I was out this morning hiking from Ince Berth and around No.6 tank. As I was walking past the pig farm at Ince there were c200 Curlew feeding alongside the pigs in the fields while a couple of Common Snipe flew overhead.
Two Little Egret were in the ditch alongside the Pumping Station and a few hundred Lapwing and Golden Plover took to the air when a Common Buzzard cruised by. The canal path was full of winter thrushes feeding on the last of the crop of hawthorn berries. Further along the canal a pair of Stonechat were seen on top of a bramble patch with another pair a couple of hundred yards on. The female of this pair was wearing a leg ring.
Along the track on No.5 tank I watch a small band of Raven were again in dispute with the Great Black-backed Gulls over another sheep carcase and on this occasion they won the spoils.
The open water on No.6 tank contained a large amount of waterfowl with many Common Teal, Wigeon, Mallard, Tufted Duck and smaller numbers of Common Shelduck, Shoveler, Common Pochard and Gadwall. Along the elder trees were a small Chaffinch flock and a Chiffchaff was nearby.
Taking the track along Lordship Lane and the odd sight of 3 dead Hares dumped at the side of the path. I am not sure where they came from as it’s a long time since I’ve any in the area? The path here also held two more pairs of Stonechat which occupied the area by the model airfield.
Back on the track alongside the Manchester Ship Canal and the Great White Egret could be seen out on the salt marsh with several more Little Egret dotted about the marsh. A flock of swans could be seen in the distance on Ince salt marsh but were to far out to be positive about their identification.
I stopped off at Ince on the way home for a better view of the swan herd and they turned out to be Whooper Swan the same birds from last week, Further out on Stanlow Point and another Great White Egret could be seen.
NB. A Barn Owl has been spotted by one of the contractors in the evenings from No.4-6 tanks.
Observer and images: Paul Ralston