Out this morning from Ince Berth and around tanks 4 and 6. Now that the breeding season is in full swing with flocks of juvenile Starling begging for food off their parents on the fresh-cut silage. Likewise, the young Carrion Crow youngsters were crash landing in to the hawthorn bushes nearby. A pair of Great Tit were feeding their young in a nest on the pipe bridge crossing the Holpool Gutter.
Out on the Frodsham Score a ewe was trapped, flipped on her back and was still alive when a pair of corvids attacked her eyes (such is the fate of some of these animals when left to roam free). On the Manchester Ship Canal were Mallard, Gadwall, Common Shelduck and Tufted Duck which were joined by several Canada Goose and Mute Swan with Oystercatcher calling in alarm on the canal bank. On the Canal Pools a pair of Canada Goose had over 20 goslings with them.
Skylark were numerous and singing loud as were Sedge Warbler and smaller numbers of Reed seen and heard on my walk. there were 11 Avocet noted on the scrapes on No.3 tank with a couple of Ringed Plover and breeding Lapwing.
I met a birder who mentioned he had seen a couple Brown Hare earlier this morning so that would have been notable if they crossed my path today. Back along the Holpool Gutter there were more Skylark and 2 pair of Yellow Wagtail were in a crop field.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1 & 3).
A fine summer day to be out and about on the marshes today. Starting from No.6 tank which held a 387 strong summering flock of Black-tailed Godwit including a colour-ringed bird (pictured below) and ringed as a chick (colour combination Green/White-Orange/Black) on 10.07.15 at Kaldaðarnes, Árnessýsla, South Iceland.
A lone Avocet was moon walking as it feed in the shallow waters and was presumably back tracking after stirring up food from the muddy bottom. Generally the variety of shorebirds were notably poor with 12 Lapwing and a handful of Redshank. No.6 tank is perhaps more renowned of late for its ducks and as expected the volume of species was again high with Common Shelduck being the most evident with 200 birds. A video of the Avocet here: https://vimeo.com/168516505
A 1st summer Marsh Harrier flew to the east and the same bird was over Marsh Farm a few hours later.
The Weaver Estuary also had 100 Tufted Duck with scattered groups of Gadwall, Mallard and Common Shelduck. Other birds of interest included 7 Great Crested Grebe and a Oystercatcher.
A scabby looking Fox was out on the marsh today.
Observers: Tony Broome (images 10-14), WSM (images 2 & 4-9).