I started my morning walk along the Weaver with a fine sunrise glowing over the river where 4 Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Common Teal, Mallard, Common Shelduck, Goldeneye , 2 Great Crested Grebe and 3 Little Grebe were all present on the water. Another Mute Swan was dead on the bank possibly the result of a predator (Fox)?
The Lapwing flock were in good numbers with several Redshank and 8 Black-tailed Godwit at the edge of the river. The first of 10 Stonechat seen during this mornings walk and were in the reeds alongside the river. A Kestrel hunted the bank and 2 Common Buzzard flew across the river.
A peep over the Frodsham Score salt marsh from the junction of the Weaver Sluice Gates and Manchester Ship Canal produced more Lapwing, Curlew and Redshank feeding on the close by exposed mudflat.
Walking along to No.6 tank and a large flock of Chaffinch were mobile along Moorditch Lane with many Goldfinch and Linnet in the area. A Marsh Harrier drifted over the fields towards the motorway then made its way back over No.6 putting the Lapwing flocks up in to the air. No.6 tank held more Common Teal which were joined by Shoveler, Mallard, Common Shelduck and a single Pintail.
A couple of Whooper Swan dropped in but only settled for a few minutes before leaving and heading to the Weaver estuary. A skein of c80 Pink-footed Goose were high up in the sky and were heading north.
Onwards to the Manchester Ship Canal path and a look over Frodsham Score where 4 Great White and several Little Egret were feeding in the tidal channels as the tide came in. A large flock of Greater and Lesser Black-backed Gull were resting on the salt marsh and the Raven hoard were on scavenger patrol with several feasting on recently dead mutton.
The fields alongside the Holpool Gutter had c2000 Lapwing, c500 Golden Plover, 15 Whooper Swan, 20 Mute Swan and a mixed flock of Greylag and 25 Pink-footed Goose. The Whooper’s are the same birds that have spent the last few weeks by the M56.
Walking back along Lordship Lane and Curlew were again feeding in the fields adjacent Rake Lane.
There was still some Yarrow flowering on the wayside ditch and brightening up a dull morning along Lordship Lane. Both Redwing and Fieldfare were numerous the way back to my car.
Observer and images: Paul Ralston.