The Winter Solstice Edition 2019.

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On the shortest daylight day of the winter I started my walk on the marsh at No.6 tank this morning with a good selection of wildfowl being present. Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Teal, Tufted Duck, Common Pochard, Northern Pintail, Mallard and Common Shelduck were all on the water with c300 Canada Goose and their white domestic companion.

A look over No.3 tank produced several hundred Eurasian Wigeon grazing alongside more Canada Goose. The ‘phalarope pool’ held some Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Eurasian Teal and Gadwall. A Marsh Harrier drifted over the tank and put a mass of Northern Lapwing, 100’s of European Golden Plover and c40 Black-tailed Godwit into the air, which was compounded by a Sparrowhawk targeting the many finch flocks feeding nearby.

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Looking over the saltmarsh at Frodsham Score and both Little Egret and 2 Great Egret where littering the marsh, followed by a large skein of Pink-footed Goose passing over to the south.

Image may contain: bird, sky, plant, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: bird, sky, tree and outdoor

The many Raven, Common Buzzards and Kestrel were helping to reduce the surplus small bird and mammal stock, and the ever attractive Stonechat numbers reached several pairs.

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A walk back along Lordship Lane saw the Whooper Swan herd in the distance near to the M56 motorway, while the Mute Swan pair were closer to the lane again. A Fox was suffering from a tape worm infection which appeared briefly before it melted away into the cover and left a large tape worm in the lane.

Image may contain: grass, sky, plant, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: plant, grass, sky, outdoor and nature

I made my way to Marsh Farm to view the many plovers flocks feeding in the fields there. I watched as the plovers took to the air when a Peregrine took an interest in them, but failed to make a kill.

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Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

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