The Manchester Ship Canal path near the berth was full of the sound of Spring with Blackcap Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and a pair of Reed Warbler either seen or heard or both.
The ship canal held Common Shelduck, Gadwall, a pair of Great Crested Grebe and 9 Mute Swan, with Coot and Canada Goose also present on the water. The female Marsh Harrier was seen cruising over the Holpool gutter putting the Tufted Duck flock to flight. A single Wheatear was on the canal path and Sand Martin pairs were checking last years nest site out.
A shallow pool close to the ‘Splashing Pool’ held a Common Snipe and a Black-tailed Godwit in summer plumage with a nesting Coot, The mitigation pools on No.3 tank had Redshank, Shoveler, Teal and a small flock of Dunlin with Lapwing on crow patrol and pursuing them with gusto.
The shallow waters of No.6 tank attracted a good flock of Black-tailed Godwit with more Dunlin, Ruff, Redshank and Ringed Plover. Casting an eye back towards No.4 tank and both male and female Marsh Harrier were up in the air together. Duck numbers were low but still the Tufted Ducks looked healthy while more Common Shelduck, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler and a small number of Common Pochard were hanging about. Along Lordship Lane and Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat were noted with a Kestrel hunting the banks of six.
The field Ince Marsh alongside the Holpool Gutter had 17 Mute Swan, 6 Pied Wagtail, 2 White and 1 Yellow Wagtail with a pair of Little Ringed Plover at the edge of a large puddle. Several Common Buzzard and many Raven were noted during the walk today.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-3 & 5).
Presumably the same female Marsh Harrier was hunting the banks of No.6 tank later in the day and present with the Dunlin flocks on six was yesterday’s Curlew Sandpiper. The numbers of Wheatear increased today with 12 birds and the first Whinchat of the Spring was noted.
Observer: Frank Duff.
A Grasshopper Warbler showed well along Lordship Lane this afternoon.
Among the waders on No.6 tank were the Curlew Sandpiper, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 16 Avocet, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 7 Ruff and a Knot.
Observer: Alyn Chambers.
An additional note involves a Red Kite which was observed over Runcorn Expressway mid afternoon.
Images 1 & 4 by Tony Broome.