A big walk around the marsh produced the goods. I made my way along Brook Furlong Lane just as the shooters were commencing their activities. The sound of gun fire sent all the ducks sheltering from the keen westerly wind back to the Weaver Estuary.
A flock of c200 Tufted Duck, 32 common Pochard, 12 Gadwall, 21 Mallard, 16 Common Goldeneye and 2 female Greater Scaup were doing their best to shelter from the wind and choppy waters.
After a long wait on the banks of the River Weaver a very inquisitive female Long-tailed Duck couldn’t resist my presence and boldy swam within 20 metres. Unfortunately the sunlight was directly above my phone/scope compbo and it was difficult to focus (as per images). I had better luck with the Common Ringed Plovers though.
A small flock of agitated Common Redshank were keeping their distance while the pair of Common Ringed Plover were very photogenic.
Watching all this from her lofty sentinal on top of the blue chimney at Weston Point (the highest structure around these here parts) was the Peregrine.
A pair each of Common Stonechat and Eurasian Greenfinch, an excitable Cetti’s Warbler and a sub-singing Eurasian Skylark were extra distractions.
A walking to Marsh Farm again saw the 3 Western Cattle Egret with a herd of straw munching cattle. A fairly large gathering of Eurasian Wigeon were hiding in the shallow scrapes on No.3 tank.
My walk continued out to the Manchester Ship Canal where I set up and scanned across to Frodsham Score. The usual c1000 Canada Goose were scattered across the area with just a small flock of Pink-footed Goose. A flock of 66 European Golden Plover were very much reduced. Several Little Egret were popping up from the filling tidal gutters but no sign of any Great Egret. The incoming tide out on the River Mersey was forcing thousands of Dunlin from their slumber out at Manisty, but they were too far away for a decent view. A male Western Marsh Harrier drifted across the score embankments and moved off to No.6 tank to join another there and a pair of Common Buzzard were displaying overhead.
The light was ebbing away from the day so I made a quick dash over to view the fields of Lordship Marsh and was rewarded with 12 Whooper Swan and 4 Mute Swan.
Observer and images: WSM.