A long walk out to the farthest reaches of the marshes to watch the gentle tide roll in on a very sunny backed by a north-easterly breeze wafting in Saturday.
There was the usual spring gathering of ducks on No.6 tank with 40 Tufted Duck joining 20 Common Shelduck, 14 Northern Shoveler, 7 Gadwall, 11 Mallard and 2 Little Grebe. A small group of Northern Lapwing also encouraged 4 Common Snipe and 3 Ruff to join them. A group of Meadow Pipit close to the edge of the flood water had at least 2 Water Pipit in their handsome summer plumage alongside them.
I eventually reached the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal and looked across Frodsham Score where the tide inched in filling the tidal gutters before spilling out onto the swarthy grass.
A female Marsh Harrier took advantage of the salt marsh tide flooding the area to look for food. This bird was joined by a very tatty ‘shot out’ winged bird an hour later. The majority of shorebirds were Curlew with several hundred present. A small group of handsome summer Golden Plover were lingerers from the winter along with Redshank and Oystercatcher being noted.
A group of 5 yellow billed ‘winter’ swans were too far out on Ince marsh for specific identification, but a yellow billed egret was much closer and revealed itself to be a Great Egret, there were 7 Little Egret for good measure.
Raven were very much out in force and a big gold medal to our conservation hero the farmer for providing so much food for them.
A muddy Fox was flushed by the advancing tide and made a quick retreat to safer ground.
Observer and images: WSM.