23.04.13. Birdlog

23.04.13. Birdlog

23.04.13. Med Gulls on No 6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

A pair of 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull were present with the usual pre-roost and bathing Common and Black-headed Gulls on No 6 tank. Both birds watched in nuptial display and preening before heading out to the estuary with a small group of Black-headed Gulls at 7.30 pm.

Observers: Arthur Harrison, Heather & Findlay Wilde, Frank Duff, WSM

A flock of 34 Mute Swans (presumably the birds from the Rake Lane fields) contained an adult Whooper Swan and obviously a left over from the wintering flock here. Later part of the flock including the Whooper left No 6 tank flew around No 3 tank before pitching down on the Weaver estuary at 8.15 pm.

23.04.13. Adult Whooper with imm Mute Swan, no 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

Upper image: WSM. Lower image: Heather Wilde.

23.04.13. Whooper Swan, No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Heather Wilde.

31 Whimbrel roosting on No 6 tank this evening was really notable. 60 Common Shelduck, 60 Common Teal, 15 Tufted Duck and the occasional Gadwall. The Grey Heron nest does now look truly abandoned with no sign of the adult bird this evening. Also present were a couple of scrapping Water Rail and Ringed Plover.

Findlay & Heather Wilde, WSM.

23.04.13. Whinchat, Rake Lane, frodsham Marsh. Stuart Maddocks.

Image: Whinchat by Stuart Maddocks.

Male Marsh Harrier noted, A Whinchat along the track of No 4 tank by the Rake Lane junction. Numerous Wheatear in the Rake Lane fields and several Blackcap at Ince Marches.

Observers: Stuart Maddocks, Mike King.

Weaver Bend: A male Whinchat, along with a Grasshopper Warbler which briefly showed well. Also 3 Sedge Warblers there.

3 Wheatear in second field along Brook Furlong, and a late Fieldfare in the field by the stables.

Observer: Neil Blood

7 Wheatear in fields along Lordship Lane and most of the resident summer migrants have settled on the marsh to breed are earnestly filling in the gaps with a several species competing for airtime.

Observer: Frank Duff. WSM.

22.04.13. Birdlog

22.04.13. Birdlog.

22.04.13. Whimbrel and Curlew, Lordship Marsh

Merlin on No 6 tank, 2 Wheatear and Sedge Warbler also noted there and a Whinchat in the weedy field along Lordship Lane.

Observer: Frank Duff, Mark Payne.

Two Wheatear on the turf field off Brook Furlong Lane, 30 Golden Plover over No5, 100 Common Shelduck and 3 Whimbrel on Lordship Marsh on the west side of the airfield. I have attached a long distance, poor quality, photo indicating the big size difference between Curlew and Whimbrel (a lower case ‘little whimbrel’).

Observer and image above: Paul Crawley.

21.04.13. Birdlog

21.04.13. Birdlog

21.04.13. Common Shelduck, No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Paul crawley.

A Cetti’s Warbler singing close to the Bailey Bridge along the river Weaver from the Weaver Bend and a couple of Blackcap also present.

Whimbrel with Curlew flock on No1 tank and c 10 Wheatear.

Observer: Frank Duff.

Weaver Bend: 4 Avocet, Greenshank and a calling Water Rail, 30 Shelduck, 20 Canada Geese and c30 Tufted Duck. 

No 5 Tank: 30 Golden Plover and 20 Wheater along fence.
No 6 tank: Water high on tank Grey Heron nest flooded, 20 Tufted Duck and 30 Shelduck.
Observer: Lee Lappin, Alyn Chambers.

20.04.13. Birdlog

20.04.13. Birdlog

20.04.13. Red Kite, Marsh Farm, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley.

Frank discovered a wing-tagged Red Kite over Frodsham Score this morning before it drifted west. It hung around long enough for Mark P to twitch it from Northwich but not long enough for my after work dip!

From the right-wing tag colour (red main colour and orange bar at base) I have managed to get some potential information regarding the origins of this bird and presuming the colour combination is correct then it originated from Yorkshire and was released in 2003.  WSM.

Observers: Frank Duff, Paul Crawley (and image above).

Number 6 tank: 2 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Ringed Plover, 6 Redshank, 2 Snipe, 3 Avocet  and 9 Golden Plover flew over. 

Marsh Harrier (one male, one sub-adult female, one adult female).
20 Raven over fields at Marsh Farm but mainly on Frodsham Score.

20.04.13. Swallow and La Luna, Moorditch Lane, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

It’s official, the insectivores are back! 50 Wheatear in various locations around the marsh. Elsewhere migrants were pouring in with the first Grasshopper and Reed Warbler noted. 4 Yellow Wagtail briefly in the morning along with 5 + White and several Pied Wagtail. Along Brook Furlong Lane: 1 Male Blackcap seen as well as two Whitethroat . One Willow Warbler and several Chiffchaff.

20.04.13. Whinchat, Frodsham Marsh. Heather Wilde.

4 male Whinchat on Lordship Lane sharing a field with several Wheatear, 2 Grey Wagtails ( male +female ) near Hoopool gutter.

Ciao Guido D’Isidoro.

Whinchat image by Heather Wilde.

20.04.13. Wren, Frodsham Marsh. Paul crawley

An all tonal Wren by Paul Crawley taken early this morning on the marsh.

The adult female Marsh Harrier was all over the place as was the male.

The Canada Geese had 6 goslings and the Greylag with them (2 Canada’s and 2 Greylag) not sure on whose nippers they were may be more mixed race geese? The goslings where quite well-developed at least a week old.

Wheatears everywhere on No’s 1,2,3 (20+), No’s 4,5,6 and Lordship Marsh, 2 Whinchat on No 3 tank  Both Reed and Grasshopper Warbler on No  6 tank. Also Ringed Plover displaying. One Whitethroat on Lordship Marsh then 6 and Willow Warbler on No 6 tank.

Weaver Bend: Cuckoo, 6 Common Sandpiper and a White Wagtail.

Observers: Paul Crawley, Frank Duff, Arthur Harrison, Guido, Alyn Chambers, Gary Powell, Mark Payne, Heather, Nigel, Findlay and Harley Wilde, WSM

19.04.13. Birdlog

19.04.13. Birdlog

19.04.13. Wheatear (male), Frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley.


19.04.13. Paul photographing the Wheatear, Brook Furlong Lane, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

Paul Crawley ‘statuesquely’ photographing the Wheatear along Brook Furlong Lane and pictured at the top of the page. Below, ‘gatekeeper’ and a black & blue Blackbird by WSM.

19.04.13. Wheatear (gatekeeper), Brook furlong Lane, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

Two vocal Water Rail from wet corner of No 4 tank and also from No 6 tank.

The male Marsh Harrier on No 6 was mobile ranging far and wide on the marsh but generally quartering the reed beds of this tank and No 4 tank. Merlin pestering the Marsh Harrier on No 6 tank and then harassing everything else on No 3 tank. Later watched chasing Skylark without success. also noted were 8 Raven.

A couple of Oystercatcher on Frodsham Score were typically noisy, 70 Golden Plover flying high over No 6 were unsettled and agitated. 3 Ringed Plover, 8 Black-tailed Godwit (2 in summer plumage), 2 Redshank and Ruff on No 6 were again noted. Scattered flocks of Curlew on fields south of Lordship Lane included 75,12+ on No 5 , plus 4-6 flying over, a single Whimbrel flew over head from No 5 – No 6 tank.

The usual Raven numbers were wandering around looking out for carcasses to feed on.

24  Wheatear on ploughed field by horse paddock along Brook Furlong Lane, 7 at Marsh Farm, 1 on Frodsham Score , 3 Lordship Lane , 2 on No 6 flushed by Kestrel.

19.04.13. Blackbird (male), Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton1+ Blackcap singing along Brook Furlong Lane, 3 Willow Warblers singing, 1 Sedge Warbler singing from viewing area of No 6 and singing Whitethroat by the ramp to No 6 tank.

9 White Wagtail on No 6 in dry sandy bit on west side and a Grey Wagtail near Holpool gutter.

Ciao from Guido D’Isidoro, Frank Duff, Arthur Harrison, Paul Crawley, WSM (most sightings courtesy of Guido)

18.04.13. Birdlog

18.04.13. Birdlog

18.04.13. Marsh Harrier (male), No 4 tank, frodsham Marsh

Marsh Harrier (male) hunting the banks of No 5 tank-Manchester Ship Canal, male & female Blackcap, Linnet, Chiffchaff and a Lesser Redpoll at the Pig Farm, Ince Marshes.

Observer & image: Stuart Maddocks.

18.04.13. Yellow Wagtail and Wheatears, Horse Padock, frodsham Marsh

55 Wheatear in ploughed field just over Marsh Lane bridge this afternoon plus 6 in horse paddock and 7 more seen along Lordship Lane

Observer: Arthur Harrison, Brian Baird.

18.04.13. Wheatear (male), Horse Padock field, Frodsham Marsh

What an early evening. 114+ Wheatear mainly males but a few female in the horse paddock field and fields on the left leading up to No 6 tank, 1 male Yellow Wagtail also on fields on left leading up to No 6 tank.
Male Redstart observed by a birder named Rob on Moorditch Lane between No 5 & 6.
18.04.13. Merlin, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley
1st year (male?) Merlin and second bird present near Pumping Station/Splashing Pool and male Marsh Harrier over No 6 tank. The image shows some bluish-grey upper scapular feathers. Also 14 White Wagtail and 4 Whimbrel.
Observer & images: Paul Crawley, Frank Duff.
18.04.13. Graham Thomason and Findlay Wilde, Wigg Island, Runcorn. Nigel Wilde.
A good turn out for the WeBS meeting this evening with 25 people attending at Wigg Island Visitor Centre. Nice to see two distinct birding generations present with the elder statesman of local birding Graham Thomason (age undisclosed) and the young gun Findlay Wilde (11 years) pictured above. Both of them sharing a thorough insight into the historical status of our waders/ducks and geese on the River Mersey. Well done to Dermot Smith for his presentation. Locking up in the dark after the meeting I heard a Common Sandpiper flying along the shoreline below.
Earlier in the day at 2.20 pm a male Redstart behind St Augustine’s Church, Runcorn.
Observer: WSM, Tony Spencer

17.04.13. Birdlog

For the Attention of Birders:

If you are bird watching on the marsh please refrain from walking along the top banks of any of the deposit tanks. Firstly, it’s out-of-bounds (warning signs are in place about toxic Blue Green algae). Secondly, you could potentially disturb nesting birds which are vulnerable at the best of times. Thirdly, if you do this then you are drawing attention to birders and your poor fieldcraft. Copies of birdwatchers code of conduct and fieldcraft skills can be obtained online. The welfare of nesting birds is a priority, take the time to enjoy our birds but not at the cost of their welfare. Also, if you witness suspicious activity (egg collectors) then it is wise to take registration numbers (if cars are present), details about persons and inform the police.

17.04.13. Birdlog

17.04.13. Marsh Harrier and Easy Jet over Frodsham Marsh. Stuart Maddocks

Female Marsh Harrier & Easy Jet both pictured over the marsh today.

3 Marsh Harrier (together-2 Male and sub-adult female), possibility of another female but cannot be certain?

2-4 Grey Wagtail along the Holpool Gutter and on a dung heap 80 yards further to the West.

50 Golden Plover and 2 Oystercatcher, 3 Wheatear were not bothered by a Common Buzzard perched a few feet away on the pipes on No 1 tank/Marsh Farm.

17.04.13. Marsh Harrier (female), Frodsham Marsh. Stuart Maddocks

100 Curlew on Lordship Lane, 2 Redshanks, 2 Common Snipe were flushed by the male Marsh Harrier and a Common Buzzard.

I Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Avocet briefly on No 6 with the gulls and 4 Raven.

Ciao from Guido D’Isidoro.

17.04.13. Peregrine, Frodsham Marsh. Stuart maddocks

An adult Peregrine flying through.

Male and female Blackcap in thickets along the track to Ince marsh, Swallow. House and Sand Martin were continuing to increase in numbers. On the track of No 5-6 tanks. A ‘reeling’ Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge and Willow Warblers singing to add to the variety of bird song.

Observers: Stuart Maddocks (all images), Paul Ralston.

16.04.13. Birdlog

16.04.13. Birdlog

16.04.13. Wheatears and Rabbit on No 1 tank, frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley

4 Wheatear on pipes along No 1 tank with a Rabbit, then a female Sparrowhawk landed on a fence nearby and the Wheatear immediately took refuge inside the pipes.

16.04.13. Sparrowhawk. No1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley.

3 Wheatear in horse paddock field by Motorway/Marsh Lane bridge.

Observers: Paul Crawley, Peter Blud and Arthur Harrison. Peter saw a Cuckoo towards the Weaver Bend.

Male Marsh Harrier by the Pumping Station pool, 10 Redshank and 3 White Wagtail on No 6 tank.

Observer & images: Paul Crawley.

Both male and female Marsh Harrier were over at Ince Marshes where Yellowhammer were singing along the hedgerows there.

16.04.13. Yellowhammer, Ince Marsh. Stuart Maddocks

Observer & image: Stuart Maddocks.

A male Redstart reported from the viewing area on No 6 tank this evening but could not be relocated and 2 additional Wheatear on No 5 tank.

Observers: Unknown.

21 roosting Cormorant, 32 Tufted Duck, 60 Common Teal, 7 Shoveler, 20 Common Shelduck with an additional 60 on ploughed field east of No 6 tank. Also a Sedge Warbler singing from reedbeds on No 6 tank.

Small numbers of ‘summer’ Golden Plovers on No 3 tank and 6 Raven over the score.

Observer: WSM

WeBS Meeting @ Wigg Island

WeBS Meeting @ Wigg Island This Thursday 18th April 6.30 pm 

24.03.13. Black-tailed Godwits, Ince, Stuart Maddocks.

The next WeBS meeting will be this Thursday at Wigg Island Visitor Centre off Mason Street, Runcorn. Starting at 6.30 pm but we’ll be there from 5.00 pm for a spot of birding from the banks of the River Mersey. Everyone is welcome to attend. No commitment, and no entrance fee.

Good company and an insight into the work of the BTO volunteers counting birds on our river.

Liverpool Landscape with a rising tide

The original ‘Mersey Sound’ is the sound of wild ducks on the river. Image by Toni Ray Sherlock

The Mersey Estuary is one of Britain’s best wetlands. We know this because each month we count the waterfowl as part of the national Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS).  However, the current team are well past retirement and we desperately need new counters.

Email Dermot Smith to register interest and directions or just turn up all welcome.

Check out Dermot’s Facebook page for recent reports and photos on the Mersey Estuary WeBS Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mersey-Estuary-WeBS/216178248450013.

15.04.13. Birdlog

15.04.13. Birdlog

15.04.13. Sunshafts over No 3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Shafts of sunlight over  No 3 & 4 tanks before the rain clouds rolled in. Image WSM

160 Golden Plover sporting fine summer plumage on the short grazing field of No 3 tank.

The Raven numbers were lower this evening and most were keeping out of the fresh breeze behind the banks of Frodsham Score.

No 6 tank continue to hold Common Teal with c 100 present, 23 Tufted Duck and 60 Common Shelduck.

Observer: WSM.

Colin Butler heard a Grasshopper Warbler ‘reeling’ by the tower hide at Wigg Island, Runcorn this evening.