Mississippi mud track along No.4 tank today.
Frank took the Greta Garbo option and ” I want to be alone” birded the periphery of the marsh which resulted in him seeing 2 Coal Tit a localise rare bird but expected to be seen during the autumn migration. A flock of 10 Siskin joined up with the Goldfinch hordes. Several Jays and a singing Cetti’s Warbler were also noted. Later he had a flock of 150 Golden Plover from Marsh Farm and a Stonechat along the fence line on No.1 tank.
Observer: Frank Duff.
The main action was on the rising tide at Frodsham Score. A staggering 7000 Canada Geese were impressive by anyone’s standards and hidden amongst their herd was a couple of Barnacle Goose. 5 Whooper Swan were distantly on the edge of the salt marsh at Ince and apart from feeding didn’t really come close. Other waterfowl featured 12 Shoveler and 800 Wigeon riding the tide in and out.
10 Little and 2 Great White Egret were viewable throughout the watching period and one of the little’s was colour ringed (details to follow). We had handy size comparisons with the egrets and (10) Grey Heron which were watching the tidal gutters filling, then flooding and forcing out small animals which they shared with the marauding gulls.
Shorebirds were below par but 100 Oystercatcher, 6 Black-tailed Godwit (surprising, considering they should have numbered thousands rather than a half-dozen). 1000 Dunlin, a calling Greenshank and smaller numbers of Redshank barely stretched the imagination.
With all these birds about it was inevitable they would attract some raptors, an adult and juvenile Peregrine, Sparrowhawk and a pale phase Common Buzzard helped themselves to the bounty.
Nearby a Chiffchaff was calling from the reed bed on No.4 tank.
Observers: Tony Broome, WSM (video and images).
No.6 tank continued to attract 12 Ruff, 50 Dunlin and the usual assortment of aytha ducks.
Elsewhere on the marsh a possible Mallard x Common Shelduck hybrid and 67 Tufted Duck were on the Weaver estuary where also 4 Little Grebe and 12 Great Crested Grebe were on the choppy waters.
A Stoat was hunting the track along Alder Lane.
Observers: Tony Broome, WSM.
A Merlin on the fence by the pipes on the southern edge of No.1 tank early afternoon.
Observer: Jean Roberts.