First stop from the car-park, was the feeder station at the south-west corner of Budworth Mere, where I arrived just in time to see a Great Spotted Woodpecker take a drink at the waters edge. The feeders were well stocked and as busy as ever. My attention was drawn to a nearby wire, upon which many of the Tits stopped before moving on to their chosen feeder, including this ever cautious Blue Tit.
Also from this view point, I watched a number of Swallows and House Martins feeding over the mere when my first swift of the year suddenly darted through.
Continuing through the wood, I heard a Song Thrush singing and before long I saw it hopping along the path in front of me and then disappear into the undergrowth. As I watched it go, it drew my line of sight toward a Grey Heron which was stalking something deep in the wood. I watched for a while before it too slowly disappeared into the darkness of Big Wood.
I crossed Forge Brook and moved on to Fisherman's Path, past a couple of small pools and arrived at the edge of a newly ploughed field where I soon found a mixed Wagtail flock. Scanning this field for nearly an hour with a biting northerly crashing into me from across the mere, was not the most pleasant of experiences! But I found a few Yellow Wagtails among the largely Grey flock and what a warming sight they were as they popped up from the deep furrows. Although getting a decent photo was akin to one of those fairground whack-it games!
No sign of the Blue-headed Wagtail, despite a dozen birders searching for it.
Ball of sunshine! - Yellow Wagtail seen from Fisherman's Path
Before leaving I had a quick look at Haydn's Pool where I was pleased to see the Sand Martins using the artificial sandbank for a second year running.
I clocked up 41 species (order as seen) - Chaffinch, Jay, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Robin, Reed Bunting, Swallow, House Martin, Swift, Mallard, Great Crested Grebe, Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Wood Pigeon, Coot, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Black-headed Gull, Song Thrush, Grey Heron, Blackbird, Moorhen, Shelduck, Jackdaw, Gadwall, Crow, Pied Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Wheatear, Treecreeper, Magpie, Blackcap, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Shoveler, Black Swan, Sand Martins, Buzzard, Raven.