked like they were settling to nest there. A Kestrel was taking the shade inside one of the mounted owl boxes while a few Common Buzzard were riding the thermals.
The walk ended where it started to the scratchy dancing tunes of a Whitethroat and easily the commonest summer migrant of the day.
It was good to share some of the more regular Spring migrants with a great bunch of people and hopefully they will take away some new-found knowledge and some good memories.
Observers: Frodsham Festival of Walks (Part two) walkers, Caroline Aston, Don Weedon and WSM (images 1 & 3-4).
A male Bullfinch flew over me along the track on Brook Furlong Lane. Whitethroat and Blackcap seem to be everywhere. The pipes on No.1 tank had 2 female and 1 male Wheatear, there were 4 more female Wheatear between the pipes and the Marsh Farm, while 2 Oystercatcher were on the Manchester Ship Canal.
Video of Wheatear here: https://vimeo.com/268304208
Observer: Paul Crawley (images 3 & 5).