Out on a way this morning from Ince and around No.4 tank. There were 3 Mute Swan on the first pool with a male trying to drive the others away.Duck numbers were low with just 2 Common Teal amidst the Mallard, Tufted Duck and Common Shelduck. Five Little Egret were on the last pool with 12 Coot which were fighting themselves, like they always seem to do during the breeding season.
Onward to Ince Marsh fields where 20 Curlew, 4 Common Shelduck a pair of Tufted Duck and a pair of Greylag Goose added to the line up.
The Manchester Ship Canal had 19 Gadwall, 12 Common Shelduck, a Great Crested Grebe and a pair of Oystercatcher, Both Swallow and Collared Dove flew east along the canal.
A dark looking Fox was seen out on the salt marshes and made its way purposely towards a group of Great Black-backed Gull flock one of which was injured and couldn’t escape, the Fox stood over the gull then turned tail and walk away leaving the injured bird looking confused but relieved. There were more Curlew on the field alongside the Holpool Gutter which had a group of Gadwall chasing each other in flighty circles above.
Lordship Marsh had a flock of 77 Black-tailed Godwit, 15 Curlew and 15 Mute Swan and a Brown Hare bounded through the fields. In the bushes along Lordship Lane were several Chiffchaff and Blackcap were seen and heard and a Green Woodpecker was heard calling near to the Growhow Works where a Great Spotted was drumming in rhythm.
Another Little Egret was on one of the pools and 5 House Martin the first of the Spring were hawking overhead.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-4).
A Mediterranean Gull flew out over Lordship Marsh early this morning within a flock of Black-headed Gulls.
Around midday 4 Yellow Wagtail, 2 House Martin and 6 Swallow flew over No. 6 tank and 6 Knot and a flock of Dunlin flew through but didn’t stop. On the tank were a pair of Wigeon, a Great Crested Grebe and 2 Ringed Plover at the west end. A pair of Marsh Harrier were hunting, with another bird over No. 4 tank. 2 Collared Dove flew along Lordship Lane and a Chiffchaff was building a nest close by. 3 pairs of Blackcap, and a further 3 singing males, were across the Marsh.
Observer: Alyn Chambers.
During the course of the afternoon we took a hike around No.6 tank with a prolonged stop off looking across the flooded fields below the ramp track to the south-east corner of No.4. There were 3 Ringed Plover, a few Redshank and 3 Dunlin including a summer plumage individual. A couple of Yellow Wagtail flew across from No.6 and settled to feed with half a dozen Meadow Pipit and the dwindling Linnet flock.
A couple of Marsh Harrier drifted over while numerous Common Buzzard were occupying all of the air space.
The mitigation pools lacked a lot of the ducks from yesterday with a few Shoveler and Common Teal being present. A couple of Ruff were hiding at the back of the pool, while a pale morph Common Buzzard watched on.
The 1000 strong Black-tailed Godwit flock was still present from yesterday with more Ruff, Redshank and 3 Knot. The same amount of duck were more or less present as of yesterday.
A flock of 170 Jackdaw contained a particularly interesting pale headed bird, some research needed on its ethnicity. A Cetti’s Warbler rounded off our visit with a serenade.
A male Redstart flew in front of us by railway bridge arch on Keckwick Lane, Moore/Daresbury Firs.
Observers: Sparky & WSM (images 5-7).