I started my daily exercise walk at Brook Furlong Lane this morning where a Song Thrush was singing its melancholy song and a few Redwings were foraging along the lane. Out on the River Weaver were hundreds of Canada Goose and 11 Mute Swan which were on the water with many Tufted Duck, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Common Pochard, Eurasian Coot and a few Common Goldeneye and Great Crested Grebe they all took to the air as a ship made its way along the Manchester Ship Canal and sent a series of big waves along the river.
Also seen were c30 Common Redshank and a single Common Ringed Plover the first of the year at the waters edge. A flock of c1000 Northern Lapwing in the fields close to Marsh Farm with c80 Black-tailed Godwit, the lapwing flock were their usual nervous selves, and were up in the air every few minutes while the godwits stayed put.
Cheshire Police were on patrol around the marsh hopefully deterring fly-tippers and off road bikers. I stopped off a Ince on my way home to see if the floodwaters had receeded and had attracted any waders or egrets, but only c50 Northern Lapwing were at the edge of the flood with c80 Eurasian Curlew were in a nearby field. Ducks fared better with several Gadwall, Eurasian Teal and Mallard joining the 2 Mute Swan on the pools.
There were 3 Lesser Redpoll moving through the bushes with a mixed flock of tits and Goldcrest. A single Little Egret was feeding with the pigs along Kinsey Lane, Ince and a Great Egret could be seen in the distance on Ince salt marsh.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-4).
Our daily constituional walk took in the monthly BTO WeBS count, so a walk along Hare’s Lane to avoid the numbers of day walkers led us along Lordship Lane. The flooded fields adjacent to Lower Rake Lane attracted hundreds of Black-headed and lesser numbers of Common Gull. The fields at the Growhow works had two swan herds one of 22 (2 juvenile) Whooper and 11 Mute Swan, 2 Greylag Goose and a Great Egret joining the swans, because it wanted to be one added to the flavour.
A look across Frodsham Score salt marsh included sightings of 4 Great and 7 Little Egret with the usual mass of Canada Goose, 7 Barnacle Goose and some Pink-footed Goose on their periphery. These birds were augmented by skeins of pink’s coming in from the south numbering hundreds during our walk. The first spring lambs could be seen out on the score banks.
Walking back and the fields of No.3 tank had skittish flocks of both Northern Lapwing and a tidy flock of c750 European Golden Plover. Ducks were still few but I managed to count 27 Northern Shoveler, c100 Eurasian Teal and 14 Mallard. A Lesser Redpoll flew over the ‘splashing pool’ and disappeared out across No.3 tank.
Looking across No.6 tank and with 121 Northern Shoveler, 231 Eurasian Teal, 14 Common Shelduck, 7 Tufted Duck and 14 Northern Pintail. A Western Marsh Harrier was loafing over the area.
Observers: JS & WSM (images 1 & 5-7).