28.12.19. Birdlog.

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A walk out to the Weaver Estuary along Brook Furlong Lane was pretty uneventful apart from a few Redwing and Fieldfare were barely hanging in after their berry fest here.

A few Mute Swan were again on the Weaver Bend, a gaggle of 28 Greylag Goose and a ‘white’ form circled the area before heading back out to the River Mersey.

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A look across the waters of the Weaver Estuary was rewarding producing a winter female Long-tailed Duck, which makes a tidy duo after the summer male in May this year.

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The flock of Tufted Duck were reduced from c250 to c200 today and in their midst was a very interesting juvenile Greater Scaup. Another bird in the flock was certainly a female hybid Greater Scaup x Tufted Duck. The Common Pochard flock have increased to 28 birds, c130 Eurasian Teal and a ring of 10 Common Goldeneye included many fine drakes. There were 12 Great Crested Grebe, 14 Eurasian Coot and 212 Common Redshank. A flock of 54 Eurasian Curlew and 6 Black-tailed Godwit flew west.

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The detritus on the brackish marsh at the Weaver Estuary, and especially the Manchester Ship Canal is nothing short of pitiful. Apart from a mass of plastic (ironically including a plastic dolphin), a hypodermic syringe and general waste which has found its way into the canal over many years, it must speak volumes for the way we treat the ‘great’ Manchester Ship Canal and its route.

A large raft of Common Shelduck were rising the tide on the river and a few Little Egret were commuting between sites.

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The 3 Cattle Egret were tantilising the cows on the bottom road below Marsh Farm and would have been out of sight of any casual observers looking for them. The Northern Lapwing and European Golden Plover flocks were less flighty today and settled down on No.2 tank.

I bumped into Jacqui and Idris Roberts on my way back and they mentioned that they had seen the Bewick’s Swan with the Whooper herd on Lordship Marsh.

Observer and images: WSM.

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