I was out this morning around No.4 and No.6 tanks starting at Lower Rake Lane. There were Chaffinch and Reed Bunting were active in the hedgerows along the lane and a Grey Heron stood out in the middle of a field. A pair of Grey Wagtail were feeding along the Holpool Gutter with several Pied Wagtail close by.
Along the Manchester Ship Canal path and Eurasian Coot and its chicks were in a pool alongside No.4 and a Western Marsh Harrier drifted over and made its way out to Frodsham Score.
There were anglers on the ‘Canal Pools’ which resulted in fewer sightings, but a pair of Mute Swan and a pair of Great Crested Grebe were noted. A Northern Wheatear (Greenland form) and several Eurasian Skylark were also present.
Another Northern Wheatear was seen close to the ‘phalarope pool’ as was a Common Redshank which was still getting harassed by the resident Northern Lapwing. Also a feature was again Western Reed and Sedge Warbler being vocal with the Sedge’s happy to show themselves, while the Reed’s kept out of sight.
On No.6 were several hundred Black-tailed Godwit sharing the pool with 8 Pied Avocet, 8 Red Knot, c60 Dunlin 2 Eurasian Oystercatcher and a Common Ringed Plover could be heard but not located.
Several Cetti’s Warbler were heard on my walk with more Western Reed and Sedge Warbler with Common Whitethroat noted along Lordship Lane.
A pair of joggers making their way along Lower Rake Lane let their large dogs run wild over the fields disturbing the ground nesting birds.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-5).
During this period of restricted lockdown there hasn’t been a BTO WeBS count for the last couple of months, so today I made an attempt to add to our citizen science inputs for the BTO. All of what was mentioned earlier by PR added to the count for No.6 tank, and different times produced different counts. I estimated that the flock of scattered feeding Black-tailed Godwit numbered 834 with a single Pied Avocet, 8 Red Knot including a mostly full plumaged bird and one with some red patches on its flanks),19 Common Ringed Plover and 150 Dunlinwere also seen. Also noted 3 Western Yellow Wagtail shimmering white hot on the tank.
A Western Marsh Harrier drifted over and a Common Redshank was obviously concerned by the cattle drinking from the ‘phalarope pool’. I heard a Little Ringed Plover but failed to see it. A couple of Western Yellow Wagatil put in a performance.
Observers: JS & WSM (image 6).