Out this morning during the eclipse and the high tide. Curlew and small numbers of Black-tailed Godwit in the fields near the Pig Farm and a roaming flock of Long-tailed Tit with at least 6 Goldcrest. Goldfinch and Linnet feeding on the weeds along the lane and a pair of Kestrel displaying above Ince berth.
On the Manchester Ship Canal were Mallard, Tufted Duck and Gadwell kept company with the Canada Geese and Coots.
The resident Grey Wagtail has now found another for company and a pair of Oystercatcher were calling on the opposite bank. As the tide came in a Peregrine flushed a flock of Golden Plover and Black-tailed Godwit. The swan herd on the fields along the Holpool Gutter was split into two groups with 40 Mute Swan and 23 Whooper with 2 Greylags in attendance. There were 3 pair of Lapwing displaying on what was once the reed bed on No.4 tank. The rookery at the Growhow works was busy with birds back and forth to the many nests in the small wood near the plant.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-4).
After we set up on top of Helsby Hill to see the eclipse we could also observe the Whooper Swan and the Mute Swan herd easily in fields to the west of (the under the bulldozer that was-and more of that later) No.4 tank.
We parked up in Lower Rake Lane and walked past Spring Farm where a Little Egret flew up from the ditch and a couple of Rheas were in a small holding there.
Walking along the meandering Holpool Gutter eventually brought us to the flooded Frodsham Score and it’s always a good sign when you approach here and see hundreds of Black-tailed Godwits and Curlews wheeling about. A barking Barnacle Goose in flight had an air of urgency about it, I can only assume it was the absence of (Princess Fiona) its hybrid Greylag X Canada companion. They were reunited later on the ebbing tide.
Large groups of roosting Black-tailed Godwits were close to a thousand strong with similar numbers of Curlew and scattered flocks Oystercatcher, Grey Plover, Knot, Dunlin and the odd Bar-tailed Godwit. Out on the tide edge were 2 Little Egret and 300 Wigeon.
A power struggle was going between Ravens and Great Black-backed Gulls over the fresh corpses of lambs on the tide turn.
A Wheatear was feeding along the edge of the embankment that separates the ship canal and the score. Also noted along Lordship Lane was a Chiffchaff and a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly was on the roadway verge.
Observers: Sparky, WSM (images 5-10).