I went onto the marsh from Elton this time and, following Bill’s tip, I did see two adult and a juvenile Whooper Swan mixed in with a few Mute’s in a sheep field. Also, several small flocks of Curlew about Ince Marshes and a couple of Little Egret by the Northgate plant.
4 Little Grebe at the Slashing pool were noted. When I eventually reached No. 6 tank well before high tide there was a couple of hundred Lapwing/Golden Plover and a Little Stint.
I was again struck by the high numbers of Magpie on the marsh. Several small flocks of Goldfinch in various locations and 4 Skylark briefly caught my attention. Marsh Farm had its now wintering resident female Merlin keeping an eye on a small flock of 30 Linnet and Meadow Pipit there. 7 Raven at the farm and another 4 were on No. 3 tank. A Stonechat and 3 Reed Bunting were at Lordship Lane opposite the model aircraft field. A small flock of Redwing, 19 Pied Wagtail and a Grey Heron were about the horse paddock field.
The best show was again on No. 6 tank at high tide. Approximately 10,000 Dunlin, 2000 Lapwing, 1000 Golden Plover, 500 Curlew, several Ringed Plover and Grey Plover joined the throng. The spectacle was made-up by a swirllng swarm of Dunlin gathering for their tidal roost. Not surprisingly a Peregrine, Merlin, ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier and a 1st winter/female Marsh Harrier made an appearance hoping to benefit from all the free grub. If this isn’t a reminder enough of the importance of No. 6 tank as a Winter high tide roost from the Mersey Estuary then Peel Holdings please note.
If you’re not bothered by a little bit of mud and you’re eager for some solitude then Frodsham Marsh on a Spring tide in Winter is just for you.
Ciao from Guido D’Isidoro.
A Noctule/Pipistrelle Bat over the motorway bridge from Marsh Lane at 3.45 pm was a bit of a surprise as it circled overhead before being lost to view.
No. 6 tank again held the small but nonetheless ever-present Athya ducks until a ‘Copper Chopper’ put everything up and they flew around reluctant to settle until it left the area. Roosting flocks of Golden Plover and Lapwing joined the melee to add a dramatic sight.
Ducks included: 120 Common Teal, 34 Mallard, 24 Shoveler, 2 Wigeon , 10 Tufted Duck and 11 Common Pochard soon settled down but the Common Shelduck were perhaps not so tolerant and flew straight out to the river after being disturbed.
A Chiffchaff was again calling from the reeds below the bank of No. 5 tank.
The setting sun over No 6 tank never fails to grab my attention and tonight was as good as usual.
Observers: Sparky and WSM (all images).