After work visit to Ince and a look at 7 Little Egret, 1 Western Cattle Egret, 4 Grey Heron, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, plenty of Gadwall and Eurasian Coot. There were smaller numbers of Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, 2 Mute Swan, hundreds of Pink-footed Goose heading south and a skein of c60 flying in from the south.
Observer: Images (1-2).
I also made an after work visit to the marshes with a look across No.6 tank where 317 Northern Shoveler were present with 67 Northern Pintail, a slight increase in the total of Gadwall, c250 Eurasian Teal, 17 Mallard and 14 Tufted Duck. A couple of Whooper Swan dropped in at dusk to spend the evening on the secure water.
Also 2 Peregrine sat on the blue topped chimney.
Earlier in the day 5 Ring-necked Parakeet flying over Phoenis Park, Runcorn.
A really soggy morning biking through Frodsham Marsh to Ince,but at least I kept my camera dry. A few Redwing passing overhead with flocks of Linnet and European Goldfinch all over. The summer plumaged Western Cattle Egret was again present at the pig farm entrance by Marsh Lane, Ince with a Little Egret.
Observer: Keith Gallie (images).
A flock of 5 & 9 Ring-necked Parakeet flew south east over Phoenix Park and were presumably wandering birds from Runcorn Town Hall and the Whooper Swan is still present at Spike Island, Widnes.- per WSM.
After work and with the rain ceasing for the hour or so I managed to pay a visit to No.6 tank. A south easterly was blowing and the dull conditions were not ideal. However, I counted 378 Northern Shoveler, 67 Northern Pintail, 219 Eurasian Teal, 95 Eurasian Wigeon and c300 Black-headed Gull.
A walk through Ince this morning wheren 5 Grey Heron, 9 Little Egret, 2 Western Cattle Egret, numerous Pied Wagtail and a Black-headed Gull flock on pig fields by Marsh Lane.
There were many Meadow Pipit and Common Reed Bunting in abundance.
Also 7 Great Egret, c35 Little Egret out on the Mersey shore with c150 Pink-footed Goose on Ince marsh.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-3).
Our walk through the marsh this afternoon was enjoyed all the more by the presence of several hundred Black-tailed Godwit with 8 Ruff, Northern Lapwing and some Common Redshank.
Ducks are the stable birding diet for the coming months with c400 Northern Shoveler, 41 Northern Pintail, 97 Eurasian Wigeon and c250 Eurasian Teal.
A Peregrine was perched up on the lip of the tall blue topped chimney above the Weaver Estuary.
Observers: JS & WSM (images 4).
A visit to Spike Island along Mersey Road at West Bank, Widnes was rewarding with the female Whooper Swan still in residence while over on the nearby mudflats was a Ruddy Sheluck, several Black-tailed Godwit and Common Redshank.
An early morning walk around No.6 tank where skeins of Pink-footed Goose were seen heading south as I made my way to the marsh. A flock of Redwing were noted near to Frodsham. A decent selection of ducks on No.6 and c2000 Black-tailed Godwit, c30 Common Snipe and several Common Redshank were in the shallow water.
Shooting was taking place out on Frodsham Score and several thousand Canada Goose diplaced resettled close to the Manchester Ship Canal while the shooters were out by the River Mersey. There were 10 Little Egret were foraging in the tidal channels and 2 Ruff passed overhead. A large mixed flock of Northern Lapwing and European Golden Plover were spooked by a Common Buzzard.
On to the stubble fields with several thousand Common Starling and Black-headed Gull were feeding and a pair of European Stonechat were on their winter territory. Looking over Lordship Marsh from Plover lane in Helsby and 5 Whooper Swan could be seen grazing in the farm fields.
On to Ince where 3 Western Cattle Egret, 5 Little Egret and 3 Grey Heron were feeding amongst the pigs and a flock of c40 Stock Dove were along Kinsey Lane.
The ponds at Goldfinch Meadows LNR had decent numbers of Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Teal and Mallard which were restless as I walked the lane, flushing c45 Eurasian Coot, 2 Mute Swan, several Common Moorhen and 2 Little Grebe on the ponds.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-6).
I made a mid morning amble along Moorditch Lane where a couple of Cetti’s Warbler and a Common Chiffchaff resided.
Looking across No.6 tank and the 2000 Black-tailed Godwit were still present and included a Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Ruff and a few Common Redshank. Ducks were very much the highlight with 417 Northern Shoveler being the highest count of the year. Tufted Duck reached 67 birds with a single drake Common Pochard, 43 Northern Pintail, 300 Eurasian Teal, 7 Gadwall, 34 Mallard and a Little Egret.
I continued my walk along to the ‘phalarope pool’ and a small flock of mostly juvenile Black-tailed Godwit were present. There were 14 Common Snipe, 23 Eurasian Teal and 7 Eurasian Coot. A European Stonechat was flitting along the fence post. A spiraling kettle of 4 Common Buzzard included a young Western Marsh Harrier above the Canal Pools.
I walked out to the junction of No.6 and No.4 tank and looking across Lordship Marsh and the 5 Whooper Swan that Paul had seen earlier were still present. They got disturbed and flew out to No.6 tank. Retracing my steps I took up positionoverlooking No.6 tank and got great views of the whooping Whoopers.
Following from Paul’s earlier sighting I popped over to Marsh Lane, Ince and the entrance to the pig farm where three Western Cattle Egret were still present and one was sporting a fine yellow crown and chest plumes.
A herd of 14 Whooper Swan dropped into No.6 tank this afternoon for a spruce up before continuing their onward journey. Also present were 100 Black-tailed Godwit and an assortment of ducks.
Observer: Gary Worthington (image 1).
We took a walk around Tatton Park near to Knutsford in Cheshire for a wonderful walk in warm autumn sunshine. On the meres were 3 immature Common Goldeneye, 67 Common Pochard, 112 Tufted Duck and a European Stonechat.
Also spotted were numerous fungi with Field Parasol in the grassy meadows, a Beef Steak Fungus fruiting in an old oak tree and several Fly Agaric in a boggy field edge.
It is the rutting season and several stag Red Deer were either defending their harem or bellowing their right to secure one.
An early start and a watch over No.6 tank added some additional numbers to my previous counts of Northern Shoveler which tallied up to 371 birds. Smaller numbers of Northern Pintail, Eurasian Wigeon, Mallard and Eurasian Teal.
The Black-tailed Godwit flock were bunched together and every now and then the entire flock would rise up into the air and circle around for a while before reseyyling in a different location in the shallow waters.
A flock of 22 Common Snipe joined them and 110 European Golden Plover hung out with the Northern Lapwing. Just the one juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was present but didn’t hang around for long.
Also skeins of Pink-footed Goose circling the area at dawn.
A walk with the rising sun and a shade of purple and pinks spread across the eastern horizon as I set off around No.6 tank this morning where I had a decent selection of ducks.
Also a flock of c300 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Ruff, numerous Northern Lapwing, a Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, a Peregrine and Sparrowhawk were all seen.
There were skeins of Pink-footed Goose overhead and both Little and Western Cattle Egret were again along Kinsey Lane, Ince.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-4).
An after work visit to sites by the River Mersey where 3 Ruddy Shelduck were on the mudflats off Widnes Warth Marsh and the matriarchal Whooper Swan rules the roost at Spike Island, Widnes.
Another visit to Frodsham Marsh and a look over No.6 tank to check through the Northern Shoveler flock (the female Blue-winged Teal) has left Northwich only 14 miles away and could turn up with the increasing shovelrs. This evevning I counted 362 birds, a drake Common Pochard, 78 Tufted Duck, 130 Eurasian Teal, 32 Mallard and 43 Northern Pintail.
A flock of 1700 Black-tailed Godwit with just the single Bar-tailed Godwit with them. A few Common Redshank were the other waders with them.
Also present at dusk were 2 Western Marsh Harrier coming into roost.
I was around Ince this afternoon for the BTO WeBs count on the banks of the Mersey Estuary. The two Western Cattle Egret were still present with a couple of Little Egret. Mallard were way down from my recent visits and today I saw 3 Gadwall, 30 Northern Shoveler, 1 Eurasian Coot, 33 Common Moorhen, 17 Little Grebe, 6 Grey Heron, 2 Black-tailed Godwit.
Looking over the salt marsh and a flock of 51 Little Egret sat at the edge of the river with others scattered about the marshes with 3 Great Egret noted. Canada Goose were plentiful, but only a small skein of 15 Pink-footed Goose were seen flying over. A flock of Linnet drew the attention of a Sparrowhawk and it or another bird was seen on three occasions hunting along the Manchester Ship Canal bank. A Great Spotted Woodpecker took cover as one of the Sparrowhawk passed by. A flock of c40 Stock Dove was foraging on the stubble field along the Holpool Gutter. A sorry looking Pied Wagtail was doing its best to clean an oily looking substance off its feathers.
Observer: Paul Ralston (image 2).
I made the effort after work today to fill my time during the tide tide to cover my allocated WeBs count area. A flock of c2500 Black-tailed Godwit were conveniently positioned close to the bank from where I was counting.
A couple of Bar-tailed Godwit were teezed out of their number. The two juvenile Curlew Sandpiper were again doing their best to hide behine the ducks at the far side. A flock of 250 European Golden Plover were present for a short time before they were typically spooked and the majority left for the relative saftey of the Mersey marshes. A couple of Dunlin, 21 Common Snipe, 45 Common Redshank, 24 Ruff and a single Eurasian Curlew.
Ducks looked to be below their usual high numbers but they were mostly out of sight hiding in the eastern part of the open water. Northern Shoveler were in good numbers with 323 birds, 53 Tufted Duck, 37 Northern Pintail, 47 Mallard, 279 Eurasian Teal, 8 Gadwall and 7 Common Shelduck, Eurasian Coot were fairly low with 17 birds and both Little Grebe and Common Moorhen mustered 12 birds each.
Cetti’s Warbler are noisey along the lanes and most of the summer migrants have left us with a few Common Chiffchaff still about the area.
Earlier in the day and the sounds of yelping Pink-footed Goose could be heard all around the area with on skein numbering 430 birds.
An early morning along walk along the River Weaver where 16 Great Crested Grebe, c200 Tufted Duck, smaller numbers of Mallard, Eurasian Teal and Gadwall. Out on the Mersey Estuary were plenty of Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Eurasian Curlew and Common Shelduck.
There were 6 European Stonechat on Alder Lane with a couple of Common Chiffchaff. The Western Cattle Egret was again in the pig fields along Kinsey Lane at Ince.
I watched the high tide from Ince and noted 5 Great Egret, numerous Little Egret, a few hundred Pink-footed Goose at rivers edge and another skein of c80 seen making their way on to the marsh as I left for home.
Two Common Chiffchaff along hedgerow.
The Western Cattle Egret had the company of another, hopefully we can expect more over the next few weeks and a Common Buzzard fed on pigeon neatby.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-4).
An after work trip to the marsh and another look over No.6 tank during the ebbing tide out on the Mersey Estuary. A flock of c1200 Black-tailed Godwit, 21 Common Snipe, 15 Ruff, 23 Common Redshank, 2 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper doing their best to conceal themselves within the roosting Northern Shoveler flock. Gulls mostly Common and Black-headed drop into bathe and rest before heading to the estuary for the night and a nice surprise was a locally scarse adult winter Mediterranean Gull.
Also noted was a fragmented skein of c600 Pink-footed Goose heading south east to Frodsham Hill before switching to south west over Helsby Hill and obviously using the Sandstone Ridge to navigate. Ducks were reduced with 119 Tufted Duck, c100 Northern Shoveler, 41 Northern Pintail and c250 Eurasian Teal.
Several skiens of Pink-footed Goose were moving north west over Runcorn earlier in the day and 3 Ruddy Shelduck were on the mudflats before the tide at Wigg Island.
A morning walk along the north banks of No.6 tank with the tide barely rising from its slumber. A combined total of birds sighted on No.6 tank before and after the high tide resulted in c3500 Black-tailed Godwit, 121 European Golden Plover, c120 Northern Lapwing, 1 Dunlin, 2 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 21 Ruff – including the white headed bird again. Also 107 Common Redshank and c30 Common Snipe. Northern Shoveler reached 221 with 70 Eurasian Wigeon, smaller numbers of both Tufted Duck and Mallard, and 67 Northern Pintail.
The ‘phalarope pool’ again had a nursery group of Black-tailed Godwit with a c-r bird from early August this year.
I continued my walk and ended up close to the banks of Frodsham Score with the incoming tide unsettling the mass of birds feeding out on the mudflats and out on the edge of the marshes.
Totals included: c1500 Eurasian Curlew, c150 Eurasian Oystercatcher, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit, c8000 Dunlin (one in full summer plumage), 2 Little Stint (phew! I thought I’d miss out on my favourite shorebird this autumn), an incredible flock of 61 Little Egret, 5 Great Egret enjoying the fishy bounty from the tidal channels flooding. Several flocks of Pink-footed Goose far out on the mirage ridden horizion and hundreds of Eurasian Wigeon riding the tide in and out.