We took a long walk out to Frodsham Score salt marsh via Moorditch Lane, No. 5 & 6, 3& 2 tanks before walking around No.4 to reach the Manchester Ship Canal.
A few Jackdaw were out and about in the fields and several Fieldfare were chacking away from the berry-bearing Hawthorn hedgerows.
A pair of Stonechat were lingering by the ramp track to No.5 tank where a usually marked Common Buzzard stood out like a sore thumb with a white nape and two-toned black and brown patterned plumage, unless…
No.6 tank had a couple of Pintail, 12 Shoveler and much reduced numbers of Common Teal. Several hundred Lapwing masked out a few of the much missed Black-tailed Godwit in their throng. A small group of Common Snipe attempted to conceal themselves close by the vegetated margins of the shallow pool. A female and 1 cy Marsh Harrier were harrying Meadow Pipits from the tall lank grass on the tank.
A short walk away and the yelping of Pink-footed Goose soon revealed a huge numbers in excess of 800 birds (possibly 1,000?) across both No.2 & No.3 tanks.
We were slightly late for the start of the incoming tide but a mega ‘Mersey Snake’ flock of c20,000 Dunlin twisted and stretched out across the sky above the Mersey marshes. When we eventually arrived they had found their roosting sites and it wasn’t until the tide began to ebb did they perform again. It was immediately evident that there was food to be had with a gathering of c20 Grey Heron in the rough grass has the tide filled in the tidal gutters and forced their quarry to emerged from the murky depths.
There were c12 Little Egret and one of three Great White Egret was in a violent struggle with a heron and stole its prey of a very large fish.
There were several hundred Wigeon and a similar amount of Common Shelduck but generally the variety of shorebirds were in limited supply (apart from Dunlin). A small skein of Pink-footed Goose flew over.
The fields alongside the Holpool Gutter had c500 Golden Plover but apart from a few Mute’s the Whooper’s must have relocated back by the M56 fields?
Observers: Sparky & WSM (images and twitter videos).