I started out on my morning walk at Ince where a Barn Owl put on a fine display hunting over a reed bed, unfortunately a camera malfunction missed my opportunity of capturing its form. The pools held a reduced number of wildfowl with smaller numbers of Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler and Gadwall.
Onward to the Manchester Ship Canal path where Tufted Duck, Mallard and Canada Goose occupied the cut, while hundreds of Pink-footed Goose dropped on to the salt marshes. Several Little Egret were noted and Raven, Common Buzzards and Great Black-backed Gull numbers were patrolling the area.
A Bewick’s Swan flew overhead calling and was answered by another that had joined the 30 strong Mute Swan herd alongside the Holpool Gutter earlier. Also in the same field were 3 Great Egret and 5 Greylag Goose.
A walk out to view the c30 strong Whooper Swan herd on Lordship Marsh found them hidden behind a hedge near the Hillview Farm with 2 Mute Swan tagging along.
A Brown Hare got up from under my feet and made its way into the next field. Skylark were singing on this Spring morning as were Great Tit and Dunnock.
Walking along the track between No.4 and No.6 tanks produced Reed Bunting, Goldfinch and a pair of Stonechat which were in the reed beds.
Curlew were numerous back at Ince Berth and one of the Great Egret was stood alongside a Grey Heron for size comparison. And finally a Goldcrest was seen in the hedgerow as I got back to my car.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2 & 3-10).
I went to the marsh at 8.00 am and saw a Stonechat along Alder Lane, lots of new lambs and Raven on No.2 with Curlew but I didn’t count them.
No.6 had a few Eurasian Teal and gulls, a Marsh Harrier was hunting and another circling the far clump of trees after being disturbed by more than 8 Magpie.
Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipit were heard and seen all over the marsh and Skylark were chasing each other on No.5, a pair of Stonechat were at the junction of No.3, No.5 and No.6 tanks.
Observer: Paul Crawley (images 1 & 11).
I wasn’t expecting too much to see on the marsh after I left work at 4.00 pm. On arrival the beautiful warm weather prior to my departure was replaced by thick ominous clouds drifting in from the west.
A look over No.6 tank revealed just 450 Eurasian Teal on the sludge tank with a drake Common Pochard, 3 Tufted Duck, 53 Mallard, 23 Common Shelduck and 31 Northern Shoveler.
The Peregrine was again sat on the blue topped chimney towering high above the Weaver Sluices.
The light had dropped quickly and the first of 4-5 Marsh Harrier dropped into their roost site. The tatty winged bird with a damaged right leg was also with them. The ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier was a bonus spot putting in a prolonged performance.
The highlight of the evening was the exodus of Raven from the marshes at dusk. The flocks of Raven never exceeded five birds but after the last bird flew through the darkness of the day I had counted 177 birds! The second highest ever count here. They had presumably spent their day reaping the Spring bounty on the Mersey Marshes. A perfect recycler of the sick and dead livestock that litter the outer marshes.
I wandered back to my car and a small bat spp was flying around my head and was still hunting when I left.
Observer: WSM (image 12 & video).