A walk along the Manchester Ship Canal and around No.4 tank this morning. There were thousands of Canada Goose on the Frodsham Score salt marsh and the ship canal when something disturbed them out by the river and they took off on mass.
Their noise moving in flight was impressive and caused the sheep to panic and run. A Great Egret and several Little Egret were feeding in the tidal channels while Common Raven, Carrion Crow and Lesser Black-backed Gull were scavenging on the dead sheep on the marsh. A look over the ‘phalarope pool’ on No.3 tank was unproductive as the cattle were wandering through it. Arthur Harrison had seen 4 Common Snipe on the pool earlier. A Western Marsh Harrier was hunting over No.4 tank and a Weasel crossed the path in front of me. Butterflies were numerous with Speckled Wood and Common Blue amongst the usual species seen.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-4).
A look over Frodsham Score on the rising tide saw 14 Pied Avocet, c500 Common Shelduck and a flock of 54 Common Raven.
Our walk took us to watch over No.6 tank during the period of high tide. An impressive gathering of 2254 Black-tailed Godwit was by far the highest flock of the year. Hiding in their throng were several juveniles and a colour ringed bird.
The whole flock rose into the air when a juvenile Peregrine sliced through the flying birds like a knife through butter. A flock of 153 Dunlin made the price and one caught a hit.
A single juvenile Ruff, 43 Common Ringed Plover, 43 Common Redshank and 3 Green Sandpiper. The gulls gathered were many and an adult Yellow-legged Gull the first of the year dropped in and fell asleep in the grass for a half hour.
A few hirundines were still about and like wise several Common Swift.
Observer: JS & WSM (images 1 & 5-10).