20.05.19. Birdlog.

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I was out around the River Weaver and No.6 tank this morning.

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A Willow Warbler was singing its heart out near the old bird log as were many Chiffchaff Common Whitethroat and Blackcap. Sedge and Reed Warbler were again seen and heard in various locations alongside several Reed Bunting.

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On the river the usual ducks and geese and their broods. A pair of Ringed Plover and a noisy pair of Oystercatcher were on territory and 4 Avocet flew down river to join a flock of 20 more out on the Mersey estuary which were feeding in the channel with several Black-tailed Godwit.

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On No.6 were c250 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Greenshank, 16 Dunlin and several Avocet fed in the shallows a passing Carrion Crow was chased off by a mixed flock of Black-headed Gull, Avocet and Lapwing. Another c50 Black-tailed Godwit were on the ‘phalarope pool’ with a pair of Avocet and a Marsh Harrier passed overhead and settled on its perch. A Cetti’s Warbler was heard along Lordship Lane.

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Ducks were present but in much reduced numbers but Eurasian Coot hit the c60 mark.

Observers: Paul Ralston with some counts by WSM (viseo).

19.05.19. Birdlog.

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A start at No.6 tank this morning where Common Shelduck, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Gadwall and Northern Shoveler were all present alongside many Eurasian Coot, 4 Mute Swan, 4 Little Grebe and c 250 Black-tailed Godwit. A Marsh Harrier was hunting over the reed bed followed by a Common Buzzard and a Kestrel.

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Reed and Sedge Warbler were seen and heard throughout my walk as were several Reed Buntings. Onward to the ‘phalarope pool’ and a dozen Black-tailed Godwit fed in the shallow waters alongside a pair of Avocet and a Greenshank. There were two broods of Mallard seen at the edge of the pool.

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The Canal Pools were quiet with just 3 broods of Canada Goose and not much else, a pair of Mute Swan on the pool haven’t even attempted to breed this season. A hidden scrape held 16 Avocet, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler and more blackwit.

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Walking back along Lordship Lane and a flock of Black-headed and Lesser Black-backed Gull were following a tractor cutting silage. An Oystercatcher was sitting tight with a few breeding Lapwing near to the lane.

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A look over the bank on No.6 tank had a Hobby cruising over the reed bed and a Yellow Wagtail passed overhead and dropped into a field only to fly back moments later joined by another bird.

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I then made my way to Ince to check the pools which were also quiet with just 13 Mallard mostly drakes, 6 Eurasian Coot,1 Gadwall, 1 Little Grebe and 2 pair of Tufted Duck.

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There was plenty of fly-tipping at both entrances to No.6 tank with locks broken in a a fit of pique.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images) with additional sightings by Paul Crawley (images).

Duncan Cowley was stopped in his vehicle by the Port Police – They informed him the roads are restricted byways, so any car on these roads will be seized! I think this is a knee jerk reaction to recent incidents of fly tipping and a bollard being broken. CCTV mounted at entrance points to the marsh which record vehicles registration would deter fly tippers. It appears to me that it’s another way of restricting access to the marsh for the general public.

18.05.19. Birdlog.

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I was out this morning around the River Weaver and onto No.6 tank.

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A Willow Warbler was singing near the old bird log while nearby were Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat and melodeous Blackcap along the Brrok Furlong Lane. Both Reed and Sedge Warbler were in the reeds alongside the river as were 2 pairs of Reed Bunting. The river was alive with Tufted Duck, Common Shelduck. Mallard and Gadwall present alongside several broods of Canada Goose. 3 Common Sandpiper, a pair of Ringed Plover, several Oystercatcher and a pair of Avocet were on the river bank.

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Looking over the Mersey estuary at the Weaver Sluice gates from the junction of the River Weaver and Manchester Ship Canal, a pair of Spoonbill in their fine summer plumage were feeding in the tidal gutter and were joined by a flock of Avocet that were on the river bank.

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A short while later the pair of Spoonbill flew up the River Weaver and were I relocated them on No.6 tank where they were still sleeping when I left at 10 30 am.

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Also on the No.6 were c200 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Greenshank amongst 32 Tufted Duck. 53 Gadwall, 21 Common Shelduck, 12 Mallard, 14 Northern Shoveler, 7 Eurasian Teal, 5 Mute Swan and 4 Little Grebe.

The Black-tailed Godwit flock increased to 350 birds with a winter plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit joining them. Another Little Ringed Plover was als present, while a Whimbrel called overhead. A Marsh Harrier was sat on her usual perch while on the blue topped chimney sat a Peregrine.

Walking along Lordship Lane were more Reed and Sedge Warbler in competition with each over and 2 Cetti’ Warbler adding value by the ‘Splashing Pool’.

On the ‘phalarope pool’ were c150 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Avocet and, another Greenshank took flight and looked to drop down on one of the hidden scrapes, while the Avocet birds took a dislike to the Black-headed Gull on the pool and were chasing them off. A 1st summer Mediterranean Gull flew out to the estuary with a Black-headed Gull for companionship.

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A Raven was sat on the track and had trouble flying off and crash landed in a nettle bed although I couldn’t see any damage to it.

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Fly-tippers have been active and blocked both of the entrances to No.6 tank.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-10) with additional sightings by WSM (11-14).

16.05.19. Birdlog.

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An after work hike around No.6 tank taking in Moorditch and Lordship lanes.

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The walk was pretty uneventful until the first Ermine Moth caterpillars and webs of the year appeared in bushes along Lordship Marsh.

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Looking out across No.3 tank revealed a disjointed flock of c300 Black-tailed Godwit on the scrapes while 5 Little Egret were seen flying from Frodsham Score along the Manchester Ship Canal before pitching down on No.6 tank.

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Apart from the mobile egrets there was more Black-tailed Godwit on the tank with c60 Tufted Duck, 20 Eurasian Teal and an assortment of other species. A female Marsh Harrier flew over but didn’t stay for long.

 

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Looking across to the ‘darkside’ of the river, I fiddled with my camera while Hale burns.

Observers: JS & WSM (images).

14.05.19. Birdlog.

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An early morning walk around No.6 tank on this warmest of sunny days. I began at Godscroft lane where the usual Sedge and Reed Warbler song were vocal, but not vocal enough to drowned out a Cetti’s Warbler.

A Ringed Plover was alarm calling over one of the distant fields, but the sitting Lapwing didn’t seemed too concerned. Both Goldfinch and Linnet were busy feeding on the seed heads of gone-over flowers and one of the first juvenile Starling of the year began begging for food.

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Onto the ‘phalarope pool’ where c50 Black-tailed Godwit which were joined by 2 Avocet, while another Cetti’s song gave a Mediterranean vibe to the proceedings. A group of drake Gadwall were chasing a wearily oppressed duck around on No.3 tank and Avocet were being equally amorous.

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No.6 tank had the remainder of c200 Black-tailed Godwit with 6 more Avocet in the shallow waters, while a pair of Black-headed Gull were trying to bully a Coot off the nest it had occupied from them. Common Shelduck, Tufted Duck, Mallard, more Gadwall and small numbers of Eurasian Teal were all present alongside 4 Mute Swan and 4 Little Grebe.

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A Common Sandpiper flew in and landed on the edge of a Coot nest where it sat calling before moving on.

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Observer and Images: Paul Ralston.

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Rake Lane.. Yellow/Grey and Pied Wagtail also Sedge/Reed/Grasshoper Warbler.

Observer and image: Steve O’Connell.

A Barn Owl was perched alongside the eastbound carriway of the M56 at junction 12 at 21.05 per WSM.

13.05.19. Birdlog.

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A walk along No.3 tank this late morning – afternoon period was rewarded with some really intimate views of c300 Black-tailed Godwit all territorial and testosteroned up, fanning tails and intolerant to their neighbours…a lot of squabbling about.

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I met Keith G en route and we both took a look across No.6 tank, but apart from the Black-headed Gull and coot colony there wasn’t much to write about. A couple of contractors surveying the bed for Peel must have been very warm within the sludge tank. It was hot enough standing on the bank with a slight breeze not being effective to cool them down.

Observers: Keith G (image 10) and WSM (images 1-9).

Dedicated to my Dad R.I.P.

12.05.19. Birdlog.

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I had a female Northern Wheatear on No.1, Blackcap along Brook Furlong and Lordship lane, Common Whitethroat all over the marsh as were Sedge and Reed Warbler.

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There was a Whinchat on Lordship Marsh and 3 Yellow Wagtail along the track leading to the model airfield consisting of a male and female, the third flew away before I could tell it’s gender.

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Sadly there was a Raven by the Marsh Farm that on reviewing the photo’s has a broken wing. It looks like a blunt force injury so I am wondering if this bird and the injured Marsh Harrier have had collisions with a turbine?

Observer: Paul Crawley (images 1-7 & 9-11).

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Also additional images by WSM 8 & 12-19.