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
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
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.
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.
Mark Payne put me on to this link from flickr and it’s worth sharing.
Check out these Hobby pictures taken in the rain on Thursday. On the track to the bend, prey item is a Swift. Graham Clarkson and Frank Whitney are the observers/photographers.
..or view two of the five images below.
Little wonder that the Ring-necked Duck is still present considering the weather. From 5.00 pm a rain lashed storm force is stopping all, except perhaps the brave from venturing out to the marsh.
A 1st Summer Little Gull dropped in this afternoon on No 6 tank.
Observer: David Bedford
Almost continuous rain today best suited ducks and so it is that the Ring-necked Duck lingers on into its fourth day!
Ring-necked Duck located asleep with c50 Tufted Duck; 4 male and 1 female Pochard;.25 Mute Swan
Curlew Sandpiper (partial summer) on No 6 tank with 8 Dunlin, 1 (summer adult) Little Stint and 20 Ringed Plovers. A male Marsh Harrier flew over the M56 bridge at Marsh Lane and disappeared over No 5 tank.
Observer: Mark Payne, WSM
Received an email from Phil Woollen regarding the aging of the RND. I did consider the age of this bird at the time of the find because of the undeveloped bill pattern. Obviously Phil had the same idea. I have included his images and his comments for your consideration.
Phil’s comments and images:
See pics attached. It threw me a bit as I was expecting a full adult summer plumaged male but I think this bird is just entering eclipse or a 1st summer male.
The bill pattern is quite faint but it is there.
- The flanks aren’t pristine grey but flecked with brown.
- Wing bar is a bit disconcerting – not all one colour but not white as per Tufted Duck.
- One photo shows clearly the chestnut collar which gives the bird its name.
Hale Lighthouse lays across and to the north of Frodsham Marsh on the banks of the River Mersey.
Hale is watched over by a handful of observers including Rob Cockbain (who was watching birds at Frodsham Marsh long before most), he can now be found scouring the hedgerows and mudflats there. A lot of the birds that migrant across the river both north and south, cross over here and at several points at Frodsham Marsh (see below). Highlights have included Honey Buzzard, Osprey, Hawfinch, and Blue-headed Wagtail. So, for the best advantage/stand point/ position be at the north-east corner of No 4 tank, and given enough time and the right weather conditions you should be rewarded for your efforts.
Just give me a call when you find it first!
Image by WSM
Ring-necked Duck relocated on the Weaver Bend with 200 Tufted Ducks at 14.40 hrs. by KD and MT. A drake Wigeon and a pair of Pochard were on No 6 tank. Also present there are two hybrid Ruddy/Cape/Common Shelduck.
6 Avocets on No 6 tank.
Hobby this morning and in the afternoon hunting low flying Swifts over No 4 tank.
3 Yellow Wagtail on and over Lordship Marsh.
If anyone has better images of the RND can you send them to me and I’ll blog it?
Observers: WSM, Sparky, F Duff, Kenny Dummigan, Mark Turner and Mark Payne.