An after work ramble down to the far end of No.3 tank and back. There c500 Common Swift hawking low over the bushes that edge the embankment between No.6 & No.5 tank this evening.
Many of these birds flying so close they nearly took my breath away. Nothing on earth can make a flock of Swift disperse more quickly than a Hobby in stealth mode, and one duly applied the pressure hunting down one from the throng.
Ducks were busy doing what ducks do at this time of year and there were more Mallard and Gadwall than at any other period this year.
A walk further on produced several Avocet, an Oystercatcher, a few Black-tailed Godwit and a pair of ‘Lover (Little Ringed) Plover’ in the act of amore.
A couple of Cetti’s Warbler sounded out across the marsh, while a Marsh Harrier did its patrols.
One of the Brown Hare was not being so photogenic as of late.
Observer, videos and images: WSM
I was out this morning around the River Weaver. Again Blackcap were the most vocal warblers along Brook Furlong Lane, but were drowned out by a very loud Cetti’s Warbler. A family party of Long-tailed Tit made their way along the hedgerow while a Kestrel took an interest in there number.
A couple of Brown Hare and their leveret were noted during my walk.
On the river path both Reed and Sedge Warbler were commonplace and several Reed Bunting were on territory one of which was wearing a ring. A clutch of recently fledged Wren exploded from the vegetation as I walked by and the parent bird scolded me from the reed bed.
A male Stonechat sat along a fence and the first I have seen on the marsh for a while. A Common Snipe was flushed from the ‘shooters’ pool’ by a Canada Goose and its brood of goslings and a couple of Lapwing flew over my head calling loudly as their chicks hid in the reeds.
There were c30 Avocet were on the far river bank with several sitting tight. A pair of Common Shelduck with a single shelduckling were on the river the chick was being stalked by a Lesser Black-backed Gull and had to constantly dive to avoid becoming the next meal and no doubt happened to the rest of the brood.
Two Greenfinch were amongst a mixed flock of Goldfinch and Linnet.
Finally five additional Brown Hare were together in a field.
Observer and images: Paul Ralston.
An early start this morning around the River Weaver and No.6 tank.
A Fox vixen made her way along the pony paddock and slipped away in to the vegetation when it got wind of me.
There were Blackcap being the most vocal bird along the lane and were joined by Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat, Sedge and Reed Warbler.
Another highlight of the morning were four Brown Hare and it seems to be a good year for them on the marsh.
On the river the usual ducks were present and a pair of Great Crested Grebe look to have failed breeding as yet and 6 Mute Swan made their way to the Manchester Ship Canal.
A Common Buzzard was chased away from the river by a posse of noisy Oystercatcher and several Avocet.
Onto No.6 tank the Black-tailed Godwit numbers reached 590 were spread out over the shallow water with several 15 Ringed Plover (one of which had a retarded 1st winter plumage?) and 5 Dunlin being noted. Gadwall numbers have increased with 91 birds present. Tufted Duck reached 12 birds while Common Shelduck were much reduced and presumably busy elsewhere bring up their new families.
100’s Common Swift dropped down with the drizzle but some moved on .
The ‘phalarope pool’ had a dozen Black-tailed Godwit, a couple of Avocet and a pair of Lapwing with 2 chicks and the Eurasian Coot family. A pair of Gadwall, a Mallard and its brood and a Mute Swan.
Lordship Lane held more Reed and Sedge Warbler with Reed Bunting feeding young and the Oystercatcher still sitting tight.There were numerous singing Cetti’s Warbler rang out all over the place.
Observers: Paul Ralston (images 1-6), WSM (7-8).