I started at Kinsey Lane, Ince today where a large mixed flock of Linnet, House Sparrow, Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail were attempting to eek out an existence while the much larger Curlew were feeding in and out of the grazing sheep. The lane leading to Ince Berth held an increasing nomadic flock of Redwing, Blackbird and Song Thrush with smaller numbers of Fieldfare. A pair of Sparrowhawk were targeting the finch and thrush flocks and caused a lot of activity from them.
The pools held 15 Gadwall, 10 Common Teal, 2 Shoveler, 2 Mute Swan, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Little Egret and a Grey Heron along with 10 Common Snipe moving between the pools.
Onto the Manchester Ship Canal path and 7 Whooper Swan made up of 4 juvenile and 3 adult were at the edge of the Frodsham Score salt marsh where a single Great White Egret and several Little Egret were on the marsh with another Great White seen later flying along the canal and dropping down behind the bank adjacent to Marsh Farm.
The fields alongside the Holpool Gutter had c2500 Lapwing, c700 Golden Plover, 8 Mute Swan (one wearing a green darvic ring) and several Curlew and c100 more on Lordship Marsh later.
The Whooper Swan herd could be seen in the distance near the M56. A flock of c100 Pink-footed Goose were grazing with the cattle on No.3 tank, while the ‘Splashing Pool’ could only muster 3 Mallard.
Back along the canal path and a pair of Stonechat sat in the brambles and a very pale Common Buzzard passed overhead. The ‘Score’ was quiet with wildfowlers seen leaving the saltings with their morning bounty of Canada Goose. Out at the river edge there were flocks of Dunlin moving with the high tide and masses of Starling creating a living carpet moving about the salt marsh.
A Green Sandpiper was in the company of 2 Redshank tucked in along the canal bank.
Observer and images: Paul Ralston.
Video from the WeBS count of a shimmering flock of Dunlin by Shaun Hickey.