20.01.19. Birdlog.

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I started my walk at Ince this morning where 2 Water Rail were squealing in a reed bed by the side of the path. A cluster of ducks included 20 Gadwall, 7 Mallard, 4 Coot and 8 Wigeon, with a Grey Heron stalking about the pools. A noisy skein of 50 Pink-footed Goose flew over heading south.

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Walking along the Manchester Ship Canal path and a raft of 63 Coot which had been pushed off the salt marshes by a shooting party there. The shooters dumped their haul of dead birds on the canal bank and went back to their persuit. The constant gunfire kept a large flock of c2000 Lapwing in the air and were joined by c1000 Golden Plover which couldn’t settle and left the area.

A Marsh Harrier was hunting over No.4 tank while a male Sparrowhawk was sat in a bush watching the world go by.

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On the path between No.4 and No.6 tank was a c300 strong mixed finch flock containing, Linnet, Goldfinch and Chaffinch with Great and Blue Tit following in their wake. A female Sparrowhawk was keeping a keen eye on all of this proceedings.

Several skeins of Pink-footed Goose circled Lordship Marsh, but most carried on south without alighting. A loose flock of c200 Curlew were feeding in the fields.

The 24 Mute Swan herd were again alongside the Holpool Gutter with 40 more Curlew.

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A  Kestrel sat on a post flew off its perch leaving a Wood Mouse to fall to the ground and on closer inspection it had consumed most of the head and brain.

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A Peregrine was perched up on a tower at the GrowHow Works and surveyed the marsh below and beyond.

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A few signs of Spring included the first leaf uncurling from its twigs along the lane.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images).

Video of a skein of Pinkies heading over Frodsham by David Stewart.