A pre-tide watch over No.6 tank in a biting north-westerly wind revealed most of the birds sheltering in the only available space that reduced the wind speed, and that was within the flooded daisy beds. There was 11 Tufted Duck, 21 Common Shelduck, c50 Northern Shoveler, c200 Eurasian Teal and a smattering of Mallard.
The big surprise was a flock of c400 Black-tailed Godwit (they’re back!!!) tightly packed on the edge of the flooded vegetation along with a Knot and some Dunlin. A couple of Marsh Harrier were quartering the reed beds and looked settled.
I continued my walk out to view the incoming tide on the southern Mersey salt marshes. It was very difficult to find an area that afforded some shelter, but I managed to secrete myself deep into the bank and watched the spectacle unfold ahead of me.
A Great Egret flew out to an area of flooded grassland where hundreds of Eurasian Wigeon were taking advantage of the seeds dispersed by the rising water. There were big numbers of Common Shelduck with Pintail and Eurasian Teal adding to the throng. Waders were on the move and a flighty flock of c300 Golden Plover were struggling against the strong wind.
A bedraggled Fox quickly made a retreat to the drier ground to wash off its muddy coat.
The Raven were again enjoying their tumberling food dropping games over the banks of Frodsham Score against the backdrop of Hale lighthouse across the river on the darkside.
A female Merlin shot over my head after its quarry while deep in the reed beds a Chiifchaff was singing while a Cetti’s Warbler made its pressence known. Part of the flock of Black-tailed Godwit made an early departure from their high tide roost on No.6 tank. The flock flew over and like a tight bunch of flying darts they headed back to the estuary.
A walk back along Lordship Lane failed to produced the Whooper Swan herd and there was little else of note.
Observer: WSM (images).