A late morning walk out to the ‘phalarope pool’ and en route a chance encounter with first Arthur Harrison who had seen European Stonechat and a Western Marsh Harrier. Later we bumped into Jacqui & Idris Roberts who hadn’t seen much, but were willing if the occasion arose.
A look over No.6 tank and a variety of ducks included: 164 Northern Shoveler, 83 Mallard, 24 Northern Pintail, 7 Common Shelduck, 231 Eurasian Teal, 19 Little Grebe and a single Tufted Duck. The rest of the teal were on No.3 tank with more Northern Shoveler and Mallard present.
Walking out to the corner of No.4 tank looking across Lordship Marsh and the 37 Whooper (super) Swan herd were hiding behind a hedge. An impressive gathering in two flocks of both Common & Black-headed Gull which reached c1000 birds. A couple of Common Chiffchaff were skulking in the willows on No.4 tank.
Walking back along Moorditch Lane and a fine male Merlin was sat on top of a pylon surveying the fields below. Its attention focused on a stubble field below and like a freight train it scorched through the air and snatched a Redwing feeding unaware there. A fine example of predator knowing its trade.
Observers: JS & WSM (images & video).
Elsewhere a Common Kingfisher was doing its thang and a Jelly Ear Fungi (Auricularia auricula-judae) was keeping its ear to the ground.
Common Kingfisher at Spike Island.
I dedicate this post to Wirral birder John Jones with whom I shared many birding trips throughout the UK. My favourite being the Saito, Hermaness Black-browed Albatross with his son Steve and Mac birder Kevin Hughes in the early 1980’s. RIP John.