I started my walk along the Weaver Bend this morning where 18 Mute Swan were on the river and a young swan lay dead on the bank. Ducks included Common Teal, Mallard, Tufted Duck and Gadwall were all noted with several Little Grebe and a single Great Crested Grebe.
A Marsh Harrier was sat in the reed bed and 2 Common Buzzard were perched in the trees on the banks of No.6 tank. A Sparrowhawk flew low over No.3 spooking a large flock of Starling. The ‘phalarope pool’ on No.3 held Common Teal and Shoveler and then a flock of 20 Black-tailed Godwit dropped in to feed alongside them.
On to the Manchester Ship Canal path and a flock of c100 Stock Dove flew off Frodsham Score salt marsh when a Common Buzzard cruised by.
The Lapwing and Golden Plover flocks were still settled and enjoying the peace and quiet as the shooters were targeting pheasant and pigeon elsewhere on the marshes.
The remains of another dead swan were on the bank of the Holpool Gutter while the herd of 27 Mute Swan were back on their wintering field with a single Pink-footed Goose for companionship.
Walking back along Lordship Lane a skein of Pink-footed Goose flew high heading south. Not much activity along Lordship Marsh as shooting was taking place with the Curlew flock moving between the fields.
I stopped off at Plover Lane on my way home and could see the Whooper Swan herd grazing on Lordship Marsh in the distance.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-6).
A good old-fashioned post-Christmas walk along the track between No.6 and No.5 tanks in what at times felt like Springtime. The Common Teal flock on No.6 were much reduced than on my previous visits and similarly the Shoveler flock was reduced down to 23 birds.
Another dead sheep on No.3 attracted c35 Raven with one particular corpse laying close by for some images to be taken.
My visit coincided with a high tide on the River Mersey and small flocks of both Lapwing, Golden Plover and Dunlin slowly gained in numbers. The plovers reached a thousand birds and the Dunlin in a mind-blowing serpentine line breaking into c30,000 birds.
The flooding tide brought out 3 Great White and several more Little Egret. An injured Whooper Swan was riding the incoming tide, while two other birds included one odd adult with a swollen base to its (mostly) black bill? Wigeon were the most numerous ducks but sensibly kept close to the river’s edge.
The Ince Marsh fields still had PR’s Mute herd and single Pink-footed Goose.
The reed beds on No.4 tank had a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Cetti’s Warbler, a couple of Chiffchaff and a female Stonechat.
Walking back and a female Marsh Harrier dropped in on No.6 tank while the evening mist filled the fields with an eerie shroud.
A Peregrine roosted on one of the pylons by the M56 to be the last bird of the night.
Observers: Sparky & WSM (images 7-11).