A walk out from Marsh Lane and onto Moorditch Lane and even before we got in to first (step) gear a Spotted Flycatcher was perched in a hawthorn bush adjacent to the horse paddock. A big flock of c400 European Goldfinch were active on the thistle plants.
After settling in our favourite spot I had no sooner got my scope set up then a big flock of Black-headed Godwit rose up from the tank and split into two flocks, one flock departed to the Mersey Estuary while the others resettled in the shallow waters and stayed put. I estimated the combine flock count was c2000 birds.
Looking through the edge of the flock produced c650 Northern Lapwing, 2 Ruff and 3 Common Snipe.
While the shorebirds were the main feature, ducks were not to be out done and featured, 243 Eurasian Teal, 84 Northern Shoveler and 34 Mallard. A couple of sub-singing Cetti’s Warbler called out from scrubs nearby.
We carried on our walk and reached the ‘phalarope pool’ and aaprt from a few teal there wasn’t much to keep the interested level up.
Walking back and we met Jacqui and Idris Roberts and they had seen a Western Marsh Harrier and 2 Little Egret flew over and headed to the river.
Observers: JS & WSM (images 1-7).
A couple of hours along the River Weaver and Manchester Ship Canal early evening. A Blackcap was contact calling as it made its way along the bushes on Brook Furlong Lane and several Common Chiffchaff were noted.
A female European Stonechat was fly-catching in the rain on Alder Lane and a family group were feeding in the reeds alongside the river.
On No.1 tank were c20 Eurasian Curlew foraging in the field next to Marsh Farm and a flock of c40 Black-tailed Godwit left the Weaver Estuary and flew towards No.6. A Common Sandpiper made its way across the ship canal and 3 more were on the Weaver Estuary with c200 Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank and more Eurasian Curlew resting at the edge of the channel with 18 Great Cormorant and 3 Grey Heron.
Further down river and c40 Common Redshank and a dozen godwit were flushed from the river bank by a low flying Common Buzzard. A Great Crested Grebe and its youngster were fishing close to the bank.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 8-10).
This image of a double rainbow taken from the #darkside of the Mersey Estuary at Hale by Ian Igglesden.