A walk along the River Weaver after work this evening started with 14 Mute Swan on the water there alongside the usual Canada Goose, Common Shelduck, Mallard, Tufted Duck and a few Gadwall. The Sand Martin colony is coming on fine were birds digging in to the soft Manchester Ship Canal bank.

The evening temperature has dropped and the Common Swift were doing accordingly with displays occurring overhead.

A Ringed Plover and a photogenic  Dunlin for company joined up with a Bar-tailed Godwit  further along the river bank.

The male Marsh Harrier was over Marsh Farm and a Cetti’s Warbler was heard near the old birdlog.

Observer and mages: Paul Ralston.

22.05.18. Birdlog.

A look over No.3 & No.6 tanks this evening saw c1000 Black-tailed Godwit sitting out the tide. There were 3 Avocet on No.6 but generally the only other species with anything like numbers were the c100 Common Shelduck. It’s got the feel like the summer doldrums are here.

Also a colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwit I saw here on 05.05.18 was ringed in Hernan Cortés, Extremadure, SW Spain 15.02.17 and also seen in Ireland in 2017. It is possible this bird could be Limosa limosa which is the dominant form in this area bur probably likely ‘islandica’ given the date and the location of my sighting.

Observer and image: WSM.

20.05.18. Birdlog.

Out this morning with a start along Brook Furlong Lane where the usual summer sounds of Chiffchaff and Blackcap were filling the hedgerows. The melodic tunes were soon shattered by a broadsword swipe from a Cetti’s Warbler.

A leveret was watched slinking its way along the lane and disappeared into the vegetation and nearby a Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonfly zipped past and then alighted on some hawthorn blossom.

On to the river where the colour ringed and flagged Ring Plover was still about but I still couldn’t manage to get a clear shot of the number combination. There were 2 Common Sandpiper and 3 Avocet also there.  A female Marsh Harrier flew over the river and was escorted on its way by a posse of Common Shelduck.

The Canal Pools had a Carp which was thrashing about in the water while a Coot sat tight on its nest. One of the Mute Swan pair was still sat on its bulky nest. In the a pair of Barnacle Goose were on No.3 tank while above Skylark sang in the sunshine.

Later saw me on Lordship Lane and Reed Warbler out sung the normally vocal Sedge Warbler The Common Whitethroat were active along the lane while a Lesser Whitethroat was seen then heard.

There were c300 Black-tailed Godwit on the shallow waters of No.6 tank and later on No.3 tank where a Bar-tailed Godwit attempted to conceal itself. The usual duck species were also present on No.6.  A fast-moving Stoat evaded capture with my camera as it slid out of sight.

I thought the midday sun was playing tricks when a Zebra loomed into view.

Observers: Paul Ralston (images 1-6), Paul Crawley, Sean O’Hara.

19.05.18. Birdlog.

We’re not use to this balmy hot Summer weather and the birds are keeping a low profile preferring to rest rather than move about. I did my WeBS count a day earlier and the high tide period didn’t really add much to birds that were already present. 361 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Lapwing and 3 Avocet were the grand wader totals. Ducks couldn’t really muster much better with 161 Common Shelduck, 46 Mallard, 3 Shoveler, 3 Common Teal, 13 Gadwall and 14 Tufted Duck.

The mitigation area on No.3 had 3 more Avocet, 4 Black-tailed Godwit and a single Ringed Plover.

Due to the fine weather it was to be expected to see plenty of butterflies on the wing with still a good year for Orange tip. Also Green-veined and Small White, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Brimstone and a female Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonfly

The Weaver Bend was also quiet with the usual ducks present and a fish jumping out of the water and enjoying briefly the warm sunshine.

A pair of Marsh Harrier were about the area and the ever-present ringed Kestrel so still hanging out on the telegraph wires alongside Moorditch Lane.

Observers: Paul Crawley (images 3-4), WSM (images 1-2 & 5).

18.05.18. Birdlog.

An early finish from work and a walk along the River Weaver and No.6 tank.

The Common Swift flock were screaming after each other over the houses along Marsh Lane. The walk along Brook Furlong Lane was quiet with just the odd Chiffchaff and Blackcap singing. Walking alongside the ditches by the river and the song of Reed Warbler serenaded the Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, Common Shelduck, Gadwall, Mallard and 7 Mute Swan who were near.

A  couple of nature admiring kayakers (ignorance is bliss) flushed most of the birds from the bank bank, including a Bar-tailed Godwit.

A colour flagged and ringed Ringed Plover was possibly from the SCAN ringing scheme in North Wales (top image and one from 2017 lower image) and, possibly the same bird as seen on 22.04.17? A Little Ringed Plover was also observed. A Common Sandpiper flew over the Manchester Ship Canal and a dozen Curlew were present on the salt marsh.

Sand Martin were checking out the banks along both sides of the ship canal and a pair of Oystercatcher were on berth used by the wildfowlers boat.

The Canal Pools held just a few Coot and Tufted Duck while above Skylark were singing. The Mute Swan was sitting tight on its nest while its partner was taking time out on one of the other pools.

A distant Marsh Harrier was seen over No.3 being harassed by a group of Lapwing. The mitigation area had c100 Black-tailed Godwit had 2 Avocet and a Ringed Plover. Also No.6 had a similar number of Black-tailed Godwit had a Ruff with them. There were more Common Shelduck, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Gadwall with a small numbers of Shoveler being noted.

Walking back by the M56 bridge a Kestrel perched on the telegraph wires dropped on to its prey and it was also seen to be wearing a ring. The Starling flock were busy feeding their noisy young and 4 Common Buzzard were riding the thermals.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

A Peregrine was over the fields off Lordship Marsh.

Observer: Gary Murrey.

17.05.18. Birdlog.

A brief visit for a walk around No.6 tank in the fine warm summer sunshine is always a treat. This years Spring hasn’t been one to remember for its summer migrants and it’s still worrying that there is no Cuckoo reported!

The lanes were busy with singing Reed Bunting and sky scrambling Whitethroat, while the trackside ditches had both Reed and Sedge Warbler out competing each other.

Towards the end of our walk a quick scan over the receding waters of No.6 sludge tank revealed the usual c100 Common Shelduck with just a few Tufted Duck and Common Teal, plus 3 pairs of Shoveler. A flock of c320 Black-tailed Godwit had 3 Ruff with them but there wasn’t much of any other shorebirds to brag about.

Image by Paul Crawley.

15.05.18. Birdlog.

There is a flooded field adjacent to Frodsham Swing Bridge that is attracting quite a few birds this summer. I stopped en route to the marsh to have a look over and although not overly stocked it did have a few interesting species. A breeding pair of Coot have a family brood which they are busy tending to at the moment with a brood of Mallard ducklings also present. It was a surprise to see a pair of Shoveler and two pairs of Gadwall looking settled. Previously Garganey, Little Egret and Avocet have frequented this spot so it’s worth keeping an eye on it, if you are passing.

Contractors were busy reinstalling some meccano pieces to the tall beacon light on No.5 tank and nerves of steel for the two guys who were perched atop of the mast.

No.6 tank was again quiet but the brisk north-westerly wind and bright sunny skies did little for the late Spring migrant rush. A flock of c300 Black-tailed Godwit were lazy out the hot weather in the cooling shallow waters. A small group of Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Mallard and paired up Common Shelduck were also present.

A male and female Marsh Harrier drifted over No.3 tank where a small flock of Black-tailed Godwit lingered for a short while. The presumed two AWOL Barnacle Goose were still hanging out by the shallow pools.

A singing Chaffinch along Moorditch Lane.

Frodsham Hill looking east along Lordship Lane.

Helsby Hill looking south from Lordship Lane.