I started my walk at Brook Furlong Lane this morning where Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Willow Warbler were moving along the hedgerow ahead of me. A fine Great Spotted Woodpecker sat above the old log on a telegraph pole and is still quite a scarce bird hereabouts.
The River Weaver was quiet for the time of year with just 12 Canada Goose, 7 Great Crested Grebe and a handful of Tufted Duck cruising the waters. The wader numbers were low with c30 Common Redshank, 4 Black-tailed Godwit and a single Common Sandpiper being the main species.
Along Alder Lane was just a single Raven sat in a tree near to Marsh Farm and 3 Common Buzzard circled overhead.
Onward to No.6 tank and the Black-necked Grebe was on the water at the north end with its attendant flock of juvenile Tufted Duck and c20 Little Grebe cohorts.
The highlight or even lowlight was an immature/female Mandarin sat on a submerged tree stump. A high end flock of 1138 Black-tailed Godwit were again nervous and took to the air a couple of times, but I didn’t notice any predators in the area? There were 25 Common Snipe feeding in the vegetation and a Greenshank was heard calling (another bird was at the scrapes on No.3 tank).
Walking along the track towards the ‘phalarope pool’ a Weasel crossed my path with a small rodent clamped in its jaws. On the pool just 4 Common Shelduck, 4 Gadwall, 2 Mallard and a single Common Snipe were present.
Continuing along Lordship Lane another 2 Weasel were seen chasing each other to and fro across the track. A couple of Yellow Wagtail were heard flying into the maize field.
The sultry hot steamy weather brought out thousands of flying ants which in turn attracted the attention of hundreds of Black-headed gulls swarming over the marsh.
Observers: Paul Ralston (images 1-4 & 7-8), Dermot Smith, WSM (video & images 5-6) & JS.