I parked on a bridge that goes over the M56. It was noisy, as you’d expect. As I walked up a track to begin my exploration of Frodsham Marshes a Great tit was attempting to compete with the traffic noise. I preferred his noise.
Frodsham Marshes are squeezed in-between the M56, and the Manchester Ship Canal and Weaver River Estuary, which both join the Mersey. It is not a pretty area. It’s not at all pretty. With the motorway, a refinery and all of the Mersey industry on the skyline. So why bother? Because birds like it.
There are huge lagoons, agricultural fields, ponds, ditches, and as the name suggests marshy bits. There are also enormous wind turbines everywhere you look, which add drama to the otherwise rather flat landscape.
Just as I began my meander, the sun went home and here came dark grey skies. It made it rather hard work to identify birds in the distance, as everything became drowned in grey, all colour gone. But a good afternoon’s birding I had regardless.
Waders included large flocks of Godwit, black-tailed I believe, Dunlin and Redshank. Waterfowl were a few Whooper swan families with lovely yellow bills, Shelduck, tons of Teal, a few Tufted ducks, Mallard snoozing on the banks, a small flock of Canada geese who had their own private pond, and one exceedingly glamorous Pintail (duck). I saw good numbers of Raven, and when I couldn’t see them I was reminded of their presence by their constant gentle chatter. I watched a short but elegant Starling murmuration. A Kestrel preening on a tree-top ignored them. Goldfinch did magical disappearing acts among the swathes of teasel. While silhouetted Long-tailed tits flew overhead, their shape and size too distinctive to be anything else.
I’m not great on warblers. I’ve yet to master them. I may have seen and heard Cetti’s warbler and Willow warbler. What are they doing here in February?!
Disturbingly, I came across a few cute Moorhen pottering about around an area clearly signposted as being toxic. Obviously they can’t read! Oh, and I also made friends with a Shog. Or maybe a Deep… But seriously, would you want to eat the lamb that are reared around this?
End of a happy walk. It was great to adventuring again on my lonesome. Loaded with camera and bins. No agenda. It’s been too long. Time to go home, write blog, and snooze.