(Guest blogger Findlay Wilde aged 11 years) http://wildeaboutbirds.blogspot.co.uk/
Hi my name is Findlay Wilde and I have been interested in birds for at least five years now, so today I am going to be telling you all about my experiences at Frodsham Marsh.
Ever since my first visit to Frodsham Marsh, I knew it was going to be a special place as the first two birds I saw there were Stonechats. Since that first visit I have been lucky enough to see a huge variety of birdlife; from waders to raptors and even a Hooded Crow!
Everything about the marshes is so enticing, it is always offering me, and probably everyone else that visits, so much wildlife to see and listen to.
Today’s visit was fantastic. The first bird to greet us over Lordship Marsh was a stunning male Marsh Harrier. He was hunting along the bank of No 6 Tank. But the best thing today was that the female Marsh Harrier was hunting just a bit further along above No 4 Tank. We saw lots of Kestrels hunting all round No 6 Tank today, but surprisingly, we didn’t see a single Buzzard.
As we carried on along Lordship Marsh we spotted 20 Shelduck, 50 Curlew and 3 Skylark (although there is now one less Skylark as you will find out later). It was also great to see 5 or 6 Swallows dipping and falling over Lordship Marsh. And all along the edge of No 6 Tank we were treated to the sound of several Chiffchaff.
As we got closer to the pumping pool near No 6 Tank, the male Marsh Harrier appeared again, but this time back in his usual spot over No 4 Tank. He put on such a great show and then all of a sudden swooped down and hopefully caught something tasty as we didn’t see him again until we were leaving.
There were about 28 Tufted Duck in the pumping pool, much more than I have seen there recently. More than one Swallow was flying round the pool and again I could hear lots of Chiffchaffs.
We walked past the pool and towards the Score, stopping every now and again to check for the Marsh Harriers. When the Ship Canal was just below us, we spotted a beautiful little bird in the bushes which I am 96% sure is a Willow Warbler – have a look at the picture and see what you think. I have gone for Willow Warbler because it was not chiffchaffing and it did not have the dark legs of a Chiffchaff. I am sure Bill will correct me if it’s wrong!
Next stop was between No5 and No6 Tank. Considering it was high tide, there was nothing much to report from No6 Tank other than about 30 stunning Shelducks and a group of about 100 Teal and Gadwall.
In the distance, across No5 Tank a pair of Great Black-backed Gulls were snuggled up together, maybe sheltering from the strong winds.
We decided to go along Lordship Marsh one more time before home, and that’s when the Skylark count reduced by 1! As we were sitting watching, the Skylark flew upwards higher and higher from the field and from no-where a raptor shot in (I think it was a Merlin) and took the Skylark in mid-air.
A very dramatic end to another exciting adventure on Frodsham Marsh. The wind and rain must have kept people away, as there weren’t many people about to talk to; something else I really enjoy at Frodsham Marsh, all the helpful birders.
Assisting Findlay with his sightings and after he went home for his much needed dinner were Frank and Bill who only managed to see 5 Wheatear and 5 Swallow, 4 Sand Martin, 1 House Martin and 14 Fieldfare on or over the pipes on No 1 tank and riding the strong winds over No 6 tank.
Male and female Marsh Harrier over No 6 tank.
100 Curlew in fields along Lordship Lane.
Observers: Frank Duff, WSM.
Additionally the 2 Brent Goose from yesterday reappeared today on the Mersey WeBS count on Frodsham Score.