The idea of walking around No.6 tank was soon curtailed with the unseasonal strong cool south-westerly blowing in across the marsh today. We decided to walk along the north track with the bushes providing shelter. All of the spindle bushes were alive with emerging Spindle Ermine Moths from their webby cocoon. Hurrying on and out of the wind we continued to the (apt) ‘phalarope pool’ where a female Mallard with 8 ducklings and a very brief terra firma Little Egret the only recompence for our walk. After a break we headed back with the threat of rain always present.
At the viewing spot (again sheltered from the wind) above No.6 tank we met Jacqui and Idris Roberts and passed the time of day. Whilst in conversion I still kept my scope focused on the shorebirds below and on the exposed mud and shallow waters.
A flock of c5-600 Black-tailed Godwit had with them a single non-breeding plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit and a non-breeding plumaged (not Red) Knot. A small flock of Common Redshank, 2 Common Ringed Plover and a petite wader in full breeding plumage…
…a female Red-necked Phalarope. I immediately put the news out but the waders were very jittery and often took flight circling the tank before resettling. The phalarope always came back to its feeding spot on the edge of the water/muddy margins. Again the whole flock took off again but this time the phalarope could not be relocated (I assume it had gone for a sleep in the grass with the Eurasian Teal). After we left for home the RNP reappeared and showed to those visitors who made the visit to the marsh.
A small selection of ducks did not contain anything different from the norm and will for now go uncountered. Common Swift again put in a remarkable performance with birds sweeping low over the tank.
The Peregrine was back on her lofty perch on the blue topped chimney at Weston Point.
Observer: JS & WSM (images).
Video of the Red-necked Phalarope by Sean O’Hara.
Video of Red-necked Phalarope by Frank Duff.