I finished work early and made my way to the marsh for the big high tide. Starting off at Ince Berth where skeins of Pink-footed Goose were seen to be forced off by the tide leaving and heading inland. A Great Egret was in the field alongside the Mute Swan herd and their attendant Greylag companions. Several hundred Curlew were resting in the field with the mute swan herd.
Another 4 Great Egret were on the salt marsh with several Little Egret and Grey Heron. Waders were in good numbers and put on a great display as the tide came in and put Lapwing, Dunlin, Redshank, Ruff, Curlew, Oystercatcher and Golden Plover were all noted.
The first butterfly of the year made its way along the canal path a bright yellow Brimstone followed by 3 Small Tortoiseshell.
A raft of c80 Tufted Duck were on the Manchester Ship Canal with several Mallard and Gadwall.
A contract worker on top of one of the turbines had a grandstand view of the area on this bright clear day and a Marsh Harrier was high up over No.4 tank and drifted out to the Frodsham Score its tatty wings and trailing leg having equally good views.
A Sparrowhawk the first of 3 birds seen forced a few hundred Starling in to a bait ball and made a couple of fruitless strikes. Common Buzzard and Raven were enjoying the warm sunny bright Spring weather and were displaying over the marshes.
No.6 tank was quiet with a reduced amount of wildfowl but still held Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Tufted Duck and Gadwall. 2 male and a female Stonechat were on No.3 with another pair seen on Lordship Lane.
The Whooper Swan herd could be seen in the distance near the M56 on Lordship Marsh and 2 Kestrel were hunting the banks on No.4 tank.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-11).
With the lovely weather bathing the area it was with some expectation I made the pilgrimage to the marsh after work. Walking along Lordship Lane I bumped into Duncan Cowley and we both kept a vigil for the shortie that has been seen recently but on this occasion with draw a blank.
A quick pause at Frodsham Swing bridge and its flooded pool harbouring a small Black-tailed Godwit flock and then on down to spend some time on Frodsham Marsh.
The 26 Whooper Swan herd were munching away in fields by Hillview Farm
A harrier flipped over the south bank of No.6 tank in the half-light and revealed itself to be the ringtail Hen Harrier.
I was making an effort to count the Raven pairs leaving the outer marshes for their evening roost flight to north-east Wales. I managed my last bird (160) in the ambient glow of the industrial lights of this area.
The watch ended when a small bat spp was fluttering about my head by the ramp track to No.5 tank.
Observer: WSM (images 12-14).