Observer and images: Paul Ralston.
Frodsham Marsh Birdlog
A late afternoon 10 km walk from Moorditch Lane out to the Growhow Works and back via No.4 tank to view No.6 at sundown.
The walk from Moorditch and along Lordship Lane was fairly uneventful but a couple who were walking ahead may have flushed whatever was lurking in the flooded fields alongside the lanes. It wasn’t until we reached the ramp of No.4 that a flock of 58 Curlew left their feeding area and decamped in fields where the motor sports activity had been busy earlier. The churning up of the flooded fields must have exposed food for these birds?
The fields close to the works had a herd of Whooper Swan yesterday but they were not to been seen there today. We walked along the track to the Holpool Gutter and a small group of Mute’s were busy bathing there. A scan of the Ince Marsh fields revealed where the Whooper Swan herd had relocated and 18 birds were gathered at the far end of the fields. It pays to persevere at this game.
The distance from the works alongside No.4 and back between 3 & 6 tanks remained bird free apart from a steady stream of 5000 Starling heading to Runcorn Bridge. On arrival at my favourite viewing area above No.6 the sound of Golden Plover filled the air all around and the setting sun was splashing colours across the cloudy sky. It was at this moment a Peregrine chose to strike at the roosting wader flocks down on the tank below. It was similar numbers to yesterday but this time in technicolor the whirling masses of c3500 mixed Lapwing, Goldies and Dunlin were even more spectacular. The Dunlin in particular appeared like a pulsating ball of energy alternating in size, shape and colour and like an old friend once said “stroboscopic in their alternating flight”. The Peregrine left empty clawed and the mayhem soon settled down and apart from the peewits calling in the gloom it was a long walk with a reward at the end (at least for me).
Observers: Sparky, WSM.