I was out early this morning with a start at Brook Furlong Lane where a few Redwing and Fieldfares were mooching about along the lane as the shooters started to arrive for their pheasant shoot.
A couple of Common Buzzard drifted overhead while I made my way to the River Weaver. The winter female Long-tailed Duck was close to the near bank with a group of 5 Tufted Duck which quickly made their way over to the far bank to join the main flock of tufties and other ducks. There were c20 Mute Swan (6 juveniles 14 adults) were scattered along the river with at least 6 Great Crested Grebe being noted.
A small group of Black-tailed Godwit and Common Redshank moved along the river watched over by a Peregrine which was sat on top of the blue topped power station chimney.
The dredger ship turned around at the Weaver Estaury and Manchester Ship Canal junction and was again discharging waste water as it went.
A look over the Mersey Estuary and a group of Great Cormorant were lined up at the edge of the river alongside several Eurasian Curlew. Common Shelduck were feeding on the mudbanks and had several smaller geese with them which were sleeping and were far out to get a proper identification.
Northern Lapwing and European Golden Plover were taking to the air near to Marsh Farm were spooked by several Raven flying close to the flock looking for dead stock to clear up.
Frodsham Score was quiet as wildfowlers were out on the saltmarshes while a large flock of Canada Goose could be seen grazing on Ince saltmarsh. Two Marsh Harrier were over the reed bed on No.6 tank.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-8).
After doing an errand I made my way to the marsh and basically followed in the foot steps of PR who would have been just ahead, but out of my sightline.
I arrived on the River Weaver where I bumped into Errol who was looking for the Long-tailed Duck on the river. After sometime he picked it up with presumably the same flock of Tufted Duck that Paul had seen earlier. I was looking through the flock of 268 Tufted Duck and managed to briefly see the female Greater Scaup which was hiding with the dense tufty flock. Other ducks included 19 Common Pochard, 5 Common Goldeneye, c300 Eurasian Teal, 10 Gadwall, 20 Mallard and 21 Common Shelduck. A pair of Stonechat were working their way along the damp banks while the sound of gun fire rung across the area, keeping the ducks alert at all times.
The 3 Cattle Egret had moved to the pipes at No.1 tank to avoid the stiff reeze, but were easily spooked and flew out to No.2 tank.
A walk along Lordship Lane produced 19 Whooper Swan (6 juveniles) and 2 adult Mute Swan which were much further away across Lordship Marsh.
No.6 tank was fairly quiet and with firing occuring at many points on the marsh today the sludge tank was fairly subdued. There were 68 Northern Shoveler, 17 Northern Pintail, 132 Eurasian Teal, 11 Common Sheduck, 17 Gadwaal, 6 Goldeneye, 14 Mallard, 4 Mute Swan and 8 Little Grebe. A male Marsh Harrier joined briefly with a female over the reed beds while c1000 plovers were up high over Frodsham Score. Psserines were kwwping a low key today but a Common Chiffchaff called from the banks where I was standing.
The sounds of yapping Pink-footed Goose could be heard flying over in the dark over Weston village.
Observer: WSM (image 1).