18.09.21. Birdlog.

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A short walk this morning starting at Ince to the Holpool Gutter.

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On my walk out to the marshes I saw a single Garganey showing at Goldfinch Meadows LNR at Ince with a few Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Gadwall, Little Grebe and the usual Eurasian Coot and Common Moorhen.

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There were 2 Mute Swan left on one of the pools, they then move to another pool whereupon they were attacked by a single Mute Swan. One of the aggressors was wearing a yellow darvic ring.

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On to the Manchester Ship Canal path and a few Common Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler were moving along the hedge line with a mixed flock of tits. Hundreds of Canada Goose were feeding on the stubble field and left to join a couple of thousand more resting on the canal with several Greylag and a white domestic type.

Looking out over Frodsham Score salt marsh and Common Raven and Great Black-backed Gull were sharing a sheep carcase, while a Great Egret was seen to drop in to a tidal gutter.

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On to the Hollpool Gutter and a Common Kingfisher was hunting from a post and made two attempts to catch fish, but failed and moved on.

Walking back to the start of my walk and another Garganey was showing well at the nature reserve. Several Comma butterflies and dragonflies were making the most of the autumn sun warm.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-5).

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I again took the opportunity to catch in on the waderfest on No.6 tank with 258 Common Redshank budding up to their Spotted Redshank cousin (another was with a small flock hiding below the north bank. The flock of c2500 Black-tailed Godwit flock were very settled and apart from a few heading out to the Mersey Estuary after the high tide the flock didn’t budge throughout my vist. A count of 31 juveniles in the flock were noted. The gathering of the Ruff clan numbered 18 birds and they were busy feeding up through the buttonweed and dying sea aster plants along the edge of the shallow waters. I countered 31 Common Snipe in the fringes of the reed bed while Northern Lapwing were again dropping down the numbers table.

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Ducks are always a welcome diversion from sifting through the waders and a Garganey makes the days tally to three birds with Paul’s two at Ince.¬†Northern Pintail reached a count of 36 birds and moulting Northern Shoveler were in triple figures. Some of the drake Eurasian Teal are showing signs of colour on their head parts. The c250 Black-headed Gull flock which had been following a tractot ploughing a field off Moorditch Lane dropped in to bathe and rest before flying over the reed beds to pick off the emergence of flying insects.

A kettle of 8 Common Buzzard joined the 12 Common Raven riding the warm air thermals over the marshes and a Eurasian Jay flew through.

Observer: WSM (images 6-7).

17.09.21. Birdlog.

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I was out this morning along the River Weaver and Manchester Ship Canal where I managed to see 5 Western Yellow Wagtail which were fly-catching from the barn roof at Marsh Farm. A group of 7 Common Chiffchaff were being bullied by a European Robin and moved away from the farm, 3 Barn Swallow were also present.

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Looking out over the Mersey Estuary and a flock of 110 Pied Avocet (possibly more) were on the sand bank alongside Black-tailed Godwit and Eurasian Curlew all were flushed by a Peregrine, but soon settled again. The falcon was seen soon after enjoying its breakfast in the newly seeded field on No.1 tank. Common Shelduck were numerous on the River Mersey while ducks were much reduced on the River Weaver, with small numbers of Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Tufted Duck, Gadwall and Northern Pintail being noted. The sand bank on the Weaver Estuary held a few hundred Common Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit and Northern Lapwing, but nothing else of note.

A family party of European Stonechat were along the river path with a Common Whitethroat close by. A released Red-legged Partridge ran ahead of me as I made my way back along Brook Furlong Lane and caught the attention of a Common Buzzard sat on a pole.

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I stopped off at Goldfinch Meadows LNR on my way home and watched I refound the Garganey as it fed amongst the reeds with several Gadwall, Eurasian Teal and Mallard. Four Little Grebe, 2 Mute Swan were present and a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew overhead.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-3). 

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Spotted Redshank sleeping with its cousins.

A walk out to the north banks of No.6 tank where a flock of c2000 Black-tailed Godwit with several hundred Common Redshank, a single Spotted Redshank, 1 Dunlin, 19 Ruff, 231 Northern Lapwing, 21 Northern Pintail and 133 Northern Shoveler.

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Observers: JS and WSM (images 4-5).

16.09.21. Birdlog.

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An afternoon walk along Moorditch Lane where a Great Spotted Woodpecker was calling from a dense bush with a Cetti’s Warbler doing likewise.

Looking across No.6 tank and a much reduced stack of Black-tailed Godwit down to c750 birds and similarly the rest of the waders were also down in their respective counts. A single Spotted Redshank made a good job at hiding within the Common Redshank flock and Ruff tallied 16 birds.

Again ducks were present but on this occasion I couldn’t be bothered counting them. A large group of Black-headed Gull were hawking flying ants all over the reed beds.

Observers: JS & WSM (image 1).

15.09.21. Birdlog.

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A couple of Garganey.

A walk from Ince to the Holpool Gutter after work and 2 Garganey in with several Mallard, Gadwall, Eurasian Teal, 2 Eurasian Wigeon, 2 Mute Swan, numerous Eurasian Coot and Common Moorhen, 3 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret were on the pools at Goldfinch Meadows LNR. Also Barn Swallow were overhead and a Common Kingfisher at the gutter.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-2).

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I paid a visit to No.6 tank after work and sat overlooking the shallow waters below me.

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A flock of c3000 Black-tailed and a single Bar-tailed Godwit, c230 Common Redshank, a single Spotted Redshank, a single European Golden Plover, 112 Northern Lapwing, 3 Dunlin, 21 Ruff and 43 Common Snipe.

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A Garganey was with a group of 45 Northern Pintail, 132 Northern Shoveler and several hundred Eurasian Teal.

Observer: WSM (images 3-6).

14.09.21. Birdlog.

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There were numerous Black-tailed Godwit, excess of 4000, 2 Dunlin, 28 Ruff, 300 Common Redshank, a calling Common Greenshank which wasn’t seen. Also a single Spotted Redshank.

Observer: Mark (Whipper) Gibson (image 1 & video).

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An early evening around No.6 tank c2000 Black-tailed Godwit and plenty of Common Redshank including a colour-ring bird.

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There were double numbers of Ruff and Common Snipe which were all a bit jumpy and flushed a few times most settling back down, others heading out to the estuary.

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Decent numbers of Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Teal and Mallard.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-4).

13.09.21. Birdlog.

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An after work visit to No.6 tank to add to my previous visits over the weekend. The weather and light wasn’t at it best and the murky onditions didn’t suit a telescope on full magnification as I scanned the 3.5k Black-tailed Godwit (71 juveniles) flock. Common Redshank numbered c370 with just a single Spotted Redshank this evening.

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Ruffs.

A good sized flock of 32 Ruff, numerous Common Snipe, small numbers of both Common Ringed Plover and Dunlin. Northern Lapwing are gathering in numbers and it won’t be long before they are joined by the returning European Golden Plover flocks.

Ducks again are becoming a feature with c132 Northern Shoveler and c50 Northern Pintail.

Female Whooper Swan, Spike Island, Widnes.
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The female Whooper Swan at Spike Island was again present and 2 adult Ruddy Shelduck were east of the Mersey Gateway bridge.

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Observer: WSM (video and images).

12.09.21. Birdlog.

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A watch over No.6 tank during the high tide period was productive with c3000 Black-tailed Godwit scattrered across the shallow waters.

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There was again a single Bar-tailed Godwit and an impressive 5 juvenile Spotted Redshank in with c350 Common Redshank, 23 Ruff, 14 Dunlin, 8 Common Ringed Plover and c30 Common Snipe.

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Little Egrets

A small flock of 9 Little Egret was reminiscent of the 9 Mark (Whipper) Gibson found on Frodsham Score in the 90’s when they were still a bird to chase after.

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Ducks were lower than yesterday but still were impressive with Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail and Eurasian Teal being the most prominant.

Observers: JS & WSM (images 2-8).

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I started the day at the Weaver Bend where c80 Common Redshank, 2 Ruff, 1 Common Snipe, several Black-tailed Godwit and Northern Lapwing were on the sandbank. Also 13 Common Snipe left the shooters’ pool and moved up river.

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A Common Whitethroat and 4 Common Chiffchaff were noted along the path. There were 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker making their way up river too.

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Out on the Mersey Estuary were 38 Pied Avocet were foraging alongside Common Redshank, more Black-tailed Godwit and Eurasian Curlew. A Peregrine made a low pass over the waders but didnt disturb them.

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I finished the day at Ince marsh fields for the WeBs count where c4000 Canada Goose were in the stubble fields with c140 Mallard feeding on the leftover grain. A dozen or so Northern Wheatear were in the same area.

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There two Garganey on the pools at Goldfinch Meadows LNR with 4 Little Grebe, 15 Eurasian Coot, 6 Common Moorhen, 5 Tufted Duck and 4 Gadwall, with 2 Eurasian Curlew in the pig fields along Kinsey Lane, Ince amongst  a large flock of Black-headed Gull.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1 & 9-16).

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A very wet Manx Shearwater at the Weaver Sluices during our WeBs count today. It was so wet it couldn’t fly so it held its wings out like a Cormorant and also held its tail out of the water.

Observers: Toni and Ray Sherlock (images 17-20).

10.09.21. Birdlog.

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A few notes from my Friday morning visit to No.6 tank in calm conditions, with a very moody sky, giving good light over the tank which was swarming with birds. The Black-tailed Godwit flock stood at 4450, but there was no sign of any Bar-tailed Godwit. Other sightings included 195 Common redshank, 4 Spotted Redshank, 32 Ruff, 7 Common Ringed Plover, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 5 Dunlin, 32 Common Snipe and a single Red Knot.

Ducks included: a single Garganey, 58 Northern Pintail, 360 Eurasian Teal and 186 Northern Shoveler.

The bushes along the track between No.5 & 6 tanks held a large flock of numbering c200 birds and in the fields south of No.6 the Linnet flock was around 300 birds.

Observer and image: Paul Miller.

11.09.21. Birdlog.

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An early morning walk along the River Weaver and down by the Manchester Ship Canal. Little and Great Egret feeding alongside Grey Heron.

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Weaver Estuary had 5 Common Sandpiper, 20 Mute Swan, c200 Tufted Duck and a flock of c35 Northern Pintail, 1 Common Kingfisher, a mixed flock of Common Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Northern Lapwing on a sandy bank.

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I stopped at Goldfinch Meadows NLR, Ince and the Garganey was again present.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-3).

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My WeBS count saw me covering No.6 tank and some surrounding areas on the marsh. Looking across from the northern bank and a couple of compact flocks of Black-tailed Godwit numbered 3885 with a single Bar-tailed Godwit hiding in their throng. Common Redshank are back in numbers again with 378 birds, 21 Ruff, 19 Common Snipe, 15 Common Ringed Plover and 31 Dunlin. The latter two species are woefully short on the 1000’s that were regular on this tank before the turbines were set up.

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Ducks are also featured on the monthly count with a single Garganey, 258 Northern Shoveler, 67 Northern Pintail, 331 Eurasian Teal, 15 Tufted Duck and 38 Little Grebe. Also 16 Eurasian Coot and 7 Common Moorhen. Gulls noted included: a Great Black-headed, 17 Common incl a single juvenile and 112 Black-headed.

A Western Marsh Harrier drifted over.

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The scrapes on No.3 tank were quiet with 34 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Common Snipe, 43 Eurasian Teal, 12 Northern Shoveler and a single Eurasian Wigeon.

Observer: WSM (images 4-6).

Sightings from the Weaver Bend: 500 Canada Goose, 20 Mute Swan, 2 Northern Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, 15 Mallard, 45 Eurasian Teal, 140 Tufted Duck, 21 Eurasian Coot, 12 Northern Lapwing, 160 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Ruff, 1 Common Snipe, 3 Green Sandpiper, 21 Great Cormorant.

Observer: Jimmy Mancini.

09.09.21. Birdlog.

Two of three juvenile Spotted Redshank on a brief look over No.6 tank, showing well by the scaffolding of one of the drainage towers with a juvenile islandica Black-tailed Godwit and a darvic Common Redshank I had seen on a previous visit. Also 2 Bar-tailed Godwitwit and a singles of Red Knot and Common Ringed Plover.

Observer and video: Swiss Toni.