Just as we are emerging back into some sort of normality it would be remiss of me not to have another day spent birding out on the marshes. I bumped into Paul on the banks of No.6 tank but not before most of the waders that had been on there took off and left the area completely. After that we both made our way to No.4 tank where a pair of wintering Stonechat were playing catch in the reed beds. Apart from a Common Snipe little else was present to occupy our time so we headed out to the north-west corner to look out across Frodsham Score.
Paul had earlier seen 9 Whooper Swan in the Ince marsh fields and we soon relocated them hiding away behind a hedgerow. There was a mixed flock of 1500 Lapwing and Golden Plover semi concealed by the winter wheat in the fields but everything got spooked and they flew up circling the area before resettling.
The salt marsh was fairly quiet with the majority of birds being Canada Goose spread far and wide. There was two Great White Egret resurfacing from the tidal gutters every now and then while a dozen Little Egret were present. A Peregrine was sat on the edge of the river while a female Merlin chose an area close in.
No.6 tank was very much a shadow of its previous visits with 9 Ruff, 6 Dunlin, 8 Golden Plover, 200 Black-tailed Godwit and 30 Redshank being the shorebird highlights. Common Teal numbers were down and apart from a few Shoveler, Pintail, 29 Common Pochard and 48 Tufted Duck that was really about it.
The 2nd winter Marsh Harrier was disturbed from the secluded pool and disappeared out beyond the tank. The usual male Stonechat was again on No.5 tank and flocks of Goldfinch made up the rest.
Observers: Paul Ralston (images 2-3), WSM (images 1 & 4-6).