Out early morning from Ince Berth and 30 Little Egret some sitting in the trees and others feeding in the field mark a considerable rewrite of the history books. A large flock of Lapwing were over on the salt marsh with a smaller flock of Golden Plover which held a few Dunlin with them. There were more flocks of Golden Plover noted flying west along the Manchester Ship Canal during my walk.
The fields alongside the Holpool Gutter held even more Lapwing and 11 Mute Swan which had a single Greylag Goose for company. The gutter also held a pair of Tufted Duck and 3 Little Grebe. On the ship canal were a couple of pairs of Canada Goose which were putting their claim on the territory. Also paired up were Gadwall and Mallard.
The ‘Splashing Pool’ held more Tufted Duck and another pair of Little Grebe. Further along the path the mitigation area held c1000 Lapwing which took to the air as I walked by but 20 Redshank and a few Dunlin held their nerve and carried on feeding. No.6 tank held hundreds of Common Teal in the shallows and with the Green-winged Teal reported across the river they might be worth a grilling.
Lordship Lane was quiet with a female Stonechat on the fence and a flock of mixed finches moving along the bank. A female Kestrel went past clutching a vole and a pair of Common Buzzard were noted. At the southern end of six a female Sparrowhawk was in pursuit of a Blackbird and more Buzzard were over the reed bed on No.4 tank.
Walking back along the canal path and the Great White Egret passed overhead to land on the Frodsham Score close to a couple of Little Egret. while I spotted a WeBS counter could be seen out near the river. A male Stonechat sat on a teasel stalk on the edge of the canal.
Observer: Paul Ralston (image 3).
I started my WeBS count overlooking No.3 tank where earlier PR had seen the plover flocks. Most of the birds stuck to the northern section of the mitigation area on No.3 tank where they were relatively sheltered from the brisk south-westerly wind. The Golden Plover flock looked quite impressive with c500 birds present and the 1500 Lapwing were mixed in and on the margins. A handful of Dunlin were dwarfed by their companions and found shelter in the earthy hollows.
The flock of Raven were scattered across the whole of the marsh with c35 birds on view and perhaps they should be renamed ‘mutton and lamb carrion crows’ because there were plenty laying about the fields.
I shifted my position on the tide and watched over No.6 tank where 470 Common Teal were flushed out of the flooded daisy beds by a female Merlin then a fine male Sparrowhawk added to their anxiety. A couple of drake Pintail, 22 Common Pochard, 12 Gadwall, 56 Mallard, 9 Tufted Duck, 100 Common Shelduck, 178 Shoveler, 6 Cormorant and 9 Coot.
Observer: WSM (images1-2 & 4-6).
A Lesser Redpoll was joined by a Siskin, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Goldcrest at the CEGB Pools.
Observer: Frank Duff.
Out on Frodsham Score a pale-bellied Brent Goose was noted per Robbie Allcock. A set of evocative images from Shaun Hickey from Sundays WeBS count on the southern Mersey marshes.