An early morning walk from Ince berth along the Manchester Ship Canal and round No.4 tank and the following were seen: Redwing, Fieldfare and Blackbird were busily engaged with feeding on the hawthorn berries along the canal path. A flock of Mute Swan were joined by 5 Whooper‘s which flew in at daybreak.
A skein of 40 Pink-footed Goose passed over high heading south and several Little Egret were feeding on the Frodsham Score. The tables were turned for a change when the Ravens made the most of a carcase while the Great Black-backed Gulls looked on. A Peregrine flew over putting a mass of birds in the air including c800 Lapwing, several hundred Golden Plover and Starlings.
Lordship Lane attracted more thrushes along with flocks of Linnet, Chaffinch and assorted Tits. The Holpool Gutter was quiet with only a few Common Teal, Mallard and Moorhen to be seen . At least 60 Curlew fed in the field alongside the gutter and the juvenile Marsh Harrier flew by.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1 & 2).
Further out along Brook furlong Lane were similar flocks of winter thrushes and a Chiffchaff was by the south-east corner (old birdlog) of No.1 tank.
Observer: Frank Duff.
Findlay and I went to the marsh today and managed to time it perfectly for the Dunlin flocks. They were all huddled together when we arrived, but a small group took flight and headed off towards the estuary. We didn’t notice what had spooked them but the rest all took flight together flying back and forth across the water on No.6 tank. A stunning and beautiful moment.
Observers: Heather and Findlay Wilde (images 4 & 5). For all things Wilde take a look at Findlay’s blog http://wildeaboutbirds.blogspot.co.uk/
Little Egret image by Tony Broome.
Observers: Sparky, WSM.