I began my walk along Lower Rake Lane early this morning. The Whooper Swan herd of 37 was still grazing alongside the footpath in the grassy fields south of Hillview Farm. The hedgerows had Linnet, European Goldfinch and Chaffinch flocks.
A pair of Mute Swan were on the Holpool Gutter with several Eurasian Coot, Common Moorhen and a single Little Grebe were noted. A Peregrine was seen circling over the GrowHow fertilizer plant and settled on one of the stacks to survey the marsh beyond.
A Merlin flew swiftly over the bank of No.4 and followed the path by the gutter flushing several Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail as it went. A Western Marsh Harrier hunted the reed bed then made its way out to the Frodsham Score salt marsh to scare and flushed a mass of Northern Lapwing flocks. A skein of c50 Pink-footed Goose made their way south leaving c700 Canada Goose on the salt marsh with a single Great and several Little Egret feeding in the tidal channels.
The ‘splashing pool’ held Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler and Tufted Duck, but not in any great numbers. Walking back along Lordship Lane and a pair of Mute Swan were grazing amongst the sheep and the Whooper Swan herd took flight and circled around Lordship Marsh before settling in the same field they had just left only to rise again and fly west.
Back at my car the Whooper Swan herd could be seen in the distance having settled in the fields behind the fertilizer plant at Ince marsh fields. I stopped off at Kinsey Lane, Ince where 4 Western Cattle Egret and 7 Little Egret were foraging amongst the pigs alongside the lane.
Observer and images: Paul Ralston.