2 summer plumaged Curlew Sandpiper present from 09.15 until 15.30 on the new scrape area of No.3 tank. 9 summer Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plover, a single Little Ringed Plover and 6 Avocet were backup.
The male Marsh Harrier was on No.6 tank and a kettle of 8 Common Buzzard were over No.4 tank. Two Sparrowhawk and several Kestrel were about the area.
Wheatears were widespread on the marsh with birds present at No.4 tank with 3 birds, 2 at Marsh Farm, 3 on the pipes on No.1 tank and one in a ploughed field alongside Lordship Lane.
Elsewhere, Whinchat included birds at Redwall reed bed (2), 1 male & 2 female at Marsh farm, 2 birds by the Holpool Gutter, male at No.4 tank and 4 males along Lordship Lane. There were 4 White Wagtail also at the farm.
A Cuckoo was seen by the Shooters’ Pools. Nearby, the Weaver Bend had 12 Black-tailed Godwit, a Common Sandpiper and a Ruff.
Out on Frodsham Score were a couple of late Pink-footed Goose and 3 Little Egret with 17 Raven.
Also seen today 6 Yellow Wagtail and Sand Martins nesting opposite dredging berth.
Observers: Arthur Harrison, Sean O’Hara, Frank Duff, Heather & Findlay Wilde, Paul Ralston (images 4-5 & 7-8), Sparky & WSM (and images1-3 & 6).
I got a call from Frank who was already on the marsh and he found a drake Garganey on the scrapes at No.3 tank. Taking a diversion we stopped off to see this fine duck and while there a singing Lesser Whitethroat made it’s self known.
Later in the day 8 Avocet dropped in but didn’t linger for long. A Grasshopper Warbler ‘reeled’ away from the scrubs on No.5 tank.
Observers: Frank Duff, Arthur Harrison.
Dave Craven over at Hale tweeted that he may have had a Cattle Egret out on Frodsham Score but despite a search (FD) it couldn’t be relocated.
After spending a fine Bank Holiday with Sparky I had an opportunity to called in at the marsh towards dusk. The Garganey was still present with a few Common Teal, Gadwall and Common Shelduck. A Little Ringed Plover flew over calling, 2 fine ruffled Ruff and a splendid summer plumaged Curlew Sandpiper appeared and I watched them there until dark on the scrapes.
Observer and images: WSM
Out this morning along the Manchester Ship Canal and around No.4 and No.6 tanks. A male Marsh Harrier hunting the field alongside the Holpool Gutter and a pair of Yellow Wagtail in the same field. There were Blackcap, Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler on the edge of four and 30 Common Shelduck sat in the north-west corner with a single Gadwall.
The mitigation pool was quiet with just Mallard, Common Shelduck, Black-headed Gull and Lapwing. There was a male Blackbird with white in the wing. No.6 tank held more Mallard, Common Teal, Common Shelduck, Tufted Duck and Gadwall and a small flock of Dunlin flew overhead. Along Lordship Lane there were Reed and Sedge Warbler seen and heard. Many Lapwing and Oystercatcher were in the newly sown field as were several Skylark. Male and female Wheatear were on the path between No.4 and 6 and a pair of Kestrel overhead. Back along the ship canal a Jay was on the bank of No.4 and several Raven out on the score and a female Sparrowhawk hunting the reed bed.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-2).
Before the rain spoiled the day Ray made his way out to the Weaver Bend where he spotted a pair of Little Ringed Plover, 2 Ruff, 15 Swift, 2 male and 2 female Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 3 House Martin and loads of Swallow.
Further on were a couple of Avocet, Ringed Plover and an assortment of ducks. 11 Raven were again present and the male Marsh Harrier was notable. Also seen were 6 Blackcap and a female Redstart along Moorditch Lane.
Another Wheatear was at Marsh Farm and a Grasshopper Warbler was in the scattered bushes on No.5 tank. The cold south-easterly backed up by continuous rain was enough to send us (FD, WSM) home.
Observer: Ray Scally (images 3-5), also present Frank Duff, WSM.
Out on the margins of the M56 lays the Gowy Meadows and yesterday Paul came across a drake Garganey there but today he went two better with an additional drake and a female this afternoon.
Observer and image 2: Paul Ralston.
Towards dusk we stopped off at the mitigation area that is No.3 tank. The wind shifted direction from yesterday but still had a cold icy bite to it. Finding what shelter there is here we could only manage the Avocet from yesterday, 6 Gadwall and 4 Common Teal were also present.
No.6 tank was equally sparse with a handful of Tufted Duck and 65 Common Shelduck. 34 Raven were out on Frodsham Score and the male Peregrine settled on the blue-topped chimney at dusk after several attempts at landing there. A Swift was over Weston Point and numerous Swallow and Sand Martin were over the Weaver Sluice Gates.
Observers: Sparky, WSM (image 2)
The stiff breeze continued to sweep across the marsh but with a sunny disposition I was situated on the track beside the mitigation area on No.3 tank.
Mitigation area of No.3 tank from the banks of No.5 tank.
An overly active Avocet was on the scrapes with 10 Black-tailed Godwit nearby. A couple of Ringed Plover and Lapwing added to a very busy end of April. 27 Raven dwarfed an attendant 17 Jackdaw feeding over the fence from the wet scrape.
The male Marsh Harrier flew over en route to No.4 tank. Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Swallow were about the area.
Observers: Ron Brumby (image 5), WSM (images 1-4).
A male Marsh Harrier was seen several times around the area of No.6 tank and a Wheatear south of the tank.
Observer and image: Tony Broome.
29.04.15. Frodsham Festival of Walks
A 32 strong group of walkers joined me on an amble along Moorditch Lane, through the track on No.5 tank to the mitigation area on No.1 tank.
A small party of Golden Plover were settled into the wind on the edge of the flooded area of No.6 tank with half a dozen Dunlin. A group of 25 Ringed Plover flew in when the tide began to flood the river. Three Common Snipe and a flock of 40 Curlew flew over and out to the river. Shelduck numbers are gathering pace with 70 birds present on the open water. Common Teal have virtually departed the marsh except for a few pairs settled in the area. The Grey Heron was snuggled down low in its nest and barely revealed any of its body.
A Peregrine perched on the blue-topped chimney chose to sit on the outer lip and proved difficult to show or convince everybody that there was a bird there. A dozen Raven sailed through from mutton munching on Frodsham Score and headed south over the hills. A roost of 50 immature and sub-adult Great Black-backed Gulls with smaller numbers of Lesser Black-backs were roosting at dusk on the tank.
The group eventually reached the mitigation area and the stiff cold breeze kept most of the summer migrants low down in cover or simply remaining quiet. However, someone spotted the male Marsh Harrier quartering the reed beds on No.6 tank which saved the day.
Observers: Frodsham Festival of Walkers
A Wheatear was along the pipes at Marsh Farm.
Observer: Frank Duff
The Avocets were not present on No.3 tank although we could hear one calling nearby. Birds lingering on the mitigation area included: 5 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover and a Little Ringed Plover. There were also a couple of pairs of Shoveler and Gadwall present.
No.6 tank was a good spot for White Wagtail with about a dozen birds present, a Yellow Wagtail, 20 Meadow Pipit and 7 Wheatear were also noted. A small party of Ringed Plover, 1 Little Ringed Plover and 4 Dunlin dropped.
Observers: Frank Duff, WSM (and image)