An early start but not before PR had been on site prior to me. I walked along Moorditch Lane and immediately a Eurasian Hobby zipped through and headed out towards the M56 crusing the fast lane no doubt.
The track along the top of No.6 tank was again buzzing with Sedge and Reed Warbler, Blackcap and Common Whitethroat, so I had a sit on the bank between the ever diminishing (munching catterpillars) spindle bushes to scan the c400 Black-tailed Godwit that were wading through the far side of the shallow waters. No further was I half way through my count and a male Eurasian Cuckoo was singing from a bush above and to my right. I edge out of my concealment but the bird was hiding at the back of the bush. I didn’t want to disturb him so I got a recording which is included below.
A further scan showed up 45 Eurasian Coot, 82 Tufted Duck, 31 Gadwall and 38 Mallard. A Western Marsh Harrier was on its favourite perch before heading off.
I met up with Paul and we managed to hear the same or another Eurasian Cuckoo on the banks at the junction on No.6 & No.3 tank, peering over the top the Cuckoo caught sight of us both and flew further along the bank and remained out of sight but still audible.
The ‘phalarope pool’ was cattleless and birdless for a change, so we said our goodbyes and I retraced my steps back along the track. Despite the wind and grey clouds the air temperature wasn’t cold abd c200 Common Swift were joined by hundreds of Swallow feeding and chasing respective partners in a whirling mass.
A portly Weasal hestitated on the path infront of me before skulking away in the grass.
A further walk along a secluded track at the north end of the marsh revealed an area where 31 Pied Avocet, 43 Dunlin and 21 Common Ringed Plover were on an old sludge tank.
Observer: WSM (images 2-3 and sound recording).
In addition to the above sightings there were 3 pairs of European Stonechat at three sites on the marsh.
A pair of Common Ringed Plover and a single Little Ringed Plover were at the edge of the river and Pied Avocet were flying back and forth along the River Weaver to access the mudflats on the estuary. A pair of Great Crested Grebe were also the river.
There were plenty of Sand Martin, Barn Swallow and Common Swift hawking overhead.
Also 3 Brown Hare were noted during my walk.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1 & 4-9).