A last wring of the wet towel before we start it all over again tomorrow.
No.6 tank was mostly frozen with just a tiny section of water open for the ducks, which consisdered of 230 eurasian Teal, 10 Mallard and 17 Northern Shoveler. A Common Chiffchaff and 3 Lesser Redpoll were on the banks.
A look over No.3 tank produced the European Golden Plover flock from the last few days still warding off the advances of the Black-headed Gull bullies. A herd of c350 Canada and 28 Greylag Goose were displaced from outside the area. A Western Marsh Harrier flew over surveying the fields below and drifted off to Frodsham Score. The ‘phalarope pool’ and ‘the splashing pool’ weere mostly frozen and apart from a small group of Northern Shoveler. A further 2 Common Chiffchaff were contact calling to each other in the thick vegetation.
A look across the salt marshes on the ebbing tide was rewarded with 4 Great and 6 Little Egret, 15 Grey Heron and 100’s of Pink-footed Goose herds. With most of the inland waters virually a closed shop to ducks thetre were hundreds of them out on the tide line with 200 Common Shelduck, c850 Eurasian Wigeon, and smaller numbers of Northern Pintail. The same Western Marsh Harrier was perched up on the score and a female Merlin wasbusy preening on a wooden stump. Shorebirds included 1000’s of Dunlin, 3 Grey Plover, Oystercatcher, Common Redshank with several hundred Eurasian Curlew. A Cetti’s Warbler was calling from the willows and another was scolding by the track.
I continued my hike out to the junction of No.4 & 6 tanks which affords views across Lordship Marsh. The herd of 21 Whooper Swan were on the flooded fields with hundreds of Black-headed & Common Gull were busy seeking food from these fields with 100’s of Eurasian Curlew joining the.
Walking back I met Dermot Smith who tolf me he had seen a drake Garganey on the River Weaver and ironically his first of the year! I rushed over to the river in the dying light of 2020 and when I got to the Weaver the light had expired with the neon lights of the works casting rainbow colours on the water…A new day and year tomorrow!
Observer: WSM (images).
I started my birding at Brook Furlong Lane this morning where a few winter thrushes were foraging along the track with a group of Long-tailed Tit were following close behind. On the River Weaver were Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Gadwall and sCommon Shelduck being noted with 6 Mute Swan and numerous Eurasian Coot. A handfull of Common Redshank moved along the river leaving a Common Sandpiper behind, which made its way over to the far bank of the Manchester Ship Canal. Also 3 European Stonechat were feeding alongside several Meadow Pipit at the river edge and a mixed flock of finches and Reed Bunting passed overhead.
Hundreds of Northern Lapwing with c 300 European Golden Plover were in the fields close to Marsh Farm while several Common Snipe and another European Stonechat were noted on No.5 tank.
The best part of No.6 was frozen over with a few Mallard and Northern Shoveler keeping a small patch ice free while a large flock of Eurasian Teal with a few more Northern Shoveler stayed close to the edge. Linnet, Chaffinch, European Goldfinch and Reed Bunting were numerus along the bank.
A Common Moorhen submerged its self under water with its bill sticking out like a periscope to avoid detection. Hundreds of Canada Goose were grazing on No.3 and a group of 7 Ruff flew west.
I called in at Kinsey Lane, Ince on my way home where just 2 Little Egret and 2 Grey Heron were foraging amongst with the pigs and hundreds of Northern Lapwing and c30 Eurasian Curlew. Out on the Frodsham Score salt marsh were c1500 Pink-footed Goose grazing with numerous Common Shelduck and 2 Great Egret strolled stuff nearby.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images).