Out this morning from Ince Berth around No.4 and No.6 tank. Small numbers of Curlew and Black-tailed Godwit on the approach road to the berth with 2 Jay in the hedgerow. On the Manchester Ship Canal were Common Teal, Mallard, Tufted Duck and 5 Wigeon joined forces with a raft of c60 Coot and a single Great Crested Grebe.
The fields alongside the Holpool Gutter held the large flock of Mute and Whooper Swan with 2 Greylag Goose and many Curlew and Lapwing mixed in. The path along the canal was teeming with Goldfinch and Linnet flocks with 2 Common Snipe on the bank of No.4 tank.The mitigation pool held a Common Teal, single female Shoveler, 12 Redshank and 1 Ruff with more Linnet and Pied Wagtail on the waters edge
The Raven flock were feeding on another dead sheep on No.5 tank as was two adult Great Black-backed Gull.
On to Lordship Lane the Kingfisher was in the ditch at the junction of Hare Lane and a male Stonechat on the fence by the model flying field, another pair of Stonechat further along the fence. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was in the stand of trees at the corner of No.4 tank. Back along the canal path 3 Little Egret were out on Frodsham Score.
Observer: Paul Ralston (image 4).
A watch over No.3 tank was rewarding for the number of Common Snipe present, a total of 26 birds alongside 9 Redshank in territorial disputes. These were over watched by a male Merlin over on No.2 tank but was too distant to cause the waders much distress.
The WeBS count on No.6 tank was again governed by the amount of ice on the open water and with half of it covered, it was no surprise to see a reduction in the overall numbers. Nevertheless, 128 Common Teal, 8 Shoveler, 13 Mallard, 6 Tufted Duck and 7 Moorhen were to be expected. A handy sized flock of 123 Redshank held 3 Ruff.
The first lambs of Spring were scattered on No.5 and 2 tanks and a brief snatch of Skylark song lifted the spirits.
A walk along the Weaver Causeway to watch the estuary and bend saw the birds which should have been on No.6 tank relocated here and included: 80 Common Teal, 128 Tufted Duck, 21 Pochard, 4 Gadwall, 23 Mallard and 11 Goldeneye. 4 Great Crested and 10 Little Grebe with 44 Coot made up the water bird list.
A flock of 500 Golden Plover with Lapwing on No.2 tank included some birds beginning to show signs of summer with black underparts. A flock of 200 Curlew were on No.1 tank.
Observers: Arthur Harrison (image 3), WSM (images 1-2 & 6-9).