17.12.20. Birdlog.

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We took a long walk out along Moorditch Lane and then Lordship Lane where the Whooper Swan herd have now reached 37 birds, including 3 juvenile birds. A Common Chiffchaff was along the banks of No.6 tank with large numbers of both Linnet and European Goldfinch also present.

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A rendezvous with the afternoon tide and surge of its rising waters brought in hundreds and thousands of duck and shorebirds; with 3000 Dunlin, c700 European Golden Plover, 100’s of Common Redshank and c80 Grey Plover. The opportunist Black-headed Gull were taking advantage of the higher tide which forced the smaller rodents out of cover and eagerly into their bills.

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An impressive gathering of 7 Great, c20 Little Egret and 11 Grey Heron also took advantage of the higher water table to snaffle any leftovers. Hundreds of Eurasian Wigeon were furtive and wouldn’t settle for long in one place. A pair of Common Goldeneye were out on the river (and could have been the pair on No.6 tank seen earlier by Arthur Harrison) with c340 Common Shelduck, numerous Northern Pintail, Gadwall and Eurasian Teal.

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Returning to the track and a walk along the lane between No.3 & No.6 tank produced 21 Northern Shoveler, 23 Eurasian Teal and several Mallard.

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No.6 tank was pretty vacant with Eurasian Teal cowering below the banks and out of the cold south westerly wind. A Western Marsh Harrier was sparring with a couple of Common Raven.

Observers: JS & WSM (images 1-6)

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I managed to put in the last hour of light looking over Ince Marsh fields. Kinsey Lane and its resident (2) Western Cattle Egret, 7 Little Egret, c30 Eurasian Curlew and c 20 Common Snipe were foraging amongst the pigs and stubble fields. A Sparrowhawk was hunting the European Starling and thrush flocks feeding in the area.

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Looking over the Frodsham Score salt marsh produced 3 Great Egret and several Little Egret were noted .

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Great Egret .

The pools at Ince nature reserve held a mixed flock of Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall ,several Eurasian Coot, Common Moorhen, a pair of Mute Swan and 2 Little Egret, a Great Egret passed overhead and flew south.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 7-10).