I was out this morning from Ince and around No.4 tank. A flock of c150 Black-tailed Godwit were feeding in the flooded field with several Eurasian Curlew and joining the party were c20 Little Egret also foraging in the shallow waters.
A collection of ducks included Eurasian Teal, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Gadwall with a pair of Mute Swan and a pair of Canada Goose claiming their territory on the pools. A Common Moorhen submerged itself in the ditch with just its bill showing as I walked by.
A Common Chiffchaff was seen near the Ince berth and a Great Egret was on the saltmarsh with a couple of hundred Pink-footed Goose out by the river.
A flock of 18 Gadwall were on the Manchester Ship Canal. The ‘Canal Pools’ held a pair of Mute Swan and several Tufted Duck, 4 Pied Avocet were seen in flight with a flock of Eurasian Wigeon and Northern Shoveler which collectively dropped down onto one of the scrapes.
The sound of Eurasian Skylark singing and a Meadow Pipit performing its parachute display flight were long overdue. Both Common Raven and Common Buzzard were plentiful in the area, but no sign of any Northern Wheatear as yet. A Cetti’s Warbler was singing near to the ramp between No.6 and No.4 tanks and the Whooper Swan herd could be seen in their usual area, but the Mute Swan herd has relocated to the field alongside Lower Rake Lane.
Walking back and close by my car were 4 Little Egret feeding again amongst the pigs.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-7).
I was in work today so it wasn’t until later that I had the opportunity in paying a visit to the marsh. The chill wind whipped in from the east and finding shelter was difficult, but I snuggled down in a hollow to count the ducks on No.6 tank. There were 111 Common Shelduck which entertained with paired up birds aggresivley courting conflict with their neighbours.
A small group of more sedate Eurasian Teal chose the vegeated areas and a scattered gathering of 78 Tufted Duck included the female Long-tailed Duck busy tending to her plumage and picking a scrap with a feisty Little Grebe.
A steady passage of Common Raven were heading to their roost and in the distance the Whooper Swan herd was where Paul had seen them earlier.
Observer: WSM (images 8-11).