The last hour and half of light turned out to be really productive on my short walk from Ince Berth to the Holpool Gutter.
A Great White Egret was in a field alongside the Manchester Ship Canal path and 19 Mute Swan, 2 Greylag and 2 Canada Goose were alongside the gutter. On the gutter itself were several Tufted Duck and 4 Common Teal which lifted when a Common Buzzard checked them out.There were a couple of Short-eared Owl hunting the gutter and over No.4 tank, while the other was along the canal bank. Back at the start of my walk and a Kingfisher was seen in the fading light going to roost in the ditch by the berth. The newly established Little Egret roost site saw 15 birds joining other birds already there.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-3).
A little further afield and to the east of Runcorn bridge at Mersey Road, Runcorn the evening gull fly by saw several thousand birds bottled-necked at the narrows and within their throng was an adult and a 3rd winter Iceland Gull.
There have been upwards of six Iceland Gulls (noted usually from Hale and Marsh Farm) from their evening departure at the nearby Arpley tip. If you want to see birds from either Mersey Road or Wigg Island, Runcorn you should be there from 17.00 hrs. The gulls congregate on the sand banks west of the new bridge workings and at 17.30 hrs the big gulls start to fly over from Fiddlers Ferry. You can even watch from the comfort of your warm car.
Additionally, the Starling pre-roost on Runcorn Bridge featured a few thousand birds but without any raptor activity there they didn’t put on any murmurations worthy of note. Interestingly, the flocks soon filtered from the bridge in the half-light and streamed out to (presumably) their huge Northwich roost sites to the east?
Observer: WSM (images 4-6)