I was out this morning with a start at the west side of the marshes at Brook Furlong Lane and from there along the River Weaver and back around to No.6 tank.
Brook Furlong produced a few Chiffchaff, Blackcap and a Bullfinch all of which made their presence known vocally.
A Marsh Harrier was over Redwall reed bed much to the consternation of the local corvids and Lapwing. A couple of dozen Common Swift were speeding over the river and passing close over my head as I disturbed insects from the long grass ahead of me. A pair of Avocet were alarm calling on the other side of the river while 3 Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper were at the waters edge. The river had Tufted Duck, Common Shelduck, Mallard, Gadwall and a pair of Common Teal which were with the non-breeding Canada Goose and (16) Mute Swan herd.
Plenty of Raven and Common Buzzard were patrolling the perimeter of the salt marsh and a flock of c100 Black-headed Gull were flying up river.
A family of recently fledged Pied Wagtail were near the ‘Pumping Station’ and the usual Mute Swan pair were still guarding their nest but were sound asleep.
A Little Ringed Plover was on the ‘phalarope scrape’ near the ‘Splashing Pool’ and a Marsh Harrier was seen flying over No.4 and 6 tanks.
Along the edge of Lordship Lane there were many singing Sedge and Reed warbler singing and a pair of agitated Reed Bunting were perched nearby. A Brown Hare was seen to make its way through a crop field in the area.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-4).
There were c300 Black-tailed Godwit flying over No.1 tank. A Meadow Pipit with a bill full of food was on the wires.
A male Marsh Harrier hunted over the shooters’ pools and Avocet were calling over Weston Marsh and 3 Common Swift over the Weaver Bend. A Cetti’s Warbler was along the lane as were Blackcap and Chaffinch. Blackcap are all over the marshes as are Whitethroat.
The ‘shitigation’ area on No.3 tank had 50 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Ringed Plover until the female Marsh Harrier spooked them flying over on its way west. A Yellow Wagtail was also heard whilst I stood in a newly created pool of my own perspiration (you’ll probably get more chance of attracting waders to your own puddle than the above pools. eds).
Butterflies had the usual feel about them with Peacock, Orange tip, Red Admiral, Small and Green-veined White and Small Tortoiseshell.
Observer: Paul Crawley (images 5-7 &12).
We did a walk around No.6 tank in sultry weather conditions where a brooding thunder belt sounded off to the south. There wasn’t really much to add to the other sightings but an invasion of Ermine Moth caterpillars feeding on three Spindle bushes along Lordship Lane showed their advance from total defoliant to about to defoliage.
No.6 tank didn’t have any Black-tailed Godwits on our afternoon walk but a lone Oystercatcher spent some time preening on the baked mud of the receding shallow waters.
It was funny to see some of the 87 Common Shelduck lazing out with a few resting sheep on the edge of the pool. A few Tufted duck, 32 Gadwall and 107 Mallard were the only other species noted.
Observers: Sparky & WSM (images 8-11).