16.02.20. Birdlog.

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I started off my walk along Brook Furlong Lane this morning where  flock of Redwing were searching the bushes near the bridge for leftover berries while a mixed flock of tits made their way along the lane. Common Raven were numerous around the lambing fields aiding the clearup and quickly despatching the sheep afterbirth.

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A blustery walk along the river and the usual ducks and geese were noted along with 18 Mute Swan and a flock of Common Redshank which fed at the edge of the water with 2 Black-tailed Godwit and a single Common Ringed Plover.

The dredger Deo Gloria did a turn at the junction of the Weaver Estuary and the Manchester Ship Canal flushing all of the ducks, including Tufted Duck, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, 14 Common Goldeneye, Common Pochard and a Long-tailed Duck, providing a tick for our curtain twitching neighbours on the darkside of the river at Hale.

A Peregrine was sat on top of the blue topped chimney watching over the marsh.

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A mass of Northern Lapwing and European Golden Plover were in their usual nervous state and taking flight on a regular basis near to Marsh Farm. The flock of Fieldfare and European Starlings were searching for grubs and worms along Alder Lane were flushed by a passing Common Buzzard.

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Onward to No.6 tank which was very quiet with small numbers of ducks seen. The fields on Lordship Marsh still hold the Mute Swan near to the lane and a Whooper Swan was in the same field although at the far end with 3 Pink-footed Goose for company.

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A further flock of c390 Pink-footed Goose were feeding amongst the 23 Whooper Swan herd but took to the air and flew south over Helsby Hill.

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A female Stonechat was on the bank of No.6 with several Reed Bunting nearby.

I stopped at Ince on my way home and the water level was still rising in the lane. It was that deep it nearly came over the top of my wellies!

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The 3 Cattle Egret which are established has the birds from Marsh Farm were still present alongside several Little Egret. Ducks included Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, Tufted Duck and Gadwall were all present alongside 7 Mute Swan and 4 Little Grebe. Eurasian Curlew and Black-tailed Godwit were flying around looking for somewhere to forage. A flock of c60 Stock Dove dropped in to feed near to Ince Berth and a single Short-eared Owl was also seen.

The stubble field alongside the Holpool Gutter held c40 Eurasian Curlew, 3 Greylag Goose and their white domestic companion.

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Finally arriving at my car and a Peregrine passed overhead and a Eurasian Sparrowhawk was hedgehopping along the lane.

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Observer and images: Paul Ralston.