A short walk this morning from the model air field bordering Lordship Lane and around No.6 tank. A stunning sunrise (pictured above) over the Manchester Ship Canal was a beautiful start to a wonderful Spring morning. However, it left a mist over the salt marsh making viewing difficult when I got to the view-point on No.4 tank.
Along Lordship Lane there were Reed Buntings holding territory and Lapwing displaying, while overhead a pair of Mute Swan dropped into No.6 tank. Many Meadow Pipit were in active parachute display and a couple of Skylark filled the air with song over four.
The mitigation pools on No.3 tank had Common Teal, Shoveler and many Coot. A pair of displaying Ringed Plover and Lapwing were also noted. A surprise on No.6 tank was a single Great Crested Grebe.
A pair of Wren were in a territorial dispute on the footpath and only stopped when a dumper truck drove past. A Raven passed over head with what looked like a beak full of mud heading in the direction of Helsby Hill.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-2).
The early morning sunshine was still trying to break through the misty cloud when I arrived on the marsh. Walking to the Weaver Bend, the air was full of birdsong, even above the roar of the M56 traffic, which the almost non-existent south-east breeze was doing a fine job of blowing towards the fields.
I drove along Brook Furlong Lane. A pair of Raven croaked in display overhead. There were in excess of 25 on the marsh during the day. Parking up at the old log and sipped my usual cup of latte whilst I got sorted out. Three Grey Heron went sailed past in single file calling noisily. Walking down Brook Furlong to the footpath to the River Weaver. A Green Sandpiper flew up and landed again by a pool in the adjacent field. 6 Common Snipe got up and zig-zagged off and a Grey Wagtail flew over calling.
The song of Skylark filled the air with 4 birds overhead in the fields by the river. 5 male Reed Bunting were also on territory in the phragmites. On the river 3 adult male, an immature male and 9 female Goldeneye moved off towards the Weaver Sluice gates but apart from the usual Tufted Duck, over 100, there was little else. I walked back to the car.
The ramp up onto No.6/5 was still closed, possibly on purpose if I was being cynical. Laying a few metres of underground cables shouldn’t take three weeks. So I had to drive around via Lordship Lane. A fine .Stonechat, all orange below and sporting a small white rump patch sat up briefly before dropping into cover.
I got to No.3 and had a scan. A single Ringed Plover, 10 Shoveler, 47 Coot, 30+ Common Teal, but not much else. I walked on towards No.6 and looked out from the bank. There were lots of birds: 3 Avocet, 20+ Common Snipe, c400 Golden Plover, 300 Lapwing, 4 Ruff, 300 Common Teal, a couple of Pochard and a few Tufted Duck. Best of all was a very high count of at least 270 Shoveler and there could have been more hidden. That’s 280 Shovelers between No.6 and No.3 tanks. About 300 Canada Goose and 10 Greylags fed around the new pools on No.3.
Then onto No.4 tank and a sit down at the north-east corner. I was joined by AC. Frodsham Score was hazy and despite a very high tide at around 15.00 hrs, it was difficult to make out much on the edge. Around 300 Wigeon, a Great White Egret, 1 Little Egret, 100 Grey Plover, 50 Knot and only 1000 Dunlin were in evidence. Two Sparrowhawk and a Peregrine loitered overhead and the mew of Common Buzzard drew attention to three birds. Below the bank a Goldcrest called and fed in the Elderberry bushes and a Chiffchaff also showed briefly.
It was almost summer-like as the breeze went around to the south and the sun actually felt warm. 3 Buff-tailed Bumblebee flew past and a distant butterfly, probably a Small Tortoishell added to the feeling that Spring was well and truly on the way.
Observer: Tony Broome (images 9-14)
A Sparrowhawk was over the reedy pool near Marsh Farm on the lookout for Starlings that were anting or hawking for flies. There were 17 Ringed Plover roosting in usual place on No.6 tank.
Observer: Paul Crawley (images 3-5).
Over at the CEGB pools was 10 Siskin and a single Lesser Redpoll. A Common Hare was active in the fields on the marsh while on No.6 tank included good numbers of Common Snipe with an Avocet, 7 Ruff and 1000 Golden Plover.
Observer: Frank Duff.
We stretched our legs today and walked out to Ince from Frodsham taking in the Spring like weather and singing birdlife out along Lordship Lane en route via the new Beaver bridge (pictured) across the Holpool Gutter..
The tide wasn’t anything like it was yesterday so most of the birds were staying further out. A Great White Egret and several Little Egret were loitering around hoping for a flooded out vole but even the Black-headed gull swarm were struggling to find anything left after this weeks glut.
There were plenty of Buff-tailed Bumblebee out in the sunshine with a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly seen.
A fly over Lesser Redpoll, a solitary Stonechat and a singing Chiffchaff were the only other birds of any note.
Observers: Sparky, WSM (images 6-8).
An image of two WeBS counters Billy Picton and Paul Paul Shenton out on Frodsham Score.
15 Whooper Swan were off the Weaver Sluice Gates on the River Mersey late in the day. per Dave Craven.