I was taking an amble through the bramble along the River Weaver this morning before heading to Ince for my BTO WeBS count. Again every tree and hedgerow seems to be bouncing with winter thrushes stripping the remaining berries off the hawthorne bushes, others were ground feeding in the pony paddock. A Cetti’s Warbler was heard by the old log along Brook Furlong Lane drowning out a Common Wren singing nearby (which takes some doing).
Nearby Common Raven gathered in the trees and pylons and were watched over by a steely-eyed Peregrine sitting higher up on the framework. A skein of c 90 Pink-footed Goose were flying east this morning as they have for the last few weeks.
On the River Weaver were 11 Mute Swan, a large mixed flock of Eurasian Teal, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Common Pochard, Great Crested Grebe and Common Shelduck at the junction of the Manchester Ship Canal, and a pair of Common Goldeneye flew up river. A mass of Northern Lapwing took to the air flushed by a Western Marsh Harrier from the far bank of the river. Also seen chatting along my route were 3 European Stonechat in the reeds alongside the water.
Along Kinsey Lane at Ince was only one of the four Western Cattle Egret whixh was foraging amongst the pigs along with 3 Little Egret and 4 Grey Heron, and flying over was a Great Egret heading south. On the nature reserve pools at Ince was a reduced number of ducks from yesterday, 8 Mallard, 58 Eurasian Teal, 1 Northern Shoveler, 2 Mute Swan, 8 Eurasian Coot, 5 Common Moorhen, 3 Little Grebe, 5 Mute Swan were on the stubble field alongside the Holpool Gutter with a reduction in number from yesterday of c120 Eurasian Curlew.
A flock of 42 Stock Dove was also notable in the area. Two pairs of European Stonechat were alongside the gutter with another pair alongside the GrowHow fertilizer plant. Back at my start and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was in the trees near to the pig farm entrance and making a point of increasing in both sightings and numbers across the marshes.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-7).
A female/immature Black Redstart was on Frodsham Score this afternoon in an area seen from the Marsh Farm and a Short-eared Owl flew past farm as the
Observer: Alyn Chambers (image 8).