A long walk out to the dstant reaches of Frodsham Marsh and a look over Frodsham Score saltmarshes. A couple of female Merlin were lounging about on the ground, either preparing for a meal or sitting one off.
A small flock of Pink-footed Goose were out on the edge of the river with several skeins heading over later. There were hundreds of Canada Goose spread out across the green swarth, but there wasn’t anything with them to titillate the observation.
Three Great Egret were hunting through the tidal channels with loads of Little Egret making their presence known at selected spots. A Marsh Harrier was cruising the distant Ince Marsh, while a couple of Chiffchaff were calling from the embankment of No.4 tank. Several Cetti’s Warbler were adding tunes to what turned out to be a nice sunny day.
A walk over to the junction of No.6 and No.4 tanks had me looking across Lordship Marsh and revealed 10 Whooper Swan by the M56 motorway. A couple of sub-adult and a juvenile Whooper Swan flew across from Frodsham Score and pitched down on the flooded field close to the lane. The juvenile landed between a pair of Mute Swan and its own parents. The resident pair didn’t hesitate to show their displeasure and roundly turned on the young swan. Pandemonium ensued between the adults with lots of agitated wing flaps and head tossing and whooping. The Mute’s inturn bunched up their wings in threat. Eventually the panic ridden Whooper’s were reunited with their young and order was brought back to the proceedings.
One of the three Cattle Egret that had resided on Lordship Marsh for the last few weeks was flushed by nearby shooting and flew up from the flood field and circled before heading off to Marsh Farm.
As I walked back along the track between No.3 and No.6 tanks I bumped into Jacqui and Idris Roberts, we chattered for a while and they mentioned seeing the two Cattle Egret at the farm recently. After being distracted by a large Eurasian Wigeon and Teal flock on the mitigation area I noticed the 3 Cattle (sheepish) Egret annoying the ewes in a field some distance away. A large flock of several hundred Northern Lapwing put on a fine display wheeling around the egrets.
Taking a look over No.6 and its flooded tank produced c400 Eurasian Teal, a single Common Goldeneye, 17 Northern Pintail, 112 Northern Shoveler, 41 Mallard, 24 Tufted Duck, 30 Common Pochard and a juvenile Greater Scaup. A few Little Grebe were taking shelter and protection from the assembled ducks present. A sinensiss type Great Cormorant was the only bird on the dead tree at dusk and 2 Marsh Harrier dropped into their roost for the night.
Observers: Paul Ralston (images 1 & 10) and WSM (images 2-9).