On route were 150 lapwing in the ploughed field on the right of Brook Furlong Lane, the usual Dunnock, Robin and Blackbird were plentiful.
We were followed by a female Great Spotted Woodpecker going from telegraph pole to telegraph pole.
Once on the ‘bend’ the usual Tufted Duck and a couple of Great Crested Grebe were present, suddenly, out of the reed bed under our feet a bird flew low scraping the water heading across the river. Once it settled we had it in our binoculars and looked at each other and both said Red-necked Grebe (images 2-3) a bird in partial summer plumage! We watched it for 10-15 minutes and it looked quite settled feeding away.
After leaving the ‘bend’ we headed towards Marsh Farm. Usual birds on route mostly Goldfinch and Meadow Pipit.
A large skein of Pink-footed Geese were heading over towards the Mersey Estuary.
Over on Frodsham Score was a Merlin being harassed by a Kestrel. Lots of Lapwing and a small flock of Black-tailed Godwit were spooked by the Merlin.
We back tracked to the motorway bridge for a drink and then headed to No.6 tank. A quick scan on the water were large numbers of Tufted Duck, Common Teal, Shoveller, a couple of Pintail and Pochard.
Looking across No.3 tank a Sparrowhawk was noted and also another Merlin. We then looked out across the estuary where a Peregrine was keeping the Lapwing flocks mobile.
All in all a great mornings birding!
Observers Shaun Hickey (all images), Paul Kurs.
The WeBS count was kindly made by Macduff today and included: 210 Tufted Duck, 80 Shoveler, 20 Pintail, 1000 Common Teal, 21 Gadwall, 6 Common Pochard, 20 Wigeon, 20 Common Shelduck, 18 Mallard, 12 Mute Swan 12 Coot and 6 Moorhen.
Observer: Frank Duff.
There is approximately a mile and a quarter from Hale Park/lighthouse and Frodsham Marsh so when you add in: 13 Avocet (FD), 4 Great White Egret (DC), 2 Little Egret (WSM) on the south side then, a Great Skua and a Firecrest (per Dave Craven) on the north side we are looking at some pretty credible birding on and about the Mersey Estuary today. This doesn’t include the large numbers of shorebirds, ducks and raptors out there.
Observers: FD, DC, WSM.
I am guiding a walk next Sunday 18th on Frodsham Marsh for further details: http://www.record-lrc.co.uk/forum/calendar.php?view=event&calEid=1520