03.08.15. Birdlog

03.08.15. Birdlog

03.08.15. Little Egret, secluded pool, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston (1)

A walk from Ince Berth up to No.6 tank started with hundreds of Canada Geese with the odd Greylag and domestic goose bringing a cosmopolitan feel along the Manchester Ship Canal. Also here were the finch flocks  which included Linnet and Goldfinch feeding on the abundant thistle heads along the canal path. The sunny areas attracted many Peacock, Gatekeeper, Tortoiseshell and Large White Butterflies which were out on the wing.

03.08.15. Green Sandpipers, Manchester Ship Canal pools, frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston (1)

The small pool along the path held 3 Green Sandpiper and 2 juvenile Marsh Harrier flew overhead talon grappling each other as they went by.

A colour ringed (blue above left knee) Little Egret was feeding among the Common Teal, Gadwall and Mallard on No.6 tank while a pair of Little Grebe had a newly hatched chick on the secluded pool there.

Walking back a juvenile Green Woodpecker took flight as a road roller vehicle made its way along the track and the bird dropped down by the Splashing Pool but could not be relocated.

A large and very dark young Peregrine was over the crop fields near to the Growhow factory while the adult male sat on a tower in the works.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-2).

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An after work birding trip to the marsh and a brief encounter with Al of http://lighthousebirding.blogspot.co.uk/ fame.

03.08.15. Ruddy Shelduck (female), No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (19)

The wind was fairly blustery but the light was very good so one was off set by the other.

The 700 Black-tailed Godwit were keeping to the centre of the tank with 360 degree vision which was called for on several occasions. Just a short distance away a Greenshank was watched preening while 3 Ruff kept busy feeding and surprisingly there were no Lapwing or Dunlin to make up the numbers..

03.08.15. Ruddy Shelduck (female), No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

The variety of ducks have increased with 80 Common Teal and with these birds were 2 female type Garganey. A couple of Shoveler, 80 Tufted Duck including females with tuflings. 120 Common Shelduck and 14 Gadwall gave the impression there was some movements going on. The female Ruddy Shelduck was again present and spent most of its time keeping its feather traits in good nick.

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Video of Ruddy Shelduck here: https://vimeo.com/135270452

03.08.15. Greenshank, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

All of a sudden the godwits rose from the water bringing with them the Greenshank, Ruff, Garganey and the Ruddy Shelduck, and the cause of this consternation was a male Marsh Harrier flying low over the tank.

03.08.15. Black-tailed Godwits, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh, Bill Morton

The Black-tails resettled on the open water but everything else departed the area.

One of the juvenile Marsh Harrier was quartering the edge of the open water along the vegetated margins. Sometime later both the juvenile and male were flying over No.4 tank.

Many hirundines were moving through with the odd Swift noted.

Out on the river a Great White Egret had relocated after a bit of wanderings up the Mersey to Woolston.

Observer: WSM (images 3-7)

01.08.15. Birdlog

01.08.15. Birdlog

01.08.15. female Ruddy Shelduck, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

A weekend afternoon 9.4 m tide out on the River Mersey is always worthy of a watch looking over No.6 tank.

01.08.15. Juvenile Marsh Harrier, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton..

There was quite a bit of aerial nuisance from the model aircraft flying over the sludge tank with a huge 3 metre wing spanned aircraft droning about. Eventually their flying was reduced which allowed the arrival of shorebirds to spend the tide getting some vital rest, food and preen before the tide ebbed and their return to the mudflats.

01.08.15. Black-tailed Godwit, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Heather Wilde (4)

At first small numbers of Black-tailed Godwit started to join those already present and eventually 779 birds were gathered in the open water. One particular bird was colour ringed so I’ll let you know when I get details back about its recent wanderings.

01.08.15. summer Knot, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

A superb summer adult red Knot joined the godwits and 34 Redshank included a wholly luecistic bird which flew in and out as quick as it came. c1200 Dunlin were frustratingly distant for the majority of the observation. A lone Common Snipe was hiding in the vegetation, while a Whimbrel flew in and settled for a while, 12 Ruff included 3 juvenile birds and a solitary Avocet added to the species list.

01.08.15. female Ruddy Shelduck, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

A female Garganey with a dozen Common Teal is probably the bird seen over the last week but a female Ruddy Shelduck (well found by Findlay) was the first of the summer here and apart from 3 Shoveler it was again quiet for ducks.

A Little Egret was seen heading over and a Cormorant was struggling to swallow what looked from its bulky crop like an eel.

01.08.15. Juvenile Marsh Harrier, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton...

A male Marsh Harrier was watched food passing to a juvenile bird over the godwit flock. Shortly after this event the male departed to the east but the juvenile was curious of its admirers (us lot) and came close for an investigation…what a bird!

01.08.15. Juvenile Whitethroat, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A small passage of Yellow Wagtail moved through and juvenile Common Whitethroat were feeding on and along the track on No.5 tank.

Hirundines again featured passing Sand Martin and Swallow with Swifts moving high to the south.

01.08.15. Juvenile and male Marsh Harrier, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

01.08.15. Marsh Harrier (1 juv), No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh, Alyn Chambers.Marsh Harriers images show a male and juvenile above No.6 tank with Helsby Hill in the background and the second image showing gilt edged juvenile.

01.08.15. Avocet and Black-headed Gulls, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

01.08.15. Dunlin flock, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (3)

01.08.15. Stonechat (juv), No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh, Alyn Chambers. One of five juvenile Stonechat also from No.1 could have been local birds?

01.08.15. Wheatears (1 juv), No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh, Alyn Chambers.

An adult Wheatear  had a juvenile in tow (were these local birds?).

Marsh harrier video: https://youtu.be/ikMQmzLs5Kk

Observers: Alyn Chambers (video & images 9 &12-14), Frank Duff, Heather (image 3) and Findlay Wilde, WSM (images 1-2 & 4-8 &10-11).

01.08.15. Blackwit Count by Alyn Chambers.

Black-tailed Godwit count from No.6 tank.

30.07.15. Birdlog

30.07.15. Birdlog

30.07.15. female Garganey, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

30.07.15. View from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)I sat on the banks of No.6 tank with a cooling breeze and the sun sliding slowly over to the west. The light was providing an excellent side lighting to the assembled horde of birds spread out on the tank below. The only interruption to this idyllic scene was the construction traffic for the wind farm thundering past and occasionally shaking the ground beneath my tripod.

30.07.15. Dunlin, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

30.07.15. View from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

The Black-tailed Godwit flock consisted of 200 birds and these didn’t linger when a passing raptor put everything up into the air. Most of the other birds resettled but the majority of the godwits headed back out to the River Mersey with 50 birds remaining.

On first inspection it didn’t seem to be much of a variety of species present but, during the course of my watch of three hours I did manage a respectable list of goodies. The Dunlin flock from last evening remained and 4-500 birds gave some really close views. The Ruff continued to be seen and the 3 birds present hung around with a flock of 67 Redshank.

30.07.15. Whimbrel and Curlew, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

A flock of 54 Curlew dropped in for a pre-roost bathe and preen and with them came a Whimbrel.

30.07.15. Avocet, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

30.07.15. Avocet, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)A family party of Avocet (2 adults, 2 juveniles) also had an additional adult to keep them company. It is possible these are the birds from the Weaver Bend area but not the chicks observed at the weekend. Lapwing numbers are increasing and when the wader flock got spooked earlier they rose from the tall vegetation and I estimated there were 200 birds.

Duck species were in very low numbers, 3 Shoveler, 7 Tufted Duck (excluding 2 family parties containing 12 tuflings), a handful of Shelduck, Mallard and Gadwall were not what I was expecting. However, a small flock of 8 Common Teal brought with them a female Garganey.

30.07.15. male Blackbird, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

There were several hundred Sand Martin feeding low and high above No.6 tank and 200 Common Swift were doing likewise.

Observer and images: WSM

29.07.15. Birdlog

29.07.15. Birdlog

26.07.15.male Marsh Harrier, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (4)

A mini birdlog this evening which included the following sightings: 400 Dunlin, 100 Black-tailed Godwit, 60 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel and 5 Ruff.

Observer: Sean O’Hara.

A male Marsh Harrier was also noted.

Observer: Arthur Harrison

28.07.15. Birdlog

28.07.15. Birdlog

28.07.15. Black-tailed Godwits, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

28.07.15. Black-tailed Godwits, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)A brief visit after work and with the tide low on the river the expectations were not high and that was reflected in a limited selection of birds present out on No.6 tank.

However, you’ve got to be out there whenever the opportunity arises.

A couple of juvenile Marsh Harrier were again over No.4 tank.

A smaller than usual flock of 540 Black-tailed Godwit are always a welcome diversion especially when they are still sporting their finest summer plumage. There were also small numbers of Redshank and Lapwing but the six Ruff continue to be found feeding along the edge of the vegetation.

A passage of Sand Martins included a couple of hundred birds.

Observers: Sparky, WSM (and images).

26.07.15. Birdlog

26.07.15. Birdlog

26.07.15. juvenile Marsh Harrier, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (3)

A couple of hours birding in the morning and before the forecasted rain began to appear saw very little left from last night. There was no sign of either the Black-necked Grebe, Garganey or Green Woodpecker so normal service has resumed.

26.07.15. Black-tailed Godwit flock, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

A sizable flock of Black-tailed Godwits began to increase during the watch and 900 birds were still present when we left with birds still coming in from the direction of the Weaver Bend along with small groups of Redshank accompanying them.

26.07.15. Dunlin flock, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Dunlin were mostly concealed by the tall vegetation but when all of the waders took to the air from an unseen threat (by us) they revealed a flock of 150 birds.

26.07.15.Eclipse drake Wigeon, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

An eclipse drake Wigeon was tucked into the banks and emerged with several Gadwall, Mallard and a crèche of 24 Shelducklings.

26.07.15. male Marsh Harrier, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

There were three Kestrel hunting the tanks and a male Marsh Harrier was soon followed by a very photogenic juvenile bird.

26.07.15. juvenile Marsh Harrier, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

26.07.15. juvenile Marsh Harrier, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

This juvenile Marsh Harrier had a metal leg ring on closer inspection.

Observers: Arthur Harrison, WSM (and images 1-7 & 9-11)

26.07.15, Marsh Harrier (male food passing to juvenile), No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston

A short walk around No.4 tank in the rain this afternoon. A young Common Buzzard calling constantly in the wood near the Growhow works and a Peregrine overhead which put a large flock of Rook and Carrion Crow into the air from the corn fields. Several young Pied Wagtail feeding on the road alongside a small flock of Linnet. Coot, Moorhen, Tufted Duck and Mallard were all on the Holpool Gutter with Swallows snatching insects just above the water. Two juvenile Marsh Harrier sat in the reed bed and flew up to meet the male as he made a food pass to them.

Observer: Paul Ralston (image 8).

During the course of the evening: 2 Ruff, 30 Dunlin, 2 Curlew, 60 Black-tailed godwit, 20 Redshank and new in a Spotted Redshank!

A male and female Marsh Harrier were seen together.

Observer: Sean O’Hara.

26.07.15. Honey comb clouds formed just before the rain came, No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

26.07.15. Honey comb clouds formed just before the rain came, No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

26.07.15. Honey comb clouds formed just before the rain came, No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonThese honeycomb clouds formed in the morning just before the rain came.

25.07.15. Birdlog

25.07.15. Birdlog

25.07.15. juvenile Black-necked Grebe, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Alyn Chambers (1)

25.07.15. juvenile Black-necked Grebe, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Alyn ChambersA juvenile Black-necked Grebe, Garganey and the male Marsh Harrier flew through disturbing the wader roost which contained 6 Ruff, 170 Dunlin and several hundred Black-tailed Godwit all from No.6 tank.

The Weaver Bend was alive with birds including: 60 Tufted Duck, 240 Black-tailed Godwit, 80 Redshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 2 adult, 2 very young juv Avocet and a Little Gull with the Black-headed Gulls (SO).

25.07.15. juvenile Black-necked Grebe with Black-headed Gull and juvenile Shelduck, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Alyn Chambers (2)A Green Woodpecker flew from No.5 tank into the trees by the ramp to No.6 tank.

A male Yellow Wagtail and a juvenile Stonechat were on No.1 tank.

Observers: Alyn Chambers (image 2) and Sean O’Hara.

The woodpecker failed to materialise at dusk but the grebe and the ruffs were still present.

Two juvenile Marsh Harrier were over No.4 tank and a Grasshopper Warbler was in song in the scrubby bushes alongside the track on No.5 tank. A couple of Sparrowhawk were hunting the banks of the tank at dusk disturbing some of the birds further out on the water margins.

Observer and images 1 & 3): WSM