I began my walk at Ince this morning for my Mersey Estuary WeBs count. A Little Egret was sat in a field in front of the ‘pig farm’ waiting for the trotters to be let out of their pigstys and when they were released the egret immediately flew straight to them and was watched snatching grubs unearthed by their piggy little feet.
Another 7 Little Egret could be found around the pools. The recent collection of ducks gathering at the pools was much receded with, 16 Mallard, 32 Tufted Duck, 26 Eurasian Teal, 2 Northern Shoveler, 6 Eurasian Coot, 4 Moorhen and only one Mute Swan.
Waders were made up of c60 Eurasian Curlew in a field alongside the Growhow Works road and 10 were in the flooded field with 25 Black-tailed Godwit.
The Barn Owl was again roosting in its box while a Water Vole was watched feeding on the bank and then swam across the ditch to within 10 foot from where I was standing. Raptors included European Kestrel, Common Buzzard and Eurasian Sparrowhawk were all active in the area.
A look over Frodsham Score saltmarsh saw hundreds of Pink-footed Goose were grazing, but not as many as recently, but still impressive numbers.
A long line of European Golden Plover were resting on the marsh with several in their summer plumage. 6 Greylag Goose including the domestic type bird were on the stubble field with a Great Egret still hunting the ditch alongside c80 Eurasian Curlew.
A walk over No.4 tank and a group of 6 European Stonechat were together in the reeds and brambles and a Great Spotted Woodpecker landed in the scrub before moving on. A Cetti’s Warbler was heard in the reeds closeby.
The ‘Phalarope Pool’ held a small number of Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler and 4 Eurasian Coot. A Cattle Egret was mooching around the cows on No.3 tank and then was seen to fly towards Marsh Farm. There were 22 Mute Swan in there usual place on Lordship Marsh and 18 Whooper Swan were near to the farm.
The Rook colony is building up with Western Jackdaw and Carrion Crow were all feeding on a seeded field.
Walking back to my car and another Cetti’s Warbler rang out loud and proud and was briefly seen moving across the lane.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-8).
A couple of Western Marsh Harrier were ranging freely over No.6 & No.4 tanks and loads of Raven were active in and around the marshes.
A walk around Delamere Forest and imparticular Blakemere where the first summer adult Mediterreanean Gull was with the main flock of displaying Black-headed Gull colony.
A couple of drake Goosander and a female added to a Spring like day.
Observer: JS & WSM (images 9-11).