A walk around No.6 tank tank this afternoon felt a bit like a sail aboard the Mary Celeste with just a small flock of Black-tailed Godwit flying over. We walked out to look across Frodsham Score where the wind and waves were doing their best to gauge out chunks of the edge of the river. A couple of Little Egret and roosting gulls were the only birds that stood out on the rising tide.
The ‘Splashing pool’ had a number of Tufted Duck with a couple of Shoveler in their midst. The Raven group hanging out by the pumping Station were gain taking full advantage from the draught up the steep canal banks.
Like Paul said it pays to persevere and he scored much better over at Marsh Farm.
Observers: Sparky & WSM.
I went to Marsh Farm first then over to No.6 then back to the farm and saw 30 Black-tailed Godwit on No.1 evading a couple of juvenile Peregrine. I am not sure if one was successful but one of them landed on a post looking over the small reed bed near the farm and did the funky chicken (see video) the second bird then flew over my head from the reed bed towards No.5. The first bird then had a go at the godwits on the Frodsham Score and you can just about see it at the top of the flock.
A couple of Brown Hare where somewhere on the marsh.
Video here: https://vimeo.com/286916286
Observer: Paul Crawley (images & video).
After a promising start things petered out. No.1 tank had c80 Curlew and 20 Black-tailed Godwit with the odd Kestrel and a steady flow of Swallow. No.6 had 2 Dunlin, 30 Teal and 20 Pied Wagtail whilst the bank separating 3 & 5 had Raven and Buzzard sparring.
Butterflies including Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown and White’s started to come out with the sun at about 13:00 all over the marsh. A Wheatear was near the pool by the farm.
Observer: Paul Crawley (images 1-2).
Recent rains have left a shallow pool on No.6 tank which attracted c40 Common Teal, a few Mallard, 3 Dunlin and 3 Black-tailed Godwit. A Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were having a dogfight over No.6 and several Common Buzzard were overhead.
The ‘Splashing Pool’ held only a single Mallard with the Tufted Duck flock settled on the Manchester Ship Canal. Raven were numerous in the area with many enjoying the updraft from the ship canal bank. Further along and 2 Common Snipe were at the Canal Pools with both Swallow and House Martin stocking up before the trek south. A dozen or so Yellow Wagtail were feeding on No.3 with a flock of Meadow Pipit and Skylark.
A flock of c200 Black-tail Godwit dropped on to a scrape on No.3 and soon moved out to the estuary. A single Blackwit was feeding at the ‘Secluded Pool’ with another Common Snipe for company.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 3-4).
A brief visit to the marsh this dull wet morning starting at Marsh Farm where a Kestrel dropped from a great height and caught a decent sized black rodent. A flock of c300 Black-tailed Godwit with several Curlew and a mass of Starling fed in the hay field.
On to No.6 tank which was devoid of birdlife but this may have been due to a Marsh Harrier hunting over the area. The ‘Secluded Pool’ had a Green Sandpiper and a Water Rail. A few more godwits were seen dropping down on to the scrape on No.3 and a Weasel crossed the path in front of me.
Observer: Paul Ralston.
There was nothing at all on the dried mud of No.6 but the ‘secluded pool’ still held a Green Sandpiper, 3 Common Snipe and a Sedge Warbler. Chiffchaff were moving through the elderberry bushes with a mixed flock of tit species.
The Splashing Pool’ held c200 Tufted Duck and Mallard which were on edge and flew off as soon as they caught sight of me. Above the path a few Swallow and House Martin were hawking overhead.
Onward to the Manchester Ship Canal path and a look over the Frodsham Score where c1000 Canada Goose were on the water with more Tufted Duck and Mallard. There were many more ducks on the salt marsh but these took flight which may have had something to do with a clay shoot taking place at Ince. Raven were out in force with 20 feeding on a sheep carcass on the score with many more riding in the breeze. Also noted were a single Little Egret and several Curlew on the marsh.
The Canal Pools were quiet with just Coot, Moorhen and 2 Common Snipe seen. A group of 7 Yellow Wagtail dropped down to feed on No.3 and a flock of c50 Black-tailed Godwit were on a scrape which still holds some water.
Raptors were scarce with just Common Buzzard and Kestrel being seen.
Observer and images: Paul Ralston.