I started my walk at Brook Furlong Lane this morning where a few Redwing were still lingering in the hawthorns and the first of several Cetti’s Warbler could be heard belting out their tune alongside Song Thrush, Blackbird, Wren and European Goldfinch.
On the River Weaver were c20 Common Goldeneye, small numbers of Tufted Duck, Common Pochard, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Common Shelduck and Gadwall were all present with a summer plumaged Great Crested Grebe. Pied Avocet were moving up river in several small groups with more seen feeding out on the Mersey Estuary. Eurasian Oystercatcher were vocal and defending their territories.
A couple of Black-tailed Godwit foraged on the shore with 4 Common Ringed Plover and a Little Ringed Plover (the first of the year) joined them at the river’s edge. A Common Sandpiper flew past and settled further upstream.
Looking over Lordship Marsh at tthe Whooper Swan herd had their Greylag Goose companions with them and 4 Bewick’s Swan were newly arrived in and shared the same field, but kept their distance from the main herd.
Walking back to my start and a pair of Cetti’s Warblers were having a dispute with one chasing the other from bush to bush.
I called at Kinsey Lane, Ince where 2 Western Cattle Egret and several Little Egret were foraging amongst the pigs.
A couple of Common Chiffchaff were again along the hedgerow and two thousand Pink-footed Goose were on Ince salt marsh with several more Little and a Great Egret.
The Goldfinch nature reserve pools were quiet with just a few Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Gadwall and a single drake Wigeon, plus the usual Eurasian Coot and Common Moorhen. Further along the track another Great and 2 Little Egret were foraging close to the ‘latest’ construction site, while two more Great Egret flew overhead with one being being the colour ring bird from previous sightings and again evading me reading the code combination. A Peregrine settled on a tower at the Growhow works and the Carrion Crow flock were ganging up on any passing Common Buzzard.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-7).
A call from Paul had me heading along Lordship Lane where he had earlier found 4 Bewick’s Swan with the usual 25 Whooper Swan herd in the field on Lordship Marsh adjacent to the ramp track to No.4 & 6 tanks. The three Greylag and their white domestic form were also in attendance.
A couple of Common Chiffchaff, 3 Cetti’s Warbler, 4 European Stonechat and 2 Little Egret were also noted.
Looking across the salt marshes and 4-5000 Pink-footed Goose were grazing on the salty grass with several Little and 2 Great Egret but the feeling of departure is very much hanging in the air. A Western Marsh Harrier rode a termal high over the River Mersey.
A selection of ducks were hanging out on the ‘phalarope pool’ while c50 Eurasian Wigeon were in the hidden scrapes. A Water Rail showed itself briefly at the S bend in the (GW) track.
Looking across No.6 tank and the gathering Eurasian Teal flock were busy feeding along the margins with several Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Common Shelduck, 25 Common Pochard and 14 Tufted Duck. A flock of 68 Black-tailed Godwit, 21 Common Snipe and 11 Ruff were also busy feeding up.
Observer: WSM (images 1& 8-13 & videos).
A sighting of both a ringtail Hen Harrier and Western Marsh Harrier from No.6 tank – per Duncan Cowley.
Also of much rarer value was a Eurasian Nuthatch in sallows alongside the horse paddocks on Moorditch Lane – per Gary Worthington.