Starting at Ince today and its pools which were quiet with just 14 Mallard, 5 Eurasian Teal, 2 Gadwall, 10 Eurasian Coot, 8 Moorhen and 4 Little Grebe. Eurasian Curlew numbered 34 near the pig farm, and an additional 15 were at Ince berth and c 70 alongside the Holpool Gutter.
Winter thrushes were in abundance along the lane and Manchester Ship Canal where a Great Spotted Woodpecker followed them along the canal path. A mass of Northern Lapwing were high up over the Frodsham Score salt marsh, most only visible with my binoculars and a flock of c300 Golden Plover were noted with them. A flock of Great Black-backed Gull were resting on the marsh and several Little Egret were dotted about the marsh.
The Ruddy Shelduck was again near the gutter and 6 Egyptian Goose were further out along the marsh.
The ‘splashing pool’ held 29 Mallard and 15 Northern Shoveler while the ‘phalarope pool ‘ held only 14 resident Eurasian Coot.
Looking over the reed bed on No.6 tank a single Marsh Harrier and 2 Common Buzzard were again active in the area .
The Whooper Swan herd could be seen in the distance on Lordship Marsh and 2 Little Egret and c400 Black-headed Gull were feeding in the flood water.
A female Eurasian Sparrowhawk was hunting the thrush flock in the woods near to the Growhow Works and a Common Bullfinch and another Great Spotted Woodpecker were near the incinerator plant.
A large skein of Pink-footed Goose flew over towards the Mersey estuary and a short while later a smaller number c40 flew back south. Two Flocks of Black-tailed Godwit passed overhead heading inland to wherever they were feeding.
The Northern Lapwing flock c1000 was seen over the stubble field, but I didn’t see them land in the area.
A small patch of past their sell by date Puff ball fungi were noted in the nettles and brambles along the verge.
Observer and images: Paul Ralston.