I began my walk at Ince this morning before moving to Brook Furlong Lane in the afternoon period.
A couple of Little Egret were on the pools at Ince with some decent numbers of wildfowl mostly Eurasian Teal but also Mallard, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Wigeon, Little Grebe, Eurasian Coot, Common Moorhen and a pair of Mute Swan. A small male Peregrine was checking out the pools sending the ducks in to panic mode. The lane had good numbers of Redwing, Fieldfares and Common Blackbird being abundant down to the Manchester Ship Canal path.
A Common Chiffchaff was seen moving about in the reeds next to one of the pools and a Short-eared Owl was hunting near Ince berth. A skein of c80 Pink-footed Goose passed overhead on their way to their feeding grounds.
Looking over the Frodsham Score salt marsh produced sightings of 12 Little Egret scattered about feeding in the tidal channels, and a mass of smaller waders could be seen in the distance moving about at the edge of the River Mersey. There wasn’t much else on the score as the wildfowlers were shooting there this morning.
The fields bordering the Holpool Gutter held a flock of c200 Eurasian Curlew and with them a Great Egret stood statuesque in the middle of the field. Also noted was a group of c20 Black-tailed Godwit joining the curlew flock feeding within the stubble. There were also 2 pairs of European Stonechat noted along the gutter line.
Later in the afternoon a walk along the Manchester Ship Canal path and River Weaver produced more Eurasian Teal on the water with Tufted Duck, Mallard, Common Pochard, Gadwall, Common Shelduck and plenty of Eurasian Coot seen. There was 7 cygnets and 3 adults Mute Swan on the River Weaver in a group and they made their way towards number No.6 tank, but returned a short while later, another pair and a single cygnet were also on the river. A small flock of 6 Pied Avocet were foraging in the silt alongside the Weaver Sluice tidal channel and the Peregrine was sat on top of the blue tower plucking its takeout.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-4).
With laden skies looming up from the south west and the wind getting into gear a visit to No.6 tank and surrounding area was needed. The ducks were quite flighty today and a flock of 243 Northern Shoveler, 357 Eurasian Teal, 21 Common Shelduck, 2 Tufted Duck, 43 Mallard, 29 Little Grebe and 2 adult & 6 juvenile Mute Swan were as usual an impressive sight.
A small flock of 6 Ruff (the first group of the early winter) and a couple of Western Marsh Harrier were circling over the reed beds.
The small herd of Whooper Swan were again on Lordship Marsh with several hundred Black-headed Gull in the flooded fields.
A Common Buzzard was sat out on a fence post on No.5 tank ignoring the Common Raven and Carrion Crow giving it some bovver The Peregrine Paul had seen earlier was still sat on her tall blue topped chimney at Weston Point, no doubt considering her dessert. A skein of Pink-footed Goose flock over the chimney on their way out east.
Overall, a nice selection of birds from a day that really didn’t promise much from the gathering gloom.
Observer: WSM (images 5-8).