I spent a few hours this morning on the marsh with the following sightings:
Started off at the Weaver Bend where a overflying police helicopter pushed most of the birds onto the Weaver Estuary. Counts included 102 Tufted Duck, 18 Shelduck, single drakes of Goldeneye and Pochard and just 1 Great Crested Grebe.
Next stop was Marsh Farm where a Grey Wagtail was at a small pool by the track. Out on Frodsham Score on a rising tide 3 Avocets were feeding on the mud in the corner near where the Weaver enters the Manchester Ship Canal. Other waders included an impressive 510 Black-tailed Godwit, 72 Oystercatcher, 22 Dunlin and 131 Curlew. On No.6 tank, 380 Dunlin had arrived before the high tide along with 192 Golden Plover, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Ruff, 1 Redshank and 1 Black-tailed Godwit. Wildfowl included 65 Common Teal and 2 drake Shoveler. On the new scrapes of No.3 Tank were 2 more Ruff and another 2 Redshank.
I then drove round the south side of No.4 tank and walked out to the edge of the River Mersey along the west bank of No.4 tank. Single Little Egret and Green Sandpiper took flight from the Holpool Gutter and 14 Whooper Swan were with 35 Mute Swan in the fields bordering the gutter and the ship canal. Out on Ince Marshes and Frodsham Score a good high tide revealed 452 Shelduck, 290 Wigeon, 12 Gadwall, c40 Common Teal, 1 Greylag Goose, c200 Canada Geese, 1 Great Crested Grebe and just 1 Little Egret.
Around 40 Raven were on the ship canal embankment enjoying their usual mutton feast. As I walked back to the car 32 Pink-footed Geese arrived from towards Ince and flew overhead moving south-east (surely the wrong way!).
Observer and images: Greg Baker