A look over No.6 tank (on the rising tide) saw a decent flock of c1500 Black-tailed Godwit (including a colour ringed bird from 21.08.21 on here and recently seen yesterday by @Swisstoni19 just up the road at Gowy Meadows), 118 European Golden Plover, 21 Ruff, including the white headed bird which gave some much better view than previous visits.
A single juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, c20 Common Snipe, 1 Eurasian Curlew and 214 Northern Lapwing.
There was movement of Pink-footed Goose with several skiens circling the marsh. Ducks were still present from yesterday with 78 Tufted Duck, 234 Northern Shovler, 53 Eurasian Wigeon and just 110 Eurasian Teal.
Observer: WSM (images).
There were 2 Bar-tailed Godwit on the Lum – per Caleb aka @MarshHarrier5
An after work sojourn down to my beloved marshes and a look over No.6 tank which had the atmosphere of turning up late to a party that had finished two hours earlier. However what numbers of Black-taled Godwit were left from the earlier tide I could have countered on one hand. A yelping gaggle of Pink-footed Goose headed over aiming for the Dee marshes.
A scattered group of 21 Ruff contained the ‘white-headed’ bird from previous days and just half a dozen European Golden Plover, a whisp of Common Redshank and a few hundred Northern Lapwing were present.
Ducks are always a saving grace, so 137 Northern Shoveler, 57 Eurasian Wigeon, 24 Northern Pintail, 131 Eurasian Teal, 17 Mallard, 1 Common Pochard and 79 Tufted Duck provided some distraction.
The female Whooper Swan was again at Spike Island and the River Mersey had Little Egret, Kingfisher and 17 Black-tailed Godwit.
An after work visit to No.6 tank with a very much reduced numbers of Black-tailed Godwit with perhaps c450 birds. A few Common Snipe and 21 Ruff, 2 European Golden Plover, 45 Common Redshank and 213 Northern Lapwing.
Ducks were again in good numbers with 78 Eurasian Wigeon, 211 Northern Shoveler, 87 Northern Pintail, 34 Mallard and 97 Tufted Duck. A young Western Marsh Harrier drifted over and several skiens of Pink-footed Goose headed to the Dee.
Spike Island is a very underatted site at West Bank, Widnes and the sight of a family party of 5 Ruddy Shelduck, 67 European Golden Plover, 200 Eurasian Teal and the female Whooper Swan ruling the roost with the resident Mute’s.
Observer and images: WSM.
The Western Cattle Egret and 3 Little Egret were again in with the pigs along Kinsey Lane, Ince. Image by David Eisner.
A look over No.6 tank this morning where c2000 Black-tailed Godwit with a flock of c50 European Golden Plover dropping. A decent skein of Pink-footed Goose overhead and a Great Spotted Woodpecker along Moorditch Lane.
I stopped at Ince on my way home and a small group of Barn Swallow were near Elton and another Great Spotted Woodpecker was at Goldfinch Meadows LNR with 4 Little Egret, hundreds of Black-headed Gull and many Pied Wagtail foraging amongst the pigs at Kinsey Lane Ince.
A decent selection of ducks and 5 Little Grebe, 3 more Little Egret hidden by reeds in the ponds.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-3 & 6).
We took a walk around No.6 tank with the chatty Cetti’s Warbler making their pressence known after the breeding season is over. Little to keep my interest until we reached the ‘phalarope pool’ where 18 juvenile Black-tailed Godwit were using the site like a nursery pool away from the bullying adults on No.6 tank. Also present were 14 Northern Shoveler and 23 Eurasian Teal. A charm of c150 European Goldfinch looked pretty against a rainbow over No.3 tank.
Continuing our walk brought us to the north banks of No.6 tank and after a little negociating of the fence I managed to pick up the 3 Curlew Sandpiper asleep in the blustery conditions. Some of the European Golden Plover from PR’s visit earlier. A small group of 11 Ruff, 2.500 Black-tailed Godwit, c150 Common Redshank, c350 Northern Lapwing and 12 Common Snipe.
Ducks were present with c200 Northern Shoveler, 136 Northern Pintail, c300 Eurasian Teal, 73 Mallard (including a Heinz 57 variety) and a Great Cormorant.
The Peregrine was hunting the Weston Point pigeons from its lofty perch high above the Weaver Estuary.
I managed the first hour at dawn and saw 2 Bar-tailed & c1500 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 15 Ruff incl a white headed bird, 31 European Golden Plover & loose flocks of Pink-footed Goose.
A flock of 136 Tufted Duck were part of an assemblance of other ducks.
Observer: WSM (image 2).
I started at the Weaver Bend this morning with not a lot about as the water levels have risen covering the sand bank. A few Common Redshank made their way out to the estuary and a Little Egret was on the shooters’ pool. Common Buzzard were plentiful during the walk as were Common Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk was noted hunting the bank on No.6. I saw 2 of the 3 Curlew Sandpiper in amongst the wader flock mixing with Northern Lapwing and European Golden Plover. A Common Kestrel spooked the lapwings but the other waders took no notice.
On to Kinsey Lane, Ince were the single Western Cattle Egret joined forces with a dozen or so Little Egret grabbing grubs hooted out by the pigs. Duck numbers were slightly reduced on the ponds, but still decent numbers of Mallard, Gadwall, Eurasian Coot and Common Moorhen. There were 8 Black-tailed Godwit were foraging at the edge of one of the ponds.
A Tufted Duck with an injured wing was seen on the River Weaver.
A morning walk around the marsh ended up adding in a late afternoon walk around the marsh. The ‘phalarope pool’ was fairly quiet, that was until a screaming juvenile Peregrine began a series of dive bombes against a juvenile Black-tailed Godwit The frightened godwit was eventually flushed and thus ensued a lengthy unsuccessful chase around No.3 tank (kids eh!). The Eurasian Teal that were present gathered in a cowardly circle on the pool until the threat subsided.
Walking out to the north banks of No.6 tank and atrouious mid afternoon light made viewing difficult especially without my cap to give me shade. Again there was a huge flock of Black-tailed Godwit numbering 4,000 (a minimum of 100 juveniles) birds and hiding within was a Bar-tailed Godwit which soon emerged from the throng and fed through the increasing water level margins. Three juvenile Curlew Sandpiper were again feeding along the shallows with 9 European Golden Plover, c400 Common Redshank, 15 Ruff and some Common Snipe.
Duck were also in big numbers and the Eurasian Wigeon flock is increasing to 26 birds with Northern Shoveler and Northern Pintail very much in evidence. Also Eurasian Teal, Gadwall, Mallard with a bird showing extensive white to its head.
I was at Goldfinch Meadows LNR and Kinseys lane, Ince this afternoon where good numbers of ducks were on pools. Mallard, Gadwall, Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Wigeon and 3 Mute Swan.
A Western Cattle Egret was the first to return to this popular wintering site for them and amongst the pigs were several Little Egret, 11 Pink-footed Goose flying overhead. Also spotted were a juvenile Eurasian Greenfinch, 2 Northern Wheatear and c40 Eurasian Curlew.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1 & 4-5).
David Eisner (images 6-9) had a similar idea and checked out Kinsey Lane today and his photogrphic skills can be found above.
An after work visit to No.6 tank and the bright blustery westerly and a rebite from the rain we have been experiencing recently. I settled on te north bank with the bushes providing shelter from the cold wind and set up my telescope and view the spectacular gathering of shorebirds below me.
A huge framented flock of c4,000 Black-tailed Godwit with c500 Northern Lapwing, c200 Common Redshank, 3 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 15 Ruff, 1 Dunlin, 1 Eurasian Curlew, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, some Common Snipe and a European Golden Plover.
I got a text from Paul R who told me about a couple of Whooper Swan that had been seen earlier, so after a scan three swans were located, one was a Mute and the other two were asleep with their heads tooked into their wing feathers. It was obvious that even were their bills covered these were the two whoopers. A yelping of geese from the east soon materilised into a flock of 14 Pink-footed Goose heading west over my head.
Ducks were again numerous with c350 Northern Shoveler, 76 Northern Pintail, 16 Eurasian Wigeon and several hundred Eurasian Teal.
The evening light was glowing in the west and if only I had more time, but my time was up and I left for home.
Observer and images (1-7): WSM.
Barn Owl along the north track of No.6 tank at dusk. Image 8 by Duncan Cowley.
A look over Ince marsh and Goldfinch Meadows LNR this afternoon and 10 Little Egret, several Eurasian Curlew and Northern Lapwing were feeding amongst the pigs along Kinsey Lane, Ince with numerous Black-headed Gull and Western Jackdaw. Great Egret and more Little’s on salt marsh.
A Common Kingfisher and plenty of Mallard, Gadwall, Eurasian Coot, Commn Moorhen on pools. Also 6 Eurasian Jay moving about.
There was plenty of activity on No.6 tank this morning. Black-tailed Godwit in 3 groups and lots of duck spread about. After the rain stopped I managed to count from the south bank, 1500 godwits, about 80 Common Redshank, 18 Ruff, a Dunlin and 3 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper. Northern Shoveler numbered 343, approx 50 Northern Pintail, 14 Eurasian Wigeon, and hundreds of Mallard and EurasianTeal. A Water Rail was feeding along the southern bank and another was heard by the ‘phalarope pool’ where 5 Black-tailed Godwit mainly juveniles were on the pool.
A Western Marsh Harrier born this year,was seen, as was a male Common Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk.
Observer: Mark Gibson.
Image by WSM and his sightings of 2 Ruddy Shelduck from Wigg Island, Runcorn.
The female Whooper Swan spending her summer and (maybe) autumn on the Sankey Canal at Spike Island was again mithering for food of the locals and 4 Ruddy Shelduck were also on the mudflats east of the Mersey Gateway bridge.
I made my way to No.6 tank on Frodsham Marsh on the incoming tide and again Black-tailed Godwit provided a couple of hours entertaining me whilst scanning their numbers c3,000).
A couple of Bar-tailed Godwit were present with 3 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper busy feeding feeding up and restoring their engery levels before the next stage of their journey. Northern Lapwing were separate from the godwits and reached a number of c270 birds. A flock of 22 Ruff and numerous Common Snipe were about the water margins.
Ducks re always a feature and Northern Shoveler and Pintail were the most domiant species with Eurasian Teal scattered widely with both Gadwall and Mallard making up the numbers.
I Looking over the Mersey Estuary from the Manchester Ship Canal where hundreds of Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshanks and Eurasian Curlew could be seen foraging on the exposed mud with a flock of Pied Avocet were feeding close into the bank and out of view for most of the time I was watching there.
On the River Weaver were c60 Northern Pintail were settled near to the Weaver Bend, but flushed and made their way out to the estuary where Mallard, Tufted Duck, Eurasian Teal and Gadwall were also present.
On the sand bank a collection of c1000 Common Redshank, c40 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Ruff and a single Curlew Sandpiper made the most of the low water. Canada Goose were numerous and the flock held a few Greylag with them.
Onward to No.6 tank which held a good variety of wildfowl with Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Gadwall, Northern Pintail and Eurasian Wigeon being noted.
The c2000 Black-tailed Godwit were resting or foraging in the shallow water with 14 Ruff, the 3 Curlew Sandpiper, several Common Snipe and a European Golden Plover.
Looking over Frodsham Score and 2 Great Egret were seen in the distance and Common Raven and Great Black-backed Gull were feasting on the sheep carcases and a Common Buzzard sat waiting for its turn.
On the Holpool Gutter and a pair of Mute Swan and 4 cygnets were feeding on the vegetation.
Walking back past No.6 and a skein of c80 Pink-footed Goose dropped down onto the water but flushed moments later when spooked by the rapid gunfire from the activity centre.