A walk out in the eye wateringly cold blast of south-easterly wind whipping through the marsh.
Highlights from my walk included: c100 Common Snpe, 5 Jack Snipe, 12 Dunlin, 25 Common Redshank. a Common Ringed Plover and a couple of ‘sinensis’ Great Cormorant. Ducks were rather thin on the river with 54 Eurasian Teal, 123 Tufted Duck, 27 Common Pochard and the 1st winter drake Greater Scaup finding the waters to choppy and seeking shelter hiding behine a small jetty. Also a chilly Common Chiffchaff was brave feeding along the exposed banks.
A tractor bringing food to the cattle on No.3 tank flushed c500 Northern Shoveler from either the Canal Pools or the Manchester Ship Canal where they flew out to the River Mersey.
The horse paddock had some winter thrushes with Song Thrush, Blackbird and Redwing looking for food on the frozen ground. A Little Egret was hiding in a ditch at the bottom of the bridge that crosses the M56 motorway on Marsh Lane, then flew around and settled in the same ditch, but further along Moorditch Lane.
Observer: WSM (images 1-4).
I had a short walk in the bitter cold this morning from Kinseys Lane and along the Manchester Ship Canal and back via the nature reserve pools. There were good numbers of gulls with mostly Black-headed but several Herring withthem. Also in the area were plenty of corvids feeding in the fields that had recently had the muck spreader over them.
Out on Ince salt marsh were more corvids gathered together foraging alongside c5000 Pink-footed Goose and a Little Egret moved east along the canal. A flock of c80 Stock Dove were feeding on the edge of the salt marsh with many sat on the wall at Ince Berth. Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Gadwall and Common Shelduck were present in small numbers on the canal and 4 Mute Swan were in a field near the berth.
The pools were frozen over with a few Eurasian Teal and Eurasian Coot making the most of the ice free ditch, and a flock of c60 Eurasian Curlew flew over calling and looking for a suitable place to feed. The small wood at the entrance to the pig farm held several winter thrushes with Blackbird and Song Thrush searching the undergrowth for something to get them through the cold spell. A Eurasian Nuthatch wedged a hazel nut in a crevice and hammered away at it. A flock of 25 Stock Dove were noted nearby.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 5-7).