A walk from Ince Berth up to No.6 tank started with hundreds of Canada Geese with the odd Greylag and domestic goose bringing a cosmopolitan feel along the Manchester Ship Canal. Also here were the finch flocks which included Linnet and Goldfinch feeding on the abundant thistle heads along the canal path. The sunny areas attracted many Peacock, Gatekeeper, Tortoiseshell and Large White Butterflies which were out on the wing.
The small pool along the path held 3 Green Sandpiper and 2 juvenile Marsh Harrier flew overhead talon grappling each other as they went by.
A colour ringed (blue above left knee) Little Egret was feeding among the Common Teal, Gadwall and Mallard on No.6 tank while a pair of Little Grebe had a newly hatched chick on the secluded pool there.
Walking back a juvenile Green Woodpecker took flight as a road roller vehicle made its way along the track and the bird dropped down by the Splashing Pool but could not be relocated.
A large and very dark young Peregrine was over the crop fields near to the Growhow factory while the adult male sat on a tower in the works.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-2).
An after work birding trip to the marsh and a brief encounter with Al of http://lighthousebirding.blogspot.co.uk/ fame.
The wind was fairly blustery but the light was very good so one was off set by the other.
The 700 Black-tailed Godwit were keeping to the centre of the tank with 360 degree vision which was called for on several occasions. Just a short distance away a Greenshank was watched preening while 3 Ruff kept busy feeding and surprisingly there were no Lapwing or Dunlin to make up the numbers..
The variety of ducks have increased with 80 Common Teal and with these birds were 2 female type Garganey. A couple of Shoveler, 80 Tufted Duck including females with tuflings. 120 Common Shelduck and 14 Gadwall gave the impression there was some movements going on. The female Ruddy Shelduck was again present and spent most of its time keeping its feather traits in good nick.
Video of Ruddy Shelduck here: https://vimeo.com/135270452
All of a sudden the godwits rose from the water bringing with them the Greenshank, Ruff, Garganey and the Ruddy Shelduck, and the cause of this consternation was a male Marsh Harrier flying low over the tank.
The Black-tails resettled on the open water but everything else departed the area.
One of the juvenile Marsh Harrier was quartering the edge of the open water along the vegetated margins. Sometime later both the juvenile and male were flying over No.4 tank.
Many hirundines were moving through with the odd Swift noted.
Out on the river a Great White Egret had relocated after a bit of wanderings up the Mersey to Woolston.
Observer: WSM (images 3-7)