An early dart from work and a walk along the River Weaver, Manchester Ship Canal and No.6 tank. The usual ducks were on the river but no sign of any Goldeneye that have spent the winter here.
There were 5 Avocet which flew down river calling as they went only to return a short time later. 4 Common Sandpiper, 5 Ringed Plover and c30 Black-tail Godwit were on the river bank alongside 4 Oystercatcher.
Out on the Mersey estuary were a few hundred Black-tailed Godwit and Curlew which fed on the mudflats while Cormorant fished in the tidal channels.
A female Wheatear sat on a post near to Marsh Farm and several Swallow and Sand Martin fed over the cattle in the field alongside the ship canal.
A mixed flock of Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit and Lapwing washed the estuary mud from their plumage in the fresh water pools on No.3 tank.
There were a couple of Chiffchaff were contact calling in the bushes near the ‘Slashing Pool’ and a Marsh Harrier sat in the reed bed on No.6 tank.
A flock of c60 Goldfinch fed in the stubble field and the Lapwing were on corvid patrol and vented their frustration out on a passing Kestrel.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-7).
An after work ramble down on the marsh involved a circular walk around No.6 tank.
An ear-splitting burst of song from a Cetti’s Warbler made its presence known alongside one of the tracks of the marsh. It’s little wonder this is Britain’s loudest songbird.
A couple of Marsh Harrier drifting over Lordship Marsh against a riot of yellow from the oilseed rape fields in Helsby made a lovely image. Several Common Buzzard were about with a male Kestrel working really hard to feed its brood.
The mitigation area on No.3 tank had an assortment of the commoner ducks plus a single Black-tailed Godwit and a couple of Little Ringed Plover. The Canal Pools were thriving with hirundines mostly Swallow but good numbers of Sand Martin.
The open waters of No.6 tank still hold 21 Tufted Duck with numerous Eurasian Teal, Mallard and Common Shelduck. A pair of nesting Black-headed Gull have built a nest well away from prowling Foxes.
The Raven hoards were still pressing the mutton button with loads waiting their line.
Observer: WSM (images 1 & 8-11).
Earlier Simon Skidmore saw a Marsh Harrier flying over the M56 at 10.20 am from his car on the west bound (Frodsham village side) of the M56.