The highlights of the walk was a female Merlin attacking a Skylark over Lordship Marsh, a male Stonechat feeding along the fence line opposite the model (boys club) aircraft field on Lordship Lane. Then on the west side of No. 4 tank at Ince Marsh were 300 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Whooper Swan (with 11 Mute Swan) in fields there and a Green Sandpiper flushed from the Holpool gutter. These were a good warm up for the spectacle to follow.
The tide was flowing nicely and as always it came in filling the tidal gutters almost unnoticed and before I was ready the wading birds were streaming through.
The incoming tide brought with it 11 Whooper Swan, although the juvenile was not present today? 60 Pink-footed Goose, 1600 Canada Goose and 2 Barnacle Goose were welcome.
I had a hunch which I was hoping would pay off. I was expecting Hale Marsh to get completely flooded on the rising tide which would leave the Red-breasted Goose with nowhere to go but out on the river. I never really expected it to follow my plan, when picking it up in flight with a Common Shelduck in mid river and then watching it until it settled on the water opposite from where I was sitting! You can imagine how pleased I was (now that was a good hunch!) I gave Frank a call and he managed to get there in time and suitably got it UTB’d! . The goose drifted west on the ebbing tide and eventually joined Shelducks on the flooded salt marsh.
Frodsham Score wouldn’t be Frodsham Score without lots of waders to keep your retina ready, 200 Oystercatcher were really impressive, 400 Curlew, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit, 10,000 Dunlin, 7 Grey Plover (surprised by the lack of numbers for this species) and 140 Redshank made a welcome diversion.
A young Peregrine was attempting to catch an isolated Lapwing above the river but it never really put in the final strike and the Lapwing lived for another day.
No. 6 tank was exposed with the wind and rain and it was not a great surprise the ducks kept close to the sheltered banks. I made a count before and after the tide which resulted in a couple of Cormorant attaining summer plumage two of them with white heads and thigh patches. 120 Common Teal, 24 Shoveler, 8 Common Pochard, 8 Tufted Duck and 30 Common Shelduck were in reduced numbers.
Observer and images: WSM