I was out today for my section of the BTO WeBS count with Bill covering the area to the south of the marshes. My start was from Ince and I stopped at Kinsey Lane where a Pot-bellied Pig was strolling along the lane in front of me as bold as brass, He was returned to his owner by 2 lady joggers.
I looked over the Frodsham Score salt marsh from an elevated position as the tide crept in and I watched as masses of waders were moving along the edge of the river and putting on a great display.
A single Little Egret was feeding amongst the pigs as were c60 Eurasian Curlew, c300 Black-headed Gull. Onward to the pools and 5 Mallard, 62 Eurasian Teal, 23 Gadwall, 15 Northern Shoveler, 14 Eurasian Coot, 10 Common Moorhen, a single Little Egret, 3 Little Grebe and 4 Mute Swan were noted. Later 2 Black-tailed Godwit dropped in to feed at the edge of the pool aswell.
A small flock of 4 Common Snipe exploded from the grass as I made my way towards the Ince Berth and a Common Buzzard which I disturbed as it fed on a freshly killed Rabbit. Winter thrushes were numerous and were joined by a Mistle Thrush as they gorged in the hedgerows.
The tide came in and covered the entire salt marsh forcing thousands of waders into the air and included Dunlin, Common Redshank, Eurasian Curlew, Eurasian Oystercatcher and Northern Lapwing were all present and c400 Eurasian Curlew settled on the fields alongside the Holpool Gutter A single Great Egret and several Little Egret were fishing in the rising water and the gulls went in to a feeding frenzy with the corvids joining them.
Observer and images: Paul Ralston
I had a malfunction with a grub screw and my tripod and then with my camera’s sd card so there wasn’t much chance to get any proper shots today.
We made a start for our BTO WeBS count along Moorditch Lane where a modest sized flock of 120 Black-headed Gull were working the flooded fields by the motorway. We continued along Moorditch to join up with Lordship Lane and apart from a small group of more gulls it was pretty devoid of birdlife but the sign of a marde spreader on the fields by Hillview Farm was enough for the Whooper Swan herd not to be present (Jacqui & Idris Roberts saw them fly overhead No. 3 tank yesterday afternoon, so they had departed the area for now).
Walking the track between No.6 & No.4 tanks produced a flock of 54 Linnet, 12 Pied Wagtail and 5 Lesser Redpoll forgaing along the elders on the western banks of No.6 tank.
No.3 tank was next and for a change the ‘phalarope pool’ was empty but there was a lot of people walking the tracks of the marsh this Sunday. Further out Eurasian Teal were numbering 231 birds with just a handful of Eurasian Wigeon and 23 Mallard. A flock of c500 Northern Lapwing over No.2 tank.
The wind was fresh but the forecast for swally weather didn’t materilise with bright sunshine helping the counters on the edge of the wild mersey. No.6 tank wasn’t as busy as yesterday with 204 Northern Shoveler, 320 Eurasian Teal, 7 Gadwall, 31 Mallard, 16 Common Shelduck, 7 Northern Pintail, 29 Little Grebe, 14 Common Coot and 3 Common Moorhen. A herd of 5 adult and 2 juvenile Mute Swan added to the days bounty.
Observer: JS & WSM.