Out this morning from Ince and around No.4 tank. The pools at Ince were very quiet with a lot of disturbance from the clay pigeon shooting going on in the nearby area but the fields held good numbers of Curlew. On to the Manchester Ship Canal path and a large flock of Goldfinch were on the seed heads of the thistles with a Goldcrest adding to the precious metal heads. The field adjacent to the Holpool Gutter had a large mixed flock of Lapwing and Golden Plover which found it difficult to settle with all the shooting continuing. The Mute Swan herd reached 19 with 6 Greylag Goose in attendance.
Out on Frodsham Score salt marsh the Canada Goose were the target for the wildfowlers and it was obvious they were struggling to carry the amount of geese they had shot. Several Little Egret were skittish with all this firearm activity and they kept an eye on the shooters as they made their way to a boat moored near the Holpool Gutter. The female Merlin was sitting serene in her usual place along the canal path.
From the junction of No’s.4 & 6 the Whooper Swan herd could be seen in the distance by the M56. Walking back along Lordship Lane and a flock of 13 Common Snipe were busy feeding in the stubble fields and nearby the Rook flocks were inspecting their nests by the Growhow Works site.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-4).
The two Little Stint that have enjoyed a long stay from last year look set to be here for a while and they were both present again today feeding with the Dunlin flocks on No.6 tank. Upwards of 1,000 Black-tailed Godwit were also on the sludge tank. Nearby a wintering territorial Cetti’s Warbler was singing from the reed beds. A small skein of 10 Pink-footed Goose probably some of the birds from yesterday were over Frodsham Score.
Observer: Frank Duff.
A look over No.6 tank early this morning revealed 37 Common Pochard, 120 Tufted Duck, 29 Pintail and a Great Crested Grebe. 4 Ruff were also present. Later in the morning the 2 Little Stint had returned with a flock of Dunlin.
A Peregrine was disturbing the Lapwing and Golden Plover on No.2 tank and a Marsh Harrier was briefly seen flying over No. 4 tank.
The Whooper Swan herd was in a field out towards the M56 along with a Little Egret.
Observer: Alyn Chambers.
I don’t think I can add much to what the lads have already seen today but both Little Stint were still present at dusk. The jittery flocks of 2000 Lapwing were up and down over Frodsham Score and No.2 tank. Several hundred Golden Plover couldn’t take the anxiety and left the score flocks to settle for the evening on No.6 tank. Likewise and probably the instigator of all this trouble was the sub-adult Marsh Harrier that came from the estuary direction to spend the night here. The Raven flocks were continuing with their sheep loins dinner while the Starling flocks were streaming through and headed north to Runcorn bridge.
Observer: WSM (image 1 & 5-7).