Out and about this morning for a short walk along the Manchester Ship Canal from Ince Berth to the dredging berth .
Several Swallow over Ince Berth with one sat on the telegraph wires and then a singing Chiffchaff in the hawthorn bushes. 2 Wheatear were sat on the canal bank and a Sedge Warbler sang in the reed bed alongside No.4 tank where the female Marsh Harrier was being mobbed by a pair of Lapwing. Out on the salt marsh were a couple of Little Egret which were sat at opposite ends of the marsh and both had the company of a Grey Heron. Sand Martins were prospecting along the canal and 2 to 3 Common Sandpiper were noted.
A male Blackcap was at the dredging berth as was a White Wagtail. Gadwall, Mallard, Common Teal and Common Shelduck were all on the canal and were disturbed by a police boat making its way west on the canal. Only Mute Swans on the field by the Holpool Gutter.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-3).
Taking over from Paul for the evening watch I made my way along the track above No.6 tank and bumped into Frank and Arthur. A splendid assembly of 43 summer Golden Plover were bunched up with a solitary Dunlin along the waters edge. I guess it’s only a matter of days before they up sticks and move north. A small group of 4 newly arrived Whimbrel were dozing in the evening light and several pairs of Lapwing made themselves vocal.
A smaller than usual assortment of ducks included Tufted Duck, Common Teal and Shelduck. The Grey Heron pair looked established on their nest. Lets hope the water level doesn’t get any higher or the nest will get waterlogged.
The drier areas of the tank held a solitary Yellow Wagtail, 17 White Wagtail and 7 Wheatear.
No.3 tank is attracting migrants with two Common Sandpiper hopefully the harbingers of things to come. Nearby fresh in Reed Warblers were n song dueling by the secluded pool.
Other birds of note were 2 Swallow over the Weaver estuary, 6 Wheatear at Marsh Farm and 2 House Martin over the hill.
Over No.4 tank was a fresh in female Marsh Harrier and had the look of the female from last year? A Peregrine put in a show over the area.
Observers: Arthur Harrison, Frank Duff, WSM (images4-8)