Out and about in this Spring like morning and a start from the Holpool Gutter. There were 4 Common Buzzard sat around the pallet yard next to the Growhow works. The 16 Mute Swan were minus their Greylag Goose companion on the field alongside the gutter.
Lapwing and Golden Plover took to the air as a Buzzard passed too close for their comfort. A selection of Common Teal, Mallard and a Little Egret were on the gutter side and a Green Sandpiper was seen to vacate the area.
Out on Frodsham Score were the usual large herd of Canada Goose with Pink-footed Goose present. I didn’t notice at the time but looking at the picture there may be some Brent Goose with them but hard to tell with the picture quality? A walk over to No.4 tank didn’t produce much other than the large Linnet and Goldfinch flocks and a few Reed Bunting. No.6 tank held good numbers of waterfowl eg Common Teal, Mallard, Gadwall, Common Pochard, Common Shelduck and Tufted Duck with 2 Little Grebe noted. A brief glimpse of a Water Rail was had as it dropped in to the reeds squealing and there were more Lapwing and Golden Plover flying overhead.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-3).
We took the opportunity after our walk at Tatton Park to drop in at the marsh. A walk from Marsh Lane to Marsh Farm and back was fairly productive. Although I only had my bins for watching it was crystal clear out across the Mersey Estuary it would have come in useful if I had my scope though with all those gulls out there. What I could pick out from distance included: 70 Oystercatcher, 100 Curlew, 200 Common Shelduck and a selection of small to medium-sized shorebirds and of course gulls galore.
Merlin attacking Starling flock (above and below images).
The Starling murmuration didn’t really materialised but when a juv/female Merlin which I first spotted perched up at the farm had an eye on the loose Starling flocks passing through. Shortly after it made a bee line of flight to attack the flocks that had gathered by the reedy pool , with a slight diversion across No.2 tank to use the raised bank as cover. The murmuration that occurred so after the Merlin attack was good while it lasted.
A Common Buzzard helped itself to a supply of dead lambs around the fields and these carcasses are certainly aiding the sustainability of both Common Buzzard and Raven in this area over the last few years.
A Short-eared Owl was hunting the banks of No.6 tank and didn’t take too kindly to the attention of a couple of Raven en route to their Welsh roost site. Another Short-eared Owl was watched over the Weaver Bend as we were walking back. A small flock of 14 Fieldfare were looking for a roosting tree for the night.
The evening ended with a splendid sunset over the marsh and then a stunning estuary bathed in crimson and blues as the sun departed for the day.
Observers: Sparky, WSM (images 1 & 4-9).