Down to the marsh, along the M56, stopped off for a latte and made the bridge on Marsh Lane for 10.06 hrs. A glorious day. Bright sunshine, blue sky and a light south-westerly breeze. Parking up at the old birdlog adjacent to No.1 tank and I then wandered along the Brook Furlong Lane and then back across to Redwall and the River Weaver. There were c10 Fieldfares and 15 Redwings with a few (4) Song Thrush erupted from the berry-laden hawthorn hedges as I passed underneath.
A flock of tits contained just a single Long-tailed and a couple of Goldcrest. Interestingly, the photos I took clearly showed the features of our British subspecies, Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus, which has a spotted throat and small upside-down chevrons across the breast. A.g. europaeus, the European subspecies lacks these features, but it is the one usually illustrated in field guides. There were also 2 Stonechat, the usual pair were in the field by Redwall and around 15 Goldeneye fed out on the water towards the sluice gates.
I drove up to the Marsh Farm, but except for a dead calf, a handful of Raven, there wasn’t much. On the way to join Bill at the western end of No.6, I took a picture of a Chaffinch close to the parked car. Looking at the results later it had a hoverfly, Erisyrphus balteatus in its bill, which is a very late record for the insect although they are recorded in every month if the weather is mild. After lunch overlooking the mitigation area on No.3. Common Teal fed in the shallow water below us. We walked out to the bank overlooking Frodsham Score and viewed 4 distant Whooper Swan, a Great White Egret and up to 20 Little Egret. Dunlin flocks swirled and twisted like mist and eventually an estimated 10,000 settled on the edge of the water accompanied by 40 or so Grey Plover.
A Marsh Harrier came across from the Hale side and headed for No.6 and flushed all the waders and ducks as it casually drifted by in the distance. A Merlin did a fly through and caused further unrest as it did so. 3 Grey Wagtail flew over going east. We went back to the junction of No.3, 4 and 6 to watch the Starling roost at dusk. There were eventually a flock of c5000 but the birds stayed away to the west as it grew darker. 18 Raven left the sheep dead sheep corpse on No.5 and headed for the hills to roost.
I also headed to my own roost, back up the M56 and not a bad day with some nice photos.