25.05.20. Birdlog.

Image may contain: bird, sky, outdoor, water and nature

An early start on my morning walk from Ince. A pair of Garganey were a nice surprise on one of the pools and were sharing it with Mallard and Little Grebe. A pair of Mute Swan were on an adjacent pool and a pair of Little Egret being on another. There were 2 Cetti’s Warbler holding territory nearby singing close by and not seen. The Barn Owl was seen again in its nestbox.

Image may contain: outdoor, water and nature

On to the Manchester Ship Canal path and a pair of Great Crested Grebe were on the water alongside a dozen Tufted Duck and another pair of Mute Swan. Canada Goose were flying on to the marsh after grazing on the local farmland and were joined by10 Greylag Goose.

Image may contain: grass, outdoor and nature

A Red Fox made its way towards me but stopped in its tracks when it caught scent in the air and fled when it realised I was close. Further along the path a Brown Hare was foraging and it to slipped away just like the fox did.

Another pair of Mute Swan were on the ‘Canal Pools’ but no Mute Swan seemed to have bred on the marsh for the second season in a row, unlike the Canada Goose who have goslings all over the marsh.

Image may contain: bird, plant, grass, outdoor and nature

There were 2 Yellow Wagtail were near to the pools with several Pied Wagtail being noted.

Image may contain: grass, bird, outdoor and nature, text that says "chick"

The Common Redshank were agitated and a chick was seen hiding in the grass as the cattle wandered past.

Eurasian Oystercatcher and Northern Lapwing were seen along Lordship Lane and a pair of Grey Wagtail were on the Holpool Gutter near to the Growhow Works.

Walking back to my car and the Garganey pair seem settled on their selected pool and were busy preening.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-5).

Image may contain: bird, plant, sky and outdoor

I made a visit from late morning into the swelterling heat of the afternoon.

Image may contain: bird and outdoor
I don’t even know if this constitutes a record shot but they are 3 Knot through the heat haze.
Image may contain: tree, sky, outdoor and nature

Looking across the heat haze on No.6 tank I could just about make out a collection of c400 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Red Knot, 78 Dunlin, 14 Pied Avocet and 15 Common Ringed Plover. The ducks were at the eastern edge of the count and included 84 Tufted Duck, 2 Northern Shoveler and numerous Common Shelduck. The non-breeding herd of Mute Swan contained 21 birds.

I continued my walk avoiding the bank holiday cyclists and looked across to the ‘phalarope pool’ where the Gadwall pair were overly protective of the fat waddling ducklings. Nearby a partial leucistic ‘white-headed’ Reed Bunting was difficult to get a good view of and when one of the aforementioned cyclist rode by it flipped over the bank and out of sight.

Image may contain: sky, bridge, outdoor and water
Image may contain: sky, bridge and outdoor
The above two images of the Mersey Estuary from Weston.
Image may contain: sky, bridge, grass, boat, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: sky, bridge, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: sky, outdoor, nature and water
Image may contain: sky, bridge, tree, cloud and outdoor

Observer: WSM (images 6-8 & 9-11 of the Mersey Estuary & 12-14 of the Weaver Bend as seen from Cowhay Lane, Clifton.).

24.05.20. Birdlog.

Image may contain: bird, outdoor, water and nature

After work I took a walk along the track between No.5 & No.6 tanks. A flock of c350 Black-tailed Godwit were either feeding in the water or sleeping on the dried muddy areas. Also present were 14 Pied Avocet, 15 Common Ringed Plover and c200 Dunlin. A couple of Western Yellow Wagtail were slashing sunshine colours on the earthy ground. A Western Marsh Harrier was on its usual perch.

A Greenland bound Northern Wheatear was on No.3 tank.

Observer: WSM.

Image may contain: sky, bird, plant, tree, outdoor and nature

I spent a couple of hours early evening along the River Weaver and along Brook Furlong Lane. The Willow Warbler with a mixed identity song was showing well alongside several Common Chiffchaff, Cetti’s Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Reed and Sedge Warbler.

Image may contain: bird, sky, outdoor, water and nature

A large flock of Black-headed Gull were on the water with a single Common Tern noted skimming the water. There were c400 Common Swift hawking over the river and passing within a couple of foot from where I was standing.

Image may contain: plant, grass, outdoor and nature

A Barn owl feather lay in the grass alongside the path evidence of a bird hunting the area.

Image may contain: sky, cloud, ocean, outdoor, nature and water

Observer: Paul Ralston (images).

23.05.20. Birdlog.

Image may contain: bird, grass, outdoor and nature

I started my walk at Brook Furlong Lane early this morning and the Willow Warbler with the mixed song was vocal near the old bird log at the south east corner of No.1 tank with several Common Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat and Cetti’s Warbler all added to the soundscape. A Common Raven was being escorted out of the area by a pair of Eurasian Oystercatcher.

Image may contain: bird, outdoor, water and nature

Out on the River Weaver were Pied Avocet defending their territory and mobbing any crovid or gull species that they deemed a threat. Tufted Duck, Mallard, Common Shelduck and Gadwall were all in good numbers amongst the many Canada Goose, and 17 Mute Swan.

Image may contain: outdoor, water and nature

There were 3 Adult Great Crested Grebe grouped together and fishing mid river. A pair of Little Ringed Plover and singles of Common Ringed Plover and Common Redshank were noted. Sand Martin were busy around their colony with a few birds excavating burrows at a different sight along the Manchester Ship Canal. A Common Buzzard came under attack from a pair of Carrion Crow and a Eurasian Oystercatcher as it crossed over the ship canal.

Image may contain: bird, outdoor and nature

On to No.6 tank and c500 Black-tailed Godwit, c200 Dunlin, several Common Ringed Plover and 2 Pied Avocet were foraging in the shallow waters .Tufted Duck, Mallard, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Coot and Common Moorhen were abundant with several Canada Goose and 7 Mute Swan.

Image may contain: bird, tree, outdoor, nature and water

Observer: Paul Ralston (images).

I am in work this weekend but at lunch time I was at Pickerings Pasture where I noticed a Eurasian Jay harrassing Blue Tit parents and their recently fledged young. It was interesting to see the jay single out one of the young and chase it into a hawthorn bush. The anxious parents were calling to the young bird and at the same time scolding the Jay. The jay circled the bush and flushed out the tit which then flew towards its parents. The jay being much quicker caught the tit in flight throw it to the ground and was seen then to drop on the passerine and carry it away.

Obsevrer: WSM.

22.05.20. Birdlog.

Image may contain: plant, bird, outdoor and nature

An early dart from work and a walk aroundNo. 6 and No.4 tanks. There were c400 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Pied Avocet feeding in the shallow water of No.6 with Tufted Duck, Common Shelduck, Mallard, a few Northern Shoveler and 7 Mute Swan in the deeper water. Common Swift, Sand Martin and Barn Swallow were enjoying the strong wind and put on a fine display over the tank.

Image may contain: sky, bird, outdoor, nature and water

A family party 0f two pairs of Eurasian Coot were on the ‘secluded pool’ with a one of the pair of Little Grebe showing while the other was possibly incubating out of sight.

Image may contain: sky, outdoor, water and nature

The ‘phalarope pool’ held Mallard, Common Shelduck, Tufted Duck, a pair of Canada Goose and their 2 goslings, the Common Redshank tried to drop in but was seen off by the Northern Lapwing parents.

There were c150 Canada Goose on the Frodsham Score salt marsh and a flock of c50 Lesser Black-backed Gull resting on the cropped grass, Four Eurasian Oystercatcher were being blown along the Manchester Ship Canal in the blustery conditions.

Image may contain: bird, plant, outdoor and nature

Linnet and European Goldfinch were numerous during my walk today.

Observer: Paul Ralston (and images).

21.05.20. Birdlog.

Image may contain: bird, ocean, sky, outdoor, water and nature

I was out this evening along the River and Manchester Ship Canal. Pied Avocet were busy defending their young chicks along the river, whilethe many Black-headed Gull on the water and 2 Great Black-backed Gull gulls waiting on a concrete plinth on the far bank watching and waiting. Common Shelduck, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Gadwall were all present in reasonable numbers and a group of 10 Mute Swan were gathered together.

A single Dunlin foraged at the edge of the shore with a Common Ringed Plover closeby.

Image may contain: bird, sky and outdoor

A Northern (Greenland) Wheatear was on the canal bank and another along the pipeline on No.1 tank.

Image may contain: bird, sky and outdoor

Image may contain: bird, sky, plant and outdoor
Image may contain: bird, sky, outdoor and nature

c200 Canada Goose were grazing amongst the sheep and the European Stonechat pair were attending to fledged young.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images).

Image may contain: plant, bird and outdoor
Image may contain: sky, cloud, tree, plant, mountain, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: bird, plant, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: bird, plant, outdoor and nature

Images by WSM.

18.05.20. Birdlog.

Image

An after work visit and a walk out to the ‘phalarope pool’ where the only wader was was 3 Northern Lapwing with their respective chicks. Four western Yellow Wagtail were on the water edge with a single Pied Wagtail.

The mitigation pools had a couple of Pied Avocet with c300 Black-tailed Godwit which relocated to No.6 tank sometime later.

No.6 tank was active with 234 Dunlin, c300 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Eurasian Oystercatcher and 6 Common Ringed Plover.

Common Swift were flying low over the embankment zipping to and fro.

Observer: WSM.

A Hobby took an interest in the Common Swift numbers and flew over per Simon Costin.

Image
Image
Image

Earlier in the day Keith took his first trip out for 56 days since the lockdown was put in place and he managed to capture a photo of Eurasian Cuckoo.

Image

Image

He said, It was an eerie sight to see all the spindle trees covered in Spindle ermine caterpillars all leaves stripped from the trees, makes you wonder how the trees survive.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

All Images by Keith Gillie.

17.05.20. Birdlog.

Image may contain: plant and outdoor

The BTO WeBs count this morning on the tide. Very quiet at Ince Marsh fields and not a great deal showing.

On the pools were 4 Gadwall, 9 Mallard, 3 Little Grebe, 7 European Moorhen, 8 Eurasian Coot, 3 Grey Heron and 1 Little Egret.

The Barn Owl could be seen at its box entrance.

The field alongside the Holpool Gutter held 8 Northern Lapwing and 2 Eurasian Oystercatcher and many Rook, Western Jackdaw and Carrion Crow.

The Manchester Ship Canal fared slightly better with good numbers of Tufted Duck, Common Shelduck, Mallard, 2 Mute Swan and several Canada Goose.

Image may contain: grass, outdoor and nature

A tired looking Red Fox made its way along the edge of the Frodsham Score salt marsh and dropped down to drink from the ship canal but struggled to climb back up the bank, it then curled up and went to sleep

The ‘phalarope pool’ was also quiet with a single Common Shelduck, a pair of Gadwall, 4 Eurasian Coot and the Northern Lapwing families.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.