20.03.18. Birdlog.

The first day of Spring and a walk out along the River Weaver at Frodsham Marshes. It was a bright and sunny day but the chilly north-easterly kept the winter woolies unpacked.

A Cetti’s Warbler was along Brook Furlong Lane where a Chiffchaff was bathing in a sheltered sunny corner. Further out by Redwall reed bed and a pair of Stonechat were along the fence line.The flooded shooters’ pools had 30 Common Teal and a couple of Shoveler.

A group of 15 Goldeneye on the river was just the beginning and 132 Tufted Duck were the largest flock we’ve had on the marshes since the big freeze. Also present were 7 Little and 6 Great Crested with a dead Great Crested on the edge of the wash wreak.

The Scaup from yesterday were still present but had increased with 5 drake and a solitary female hanging out with 7 Common Pochard. A small flock of 8 Ringed Plover and a couple of Avocet were at the confluence of the Weaver estuary and the Manchester Ship Canal.

Looking out across Frodsham Score on the rising tide and flocks of c300 Black-tailed were joined by 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Grey Plover, 40 Redshank, 235 Dunlin, 2 Avocet, 15 Oystercatcher and 230 Curlew.

We eventually made our way over to No.6 tank where the ducks were still present with 341 Common Teal, 43 Shoveler, a pair of Pintail, c100 Common Shelduck, 54 Mallard and 35 Common Gull.

A brief step away and the mitigation pools had a further 163 Common Teal, 12 Shoveler and a pair of Wigeon.

Plastic waste in our watercourses is currently high on the political agenda and the Manchester Ship Canal is no exception. The above image shows the lid of a pink plastic recycle bin that was washed up at the junction of the canal and the Weaver estuary known as the ‘Weaver Turn’. The lid originated from Salford City Council district and travelled roughly 35 miles to end up at Frodsham Marsh. This is just a small item in a river and canal, there is much more.

Observers: Sparky & WSM (images).