Sale Water Park 22.11.2016

Overcast and damp

Praying for no repeat of the previous day’s deluge, TT collected at the main car park and were reasonably satisfied with what proved to be just a very grey day weatherwise.  Surprisingly the normal welcoming party of Canada geese, mallards and mute swans were scattered across the lake evidently spotting that the group were birders rather than bearers of bread and biscuits. Cormorants and black-headed gulls were also present, the former also represented by a pair safely perched on the upper arms of the pylon on the far bank.

Heading anti-clockwise around the lake the group walked through the woodland and crossed the feeding stream onto the lane which skirts the far bank spotting various woodland birds, including a large number of blackbirds (a merl?) feeding in the alders and hawthorn. From the north bank of the lake, a lesser black-backed gull, gadwall, little grebe and great crested grebe were evident, and a jay was spotted foraging in the long grass of the embankment up to the River Mersey. Great entertainment was provided by a pair of grey wagtails circling playfully around one of the small islands close to the bank.

Broad Ees Dole disappointingly did not offer any sightings of kingfishers or snipe but a flock of teal, a pair of shovelers, little grebe, a grey heron, moorhen and, for a few lingering members of the group, a grey wagtail. Further along the path, views across the lake revealed an unusual gathering of 7 great crested grebe, some in winter plumage and at least one still resplendent in its summer plumage.

Intercepting the river, the group then looped back along the higher berm encountering some difficulty with the extremely muddy conditions and vegetation which had been untidily cut off the adjoining trees and bushes and randomly left on the path. However we were rewarded with clear views of a kestrel perched on an exposed branch of a tree across the river, of grey wagtails flitting along the lower path and river side and then a pair of goosanders racing past in the fast flowing river. Also a mute swan demonstrated its slow elegant flight along the river immediately below the appreciative group.

Returning to the lane we were back to our woodland friends and entertained by a flurry of activity amongst the alders and other trees on one nearby island – goldfinch, greenfinch, long-tailed tit, a wren, and, momentarily spotted by one member, a redwing. Then up to the feeders by the (former?) Visitors Centre where we were able to observe at length a second flurry of activity – chaffinch, nuthatch, blue tit, willow tit, long-tailed tit, and even a coal tit. Fully sated, we returned to the car park along the woodland path and picked up sightings of a jay, bullfinch and a treecreeper to round off a very satisfactory morning. (SC)

List (CG)

  1. Mallard
  2. Mute Swan
  3. Coot
  4. Moorhen
  5. Cormorant
  6. Grat Crested Grebe
  7. Little Grebe
  8. Blackbird
  9. Black-headed Gull
  10. Magpie
  11. Wood pigeon
  12. Bullfinch
  13. Gadwall
  14. Jay
  15. Grey Wagtail
  16. Buzzard
  17. Willow Tit
  18. Coal Tit
  19. Chaffinch
  20. Teal
  21. Shoveler
  22. Grey Heron
  23. Carrion Crow
  24. Lesser Black Back Gull
  25. Canada Goose
  26. Kestrel
  27. Robin
  28. Goosander
  29. Great Tit
  30. Blue Tit
  31. Goldfinch
  32. Greenfinch
  33. Long-tailed Tit
  34. Wren
  35. Treecreeper
  36. Nuthatch
  37. Dunnock

Photos JH


2 thoughts on “Sale Water Park 22.11.2016

  1. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your post
    seem to be running off the screen in Chrome. I’m
    not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know.
    The layout look great though! Hope you get the issue resolved soon.
    Many thanks


    1. Sorry not to have replied before, but this dropped into the spam box and I’ve only just found it. I think it must be the browser, but I will upgrade to a new edition of wordpress, which might also be the answer.


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