An early dart from work and a walk around No.6 and No.4 tanks. Eurasian Teal were again in good numbers on No.6 with a few Mallard and Northern Shoveler mixed in with them. There were 2 Marsh Harrier were over the reed bed on No.6 but might move on if Peel holdings destroy any more of the reed bed.
A large mixed flock of Lapwing, Golden Plover and Starling were all on No.3 with numerous ravenous Raven hoards on the prowl for naturally occurring still-born lambs. A small flock of 6 Tufted Duck and a male Northern Shoveler were on the ‘Splashing Pool’ and a pair of Redshank were on the nearby scrape.
A Great Crested Grebe was sat on the waters of the Manchester Ship Canal alongside a few more Tufted Duck. A lone wildfowler made his way out towards the River Mersey flushing more Lapwing and Golden Plover, but not much else was on the salt marshes this afternoon.
The Mute Swan herd had 5 Greylag Goose for company and a Common Buzzard was hanging in the wind alongside its much smaller cousin the Kestrel making a much better job of hovering. A flash out of the blue revealed a Kingfisher which sped along the ditch at the edge of No.4 tank.
Observer and images: Paul Ralston.
I was driving to Chester along the westbound lane of the M56 after 3.30 pm and a quick glance to my right secured the large Whooper Swan herd which was close to Hillview Farm. A couple of egret spp (white blurs) were by the blue slurry tank, a positive identification will have to go unidentified.
Regarding the ongoing testing and the eradication of reed beds on the west end of No.6 tank, I have received this email response from the RSPB North today.
I have been informed by Peel that these works are part of the operational working of Cell 6 (No.6 tank), and that the potential removal of materials is to aid the working life of the cell in line with the planning conditions related to the wind farm. It is part of a wider package of measures which Peel will be exploring to ensure that they conform to their permissions around the continuing use of Cell 6.
As the works are in accordance with the permitted development rights for their dredging operations and they don’t need to seek planning permission.