10.08.20. Birdlog.

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An uneventful walk along the River Weaver and Manchester Ship Canal this afternoon. A flock of c200 Comon Redshank and a similar number of Northern Lapwing were on the river bank with 2 Common Sandpiper and numerous Pied Wagtail being noted. A small number of Mallard and Tufted Duck were amongst the many Canada Goose  and Eurasian Coot on the river.

Out on the Mersey Estuary were many Common Shelduck drifting with the incoming tide and c20 Great Cormorant were hanging out their wings on the bank. A Common Kestrel and 2 Common Buzzard were perched on fence posts watching the Eurasian Starling and European Goldfinch flocks feeding in the hay fields.

On the way to the marsh a Western Marsh Harrier was seen hunting over the Gowy Meadows alongside the eastbound carriageway of the M56.

Observer & image: Paul Ralston.

09.08.20. Birdlog.

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A Sunday morning hike around No.6 Tank in very humid conditions made for a sticky walk. We stopped for a drink looking over the ‘phalarope pool’ where a small number of Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Northern lapwing, 16 Eurasian teal and 3 very grown up juvenile Gadwall.

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Walking further we stopped again to look across the waters on No.6 tank. A flock of c1000 Black-tailed Godwit included with them 230 Northern Lapwing, 67 Dunlin, 54 Common Redshank and a single Common Sandpiper. A small number of ducks were also present.

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A tractor ploughing the field by Moorditch Lane where several hundred Black-headed Gull (including the luecistic bird) were with Herring, Lesser Black-backed and Common Gull.

Observers: JS & WSM (images).

08.08.20. Birdlog.

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The highlight of my morning visit was a Hornet Mimic Hoverfly Volucella zonaria) apparently a scarce species which was feeding on Ragwort flower at the top of the ramp track to No.5 tank from Moorditch Lane.

A look over No.6 tank had c50 Eurasian Teal, 14 Tufted Duck, a few Northern Shoveler, a single Common Snipe, 11 Dunlin, 67 Common Redshank and c280 Black-tailed Godwit.

A flock of Black-headed Gull were following a tractor ploughing the field by Moorditch Lane.

Common Swift were still active at their nest site along Marsh Lane.

Looking over the Mersey Estuary at dusk and a small flock of 4 Egyptian Goose were on the mudflats with c500 Common Shelduck and c400 Common Redshank.

Observer and image: WSM.

06.08.20. Birdlog.

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An after work walk along the River Weaver this afternoon where c300 cCanada Goose were grazing on the cut grass on No.1 tank and more were on the river.

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A pair of Great Crested Grebe were fishing including a single juvenile with them and 3 more adults nearby. Waders were scarce with just a handful of Black-tailed Godwits, a single Common Sandpiper and several Northern Lapwing at the rivers edge.

Wildfowl were also scarce with just a few Mallard and Tufted Duck present. The Mersey Estaury wasn’t much better with just Northern Lapwing, Eurasian Curlew and Great Cormorant feeding at the edge of the tidal channel. Common Shelduck were in good numbers on the mudflats alongside more Canada Goose and several Greylag.

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There were 3 juvenile Western Yellow Wagtail were on the MAnchester Ship Canal path and were being chased away by a group of young Barn Swallow.

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A large flock of mostly juvenile Common Starling were feeding around Marsh Farm a pair of European Stonechat were on the fence along Alder Lane.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images).

Emerging ants video by WSM.

04 & 05. 08 .20. Birdlg.

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04.08.20. Birdlog.

A brief visit after work was well after the ebbed tide, so it was no great surprise to see little of note on No.6 tank. A small flock of Black-tailed Godwit were on the far side of the water with small numbers of Dunlin and Redshank.

A look over the Merset Estuary produced c500 Common Shelduck, hundreds of Canada Goose and a flock of 45 Common Raven.

05.08.20. Birdlog.

One of Poynton’s finest paid a visit to the marsh this evening seeing 4 Green Sandpiper on the ‘phalarope pool’, while a juvenile Common Cuckoo flushed a flock of 170 Black-tailed Godwit.

On the River Weaver were 6 Common and 2 additional Green Sandpiper. A flock of 80 Common Swift were overhead.

Observer: Mark (whipper) Gibson.

I took up position looking across the Weaver Sluices and the highlight was c300 Common Redshank, c400 Common Shelduck, 16 Common Raven, 2 Little and a Great Egret.

Observer: WSM (image).

03.08.20. Birdlog.

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After work today I paid a visit to No.6 tank to look through the Black-tailed Godwit and sat in my usual spot with the godwit flock below me.

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After 30 minutes of scanning the birds suddenly and without warning then rose in the air and wheeled around in an attempt to evade the clutches of on this occasion an unseen predator. The majority of c1000 birds couldn’t cope with all the anxiety and departed to the Mersey Estuary. The remainder resettled and continued to commece feeding joined by c100 Dunlin and a juvenile Little Ringed Plover.

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The female Tufted Duck with her brood had six left from my previous observation and was very intolerent to any other ducks that ventured near to her tuftlings.

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Observer: WSM (images 1-7).

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Small Copper Butterfly.

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Male Tetragnatha (spider) species and the curl leaf retreat will be either a Clubiona species or Cheiracanthium species

Additional pictures (8-15) by Keith Gallie.

02.08.20. Birdlog.

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A walk along the Manchester Ship Canal and around No.4 tank this morning. There were thousands of Canada Goose on the Frodsham Score salt marsh and the ship canal when something disturbed them out by the river and they took off on mass.

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Their noise moving in flight was impressive and caused the sheep to panic and run. A Great Egret and several Little Egret were feeding in the tidal channels while Common Raven, Carrion Crow and Lesser Black-backed Gull were scavenging on the dead sheep on the marsh. A look over the ‘phalarope pool’ on No.3 tank was unproductive as the cattle were wandering through it. Arthur Harrison had seen 4 Common Snipe on the pool earlier. A Western Marsh Harrier was hunting over No.4 tank and a Weasel crossed the path in front of me. Butterflies were numerous with Speckled Wood and Common Blue amongst the usual species seen.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-4).

A look over Frodsham Score on the rising tide saw 14 Pied Avocet, c500 Common Shelduck and a flock of 54 Common Raven.

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Our walk took us to watch over No.6 tank during the period of high tide. An impressive gathering of 2254 Black-tailed Godwit was by far the highest flock of the year. Hiding in their throng were several juveniles and a colour ringed bird. The whole flock rose into the air when a juvenile Peregrine sliced through the flying birds like a knife through butter. A flock of 153 Dunlin made the price and one caught a hit.

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A single juvenile Ruff, 43 Common Ringed Plover, 43 Common Redshank and 3 Green Sandpiper. The gulls gathered were many and an adult Yellow-legged Gull the first of the year dropped in and fell asleep in the grass for a half hour.

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A few hirundines were still about and like wise several Common Swift.

Observer: JS & WSM (images 1 & 5-9).

01.08.20. Birdlog.

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An early morning walk around the marsh starting off at Brook Furlong Lane. Common Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaffs and Sedge Warbler were all seen but now not heard along the lane. A pair of European Stonechat were on the fence along Alder Lane and c300 Canada Goose were in the adjacent field.

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A Western Marsh Harrier was hunting over the fields and took an interest in the geese, which unnerved the herd and caused them to take flight. Plenty more Canada Goose with several Greylag Goose were out on Frodsham Score salt marsh and River Mersey.

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A juvenile Peregrine sat on the bank watching the waders in the tidal channel.

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Several hundred Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank and a few Eurasian Curlew were feeding also in the channel with Common Shelduck, Mallard and Great Crested Grebe on the river. Flocks of Common Redshank moved along the River Weaver some settled and joined a small number of godwits and 2 Common Sandpiper feeding at the rivers edge.

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A pair of Common Pochard were with the Tufted Duck and Mallard on the water and a pair of Mute Swan with 3 large cygnets on the Weaver Bend.

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On the ‘phalarope pool’ on No.3 tank were c30 Canada Goose, the Gadwall family, several Eurasian Teal, 6 godwit, several Northern Lapwing, 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Dunlin were present.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-6).

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I was in work today so it wasn’t until later that I got the opportunity to pay a visit to No.6 tank. A flock of 874 Black-tailed Godwit were busy feeding in the shallow water with the first juvenile Ruff of the summer, 2 Common Snipe, 37 Dunlin, 21 Common Redshank and 214 Northern Lapwing.

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Gulls were taking time to preen and rest up with 12 Common, 1 adult Lesser Black-backed and 211 Black-headed Gull which included the leucistic adult I saw at Blakemere seen earlier in the summer there. A drone flying over from the model aircrat field spooked the flock and the leucistic bird relocated to a stubble field on Moorditch Lane.

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Scanning the reedy fringes of the tank revealed a fluffy black Water Rail chick which ventured out from its shady lair, and numerous Little Grebe were on the water. A cluster of Tufted Duck, Northern Shoveler and c200 Mallard were about right for the ducks this evening.

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The big female Peregrine was again sat on her lookout on the blue topped chimney at Weston Point.

Observer: WSM (image 7-11).

30.07.20. Birdlog.

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A camera shy juvenile Common Cuckoo on No.1 tank today.

A walk around the River Weaver and MAnchester Ship Canal again this evening. Befre all of that a start along Brook Furlong Lane where three Bullfinch were moving along the hedgerow with many European Goldfinch feeding on the downy seed heads in the adjacent fields.

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male European Stonechat was on the fence along Alder Lane and the lingering juvenile Common Cuckoo is content to remain in the area around Marsh Farm.

Looking over the Mersey Estuary and Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Eurasian Curlew and Northern Lapwing which were resting alongside many Great Cormorant and several Grey Heron.

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On the Weaver Estuary were more Common Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, several Eurasian Oystercatcher and 4 Common Sandpiper were on the river bank. 

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Flocks of European Starling and Black-headed Gull were feeding on a hatch of flying ants and surprisingly very few Common Swift were seen tonight.

Observer: Paul Ralston (all images).

29.07.20. Birdlog.

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I had a fleeting glimpse of Hobby near the old horse paddock by Moorditch Lane. Further out by the River Weaver was a Small Copper butterfly.

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Parent Wren feeding fledge chicks.
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The juvenile Common Cuckoo was still present.

Observer: Keith Gallie (all images).

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An adult Mediterreanean Gull spent the early evening in the stubble field alongside Moorditch Lane.

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A Green Sandpiper was at the Weaver Bend and another was on the ‘phalarope pool’ with a Common Snipe. Also a juvenile Western Yellow Wagtail.

Observer: Roger Wikinson.

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A watch on the incoming tide this evening presented a scattered gathering of c500 Common Shelduck, 250 Black-tailed Godwit, c200 Common Redshank, 12 Eurasian Oystercatcher, Great Egret and a Peregrine.

Observer: WSM.