Brown Hare is quite a rarity on the marsh and can sometimes be seen hunched up low in one of the fields along Lordship Lane. Image by Paul Crawley.
1 Wheatear on the dung heaps on No 1 tank, Marsh Harrier hunting on No 6 tank and a Yellow Wagtail flying off No 6 towards No 3 tank. The only other interest was a Hare on one of the ploughed fields.
Observer and images: Paul Crawley.
The male harrier hunting the marsh this evening.
A very busy Pied Wagtail collecting grubs at Ince end of Lordship Lane. The Peregrine was again present over the marsh. Common Shelduck and Lapwings in fields to rear of No 4 tank. A Linnet collecting grubs at rear GrowHow and Skylarks in full voice in the GrowHow Berth Field.
Observer and image: Stuart Maddocks.
The Weaver Bend and estuary saw a wild and blustery evening with watery eyes blurring the vision but nevertheless, 150 Common Shelduck, 60 Tufted Duck, 4 Gadwall with Swallow, House, Sand Martin and Common Swift giving under focusing views. A Grasshopper Warbler singing from Redwall reedbed and a flighty Cuckoo were always interesting additions to the log.
The male Marsh Harrier was industrious collecting a Lapwing chick from No 6 tank this evening. A couple of Wheatear and 6 Raven were perhaps the other highlights.
Observers; Paul Crawley, WSM.
Image by Paul Crawley of a Lapwing taking a swipe at a trespassing Pheasant.
Nature Notes # 18
A Flower Moth with those distinctive metallic effect bronze wings and orangey head quiff.
I’ve always had an interest in the natural world around me ever since my mum would take her kiddlings for walks along the muddy tracks of Frodsham Marsh and being pre five years old I remember those walks like it was yesterday. I’m naturally a dawdler and end up being left behind, which is usually a result of something grabbing my attention and as a wide-eyed child in awe of the wonder of the world around me it is still with me to this day. So, when Sparky and I went for a ramble to Pale Heights at Delamere today I recaptured some of those moments and was taken back through time to those earlier days.
With my camera in hand I discovered a variety of flies and day flying moths that were out and about on our walk. Some of these were fairly approachable but the final straw for Sparky was the sight of me laying on my stomach photographing a mating pair of Dung Flies on a pile of horse shit! Threats of “I’m walking off and leaving you to it”, a friendly kick and a tug on my coat collar were enough for me to assemble some of my dignity. I knew that I would return another time, preferably when I didn’t have a distraction. After all it was supposed to be just a walk.
A Noon Fly was photographed exactly at noon!
Never one to take these things too seriously I found this hidden image on ‘the fly’ (wrong film) and thought it was too similar to let it pass by, so…
St Mark’s Fly. I haven’t quite got the hang of my macro lens yet and the breezy conditions didn’t help. I’ll get Paul C to give me a few lessons with it.
A selection of images of the marsh and Hale lighthouse from Weston.
No 1 tank (foreground), No 5 tank (behind) and Helsby Hill (towering above).
19.05.13. The junction of the Weaver estuary and the Manchester Ship Canal from Weston.
Hale lighthouse is a prominent landmark locally and with the tide and evening light it always looks impressive.
Images by WSM.
The distinctive profile of Helsby Hill rock face from No 5 tank is said to look like an Indian chief with a headdress.
A record shot from left to right of Marsh Harrier and Short-eared Owl.
A sparring duel between a male Marsh Harrier and a Short-eared Owl over the Redwall reed bed was entertaining until both birds continued on the hunting quests the skirmish lasted only for a few seconds. Also present here were 2 male and a female Whinchat.
2 male and a female Pochard, 100 Tufted Duck and 320 Common Shelduck was notable. A Oystercatcher, Little Ringed Plover and Redshank were all on or about the river.
150 Common Swift and 100 Swallow were feeding down by the water due to the low cloud and drizzle.
Observer and images: WSM.
A couple of pairs of Wheatear on No 1 tank were or were not prospecting but they have always shown some interest in the area over the years.
Observer: Paul Crawley.
No 3 tank didn’t look particularly interesting when I panned my scope over the field with the usual Lapwing, Greylag and Canada Goose all paired up. A couple of territorial Oystercatcher adding the back sound to the evening watch. Eventually my observation paid off with a late ‘northern summer’ Golden Plover looking all lonesome and should really have been sharing the field with some of its more montane cousins but alas on this occasion it was not.
There were 3 Raven on Frodsham Score and two other birds were having a lamb supper on No 5 tank.
No 6 tank: 23 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall, 2 female and a drake Common Teal.
The male Marsh Harrier was hunting along the track of No 4 tank. Also 2 Sedge Warbler and 10 Goldfinch along Lordship Lane
Observers: Heather and Harley Wilde.
A circuitous walk from Spring Farm to Moorditch Lane bridge produced 25 Whitethroat, 8 Sedge Warbler, 10 Reed Warbler, 7 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat (heard chattering briefly s/e corner No 4 tank). Also 1 male Marsh Harrier near to No 4 tank, 1 pair Gadwall Pumping Station pools along with 14 Tufted Duck.
Observer: Brian Rimmer.
Images by Paul Crawley
The flooded track along Lordship Lane today after the deluge from last night and this morning.
A walk around No 6 tank produced a female Marsh Harrier, 12 Tufted Duck, Yellow Wagtail, 15 Common Whitethroat and 7 singing Sedge Warbler.
Observers: Sparky, WSM.
Sedge Warbler image by Heather Wilde.
An after work sortie to the Weaver Bend and estuary to catch up with a little birding here. I was wondering why all the ducks had vacated No 6 tank for the WeBS count I did on Saturday and it was evident they had uplifted to the River Weaver. 150 Tufted Duck and 110 Common Shelduck were the main attraction with a supporting cast of 6 Gadwall and 10 Mallard including a leucistic female Mallard. Also present 3 Oystercatcher, a single Redshank and male Marsh Harrier.
Hirundines were plentiful with both Swallow and House Martins in good numbers. But the Common Swift outnumbered them all with a spiralling flock of 200 above the power station at Ineos Chlor. An additional 300 birds were feasting on the flying insects which were abundant over the river.
Redwall water meadow fields attracted a flock of 20 summer Linnet and a pair of Raven were over the I.C.I tank.
Image by Paul Crawley.