I was around Ince this afternoon for the BTO WeBs count on the banks of the Mersey Estuary. The two Western Cattle Egret were still present with a couple of Little Egret. Mallard were way down from my recent visits and today I saw 3 Gadwall, 30 Northern Shoveler, 1 Eurasian Coot, 33 Common Moorhen, 17 Little Grebe, 6 Grey Heron, 2 Black-tailed Godwit.
Looking over the salt marsh and a flock of 51 Little Egret sat at the edge of the river with others scattered about the marshes with 3 Great Egret noted. Canada Goose were plentiful, but only a small skein of 15 Pink-footed Goose were seen flying over. A flock of Linnet drew the attention of a Sparrowhawk and it or another bird was seen on three occasions hunting along the Manchester Ship Canal bank. A Great Spotted Woodpecker took cover as one of the Sparrowhawk passed by. A flock of c40 Stock Dove was foraging on the stubble field along the Holpool Gutter. A sorry looking Pied Wagtail was doing its best to clean an oily looking substance off its feathers.
Observer: Paul Ralston (image 2).
I made the effort after work today to fill my time during the tide tide to cover my allocated WeBs count area. A flock of c2500 Black-tailed Godwit were conveniently positioned close to the bank from where I was counting.
A couple of Bar-tailed Godwit were teezed out of their number. The two juvenile Curlew Sandpiper were again doing their best to hide behine the ducks at the far side. A flock of 250 European Golden Plover were present for a short time before they were typically spooked and the majority left for the relative saftey of the Mersey marshes. A couple of Dunlin, 21 Common Snipe, 45 Common Redshank, 24 Ruff and a single Eurasian Curlew.
Ducks looked to be below their usual high numbers but they were mostly out of sight hiding in the eastern part of the open water. Northern Shoveler were in good numbers with 323 birds, 53 Tufted Duck, 37 Northern Pintail, 47 Mallard, 279 Eurasian Teal, 8 Gadwall and 7 Common Shelduck, Eurasian Coot were fairly low with 17 birds and both Little Grebe and Common Moorhen mustered 12 birds each.
Cetti’s Warbler are noisey along the lanes and most of the summer migrants have left us with a few Common Chiffchaff still about the area.
Earlier in the day and the sounds of yelping Pink-footed Goose could be heard all around the area with on skein numbering 430 birds.
Observer: WSM (images 1 & 3-5).