Out this morning starting from Ince Berth and around No.4 and 6 tanks. A flock of Curlew and Common Shelduck in the fields near the berth with a pair of Kestrel overhead.
On to the Manchester Ship Canal towpath with Mallard, Common Teal,Tufted Duck, Canada Geese and Coot on the water with Redshank, Oystercatcher on the banks. Chiffchaff calling all the way round the walk and a single Sand Martin heading west along the canal.
The swan herd was down to 30 birds with just the one Whooper Swan amongst them.
The Canal Pools were again very quite with a pair of Mute Swan and a pair of Canada Goose on the pools with several singing Skylark overhead. The mitigation pool area held Shoveler, Common Teal, Mallard and a pair of Coot fighting on the bank which lasted several minutes, stopped briefly then started again. No.6 had more singing Skylark and Reed Bunting and more Mallard, Tufted Duck, Common Teal and Coot on the water there.
On to Lordship Lane where lapwings were agitated when a tractor started to plough the field they were nesting in and at least 50 Meadow Pipit rose up and landed in a tree along the lane. Along the Holpool Gutter at least 12 Common Buzzard were riding the thermals and were joined by both male and female Marsh Harrier and a Sparrowhawk.
Observer: Paul Ralston (image 2).
After work and another trip to the marsh but this time making tracks down to the River Weaver. I met Don en route who had seen a pair of Little Ringed Plover on the ‘Bend’. This sighting was more than enough to quicken my pace. When I eventually arrived both birds were in display over Weston Marsh. Also noted was 3 territorial Lapwings that put the frighteners on a Raven that wandered within their firing range.
Both the Weaver estuary and bend was awash with Tufted Duck which I estimated to collectively contain 213 birds. Also present were 3 drake and 3 female Goldeneye. Three flocks of Redshank totalling 64 birds flew in and brought with them a Ruff.
Observers: Don Weedon, WSM (images 1 & 3)