I started at Ince today for my monthly BTO WeBs count on Ince marsh fields. The pools at Ince held 7 Mallard, 6 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck, 5 Common Shelduck, 5 Eurasian Coot, 8 Common Moorhen and 4 Little Grebe.
There were 3 Grey Heron in the fields and nearby the Barn Owl was at the entrance to its box enjoying some down time from the kids. The Holpool Gutter held 2 Gadwall, 3 Common Moorhen, 1 Eurasian Coot and the adjacent field held 30 Northern Lapwing, 2 Canada Goose and a mixed flock of Rook with many young begging for food. The Western Jackdaw, Carrion Crow and plenty of Wood Pigeon were all over the place.
On Frodsham Score salt marsh were hundreds of Canada Goose, several Common Shelduck and Mallard were resting with more Canada Goose with young on the Manchester Ship Canal.
The ‘Canal Pools’ were quiet with just Canada Goose and their broods with 2 Tufted Duck and a Mallard.
The Common Redshank pair were agitated by a Common Buzzard passing close by overhead and joined the Northern Lapwing in an effort to deter it from targeting their young hiding in the grass.
Passerines featured Reed Bunting, Sedge, Reed Warbler and Common Whitethroat were all active on my walk with some feeding young birds. A male Western Marsh Harrier flew over with a prey item and was met by the female which caught the prey as he dropped it.
A Peregrine sat on a tower at the Growhow Works digesting its meal. A Grey Wagtail was on the bank of the gutter and a Pied Wagtail fed a youngster that was begging for food.
Observer: PAul Ralston (images 2-7).
We took a walk around No.6 tank and stopped off at the ‘phalarope pool’ where a Little Ringed Plover was performing well on the bare mud. Like Paul had seen earlier the Common Redshank parents were busy keeping an eye on their young.
Continuing further on and stopped off at No.6 tank where a flock of c650 Black-tailed Godwit had just been put on the alert by 2 Peregrine sitting on the bare ground (per John Gilbody).
Another Little Ringed Plover was with 6 Common Ringed Plover, 24 (11 nests) Pied Avocet and a single Dunlin. An adult female and a juvenile European Stonechat were in the reed bed below where I was sitting.
A Little Egret flew over our heads and headed off to the Mersey Estuary.
Observers: JS & WSM (images 1 & 8-10 & 12-14).
Image 11 by John Gilbody.