I am making the most of my week off work and today I put in another walking trip around the marsh starting off at Brook Furlong Lane where the usual warblers were noted.
I came across 3 Song Thrush eggs lay broken on the ground before me and were presumably the work of a an opportumist corvid as there were plenty of Western Jackdaws and Magpie in the area, but we don’t want to jump to conclusions without clear evidence.
The first juvenile European Starling were noisily begging for food off itsr parents in the fields by Redwall reed bed and were soon targeted by a Eurasian Sparrowhawk. A group (mostly drakes) Common Shelduck were in a circle on the I.C.I tank in a fighting like rut for the right to sire this years young.
A solitary gosling was lonesome on the river bank and when it eventually made its way out to the nearest pair of Canada Goose on the river they rejected it. A small number of Pied Avocet made their way along the river on the way to the Weaver Estuary where a single Common Sandpiper and Common Ringed Plover were joined by a pair of Eurasian Oystercatcher
The lonely Pink-footed Goose was again on the far bank of the Manchester Ship Canal and a Northern Wheatear flew across to join it. A floating crane was berthed at the Weaver Sluices with maintenance work in progress. Sand Martin and Barn Swallow were busy hawking over the ship canal and fields and a couple of European Stonechat on the marsh were active feeding their brood.
On 6 a flock of c57 Dunlin, 8 Red Knot, 4 Pied Avocet and c300 Black-tailed Godwit were feeding up before moving on.
A Brown Hare sat tight keeping its form like a coiled spring but kept its nerve and stayed put as I walked by.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-7).
I didn’t get the opportunity to go to the marsh until much later in the day, but it was rewarding with an additional Red Knot to add to Paul’s earlier count of 8 birds.
A flock of 85 summer Dunlin are increasing daily and today’s count of Black-tailed Godwit reached a recent high of 884 birds. A couple of Eurasian Oystercatcher dropped in briefly.
Common Swift numbers again reached into their hundreds with birds sything close over the banks and several in multiple mating ritual mid-air chases. Cetti’s, Reed and Sedge Warbler all added to a fine sound backdrop before I eventually headed home. There were upwards of 4 Western Yellow and a single Pied Wagtail on the marshy parts of the tank.
The Western Marsh Harrier was again sat in its position before gracing us with an elegant aerial flight.
Observer: WSM (images 1 & 8-14).
RIP Tommy Morton.