23.02.20. Birdlog.

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I was in work this weekend but managed a couple of hours after my shift finisched this afternoon. I parked by the entrance to the pig farm at Ince where 2 Little Egret were foraging amongst the pigs with several Eurasian Curlew.

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The path to the marsh is under water but just about passable if wearing your wearing wellies through the flood.

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A decent selection of ducks were present with Mallard. Tufted Duck, Eurasian Teal, Gadwall and Northern Shoveler being noted.

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Several more Little Egret and Grey Heron and at least 2 Western Cattle Egret were moving between the pools. A fine male Marsh Harrier flushed all the ducks which soon settled again as the harrier flew towards Ince village. A flock of 7 Mute Swan seem settled on the pools and Little Grebe were active in the reed bed with Eurasian Coot and Moorhen being numerous. A Eurasian Woodcock was seen to drop in to a ditch then take flight again as I walked by.

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A single Short-eared Owl was again near the berth and its pellets were on a rock for me to investigate.

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The Environment Agency were pumping flood water out of the drainage ditches and in to the Manchester Ship Canal where Tufted Duck were on the cut. Further out on the saltmarsh were Common Shelduck in good numbers alongside Canada Goose,  Greylag and Pink-footed Goose.

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Another Marsh Harrier flushed the plover flocks and a mass of Eurasian Starling were feeding near the river and a Dunlin flock shimmered in the sunlight as they made their way up the River Mersey. A look over No.4 tank was yet another Marsh Harrier sharing the reed bed with a couple of Common Buzzard. Back towards my car and a owl box in a tree standing in the flood water had a Barn Owl peering out from it.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

20 Whooper Swan in flooded field adjacent to M56 (eastbound) and a dead Barn Owl on the hard shoulder at junction of M56 and M53 Chester bound per JS & WSM.