Joining Iggy and Sean, we watched the mass of waders on the far side of the Mersey slowly leave in small groups and head up the Mersey towards Pickerings. We picked up a pair of Marsh Harrier over Frodsham Score, along with a single Peregrine, a number of Raven and 3 Little Egret roosting on the front edge of the Score. More surprising was a winter plumaged Great Crested Grebe that flew east up the Mersey....winter already?! As the waders continued to leave the area ahead of the tide, I decided to hobble round to Pickerings Pasture to see whether the waders were any better.
We walked over to the scrape from the car park, which has some good migrant habitat. Sadly it was fairly quiet other than c.200 Goldfinch, with lesser numbers of Greenfinch. A Sparrowhawk was keeping a close eye on the group and made a few failed attempts to grab some lunch. The whole area looks good for migrants, and I will have to make a concerted effort this autumn to check the area. A Grey Wagtail flying over, was the only real bird of mention before we reached the Scrape.
There was a distinct lack of waders roosting on the marsh, in fact other than a few Curlew there were no other waders! The Scrape held 3 Little Egret (2 adults and a juvenile), whilst 3 Common Sandpiper came in to join the 2 Redshank that were sneaking about on the near edge. Presumably the same Great Crested Grebe was feeding out on the Mersey. There was a half decent Gull roost, but despite a good look there was nothing more spectacular than a few Common Gull that had joined the Black Headed Gulls.
The bushes around the Scrape were marginally more productive, with a Garden Warbler feeding among 3 Blackcap, 4+ Chiffchaff and a few Chaffinch. The roving Tit flock moved through adding a few Long Tailed, Great and Blue Tit. With little moving about, we decided to head back to the cars and move round to Carr Lane Pools hopeful that the high tide may have pushed a few bits in.
Parking up on the bridge we scanned the flooded fields along Town Lane. A single Dunlin was sat in the far corner, but other than a few Eurasian Teal it was by far the quietest I have seen the area in a long time (presumably something had flushed everything before our arrival). Hale Marsh was just as quiet, with little of note.
Fortunately the main Pool from the gate was a little more productive. We bumped into Rob and Carol, with Iggy joining us shortly afterwards. There was a large Black Headed Gull roost (containing a single Common Gull), which hid up to 4 Ruff, 18 Black Tailed Godwit, the Egyptian Goose and a number of Eurasian Teal, Shoveler and a couple of Gadwall. I picked up a Hobby which was zooming about, whilst a single Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel and 4 Common Buzzard were all feeding around Great Boar Wood.
Moving round to the flooded field we were treated to some good views of a Kingfisher, with a second bird calling from somewhere. The flood was otherwise deserted with nothing at all present (not even any of the Moorhen posse). Scanning around we picked up a minimum if 7 Common Buzzard, 3 Sparrowhawk and a single Kestrel. With little else showing and my various bumps and scrapes starting to hurt again we headed home. I really can't wait for some proper migration to kick in, it's slow going at the moment!