An interesting mix of weather effecting the area today with periods of breezy sunshine, looming black clouds, thunder and lightening. It was particularly squeaky bum time while walking back to the car with lightening and thunder directly above us and a fully extended lightening (telescope and tripod) rod.
While myself and Sparky were walking around Lordship Lane and hence onto Moorditch Lane via a viewing stop overlooking No.6 tank Mark (Whipper) Gibson had earlier seen 1180 Black-tailed Godwit, c1500 Dunlin which were easily the biggest count of the autumn and potential carriers for a Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint or who knows what? A Knot and 200 Common Redshank where encouraging despite the rain.
Additionally, we saw 20 Tufted Duck and 4 Gadwall on the ‘splashing pool’ and another 20 Gadwall on the ‘phalarope pool;while a Yellow Wagtail zipped overhead. There were c200 Ringed Plover, a Ruff, a Greenshank and the Wood Sandpiper proving to be elusive now that birders have begun to show an interest still present on No.6 tank.
Also 3 Garganey with an assortment of Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Tufted Duck and Gadwall. A single Black-necked Grebe was out with the tufties for a brief period.
A flock of 20 Common Swift were heading into the teeth of the black thunder clouds moving through to the south.
Paul photographed a Marsh Harrier from the old sludge tank.
Mark also saw the juvenile Cuckoo hanging out on No.1 tank.
Observers: Mark Gibson, Paul Ralston (images 2 & 4 & 5), JS & WSM (images 1 & 3 & 6).