15.02.20. Birdlog.

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A short walk to Ince berth this morning with the intendsion to walk through to No.6 tank but the fine rain made visibility difficult, so I cut the walk short.

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The track I was intending to walk along to the marsh was flooded, so wellies would be advisable, especially for anyone wishing to see the 3 Cattle Egret  and Short-eared Owl in the area. Two of the three Cattle Egret could be seen feeding in the reeds alongside several Little Egret.

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There were 7 Mute Swan on the flood with the two dominant birds on one of the other pools.

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A flock of Black-tailed Godwit dropped in to feed alongside a couple of Eurasian Curlew. Duck numbers were lower than recently but Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Gadwall and Northen Shoveler were noted.

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Walking to Ince berth I inadvertently flushed one of the Short-eared Owl which rose from the ground at my feet and the second owl was seen sitting on top of a hawthorn nearby.

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Looking across and over to Frodsham Score salt marsh and I could see a couple of wildfowlers were out by the river. Nearby was a Great Egret and several more Little Egret being on the salt marsh with plenty of Common Shelduck seen.

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On the Manchester Ship Canal was a Great Crested Grebe in summer plumage and in the company of several Tufted Duck.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-7).

While PR was again wading through the rain and flood out to the west, I was wading through the mud and rain at the eastern section of Frodsham Marsh.


Initally there didn’t seem much to fire the engines at the start of the incoming Storm Dennis which was expected to sweep the area today.

A few Tufted Duck were in loose flocks of the River Weaver with simialr flocks of Common Shelduck. A walk further along the banks and the ducks appeared out of the gloom and increased in number with some Common Redshank, Oystercatcher, Black-tailed Godwit and a half dozen Common Ringed Plover. A flock of c76 Eurasian Curlew flew over head making their way to the Mersey Estuary.

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A small group of 29 Common Pochard were with the remainder of the Tufted Duck and the occasional Gadwall. Further sightings included 14 Common Goldeneye and the effervescent female Long-tailed Duck.

A couple of Stonechat were joined by a Common Chiffchaff sheltering below the banks of No1 tank from the wind and rain.

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The Cattle at Marsh Farm were huddled tightly together against the storm but the herd were tightly packed and partially obscured by the raised Canal Pools bank and thus there wasn’t any Cattle Egret that were apparent. I can only assume the birds Paul had seen were these birds?

A flock of 75 Fieldfare continue to look for worms in the dump area by the farm.

A Marsh Harrier drifted high along the Weaver Valley and dropped low from the wind on to No.1 tank.

A large huddled mass of Northern Lapwing and European Golden Plover with a flock of Black-tailed Godwit were hunkered down low into the grass untill a Common Buzzard got too close and flushed the lot.

Observer: WSM (1 & 8-10 & video).

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