A walk along Moorditch Lane at dawn was rewarding with a skein of 58 Pink-footed Goose heading south east over Frodsham. The walk initially was pretty uneventful with only a couple of Cetti’s Warbler, 3 Goldcrest and an assortment of winter thrushes.
Looking across No.6 tank from its banks produced 6 leftover Whooper Swan from the herd of 13 that dropped into roost last evening.
They consisted of 2 juveniles and 4 adults, and each had the reminants of rust staining to their heads and necks from their breeding grounds way to the north. Also present were 5 Mute Swan, 188 Eurasian Teal, 18 Common Shelduck, 6 Northern Pintail, 50 Northern Shoveler, 25 Mallard, 4 Eurasian Coot and 19 Little Grebe.
I continued my walk back to Brookfurlong Lane where there were lots of Fieldfare, Redwing and smaller numbers of Blackbird, Song Thrush and a couple of Mistle Thrush. Two additional Cetti’s Warbler were calling from deep inside the hedgerow. Eventually I reached the River Weaver and looked up to the Weaver Estuary and found the 176 Tufted Duck there. A bigger than the average flock of 58 Common Pochard, a reduction on the 98 seen at the weekend. Also counted were 28 Common Shelduck, 1 Gadwall, c250 Eurasian Teal, 6 Mute Swan, 10 Common Goldeneye and 65 Eurasian Coot.
A thoughtful piece of fly-tipping by the bb(r)c breakfast team.
Observer: WSM (images 1-8).
An early finish at work and a walk on the marsh with a start at Ince this afternoon. A Grey Heron replaced the Little Egrets at the pig farm, the latter had relocated to the pools. Overhead a couple of Great Spotted Woodpecker passed by on their way to the woods. The pools had c60 Eurasian Teal, 8 Gadwall, 8 Mallard, 2 Northern Shoveler, 5 Mute Swan, several Eurasian Coot and Common Moorhen. The winter thrushes were feeding in and along the canal path trees watched over by a Sparrowhawk.
Out on the Frodsham Score salt marsh was a mega herd of c2000 Canada Goose grazing on the short salty grass, but were very aware of 2 wildfowlers along the river bank. Several Little Egret were frolicking in and out of the tidal gutters while a single Great Egret added some demure. There were thousands of Common Starlng creating a mass like a black carpet as they rolled about the salt marsh. More Eurasian Teal, Gadwall, Mallard and Northern Shoveler were about when I got to the ‘phalarope pool’ and a Western Marsh Harrier was being taunted by a Common Raven over No.4 tank.
A large flock of Northern Lapwing were foraging on Lordship Marsh and were flushed off the fields by a Common Buzzard. The sight of a 23 strong herd of Whooper Swan were flushed inadvertently by a jogger but soon settled by the Hillview Farm.
An adult Peregrine was sat on the ground digesting its meal, but its pressence had an effect on the flock of Eurasian Curlew that were feeding in the same field.
Back near to my start and a flock of c30 egrets had gathered at the edge of the pool by the screen hide before going to roost, mostly Little Egret with 2 Western Cattle Egret (probably the 2 birds from recent weeks?) I also noted 4 Common Raven making their way to roost in the woods.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 9-12).