On the way to the marsh this morning I spotted a Barn Owl dead on the hard shoulder at the junction of the M53 and the M56 another of the Gowy Meadows birds lost to the heavy traffic that cuts through the meadows here.
On to the marsh itself and a shoot was taking place along Brook Furlong Lane and the fields to the east of it. I went straight to No.6 tank which was rather quiet. A couple of Stonechat were noted one at the north end and another at the south end.
A female Marsh Harrier was hunting the reed bed then drifted over to No.4 where Common Buzzard and Kestrel were noted.
Along the Manchester Ship Canal path and a look over the Frodsham Score salt marsh where c2,000 Canada Goose fed close to the ship canal edge and several Little Egret were dotted about the marsh. A large flock of Great Black-backed Gull were loitering on the marsh and again Raven were numerous with c30 riding the wind over the canal banks. A large flock of Starling out by the river edge were shadowed by a Sparrowhawk.
The fields alongside the Holpool Gutter again held a few hundred Golden Plover, c2000 Lapwing and Curlew, they were joined by 3 Mute Swan.
The 14 Whooper Swan were seen in the distance on Lordship Marsh.
A late hairy caterpillar crossed the lane and looked out of place in the current cold and windy weather.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-4).
Later in the morning I made another visit to No.6 tank attempting to shelter from the brisk wind waltzing through the marshes today. The Common Teal flock had reduced considerably from yesterday but there were still c300 birds present. There were 6 Pintail, 24 Mallard and 4 Ruff.
The female Marsh Harrier caused a bit of consternation with the hundreds of Lapwing circling the area. The big female Peregrine was sat on top of the blue chimney at Weston Point.
A distant skein of 16 Pink-footed Goose headed in from the direction of the Dee marshes.
A fine male Stonechat was perched up in a swaying elder bush on No.5 tank.
Observer: WSM (images 1 & 5).