A trundle along the edge of No.5 tank failing to avoid the brutal biting Clegs out mugging from the long grass.
A look over No.6 tank with the water level still receding and combined with the heat of the day I saw 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 60 Mallard, 7 Tufted Duck, 3 Common Teal and 3 drake Common Pochard cooling off on the muddy spit at the east end of the sludge tank. A further 3 drake Common Pochard (normally scarce in summer), 12 Tufted Duck, 4 Common Teal and 3 Shoveler were lazing out on the water.
A flock of 412 Black-tailed Godwit were on the distant edge of the water with a non-breeding plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit in tow, the latter has been here all year so I assume it’ll stay with the other summering godwits. A Little Ringed Plover was calling off in the distance while over on the ‘shitigation’ an additional flock of 220 Back-tailed Godwits were spooked from their cover by a maurading male Marsh Harrier. A couple of Avocet were watched preening on the drying out pool but didn’t linger and flew off to the estuary when disturbed by Sheep roaming freely here.
There was plenty of passerine activity but the highlight was a handsome male Yellow Wagtail.
Butterfly activity included some Painted Lady with on refusing to budge from the path ahead of me.
A set aside strip of wildflowers sowed along the edge of a field east of Hale lighthouse added a much-needed splash of colour to one of the best walks (Hale Park woods to Within Way) in the whole of Cheshire. I know I’ve walked the majority of routes in Cheshire.
Observer and images: WSM.