Morning and afternoon watch:
I’m calling this one Buffy the Sandpiper Stayer because it’s the third day and it really needs to settle down to a pattern. So, Buff-breasted Sandpiper present briefly on No 6 tank at 10.45 am last seen at 11.00 am. Other birds of note were 6 Avocet, 1 Turnstone, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Little Stint, 80 Dunlin,1 Sanderling.
Observers: Paul Crawley and Mark (Whipper) Gibson.
Buff-breasted Sandpiper from evening watch. Image by WSM.
Early evening to dusk watch:
A glorious sunny evening with birding banter and a fine selection of waders, add a rarity buffet and it sums up what’s best of Frodsham Marsh.
The Buff-breasted Sandpiper was present from 19.30 until 19.55 and again from 20.30 until 20.45 hrs. It appears the bird comes on to the northern side of No 6 tank (viewing banks) to join the feeding Dunlin flock at approximately 11.00 am (ish) and shortly after departs. In the evening it arrives at 19 -19.30 hrs to bath and rest before flying out to the estuary.
juvenile Marsh Harrier. Image by David Wilson.
Other birds of interest were juvenile Marsh Harrier, 1 Whimbrel, 45 Curlew, a flock of 9 Snipe, 4 Ringed Plover, 500 Dunlin, 4 adult Curlew Sandpiper, 6 Avocet (including a colour ringed bird), 10 Black-tailed Godwit.
A Weasel was spotted along the track by No 5 tank (R Wilkinson).
Observers: Frank Duff and WSM et al.
29.07.12. Birdlog. (All sightings from No 6 tank unless otherwise stated)
Buff-breasted Sandpiper in with Black-tailed Godwits briefly before flying off. Appears to be very mobile but obviously still in the area.
Two Ruddy Shelduck including a white-headed bird present from mid morning (MSG). A juvenile Spoonbill (SB et al) flew in settled for 30 minutes and flew out towards Weaver Bend area.
300 and increasing Dunlin, 1,000 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 juvenile Yellow Wagtail, 3 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper and male Marsh Harrier.
Observers: Paul Crawley and Frank Duff, Steve & Gill Barber, Martin S Garner, WSM et al.
Ruddy Shelduck and oddly patterned buddy.
Dunlin roost and Spoonbill alighting. All images by WSM.
Adult and juvenile Little Ringed Plover, c1,000 Black-tailed and a single Bar-tailed godwit, 1 Knot, 1 Avocet, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Little Stint, 1 Common Sandpiper, 400 Dunlin and a juvenile Cuckoo all on or about No 6 tank.
At 11.00 am Roger Wilkinson found a small wading bird on No 6 tank which he drew to the attention of WSM, who was able to identify the bird as a Buff-breasted Sandpiper. The larger than Dunlin sized wader was watched for 30 minutes before it took to the wing and moved to the far side of the tank. Shortly after it returned for a brief period before flying strongly out to the same area and was not relocated. Presumably relocated at tea time until 7.00pm as reports from Birdguides.
A Nuthatch, juv Great Spotted Woodpecker and 10 Greenfinch were watched in Godscroft Lane area.
Observers: Paul Crawley, Frank Duff and WSM et al.
Buffy the Sandpiper Stayer. Image by Paul Crawley.
Buff-breasted Sandpiper (upper bird) and Dunlin. Note the dark half crescent on the underwing of the BBS. Image by WSM.
Buff-breasted Sandpiper with Dunlin, No 6 tank. Image by WSM.
A Green Woodpecker was observed in flight by the railway bridge arches at Frodsham Swing Bridge and with only a handful of records a much sought after marsh tick!
A female Peregrine (possibly sub-adult) on the Weaver Bend just after making a kill.
2 Common Sandpiper, 19 Redshank.
Further round the Weaver Bend were 4 families of Tufted Duck with 22 ducklings between them.and a Grasshopper Warbler ‘reeling’.
A Birding Banana Skin
Every birder can recount a tale not unlike this story by Frodsham regular Paul Crawley and although spiced with a little Ancient Greek narrative. I think it will hit home and amuse at the same time.
Paul’s telephone conversation with his wife after a ‘Birding Banana Skin’ from Redwall Reedbed today, 27th July 2012.
“I decided to walk down the side of the cow field and not along the waterlogged track that leads to the Weaver estuary from the old birdlog site, reminding myself of the missing manhole cover en route. Due to the height of the thistles/nettles recalling thick Amazonian rain forest undergrowth. I got distracted and forgot about the exposed manhole cover and without any warning put my right foot into the stinking stagnant water and went flying. My right leg is soaked and my boot is full of smelly putrid water, which attracted Horseflies (Cleggs) and got bitten to death and soaked up to the middle of my right thigh. Luckily, despite being on my back and struggling to get up I didn’t injure myself apart from the nettle stings all over my face.”
“I knew it, I f***ing knew I would fall down this f***ing hole. I went down like a bag of s***t! ! That’s the last time I walk you to work!”
Wifes reply: “Are you ok?”
My reply: “Yes and now my right boot doesn’t smell of cat piss. It smells of the depths of Hades.”
eds. Hades was the Greek King of the Underworld, the god of death and the dead. A little harsh on Hades, but there again it can smell at times in those manholes!
An evening watch resulted in 2 Little Egret, 100 Tufted Duck, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 200 Dunlin, 4 juvenile Little Ringed Plover and 9 Whimbrel. .
Upwards of 12 juvenile Common Gulls joined the adults passing through from the south-east. It would be Interesting to know if these were Scottish birds or from further a field? The Black-headed Gull roost featured an extremely small (Little Gull sized) juvenile bird.
A male Marsh Harrier conveniently perched on bushes in front of the observers but distant and in poor light for anything other than record photos. A Hobby sneaked under the birding radar and was picked up in flight chasing the Dunlin flock.
3 Raven over Frodsham Score and 2 Yellow Wagtails on No 6 tank were worthy of mention.
Observers: Paul Crawley, WSM and the ‘Chester Boys’
All quiet on the western front with 700 Black-tailed Godwit reduced to 50 birds when a juvenile Peregrine shot over the flock. 250 Dunlin and a noteworthy juvenile Mediterreanean Gull (II) on No 6 tank at dusk.
Observer: Paul Crawley and Ian Igglesden..David Wilson kindly sent me two new mini-movies. They shows a (1st summer male) Marsh Harrier in an atmospheric marsh setting, with the bird taking a hunting foray over the marsh. The other is of a Grasshopper Warbler briefly but eagerly climbing to the top of a Hawthorn tree to reel out its song. Both can be found in the (Red-eyed) Video category section. No excuses for showing another of David’s raptor images and this time a Common Buzzard is captured perched on a post on the marsh. Image by David Wilson
A 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull at the evening gull roost and a male Marsh Harrier flying through.
Observer: Paul Crawley.
I couldn’t make it to the marsh this evening because of an accident on the westbound lane of the M56. This caused a huge tail back and obviously affected traffic on the A56 road through Frodsham village. So, I decided to watch from Weston Village overlooking the sluice gates and Frodsham Score.
Highlights were 5 Great crested Grebe, 50 Curlew, 300 Shelduck and a distant Raven over Helsby Hill was noteworthy. Several thousand Canada Goose took flight when a Fox walked out onto the salt marsh.
Image by David Wilson.
Frodsham Marsh has produced an enviable series of firsts for Cheshire and not least in its number of new nesting birds. Little Egret, Spoonbill, Great Black-backed Gull, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet and for the last couple of years Marsh Harrier. In celebration of the Frodsham Harriers (not the athletic club of the same name) David Wilson took this image in May this year and shows well the female out hunting.