A very early start and a walk out to the River Weaver in the hope of catching up with last years Garganey but alas most of the Eurasian Teal had departed the river overnight and left c200. A flock of 17 Common Goldeneye, 51 Common Pochard, 147 Tufted Duck, 17 Common Shelduck, 11 Gadwall and 6 Mute Swan. A solitary Black-tailed Godwit joined a small group of Northern Lapwing and Common Redshank and a wintering Common Sandpiper.
Observers: Paul Ralston (1-3 & 10 & 13-16) and WSM (4-9 & 11-12).
After our disappointment we headed in our own directions and I walked back along Brookfurlong Lane where a Cetti’s Warbler heralded the new year with a track from its back catalogue.
No.6 tank was still frozen over with the only area free from the freeze was adjacent to the marshy vegetation. A gathering of c100 Northern Shoveler, c270 Eurasian Teal, 15 Northern Pintail and 12 Mallard.
A small flock of 18 Black-tailed Godwit were knee deep in freezing water.
A skein of Pink-footed Goose flew over from the east and a small segment dropped down onto No.3 tankand joined up with the c100 Canada Goose herd.
Walking back to my car and at the ramp track to Moorditch Lane a pale grey Chiffchaff had all the hallmarks of a ‘tristis’ until it called like a ‘collybita’?. It was feeding in the ditch and gave great views and one of the images I managed is above.
A Jay was along Brook Furlong Lane at first light. On the Weaver Estuary was a single Common Sandpiper on the river bank. A couple of European Stonechat were on the fence line and c300 European Golden Plover with large flock of Northern Lapwing were at Marsh Farm.
The Whooper Swan herd had split into 3 groups and were spread across Lordship Marshand a large mixed flock of finches mostly Linnet and European Goldfinch with smaller numbers of Chaffinch and Greenfinch were in the stubble along Lordship Lane. Common Kestrel and Common Buzzard were active throughout my walk.
I stopped of at Kinsey Lane, Ince on the way home and a single Western Cattle Egret, 4 Little Egret and 2 Grey Heron were foraging amongst the pigs. There was 13 Common Snipe and many more Northern Lapwing were noted in the stubble with groups of Eurasian Curlew passing overhead.
Out on the sFrodsham Score salt marsh were over 1000 Pink-footed Goose grazing with the Canada Goose and Common Shelduck. A mass of Dunlin were moving about at the edge of Stanlow Island with a Great Egret nearby.
Observer: Paul Ralston.