I made an early start at dawn before my presence was requested into the battery of sprouts and festive merriment, and It was certainly a ‘White Christmas’ for me today down on the marsh.
I walked along Moorditch Lane where the few lingering Fieldfare and Redwing were finding the hawthorn berries hard to come by. A quick look over No6 tank had 12, Eurasian Coot, 10 Common Pochard, 7 Tufted Duck, a female/1st winter Common Goldeneye, 70 Northern Shoveler, 12 Northern Pintail, 21 Mallard and c369 Eurasian Teal.
A dead bloated cow on No.5 tank provided a feast for the corvids that were lined up for their the bovine buffet. A Marsh Harrier was watching the sunrise from over Frodsham village.
A mass of birds were on No.3 tank and included 100’s of Eurasian Wigeon finding some salvation here, 100’s of Eurasian Teal, c500 Northern Lapwing, c450 European Golden Plover and 8 Pink-footed Goose. The three Cattle Egret were still annoying the sheep on No.2 tank.
A watch on the incoming tide over Frodsham Score revealed 3 Great Egret, 17 Little Egret, a mass of 1000’s of wheeling Dunlin, 340 Grey Plover and Common Redshank flocks. Watching and waiing to see what was flushed by the tide were several Common Buzzard, a Marsh Harrier and a patient female Merlin. Herds of Canada Goose were again on the salt marsh with much reduced numbers of Pink-footed Goose.
I continued my festive walk making my way over to the junction of No.6 and No.4 tank looking over Lordship Marsh. The Whooper Swan herd of 19 birds were still present and a look through their numbers revealed 4 Mute’s and a diamond adult Bewick’s Swan. It is always a delight to see this declining species here on the marsh and to have one in the same scope view with two Cattle Egret was made much more interesting. The Cattle Egret pair were from the three birds seen earlier, which had relocated here. A Water Pipit flew up from the flooded field between the Hover Force site and the ramp track and another Little Egret was with a Grey Heron wading through the pool at the former site. A Great Spotted Wooepecker was calling from the willows on No.4 tank and a Chiffchaff with several Cetti’s Warbler were contact calling.
All in all a really great xmas morning bird walk and all of it to myself.
Observer and images: WSM.