We took a hike from Marsh Lane out to the banks of the Mersey estuary…and back.
The rain didn’t relent once during our walk and the birds were hunkered down on the salt marsh or hidden deep in cover to avoid the worst of it. A look over No.6 tank revealed c350 Eurasian Teal feeding deep in the flooded vegetated areas of the shallower waters. Once in a while the whole flock spooked themselves out to the open water. Also present were Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Common Shelduck and 4 Ruff. A Sparrowhawk caused a minor panic with the local tits along Moorditch Lane.
The area where the proposed sand works at the north-west corner of No.6 now has a series of shallow pools and may be productive if they stay moist.
Our walk continued to the Holpool Gutter where 31 Mute Swan were in the grassy fields on Ince marsh fields and with them was a single adult Whooper Swan and 4 Greylag Goose.
Looking across the Manchester Ship Canal (which had 41 Coot floating along it) out towards Frodsham Score featured 25 Golden Plover with several gaining their ‘northern’ summer plumage. A small flock of Black-tailed Godwit headed inland while 5 Little Egret, 7 Whooper Swan, c200 Pink-footed Goose and several hundred Wigeon were feeding by the edge of the River Mersey. A female Marsh Harrier dropped down into the tall grass for a rest from foraging and both Cetti’s Warbler and Chiffchaff sang from dense cover nearby.
Walking back along Lordship Lane and another much larger flock of Black-tailed Godwit headed to flooded fields by the M56 motorway.
A big female Peregrine reined supreme on top of the blue chimney.
Observers: JS & WSM (images & video).