21.02.19. Birdlog.

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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.

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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.

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Image may contain: bird, sky and outdoor

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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

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A harrier flipped over the south bank of No.6 tank in the half-light and revealed itself to be the ringtail Hen Harrier.

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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.

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Observer: WSM (images 12-14).