A walk around No.6 tank and the Weaver Bend today started with a blast from the first of several Cetti’s Warbler as I parked alongside the model flying field on Lordship Lane. There were Sedge and Reed warbler still in song with Common Whitethroat and Blackcap.
A Western Marsh Harrier was hunting over No.4, another was perched on No.6 and yet another bird was noted approaching No.6 high up from the east and a pale morph Common Buzzard was hunting in the same area.
On No.6 tank were c20 Tufted Duck and 2 Common Shelduck were on the ‘splashing pool’ while the ‘phalarope pool’ was devoid of birdlife. Common Swift and Barn Swallow were numerous over the fields which drew the attention of a Hobby which disappeared over the bank in pursuit of a swallow.
The Black-tailed Godwit were feeding in the shallows in reduced numbers c150 and a flock of c80 Northern Lapwing and a dozen Pied Avocet and several Common Ringed Plover, one Northern Lapwing parent had 4 recently hatched chicks which took shelter under her as the rain started to fall. A Western Yellow Wagtail was seen carrying food across the reed bed and another was on Lordship Lane.
Walking along Brook Furlong Lane and a pair of Eurasian Bullfinch were noted and one of the mixed singer Willow Warbler was vocal near to the log. I had a brief glimpse of a Common Cuckoo leaving its perch on the pipe line on No.1 tank heading over towards Redwall reed bed but a search of the area couldnt locate it.
There were 6 Great Crested Grebe all adults on the River Weaver which was quiet with very few gulls noted. A Gadwall with 6 youngsters was on the far side amongst the Common Shelduck and Pied Avocet. Hundreds of Common Swift and smaller numbers of Barn Swallow and Sand Martin were skimming the surface of the river and a pair of Common Raven passed overhead cronking but were ignored by the Pied Avocet for once.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-3).
I paid a visit to the marsh after work walking along Moorditch Lane to the outer reaches of No.3 tank and its ‘phalarope pool’. The pool was desperately forlorn with only a single Pied Wagtail for company.
A Common Cuckoo followed me at a safe distance along the fenceline that runs parallel with the dirt track and was observed flying down to the recently mowed field to catch Drinker Moth caterpillars.
A juvenile Reed Bunting looked splendid in its new livery and brief glimpes of both Sedge Warbler and Common Whitethroat meant they were busy tending to their young.
Paul had already done a good job with his count from No.6 tank and I can only add 12 Common Pochard, 43 Eurasian Teal and 14 Gadwall. A couple of Western Yellow Wagtail were agitated by my mere presence and flew over my head calling excitedly. They obviously had young nearby.
Observer: WSM (images 4-7).