A walk out from Ince and around No.4 tank and then to No.6 on this wet and miserable morning. A total of 15 Collared Dove in Ince village and a large flock of Curlew on the fields by the Pig Farm which also held many Fieldfare. There were 18 Little Egret again in the field by the berth which had all moved on when I walked along the canal path to get a better view? A herd of 6 Mute Swan were grazing in the field alongside the Holpool Gutter amongst the reduced numbers of Lapwing and Golden plover with the rest of the mixed swan herd still out on the salt marsh. The Manchester Ship Canal was quiet with only a couple of Little Grebe and a Great Crested Grebe were noted.
The mitigation pools are looking good with Lapwing, Redshank and Common Teal making use of them. No.6 tank held a good selection of wildfowl with more Teal and Tufted Duck, Pochard, Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard and two Kestrel hunting the bank. There were 10 Raven feeding on a another dead sheep with several more in the area while two sat on the fence. A model plane went down on the tank and was retrieved by its owner I saw another plane washed up on the east bank a couple of weeks ago. Back along the canal path and I caught a fleeting glimpse of a large raptor with a white rump disappearing over the bank on No.4 but couldn’t relocate it and presumably the Hen Harrier seen over at Hale?. Large numbers of Goldfinch and Linnet were feeding on the weed seeds along the path.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1 & 3-4).Images 2 by Paul Crawley.
A series of images of an abnormally long-billed Blue Tit I saw on my RSPB Bird Garden Watch this morning. Images by WSM.