A walk along the lanes of the marshes and a return to winter with a cold easterly whafting across the fields. A brief encounter with Paul Miller who was on his way home after adding the Whooper Swan herd, first White Wagtail with c50 Pied Wagtail and a Bar-tailed Godwit on No.6 tank. Also a singing Common Chiffchaff and the ringtail Hen Harrier to his morning ramble.
We carried on and met with the 25 Whooper Swan herd in fields opposite the ramp track to No.4 & No.6 tanks were having more peace away from the crowds at the weekend.
A look over Frodsham Score and c10000 Pink-footed Goose were spread righ across the salt marshes with 7 Barnacle and numerous Canada Goose.
A flock of c340 Eurasian Wigeon, c400 Common Shelduck, Eurasian Teal and plenty of Gadwall. Shorebirds featured c50 Eurasian Oystercatcher, 30 Black & 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, c30 Grey Plover and 32 Common Redshank. A female Merlin was sat out on a post watching life go by while further out by the edge of the river were two Western Marsh Harrier, 7 Little & 3 Great Egret were knocking about.
A small number of European Stonechat were along the fence lines and gorse bushes while Cetti’s Warbler sang loud and proud.
It was funny seeing a pair of lambs overcome their curiosity and check out a Canada Goose. When the lambs got to close the goose raised its wings in a threat and both of the fluffy ones turned tail and ran.
The ‘phalarope pool’ had 6 Black-tailed Godwit with numerous paired up teal and again small numbers of both Northern Shoveler and Gadwall were doing likewise. Looking across the reed beds of No.6 tank and the ringtail Hen Harrier was busy quartering the beds and later a female Western Marsh Harrier also showed up. Ducks were a little reduced in numbers with 23 Tufted Duck and out numbering them was 31 Common Pochard, 7 Northern Pintail, 67 Northern Shoveler, c400 Eurasian Teal and the usual Mallard and Gadwall. Shorebirds are begining to return with 5 Ruff, 61 Black-tailed Godwit including one coming into its summer plumage and 4 Common Redshank.
Observers: JS & WSM (images 2-3 & 5).
Images 1 & 4 by Phil Barker.