22.09.18. Birdlog.

Not great but not bad today. There were 41 Black-tailed Godwit, 14 Lapwing, 1 Ruff, Shoveler, Common Teal, Mallard and Pied Wagtail on No.6 tank, a pale Common Buzzard on No.3 with Curlew and Starling flock being spooked by an unseen raptor.

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The pipes and the track up to the Marsh Farm had 3 female Wheatear with a male Stonechat and a few House Martin and Swallow flying through. Goldfinch were all over the marsh in largish flocks with a few Meadow Pipit, a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over No.6 later on and 2 Jay were by the motorway bridge.

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A Mute Swan did its best to take my head off my shoulders.

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Observer: Paul Crawley (images 2-6).

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The nights are drawing in and with just three hours to kill on the marsh after work today I walked out to the Weaver Bend baring in mind the strong winds and seabirds featuring heavily on the coast locally. In previous years I’ve found Grey Phalaropes on the River Weaver but today was not to be repeated and a Common Sandpiper was the nearest in size I could muster. There were plenty of Tufted Duck with both Gadwall and Mallard to bolster their numbers. A small flock of 8 Great Crested Grebe were tucked up close to the Weaver estuary and both Black-tailed Godwit (132) and Ruff (2) were happily feeding on the sandy beach. A further 40 godwit were on the Weaver Bend.

Walking back along the track bordering the river and a juvenile Whinchat popped out on top of some vegetation and was most welcome being rather scarce on the marshes this year. A juvenile Reed Warbler skulked deep in the reed bed while Chiffchaff were contact calling in the trees.

Wearily I trudged up to Marsh Farm to check the pipes and the viewpoint looking across the Mersey estuary. A very confiding juvenile Wheatear was on the pipes then perched conveniently on the sheep hut nearby.

Looking across the mudflats on the River Mersey and c600 Black-tailed Godwit were widespread with hundreds of Redshank, Curlew and what looked like thousands of Common Shelduck.

Not a bad return for three hours birding after a busy day at work.

Talking of which the Norwegian ringed Black-headed Gull was back for its 4th year at Spike Island, Widnes. Also a Kingfisher in the wet dock at this site.

Observer: WSM (images 1 & 7-8).

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