Out and about this morning and a bright start with 4 Little Egret out on Frodsham Score and a large flock of swans on Ince Marsh were to far out to tell which species. A female Peregrine was having a spat with 4 Raven and left the area in a hurry. Good numbers of Lapwing and smaller numbers of Golden Plover out on the score.
The Holpool Gutter was a bird free zone with a thin layer of ice on the stretch where it meets the Manchester Ship Canal. Goldfinch and Linnet were feeding on the weed seeds along the canal. The Canal Pools held Common Tea, Tufted Duck, Mallard and many Shoveler and Coot with 4 Common Snipe.
Walking back and Redwing and Fieldfare were searching the bushes for berries and a Collared Dove flew alongside a Stock Dove heading east along the ship canal. A large dog Fox was noted in a field by Ince Marsh.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-3).
After a walk around Blakemere we decided to take in the Starling roost on No.6 tank at dusk. Mary was already in situ so the three of us watched the birds fly around in loose flocks and immediately dropping into the reed bed below us. A little disappointing until a mass of 6,000 birds were noted over the Growhow works and tracking their movements west over No.4 tank, before turning east over No.3 tank then impressively dropping like a stone into the reeds below us. Pretty impressive but numbers were down on previous watches and I guess there were 8,000 birds in all. However, the backdrop of snow on the Welsh hills and their vallies filled with mist was a splendid sight from the banks of No.5 tank
With all this activity it would have been difficult for their numbers not to attract a bird of prey or two and both a Sparrowhawk and a Merlin flew through, no doubt selecting a festive treat en route.
Observers: Mary Gold, Sparky, WSM (images 4-6).