A Long weekend off ahead and an early start to my marsh walk. The River Weaver was quiet with just the usual Canada Goose flocks being present and likewise Mallard, Common Shelduck and a few Eurasian Teal on the water. There were 2 Common Sandpiper with a few Common Redshank, a single Common Ringed Plover and 5 Black-tailed Godwit were with a flock of c40 Northern Lapwing at the junction of the Weaver estuary and Manchester Ship Canal.
A flock of c60 Common Swift were hawking above the ship canal and Marsh Farm with a smaller number of Barn Swallow and martins.
On the ‘Canal Pools’ were c40 Eurasian Coot, 5 Mute Swan, a pair of Little Grebe were noted. On one of the hidden scrapes were c20 Northern Shoveler, a few Eurasian Teal and Mallard.
Also seen were c30 Black-tailed Godwit feeding in the shallow water, while several Eurasian Skylark were flushed as I walked by. The ‘phalarope pool’ held 6 Gadwall and 2 Green Sandpiper. A charm of c200 European Goldfinch were being kept in the air by a Eurasian Sparrowhawk patrolling the areal.
No.6 tank had a flock of c800 Black-tailed Godwit, c200 Common Redshank which rose as one when a pair of Common Buzzard and another Eurasian Sparrowhawk passed over the tank.
Ducks included Eurasian Teal, more Mallard, Common Shelduck and Tufted Duck with a single drake Common Pochard. Little Grebe tallied 11 birds and the long staying Black-necked Grebe.
Willow warbler and Chiffchaff were feeding near the ramp track and a family group of 7 Mistle Thrush (an uncommon species for the marshes) were feeding in the pony paddock on Moorditch Lane and a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew overhead.
Observer and images: Paul Ralston.