Oops, this trip was more than a week ago. Let's see if I can remember what happened. Frodsham Marsh is a great big site but we only saw a little bit of it because some paths were closed. The bit that we did see, though, was a place I have been to before... but quite a few years ago, when I was at uni in Sheffield and twitched a Semipalmated Sandpiper on the Weaver Bend. It was a quite bright but very cold and breezy day.
For me, the day was already a winner when we drove through the town of Frodsham and a Sparrowhak nipped across the road ahead of us. My first of the year, unbelievably. Nick didn't see it properly but as luck would have it we saw two more Sprawks later on.
The path down to the river became extremely boggy and muddy as we got closer, but we battled through and made it to the riverside. The view stirred vague memories of that day one autumn many years ago, scoping a stint-sized wader on a bit of muddy shore. There was no mud today though - the water was high and birds were few. There were a number of Goldeneyes bobbing about, and on a small grassy spit Nick found a Black-tailed Godwit alongside a couple of Oystercatchers. The odd Lesser Black-backed Gull wafted by.
We were meant to be meeting Hazel and Mike here. They'd arrived before us and embarked on a full loop but from a different direction, so they didn't find the blocked path until they had already done a very long walk, and they had to retrace their steps. We arranged a place to meet in an hour's time, and Nick and I had a walk alongside fields full of sheep and newborn lambs, where we hoped to find some interesting gulls.
We met H and M and escorted them back to the Weaver Bend, this time finding a slightly less soggy path.
At the river we showed H and M the same birds we'd seen before, plus a flock of Redshanks that flashed by but didn't stop.
This lovely reserve incorporates woodland and lakes, and a bit of open grassland. It is rather similar to Sevenoaks Nature Reserve, actually. Nick saw Lesser Spotted Woodpecker here recently. I wasn't so lucky - in fact we didn't see anything very exciting but had a very nice walk around nonetheless.
There is a very nice feeding station here, with a little pond (though Nick says the pond isn't always there). On this occasion, it was not only there but had Teals in it.