I started at Ince today where 38 Curlew and a flock of Rook were feeding on the fields along Kinsey Lane.
Duck numbers were low on the pools but Tufted Duck, Mallard, Gadwall, Eurasian Teal and a single Wigeon were all present alongside 3 Little Grebe and 1 Little Egret.
There were two skeins of Pink-footed Goose passed overhead and tallied 28 birds.
On to the Manchester Ship Canal path with more Tufted Duck and Gadwall on the canal with 3 Mute Swan and several Canada Goose. A flock of c200 Stock Dove fed at the edge of the salt marsh and 2 Great Egret could be seen in the distance.
30 Mute Swan and 7 Greylag Goose were in the field alongside the Holpool Gutter.
A Marsh Harrier was over No.4 tank.
Rook were inspecting last years nests at the Growhow Works sight and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was close by. A pair of Treecreeper were in dispute in the trees alongside the service road, the first I have seen in the area.
A Peregrine was seen over the Gowy Meadows as I made my way home.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-7).
This weekend is WeBs counting day and I took a hike out to Frodsham Score beforehand.
Walking along Lordship Lane and 23 Whooper Swan were still lingering in the fields by Hillview Farm with unseen Pink-footed Goose skeins heard from the same fields. A pale morph Common Buzzard was perched up on a bush on the banks of No.6 tank. A pair of Stonechat were active along the lane.
Sat on the banks and looking out to the misty salt marshes I could see 5 Great Egret, small skeins of Pink-footed Goose and small flocks of Golden Plover. I could see Shaun H making his way along the side of the Manchester Ship Canal on his long slog to complete his count from the banks of Frodsham Score. He saw 6 Great Egret and a ringtail Hen Harrier. Whilst I was sat on the bank a singing Chiffchaff heralded the unseasonal Spring weather, while 2 Cetti’s Warbler could heard along the track on No.4 tank.
My count on No.6 tank revealed a dramatic reduction in the numbers of Eurasian Teal on the flooded daisy beds with just 114 birds present. There were 54 Shoveler, 21 Tufted Duck, 13 Mallard, 8 Coot and a single Grey Heron. Upto 5 Stonechat were on No.5 tank with a displaying male.
Observers: JS & WSM (images 8-11).
Image 1 by Shaun Hickey shows where the Gowy meets the Mersey at Stanlow Point.