My walk commenced along Brook Furlong Lane this morning and my progress was watched by several Common Raven in the trees, or even perched on the pylons above my head. The wintering thrushes fed on the abundant berry crop but they did not lingering long out in the open.
A couple of European Stonechat were along the river bank with an eye cocked to the sky on a Common Kestrel that was hovering closeby. Similarly, another eye watched a Common Buzzard that was perched on a piece of driftwood digesting the inards of a Brown Rat, and the remains lay nearby.
There were 15 Mute Swan, c200 Tufted Duck, c60 Common Shelduck, numerous Eurasian Teal, Mallard, smaller numbers of Common Pochard and Gadwall on the River Weaver. A herd of c300 Canada Goose and c70 Eurasian Coot were also on the river and Manchester Ship Canal junction.
Looking over the Mersey Estuary and 8 Great Crested Grebe, several Great Cormorant, Grey Heron and a single Little Egret were foraging in the tidal channel while a small flock of 8 Pied Avocet flew past.
A Peregrine was sat on the blue topped chimney at Weston Point checking out its ‘eat out to dine out’ saltmarsh menu below. A flock of c500 Northern Lapwing took to the air with a couple of European Golden Plover joining them, and they all settled back on the marsh after a few minutes.
The Canal Pools held a flock of c30 Eurasian Wigeon, several Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Gadwall and the Mute Swan pair were joined by their juvenile young.
On No.6 tank the usual ducks were on the water and a Cetti’s Warbler was heard loud and proud.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1 & 3-4).
I saw a Swallow and 2 Small Tortoiseshell butterflies this morning (the former) flying over Weston Road, Weston before heading out towards the Weaver Estuary (WSM). Paul saw another Swallow a Burton Marsh as well.
Image 2 by WSM.