I was out this morning before the rain started to fall and made my way along Brook Furlong Lane where a quiet period conjured up a mixed tit flock, a few Chaffinch were following behind as they made their way along the hedgerows. Not a great deal on the river either, just a few Eurasian Teal, Tufted Duck, Gadwall and Mallard being seen.
A pair of Stonechat were in the reeds along the River Weaver as were several Wren. There were just 3 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Common Redshank in with a small flock of Northern Lapwing at the river edge.
Looking over the Mersey estuary and a Great Egret could be seen in the distance along with 3 Little Egret.
On the Manchester Ship Canal was a Pink-footed Goose in the company of several Canada Goose, and c30 Eurasian Coot, 2 Little Grebe and a single Great Crested Grebe.
A skein of c180 Pink-footed Goose passed overhead following the Weaver valley and a Peregrine sat on top of the blue topped chimney looking over the estuary.
Another pair of Stonechat were by the shooters’ berth at Marsh Farm with several Meadow pipit and Pied Wagtail.
A juvenile Great Black-backed Gull was very much dead on the canal path and a closer look of its legs revealed a metal ring, which will be sent off to the BTO for its history details.
The Canal Pools had c30 Northern Shoveler, 8 Gadwall and a single drake Common Pochard, and further over on one of the scrapes were more Northern Shoveler, Mallard and a flock of c30 Black-tailed Godwit and 6 Common Snipe being noted. Another pair of Stonechat were near the ‘phalarope pool’ which held 14 Eurasian Coot, 2 Gadwall and 2 Mallard.
The sand extraction area on No.6 tank had several Raven and Carrion Crow which sat on the sand piles.
Shooting was taking place on Lordship Marsh which kept a mixed flock of Eurasian Curlew and more godwits mobile.
A look over No.6 tank and there was no sign of the godwit flocks, but 2 Green Sandpiper were in with the Northern Lapwing.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-7 & 9 & 19).
I made my way along the track to look across Frodsham Score for the afternoon tide. There were thousands of Canada Goose and a closer scrutiny revealed 150 Pink-footed Goose and surprisingly 36 Barnacle Goose. There were 7 Little Egret scattered widely and small flocks of Eurasian Wigeon were on the tide edge. It was surprising that shorebirds were not present.
The Peregrine was sat on the chimney at Weston Point and a Marsh Harrier was quartering the salt marsh. A large gathering of ‘big’ gulls included at least one adult Yellow-legged Gull.
Walking back I made a point of checking the flooded maize fields on Lordship Marsh where a small flock of Black-tailed Godwit were feasting on worms, while hundreds of Black-headed and very much smaller counts of both Lesser Black-backed and Herring gull were following a shit spreader in the fields by the farm.
One notable feature of my walk was the 7 Cetti’s Warbler (presumably some young birds) attempting their new calls/songs in a variety of habitats.
Another Marsh Harrier was hunting the reed beds of No.6 tank, and a flock of c450 godwit were chilling out close to the banks that I was looking from. A Greenshank was snoozing with a few Northern Lapwing and teal. Ducks included 19 Northern Pintail, 47 Northern Shoveler, 439 Eurasian Teal, 41 Mallard and the odd Common Shelduck.
Walking back along Moorditch Lane and a cloud of feathers drifting across the field very close to the eastbound carriageway of the M56 draw my attention to an adult Peregrine culling the mass of Wood Pigeon by one. It later abandoned its meal to take position from a pylon nearby and subsequently made forays out to ambush more pigeons.
Observer; WSM (images 8 & 10-18).