Thursday 25th December 2014 - Sale Water Park

A short trip to Sale Water Park before Christmas dinner. A kingfisher flashed past the hide at Broad Ees Dole, and a snipe appeared briefly just in front of the hide. 5 herons, some mallard, teal, shoveller, moorhen and a pied wagtail were out on the water and islands.
Cathy and Mike Pettipher

Tuesday 23rd December 2014 - Pickerings Pasture

The 'scrape' and Hale Marsh at very high tide
A high tide of 9.7m was predicted. With a westerly wind as well, we thought it might be more impressive than usual. While the river raced in about 2 hours before high tide, it did not produce a bore - apparently this does happen occasionally on the Mersey.

However the scrape and Hale Marsh were engulfed at high tide.

Sunday 21st December 2014 - Pennington Flash

Privet (Ligustrum spp) berries
Privet is very common in hedges, but we do not recall seeing privet berries before. I guess most hedges are usually cut frequently, so have little opportunity to flower, and even less chance of fruiting. However by the main car park was a section of privet hedge which must have avoided any attempts this year to restrain its growth,as it was covered in black berries.
The strong wind seemed to have discouraged most birds from the spit area near Horrocks hide. There were a few brave cormorants and wood pigeons. Mallard, coot and moorhen found some of the more sheltered parts of the flash. On the other pools were 4 herons, goosander and gadwall.
Cathy and Mike Pettipher

Wednesday 12th December 2014 - Pickerings Pasture

A short visit to Pickerings Pasture provided dramatic lighting towards the Silver Jubilee Bridge and Fiddlers Ferry power station.

Silver Jubilee Bridge, Runcorn
The Mersey near Fiddlers Ferry
 Power Station

A kingfisher was seen at the scrape. As high tide approached, vast flocks of waders repeatedly landed and took flight on the edge of Hale Marsh. Another visitor at the scrape indicated he had previously seen large numbers of sanderlings behaving in exactly this way.

Cathy and Mike Pettipher

Wednesday 3rd December 2014 - Dee Estuary

Little egret , buzzard (observed at close quarters on tree branch) and marsh harrier. Flock of sheep being herded by shepherd and dogs between the reed beds. 

Barry Hurd