Every birder who is addicted to a bit of patch birding knows it can get obsessive sometimes and my obsession doesn’t look like abating anytime soon.
I thought I would take advantage of any early dart from work and squeeze in sometime at Marsh Farm. We took the pot-holed track along Brook Furlong Lane where a small flock of 20 Fieldfare were looking for a roost site for the night. On arrival at Marsh Farm via a very big earth digger and loads of newly born lambs a brisk cold wind met us and didn’t give us much of a chance to shelter from it. A male Stonechat flushed out of the clumps of dead grass adjacent to the track brighten an otherwise dull setting.
It was impressive to watch the gathering of Raven over on Frodsham Score with many more nearby on No.3 tank. I estimated that there were in excess of 50 birds but a much more concerted effort should increase that number on the Sunday WeBS count (over to you Shaun and Dermot et al).
A Great Crested Grebe flew west along the Manchester Ship Canal while a Great Black-backed Gull was swimming on the ‘cut’.
There was a reason why we chose to walk to Marsh Farm instead of watching over No.6 tank as usual. The gathering of Starling on the flooded scrapes of No.3/mitigation area were building up nicely and I wanted to see them streaming out at dusk to see where they were heading to. Eventually they departed in two flocks, the first contained c3000 birds and these were soon followed by a solid block of birds containing in excess of 30000 all headed north towards Runcorn Bridge.
Observers: Sparky, WSM (and images).