Sunday 22nd April
Well news this morning was that there was a Common Sandpiper on Birchwood Pool and there'd been a Sedge Warbler and Grasshopper Warbler reported from the patch too. That, combined with yesterday evening's Whimbrel from my flat overlooking the Manchester Ship Canal and the R.Mersey , boded well. A visit to the patch was in order...da da da da!
Yes well, long story short...as (a) I'm deep in Magic Mango Chicken and (b) finding typing a wee bit troublesome since my knacked wrist (see previously) is, according to fizzishuns, broken... there was not a lot about on my breezy, though sun-tinged jauntlet to the river late afternoon. Good news was the first Common Whitethroat had arrived...brief scratchy song in the brambles opposite the Ethylene Station, but that was about it.
SO, decided to track down the aforementioned Gropper. Now these are pretty much confined to the west of the patch in various locations on Upper Moss Side (well, five usually) so figured as the sausages had still yet to arrive at Halfway House, I'd do the lot. Quite a simple little circuit really. First off Daisy Field...nope... next Balloon Hut Field...nope... the Phrag Field... nope... the Snipe Fields...yep! One reeling intermittently from the picnic tables and later heard more clearly from the first snipe field as the road leaves Upper Moss Side and enters the Moore NR part of the patch. Fifth spot is just a little way on from there... by the little wooden bridge opposite the west end of the Capped Tip... there's usually one reeling from the latter, but not today. Still 1 in 5 ain't bad tbh and that's two more warblers to add to the year list. Considered going for a third... surely the Reed Warblers must have dropped into the Eastern Reedbed by now?! But alas. Barrier was across and I couldn't be arsed yomping it. They'll keep.