17.02.18. Birdlog.

I started my bird watch from Ince this morning but only got as far as the pools which had the usual Mallard, Common Teal, Gadwall and Coot as the construction traffic was heavy at 7 30 am.

I then made my way to Brook Furlong Lane and walked along to Marsh Farm and then back along the River Weaver. A flock of Redwing were feeding in the horse paddock and a covey of released Red-legged Partridge which crossed the track ahead.

There were two pairs of Stonechat were on the fence along the edge of No.1 tank and a flock of Curlew were near the farm.

On the Manchester Ship Canal were Tufted Duck, Common Teal and Mallard taking shelter from the shooting out on the salt marsh for the last weekend of their season. Just along by the sluice gates on the Weaver estuary were much the same duck species with the addition of Common Shelduck, more Gadwall and a few Common Pochard with 4 Great Crested Grebe and a pair of Oystercatcher.

Frodsham Score was fairly quiet during the period of the receding tide with several hundred Dunlin flying about while 42 Grey Plover were still on the edge of the salt marsh. Also 3 Little Egret in and out of the tidal channels.

The Whooper Swan flock were in the fields near the slurry tank and a few visiting birders were out to see the 2 Bewick’s that have been with them recently.

On the flooded field c50 Pied Wagtail, 45 Linnet a least one Water Pipit and 10 Meadow Pipit fed and were joined by a Green Sandpiper. Both Common Buzzard and Kestrel were hunting along the bank of No.6 and a pair of Stock Dove have claimed one of the owl boxes.

A couple of Chiffchaff were on No.5 tank, 200 Goldfinch and a small flock of 10 Chaffinch were also noted.

At least 34 Raven were busy cleansing up after a flurry of lambing activity.

The mitigation pools on No.3 tank held 34 Common Teal, 12 Shoveler and at least 50 Coot

The sludge tank of No.6 was again crowded with ducks and 342 Common Teal were down on earlier in the week while Shoveler have also been seen their numbers falling gradually with 142. The 20 Common Pochard  (4 females) have split up with the rest joining the Tufted’s on the Weaver estuary. There were 43 Common Shelduck, a pair of Pintail and 101 Mallard.

There were plenty of shorebirds with 540 Lapwing, 54 Redshank, 200 Dunlin and 14 Common Snipe.

A male Marsh Harrier was perched up in its usual watch point and waiting for the females to join him at dusk.

Observers: Paul Ralston (images 1-3 & 5), WSM (image 4).