I parked on the motorway bridge and made my way along Brook Furlong Lane this morning. There were still occasional Redwing searching for any leftover berries on the hawthorns and were joined by a flock of Fieldfare which chose the ground to feed on.
A flock of c200 European Golden Plover passed overhead heading west and more were seen later mixed in with a huge flock of Northern Lapwing.
A male Stonechat sat on the fence along Alder Lane with an wintering Common Chiffchaff close by. The three Western Cattle Egret were still hanging out amongst the cows near to Marsh Farm and a flock of Eurasian Curlew dropped on to No.3 tank.
Another male Stonechat was on the canal bank. A flock of Common Redshank moved along the river with a single Black-tailed Godwit with them and a Common Sandpiper was noted.
Moving on to No.6 and the usual suspects were on the water and a Water Rail was heard squealing in the reed bed. A partial leucistic Canada Goose was amongst the flock on No.3 with a flock of Eurasian Wigeon on the scrapes there.
On Lordship Marsh were 9 Mute Swan were in their usual place and the Whooper Swan herd were again by Hill View Farm.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-8).
Despite PR out on the marsh it’s usually rare for us to bump into each other and today was no exception. I walked along Brook Furlong Lane and out along the River Weaver where a herd of c100 Canada Goose had with them a white domestic Greylag Goose.
The Common Goldeneye were busy head flicking to their aroused female partners and the female Long-tailed Duck was difficult to pin down but when I eventually found her, she was fast asleep and remained so for the period I was watching her (with a short head up and immediately down again). A flock of 284 Tufted Duck, 28 Common Pochard and the long staying 1st winter/female Greater Scaup. The recent arrival of good numbers of Gadwall are increasing with migrants heading in. There were small numbers of Eurasian Teal mostly hiding at the margins.
There were ten Great Crested Grebe with many sporting their fine summer plumage.
The shoreline had a small flock of Common Redshank and 6 Common Ringed Plover.
Walking to Marsh Farm only revealed two of the three Western Cattle Egret and a smart male Peregrine shot over their heads long before they knew what was occurying.
My BTO WeBS count includes the fields on No.3 and No.2 tanks and this was the first time this winter that they were relativley short on Eurasian Wigeon. There were small numbers of Northern Shoveler, 400 Eurasian Teal and 10 Black-tailed Godwit.
A look over the saltmarshes of Frodsham Score was alive with stuff and included 2.5 thousand Pink-footed Goose and included a partial luecistic individual and several with a white blaze above their bills. Apart from the ubiquitous Canada Goose herds the only addition was the white Greylag as seen from the Weaver Estuary earlier. A large flock of Black-tailed Godwit were further out on the river. Also 2 Great and several Little Egret.
A Common Chiffchaff and Cetti’s Warbler were calling from No.4 tank.
After a long watch I made my way for the count on No.6 tank and was surprised to see the ringtail Hen Harrier being the first bird on the menu. It was soon joined by 2 Marsh Harrier. The ducks were mill to my grist with 83 Northern Shoveler, 28 Tufted Duck, 19 Common Pochard, 350 Eurasian Teal, 56 Mallard, 2 Common Goldeneye, 25 Gadwall and 58 Eurasian Coot.
The fields of Lordship Marsh had 22 Whooper Swan and the Mute’s PR had seen earlier.
Observer: WSM (images 1 & 9-20).