Out this morning from Ince berth and around No.4 and No.6 tanks. A flock of Golden Plover in summer dress were out on the salt marsh as were the wintering Whooper Swan flock. A Great White Egret and 2 Little Egret were also in the vicinity. On the Manchester Ship Canal were Tufted Duck with a few Common Shelduck, Mallard, Common Teal and a single Great Crested Grebe. The canal path held small flocks of Linnet, Goldfinch and Chaffinch with several Chiffchaff seen and heard.
On the opposite bank were Oystercatcher and Redshank which were holding ground and several Raven loitering with intent. Two Marsh Harrier were noted and were later seen high up over No.6 tank. On the mitigation area were 2 Avocet, Ringed Plover, Redshank and Lapwing all in the company of Shoveler, Teal and Mallard. Along Lordship Lane a pale phase Common Buzzard was perched up and more Chiffchaff seen and heard singing. Several Small Tortoiseshell butterflies were out in the morning sun and a Kestrel was checking potential nest sites.
Observer: Paul Ralston (image 4).
An early start at Marsh Farm this morning, 2 Swallow flew east along the ship canal along with 6 Sand Martin. A further 3 Sand Martin were prospecting holes in the ship canal banks. A Wheatear and a male Merlin were on No.1 tank and a female Merlin was out on the Score.
A Goosander was on the Weaver estuary, 8 Avocet were moving between the estuary and the Weaver bend and a female Marsh Harrier was hunting around the Shooters’ Pools. The bushes around the I.C.I tank held a pair of Bullfinch and a Greenfinch.
A Willow Warbler was in brambles on the south bank of No.4 tank and another Wheatear was on No.3 tank.
Amongst the waders on No.6 tank were 3 Ruff and a Bar-tailed Godwit until a Peregrine scattered everything. Additionally 26 Chiffchaff were counted across the marsh.
Observer: Alyn Chambers (images 5-6).
A female Marsh Harrier, presumably the same bird? was also seen from Redwall reed bed, No.5 and No.4 tanks. 4 Avocet were out on Frodsham Score with 40 Oystercatcher six of which were also on the Weaver Estuary. The highlight of the am period was a female Goosander and two pairs and a single Great Crested Grebe all on the Weaver Estuary and a pair on the Canal Pools.
A female Merlin was still present with one on No.1 tank plus 10 Jackdaw. A count of 40 Raven were noted from various locations. 15 Chiffchaff and a solitary singing Willow Warbler were notable. Migrants included 3 Sand Martin over the River Weaver and 5 over the Canal Pools. A Cetti’s Warbler blasted away at a site to the west of the marsh.
Observer: Tony Broome (images 7 & 9).
Parking up in Marsh Lane we headed west via Moorditch Lane and then onto Lordship Lane. After a short while we were watching a couple of Common Buzzard in display flight over Lordship Marsh with another keeping a discreet distance away. At about 12.30 I was day dream walking and mulling over the recent sightings of Osprey’s locally and in particular the great shots the Hilbre boys managed to get and post on social media yesterday. A series of anxious gull cries overhead made me look up in their direction and there it was circling and spinning out to head into a north easterly sky…an Osprey! sometimes it’s worth having your head in the clouds.
After alerting TB to the birds direction we continued our hike to circumnavigate No.4 tank. The blue bridge over the Holpool Gutter has now been removed with just the new bridge in place. 20 Mute Swan and 4 Greylag Goose were settled in the farm fields on Ince Marsh. Looking out across the ship canal to Frodsham Score was a little sparse and little wonder with most birds in various stages of migration. The Whooper Swan herd included a single juvenile with 9 adults. The Pink-footed Goose flock from yesterday was still present and a single Little Egret and a very wobbly heat haze effected Great White Egret were the only birds of note.
Walking back along the edge of No.4 tank and a single male Wheatear was showing well while overhead a female Peregrine surveyed the area.
Observers: Sparky, WSM (images 1-3 & 8 & 10-13).