14.06.12. Birdlog

14.06.12. Birdlog.

Received a text from Paul C who is at the marsh this evening and he confirms that the Black-headed Gull colony has deserted. Obviously, (Not So Fantastic) Mr Fox’s handy work last night put them off returning. To be fair they were transients from the huge colony at Blakemere, Delamere Forest and were on the cusp of being flooded out or predated eventually. When you look at the bigger picture it’s all part of the circle of life.

Lets hope they can learn their lesson and invite a Great Black-backed Gull to join them…Erm! There again!!

It’s not all bad news 10-12 Avocets have returned to No 6 tank.

Observer: Paul Crawley.

13.06.12. Birdlog

13.06.12. Birdlog.

The entire breeding colony of Black-headed Gulls on No 6 tank abandoned their nests for the whole period I was birding there (2.1/2 hrs). The cause of this is directed at a Fox  looking for food. It remains to be seen if the gulls return to their nests?

5 Avocet, 42 Mute Swan, 12 Pochard (one female), 25 Tufted Duck, 10 Teal and 9 Shoveler. Marsh Harrier (male) flew over heading west and a Cuckoo was watched from its usual hiding place.

A Lesser Whitethroat sang from a Hawthorn hedge (left hand side of the approach road, leading to the dirt track ramp to No 6 tank).

Grey Heron close to nest site on No 6 tank.

Upper: Looking south from the north side of No 6 tank.

Lower: Looking south-west from the same position.

Images by WSM

11.06.12. Birdlog (Falco subbuteo v England)

11.06.12. Birdlog.

After watching the European Championship match draw between England v France. I wanted a bit of extra time with my football so, I popped down to Frodsham Marsh and watched subbuteo…Falco instead! A 1st summer Hobby was honing its hunting skills by frightening the post breeding/juvenile Starling flocks over No 6 tank.

4 Avocet on No 6 tank and the (lucistic) Black-headed Gull that Paul Crawley had seen last week. This gull reappeared tonight and I managed this digi-shot through my scope.

Additional, birds worthy of note were 2 Great Crested Grebe, 9 (drake) Pochard and 76 Tufted Duck on the Weaver Estuary. The RND failed to be located and may at last have left the area?  200 Swifts were low flying over the estuary as the sun was setting.

…and for a tenuous link to Nature Notes #4 is this image of Starlings picking off the Spindle Ermine Moth caterpillars from the top of the infected shrub.

View of the Weaver Estuary from the causeway at Redwall Reedbed.

Images by WSM

10.06.12. Birdlog (RND Day 7)

Ring-necked Duck and, 22 Gadwall, Teal (drake), 65 Shelduck, 5 Avocet, 9 Dunlin, 2 Little Ringed Plover all on No 6 tank. In the evening a male Marsh Harrier flew through. Also Cuckoo calling on No 4 tank.

Tufted Duck flock not present on No 6 tank this evening presumed to have moved to Weaver Bend area.

Observer: Paul Crawley. Arthur Harrison, WSM

Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank and Teal on No 6 tank this evening.

Image by WSM

Nature Notes #4

08.06.12. Nature Notes #4.

As promised an update on the Spindle Ermine Moth invasion. Met Roger Wilkinson this evening whilst watching the Ring-necked Duck and he put me right on the Identification of the Moth. I have included an image from the infected bushes on No 6 tank. The white areas are silk spun by the catapillars.

Image by WSM.

09.06.12. Birdlog (RND Day 6)

The Ring-necked Duck is still viewable from No 6 tank today. Also present were 2 Avocet, 3 male Pochard, 40 Tufted Duck, 25 Gadwall, 67 Shelduck and 23 Mute Swan. The Black-headed Gull colony attracted 3 (1st summer) Mediterranean Gulls which spent time loafing around preening. Two Peregrines were viewable from both Helsby and the tall I.C.I chimney at Weston Point. A Little Egret tried to avoid detection (if that is possible) by flying low over the southern bank of No 6 tank, A Cuckoo was watched several times. Wader wise the high tide just brought in a handful of Dunlin.

Two of Frodshams regular ‘patchers’ looking a little bashful. Paul Crawley (left) and Arthur Harrison (right).

Pictured below the three (1 st summer) Mediterranean Gulls preening and roosting up in the Black-headed Gull colony on No 6 tank.

All images by WSM.