The first singing Yellowhammer for many a year between the ramp to No.6 tank and the motorway fields at 06.00 hrs. There were 18 Stock Dove in crop fields in the same area as the bunting.
Observer: Paul Miller.
A walk out to the Weaver estuary battling my way through the thick razor-sharp reed leaves and spitting out a mouth full of lacewings and midges, I emerged like the explorer Livingston from the thick foliage to see the River Weaver before me. A large flock of Black-headed Gull were busy feeding over the water presumably picking up insects from the water’s surface. A couple of 1st summer Little Gull were easy to pick out from the gull flock and they both flew up and down the river from the Weaver Bend to the Weaver estuary.
There was lots of duck activity with a few Common Shelduck broods looking like fluffy Everton Mints. I would estimate that there was c200 Common Shelduck on the river this evening and several with small shelducklings. Also 3 Drake and a female Common Pochard, 163 Tufted Duck, 100 Mallard, 67 Gadwall, 4 Little and 2 Great Crested Grebe. A couple of Redshank were feeding along the edge of stony shoreline.
A look around the ‘bend’ brought out a pair of Lapwing with a brood of 6 chicks, a nesting pair of Oystercatcher, 33 Avocet adults with at least six pairs with various sized young, from fluffy chicks to brown and white juvenile birds. It is fortunate for these birds that they have bred on the private side of the river with access restricted to working personnel only. A Little Ringed Plover put in an appearance and 35 Black-tailed Godwit were on the rarely exposed muddy island on he ‘bend’. Overhead numerous Common Swift were brought down by the heavy cloud and freshening NNW breeze.
A walk along one of the lanes and at least 3 Cetti’s Warbler were in full voice. A Fox casually strolled along the lane and a Badger (CB) took the opportunity to take in some sheltered sunshine.
The Black-tailed Godwit flock of c500 on No.6 tank were forced to the wing by a passing Common Buzzard and those that returned soon settled to feed within the sheltered sunny eastern corner. There were a few Black-headed Gull loafing around but an adult summer Mediterranean Gull flew in from the south-east but didn’t stop and headed straight to the Mersey estuary. A pair of Oystercatcher and the remaining Lapwing were often flying at the passing corvids. A female Marsh Harrier flew over from the north and headed towards the motorway.
It was interesting to see the Emirates A380 aeroplane before it disappeared into thick cloud above Rocksavage works en route to exoctic climes.
Observer and images: WSM.
A Barn Owl was spotted flying along the recently mowed fields.
Observer: Colin Butler.