I took a walk along the River Weaver at Frodsham Marsh this morning, it was good to see the Raven hoard doing a great job clearing up a sheep carcase near Marsh Farm.
There were 4 Mute Swan still lingering on the Manchester Ship Canal and they flew west to join the herd alongside the Holpool Gutter.
A pair of Stonechat were eking out food from along the fence on No.1 tank.
Further along the ship canal were 10 Great Crested Grebe with only 2 Little Grebe being seen. Tufted Duck were numerous as were Eurasian Teal and Mallard.
A couple of groups of Goldeneye made their way out to the estuary as did a skein of Pink-footed Goose.
Another Mute Swan lay dead on the river bank this one had a green darvic ring, but not sure what the caused its death, however it’s not the first on this stretch of River Weaver close to the turbine. Thanks to Ryan Mottram for information on CDY4 – ringed as a male cygnet on 30.09.2013 on River Dee, Chester.
Another pair of Stonechat were on the river bank and a group of 8 Redshank flew off alarm calling as they went causing a Common Sandpiper to join them.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 3-6).
A herd of Whooper Swan gathering close to Hillview Farm.
I tried a change of tack with a view from the railway line at Helsby to view the Whooper Swan herd on Lordship Marsh and it served me well with 27 (7 juveniles) counted.
Several skeins of Pink-footed Goose were about the marshes today (later c500 were on Frodsham Score) and several alighted in the grassy fields by the M56. The birds were close enough for me to pick out one with a white rim around the base of the upper mandible.
A nice male Merlin flew over Moorditch Lane and sat up in a tree by the field edge before resuming its pursuit of prey.
It started off cold and dry at first with rain drifting in later in the day. The ducks on No.6 tank included a flock of c1000 hiding Eurasian Teal with 23 Northern Shoveler, 6 Pintail and a few Mallard. The female Marsh Harrier was sat in her usual tree with lines of geese stretching across the horizon behind her. Nearby was a pair of Stonechat on No.5 tank.
A walk out to the Manchester Ship Canal to connect with Paul’s sighting of Bewick’s Swans from yesterday drew a blank, but there was plenty of compensation with other distractions on offer. There were 3 Great Egret and a small cluster of Little Egret about the salt marsh.
As mentioned earlier the Pink-footed Goose herds were large in number but very distant. A large gathering of c600 Wigeon kept their distance on the river’s edge, while Dunlin murmurations were barely visible in the misty rain conditions out on the River Mersey.
The tide brought shorebirds close to the edge of the advancing tide and what birds could be seen when the rain arrived included; c100 Grey Plover, several Knot and huge numbers of Lapwing numbering several thousand with c500 Golden Plover with them.
A Peregrine was again sat on top of the blue chimney at Weston Point while a young Marsh Harrier glided effortlessly over the marshes.
Lapwings and Golden Plovers over Frodsham Score.
Best if you turn the sound off on the videos there’s a lot of noise from the motorway traffic.
Observers: WSM (images 1-2 & 7-20 & videos) & David from Chester.