Out and about this morning from Ince Berth along the Manchester Ship Canal taking in the Canal Pools and around No.4 and 6 tanks. A Little Egret overhead at the berth with 3 more out on the salt marsh. A family of Mute Swan and a pair of Great Crested Grebe, a couple of pairs of Little Grebe, 2 pair of Gadwell, Tufted Duck, Mallard and a large flock of Canada Geese were on the canal waters. Both Grey and Pied Wagtail were sat on the wall of the berth and 12 Stock Dove flew east along the canal. A pair of Kestrel hunted the canal path where one caught a vole.
Good numbers of Common Buzzard were rising up on the thermals and were joined by a large Peregrine which drifted off over Frodsham Score. A pair of Oystercatcher were claiming their nest site which they have used for a number of years now. Several Skylark were up singing on this warm spring day. On No.6 tank a pair of Stonechat were in the reeds and a mixed flock of Lapwing and Golden Plover were at the waters edge. Common Teal, Tufted Duck and Mallard were there in small numbers.
Along Lordship Lane there were many small passerines including Reed Bunting, Chaffinch and a good numbers of Linnet which were feeding on the bankside vegetation while a foot long Eel was in one of the outflows of No.6 and would have been easy prey for a heron or egret?
Lapwing were displaying in the stubble fields alongside No.4 which is changing so much since the preparation work for the wind farm started. One of the largest reed beds in the county is diminishing by the hour as the heavy machinery cuts its way through them. Along the Holpool Gutter the 4 Little Egret were again sat on the bank as was a Green Sandpiper, 36 Mute Swan were in the adjacent field and the Whooper Swan herd could be seen in the distance by the M56.
Observer and images: Paul Ralston