A few DIY painting jobs indoors kept me away from the marsh until lunch time. On arrival the ducks were keeping to the west side of the open water which is spreading deep into the vegetated areas of the tank. The Eurasian Teal flock numbered c700 birds, but difficult to assess their numbers properly due to birds feeding deep into cover.
A slight increase in the numbers of Northern Pintail to 47 was impressive, but not so impressive compared to the thousands wintering here in the 1970’s & 80’s. Northern Shoveler reached a good count of 147 and much smaller counts of Gadwall and Mallard. A flock of 28 mostly drake Common Pochard outnumbered the Tufted Duck here today.
Out over on Frodsham Score were c1000 Northern Lapwing dispersed from their feeding grounds with several hundred Golden Plover also seen.
I walked along Moorditch Lane where a Weasel dropped its vole prey when it saw me, but I stood still long enough for it to retrieve its meal. There were hundreds of Fieldfare roaming the hawthorn berry bearing hedgerows with smaller numbers of Eurasian Skylark, Song Thrush and Blackbird following suit.
The track between No.5 & 6 tanks had a couple of Cetti’s Warbler and a roving Long-tailed Tit flock had 3 Goldcrest and a briefly glimpsed Firecrest. A Great Spotted Woodpecker and a calling Chiffchaff made a good selection to the already mentioned passerines.
Hundreds of Black-headed Gull were joined by Stock Dove (one with crossover deformed bill) Rook, Carrion Crow and Western Jackdaw in the flooded fields of Lordship Marsh.
The highlight for me was a Western Cattle Egret (the marshes 4th record) with 3 Little Egret. A couple of Water Rail were calling from the reeds on No.4 tank
There were 3 Marsh Harrier hunting the rapidly flooding reed beds while a Short-eared Owl kept close to the banks. The usual Common Buzzard, dusk hunting Common Kestrel and roost seeking Raven flocks were still around as I walked back in the dark.
Observer and images; WSM.