An early start on my morning walk from Ince. A pair of Garganey were a nice surprise on one of the pools and were sharing it with Mallard and Little Grebe. A pair of Mute Swan were on an adjacent pool and a pair of Little Egret being on another. There were 2 Cetti’s Warbler holding territory nearby singing close by and not seen. The Barn Owl was seen again in its nestbox.
On to the Manchester Ship Canal path and a pair of Great Crested Grebe were on the water alongside a dozen Tufted Duck and another pair of Mute Swan. Canada Goose were flying on to the marsh after grazing on the local farmland and were joined by10 Greylag Goose.
A Red Fox made its way towards me but stopped in its tracks when it caught scent in the air and fled when it realised I was close. Further along the path a Brown Hare was foraging and it to slipped away just like the fox did.
Another pair of Mute Swan were on the ‘Canal Pools’ but no Mute Swan seemed to have bred on the marsh for the second season in a row, unlike the Canada Goose who have goslings all over the marsh.
There were 2 Yellow Wagtail were near to the pools with several Pied Wagtail being noted.
The Common Redshank were agitated and a chick was seen hiding in the grass as the cattle wandered past.
Eurasian Oystercatcher and Northern Lapwing were seen along Lordship Lane and a pair of Grey Wagtail were on the Holpool Gutter near to the Growhow Works.
Walking back to my car and the Garganey pair seem settled on their selected pool and were busy preening.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-5).
I made a visit from late morning into the swelterling heat of the afternoon.
Looking across the heat haze on No.6 tank I could just about make out a collection of c400 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Red Knot, 78 Dunlin, 14 Pied Avocet and 15 Common Ringed Plover. The ducks were at the eastern edge of the count and included 84 Tufted Duck, 2 Northern Shoveler and numerous Common Shelduck. The non-breeding herd of Mute Swan contained 21 birds.
I continued my walk avoiding the bank holiday cyclists and looked across to the ‘phalarope pool’ where the Gadwall pair were overly protective of the fat waddling ducklings. Nearby a partial leucistic ‘white-headed’ Reed Bunting was difficult to get a good view of and when one of the aforementioned cyclist rode by it flipped over the bank and out of sight.
Observer: WSM (images 6-8 & 9-11 of the Mersey Estuary & 12-14 of the Weaver Bend as seen from Cowhay Lane, Clifton.).