A very early start with the sun lighting up the sky from the east and all of the pot holes along Moorditch Lane frozen.
I had to be careful with popping my head above the banks overlooking No.6 tank even in the dark. The sound of honking Canada Goose filled the air accompanied by whistles from the Wigeon mingling close by. Eventually the dawn chorus erupted and the best part of the geese splashed and flapped their way off the open water and headed out across the reed beds to the salt marshes on the edge of the Mersey estuary. With the dawn light came another flight of c500 departing Wigeon in loose flocks following the Canada’s.
After a period of calm the rest of the ducks settled and I managed to get a thorough scan of those present. It wasn’t really a surprise to count 978 Wigeon remaining, there were more on the eastern side of the tank but to shift by position would have meant disturbing the birds below where I was watching from. Other ducks included: 2 Goldeneye, 64 Pintail, 23 Common Pochard, 2 1st winter (female?) Scaup, 43 Tufted Duck, a few Gadwall, 120 Mallard and 587 Common Teal including the Green-winged Teal that’s been knocking around for a week or so.
The young male and young female Marsh Harrier were quartering the reed beds but soon lifted into the sky and headed into a south-westerly direction (Dee marshes?). The Peregrine was sat on the lip of the blue-topped chimney overlooking Weston Point.
The flooded fields off Lordship Lane were frozen so there wasn’t much in the way of passerines. A flock of c300 Redwing and Fieldfare were notable. One small flock were perched uncomfortably close to a perched Common Buzzard.
There were 3 Whooper Swan in fields close to the M56 motorway.
Three Cetti’s Warbler were widely scattered ranging from No.4 to No.5 tank.
Observer and images: WSM.