I took a stroll along the Manchester Ship Canal during today’s high tide. There were 7 Whooper Swan out on the salt marsh with c200 Pink-footed Goose at the river’s edge.
The first Wheatear of the Spring was catching flies on the far bank so put the marshes in on the Spring migration game. A Great Crested Grebe flew along the water and crash splashed into the water. The ducks included Tufted Duck, Mallard and Gadwall in good numbers on the cut with plenty of Common Shelduck on the salt marsh.
32 Mute Swan were grazing alongside the Holpool Gutter and c30 Curlew were with them. The usual Raven and larger black back gulls were in competition for the dead sheep spoils left on the marsh after the big tide and several Common Buzzard were displaying, one of which was almost white.
A pair of Ringed Plover were on the proposed sand extraction area and a Marsh Harrier was seen to drop into the reed bed.
A Cetti’s Warbler was singing strongly at the junction of No.6 and No.4 tanks. Walking back along the ship canal and the tide was at its full height with c20 Little Egret, 2 Great Egret and several Grey Heron were all in a feeding frenzy at the advancing edge of the tide.
A Salford council wheelie bin washed up on the canal bank must have drifted 30 odd miles west along the canal from its homeland.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-4).
A pair of Stonechat and several singing Chiffchaff along Alder Lane towards Marh Farm.
Image 1 by Paul Crawley.
An after work visit to No.6 tank resulted in seeing 2 Marsh Harrier and a Short-eared Owl.
Obsevres: Paul Booth, WSM.