25.01.19. Birdlog.

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An early dart from work and a walk around No.6 and No.4 tanks during the high tide period.

No.6 held a decent amount of Eurasian Teal, Mallard and Northern Shoveler with a Common Buzzard perched in a dead tree within the tank watching the ducks in the shallow water just a couple of feet below its perch. There was a couple of Marsh Harrier hunting over the reed bed which flushed 4 Common Snipe.

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A few more Mallard and Northern Shoveler were on a scrape on No.3 tank with 4 Grey Heron and a Little Egret flying by. Onward to the Manchester Ship Canal path and Lapwing and Golden Plover rose en masse into the air in their hundreds. Several Raven searched the salt marshes for any signs of weakness in the dithering tide weary livestock.

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A few hundred Dunlin joined the plover flocks as the tide filled the gutters and out popped 5 Great Egret which then competed with several Grey Heron for what was brought in my the river.

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The highlight of the day was the three Bewick’s Swan that chose the ship canal with a raft of c70 Tufted Duck. The swans relocated to the salt marsh as two shooters made their way along the canal bank towards Ince salt marsh. A couple of Whooper Swan could be seen in the distance riding the tide.

The fields alongside the Holpool Gutter attracted 27 Mute Swan with a flock of c100 Eurasian Curlew. A female Merlin was perched on one of the flat-topped hedgerow and made its way out to the salt marsh, another Merlin (possibly a male) was seen over No.4 tank.

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A few hundred Starling were heading to their roost by the dredger birth and the same or another two Marsh Harrier dropped into the reed bed and where joined by a third bird a short while later. A skein of Pink-footed Goose passed overhead on their way to the Frodsham Score.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

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