Sale Water Park 15.01.19

Weather: overcast but warmish.

A few early birders had already scouted out the feeders before a rather jolly crowd met in the car park at 10 o’clock. New Year felicitations and guidance on next week’s outing over, everyone headed for the well stocked bird station, to be greeted by willow tits and nuthatches, what a start for the list. Walking through the wooded area towards the lake the sound of a song thrush rang out and had many of us looking but few finding its location. However a nuthatch showing off its climbing skills and a flypast of mute swans soon distracted us.
A young heron stood guard duty on the water channel as we walked along to the lakeside. It’s commitment to staying in one spot finally paid off as it caught something to eat. Over on the lake, mallard, gadwall, Canada geese, tufted ducks and black-headed gulls were easily spotted and further round an immature lesser black-backed gull was seen along with a family of swans with the young now almost the size of the parents. While overhead perched on a pylon three cormorants looked down on two groups of birders who were wandering the paths below them.
At the bird hide overlooking Broad Ees Dole, the shallow mud flat revealed little but dabchick and heron, six of the latter standing in line looking as if they might be ready for a siege as they’re collectively known?
Crossing the Mersey alongside the tramline and heading back towards Chorlton a kestrel hovered and then perched in a tree looking damp and washed out in the grey light. As we crossed back over the river there were many dogs noisily pleased to greet each other and together with the heavy bass of the motorway and the high notes of the rose-necked parakeets the culmination of the morning’s soundscape reached rock concert proportions.
The wooded path through Chorlton Ees Nature Reserve, gave up titmice and for an observant few, a treecreeper and further on high in the branches of a silver birch a female bullfinch was seen feeding.
On to Jackson’s Boat and two parakeets posed patiently while allowing us very close views as did a kestrel although the latter only showed off its very fine tail. The path then led us back to the car park for us to disperse feeling good to be back to Tuesday morning birding. (HW)

Bird List (BP)

  1. Little Grebe
  2. Cormorant
  3. Grey Heron
  4. Mute Swan
  5. Canada Goose
  6. Gadwall
  7. Mallard
  8. Tufted Duck
  9. Kestrel
  10. Moorhen
  11. Coot
  12. Black-headed Gull
  13. Common Gull
  14. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  15. Herring Gull
  16. Woodpigeon
  17. Ring-necked Parakeet
  18. Wren
  19. Dunnock
  20. Robin
  21. Blackbird
  22. Song Thrush
  23. Long-tailed Tit
  24. Blue Tit
  25. Great Tit
  26. Willow Tit
  27. Nuthatch
  28. Treecreeper
  29. Magpie
  30. Carrion Crow
  31. Bullfinch

+ Yellow-Legged Gull (See correspondence forwarded from Steve Collins)

(Photos SC and JH)

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