I arrived at dawn in a bitterly cold wind veering round to the north and the threat of heavy ladened clouds heading over. Fortunatley the clouds rolled away and bright sunshine filled the Weaver valley. The three summer plumaged Black-necked Grebe that were here yesterday afternoon were still about and gave me excellent views diving between the Tufted Duck and Common Shelduck.
A flock of a few hundred Black-tailed Godwit kept close into the lea of the northern bank and it was possible to pick out a colour ringed bird and a single Ruff was feeding closeby. One of two Western Marsh Harrier were about the area and several Common Buzzard drifted back and to.
I walked around No.6 tank noting a smaller flock of Black-tailed Godwit and some Eurasian Wigeon in and on the scrapes on No.3 tank.
I eventually reached Lordship Lane and met a couple of Sandbach birders and we scanned for the Water Pipit on the damp stubble field. It took a while but one of the two appeared and produced some really close views.
I retraced my steps and headed home for some lunch.
Observer: WSM (images 1-3).
Additional images (4-6) by Phil Barker.
I called into Ince after work this afternoon and the pair of Garganey were showing well on one of the pools at the Goldfinch Meadows LNR. Several Barn Swallow were hawking overhead in the cold north wind and 3 Little Egret were also present.
I next moved on to No.6 tank to see the 3 Black-necked Grebe which were feeding amongst the many wildfowl on the water. A flock of c400 black-tailed Godwit were at the shallow end and more on the pools on No.3 tank. A single Ruff was present with them. A busy day on the marsh with a few birders looking for the grebes and Water Pipit, some had close views of the pipit while others were not so lucky. The Western Yellow Wagtail was on the stubble field with a large flock of Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 7-10).