I was out this morning starting at No.6 and around No.4 tanks. Walking along the track between the tanks and a familiar call was heard overhead and looking back I just caught sight of c10 Whooper Swan high up heading south and this was bizarrely followed a short time later by two Swallow heading in the same direction (such is migration).
The ‘Splashing Pool’ held c25 Shoveler with several Mallard and Gadwall. A Common Sandpiper was again seen flying along the Manchester Ship Canal where a group of 6 Little Grebe and 15 Tufted Duck were present.
Frodsham Score salt marsh had 8 Little Egret dotted about and what geese flocks there was were at the river’s edge.
The fields around the Holpool Gutter held c200 Lapwing and a large flocks of black-back gulls which were resting near Ince Berth.
Generally raptors were in short supply with only Kestrel and Common Buzzard noted.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-4).
My visited was to coincide with the mornings high tide out on the River Mersey and the subsequent fallout onto No.6 tank and its surrounding area. A flock of c1000 Lapwing were gathered on the edge of the shallow waters with 70 Golden Plover (a late return to the marshes despite them being available on the Mersey estuary for a few weeks now (It’s the autumn that keeps on not giving). The Ruff that have been lingering about since last September continue to frequent these pools on No.6 tank along with the steady rise in numbers of Common Teal. The first drakes are beginning to sport their winter finery.
After the tide I walked out to have a look over Frodsham Score and I couldn’t beat Paul’s count of Little Egret but 3 Great White Egret were lingering on the edge of the salt marsh no doubt waiting for the waters to recede far enough for them to fish in the tidal gutters. Several thousand Canada Goose were the only goose species out there today. Several hundred Dunlin were wheeling around in the far distance and small numbers of Curlew were really about it for waders. Ducks are slowly filtering back with tens of Wigeon noted. A female Marsh Harrier did help in dislodging some difficult to see species as it quartered the marsh.
A couple of Cetti’s Warbler were song dueling from the reed beds and a large female Sparrowhawk kept the roving tit and Goldcrest flock on the move.
An adult Peregrine sat with its back to the wind on what must have been a very draughty blue top chimney at Weston Point.
Finally a skein of Pink-footed Goose headed over from the north-east and didn’t falter and continued west.
Observer: WSM (images 5-6).