An early start saw 3 skeins of Pink-footed Goose passed over the A5117 heading south as I made my way to the marsh The 4 Whooper Swan could be seen on Lordship Marsh close to the M56.
I parked on the motorway bridge and made my way to No.6 tank where large numbers of Redwing, Fieldfare Blackbird and Song Thrush were feeding in the hawthorn and elderberry bushes throughout my walk. No. tank had c400 Canada Goose. A male Stonechat was fly catching in the reeds, while on No.5 and a pale phase Common Buzzard sat on the fence.
One of the scrapes on No.3 held yet more Eurasian Teal and Northern Shoveler which were spooked by another Common Buzzard.
On the Canal Pools were yet more Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, Mallard Gadwall and many Tufted Duck and joined by c50 Eurasian Coot and a single Great Crested Grebe.
Out on Frodsham Score salt marsh were hundreds of Canada Goose grazing with 6 Eygptian Goose and a female Ruddy Shelduck. The Northern Lapwing were noticeable by their absence and no sign of the recent flocks which winter on the marsh and surrounding fields. A flock of c50 Eurasian Curlew and 6 Black-tailed Godwit were on the stubble field alongside the Holpool Gutter.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-2 & 4 & 9-10).
With a few commitments tomorrow my WeBS count was made today, so a watch over No.6 tank for the ducks resulted in c743 Eurasian Teal, 143 Northern Shoveler, 18 Common Pochard, 6 Tufted Duck, 12 Mallard and 12 Little Grebe. There were 4 Marsh Harrier quartering the reed beds and the pumping of sludge into the tank encouraged 6 Common Buzzard to try their luck with the undoubted dispersal of voles from their hiding places.
Three Stonechat were reed topping on the reed beds alongside the tracks of No.5 and 6 tanks. The highlight was when I flushed a Jack Snipe from the edge of the path which gave some brilliant flight views.
The ‘Splashing Pool’ and ‘phalarope pool both had Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Coot, while a flock of 43 Western Jackdaw were finding something to eat from the flooded grasses.
I continued my watch and positioned on the banks looking north across Frodsham Score and the female Ruddy Shelduck was with her travelling companions the six Eygptian Goose flock.
A couple of Great Egret were joined by 7 Little Egret and the odd Grey Heron. Out on the edge of the river were hundreds of Eursian Wigeon, c200 Eurasian Curlew, 30 Black-tailed Godwit and several hundred Dunlin. Watching all this action was a female Merlin.
Pumping of silt from a dredger at the pumping station was pumping sludge into No.6 tank.
I continued along to Lordship Marsh where a herd of 12 Whooper Swan could be seen in the flooded fields, while 400 Black-headed, 12 Common and 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull were enjoying the benefits of the recent flooding and 3 Little Egret in the shallows.
Overall it was quite a rewarding days birding with c10 Cetti’s Warbler heard (2 seen), the Eurasian Starling murmurations totaled c8000 birds and a Kingfisher polished off the day as I walked back in the dark.
Observer: WSM (images 3 & 5-8).