12.05.13. Birdlog

12.05.13. Birdlog

12.05.13. Common Swift, Frodsham Marsh

Not much at the marsh except hundreds of Swift, Swallow and Martins over the Weaver. 6 Dunlin flew over the bends and a Wheatear was near Marsh Farm. A male and 2 female Wheatear are still lingering on Lordship Marsh.
12.05.13. Meadow Pipit, Frodsham Marsh
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12.05.13. Ship on the ship canal at Frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley (3)
The Stolt Teal cargo ship (pictured today by PC) is currently located as of 18.30 hrs just north of Anglesey http://www.marinetraffic.com .You can get an indication of its size if you look in the bottom right corner and see a flying Common Shelduck.
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Observer and images: Paul Crawley.
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This afternoon at the marsh we had plenty of precipitation and low cloud so not ideal conditions for us all. Lordship Marsh and lane and the adjacent bank to No 6 tank held 2 Wheatear, Whitethroat and several Sedge Warbler in a competition of who was ” singing in the rain ” the loudest! 2 Grasshopper Warblers also providing the percussion to the competition.The corner of No 6 tank held at least 7 Ringed Plover and a single Oystercatcher landed close to the gate before it was seen off by several lapwings. The Splashing Pool held at least 20 Tufted Duck and a Little Grebe.
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The Rozzers over no 6 tankThe ‘Rozzers’ chopper birding over No 6 tank today!
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No 6 tank itself had hardly a bird with the most notable sighting of the day being the mechanical bird of the Cheshire Police helicopter appearing from nowhere and spent a minute or two getting smashing aerial views of the marsh whilst hovering all around the tank. However the aerial pursuits of the constabulary were nothing in comparison with the delights of the hirundines, but in particular the Swifts – standing under them is a spectacle not to be missed (you only have to see Paul’s image at the title of this posting).
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Heather’s comments below which I think sum up a birding day caught out in the rain with Swifts picking off insects inches away from your head.”Just drying out after a soggy but fabulous trip to the marsh. Photo quality is shockingly bad, and not even sending my Swift effort to you after seeing Mr Crawley’s fabulous picture. We stood for an hour in the rain with Swifts whizzing over our heads, almost felt I was one of them – an amazing experience!”
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Observers: Harley, Findlay, Heather and Nigel Wilde.
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3 Garganey, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 60 Common Shelduck, 50 Tufted Duck, 100 Canada Goose on fields and river including on No 1 tank, 2 Redshank, 4 Reed Warbler along path to bend, 20 Reed Bunting and 6 Pied Wagtail. An estimated 100 Swallow and Martins
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Observer: Lee Lappin.
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Over the Hill

Over the Hill

Digital StillCamera

 

10.05.13. Frodsham Hill from Helsby Hill. Bill Morton.Sandstone trail. Bill Morton.A sandstone ridge runs 33 miles along the edge of Whitchurch on the Cheshire/ Staffordshire border and terminates at Pex Hill (north Widnes).The trail from Whitchurch to Frodsham (or visa versa) is the Sandstone trail which Sparky and I completed in a days walk a few years ago. I would highly recommend anyone with the time and fitness to try to take in at least part of this walk which meanders its way through some of Cheshire’s finest scenery.

There is a reason why I mention this walk which officially starts from the Bears Paw pub in Frodsham (and, not just for a swift pint before the walk starts). The reason is the opportunity to extend the trail by adding Frodsham Marsh in to the start if only to boost the walk bird list.

The views from the hills that lay ahead (or like us to look back on) were 250 Million years in the making and rightly deserve the feeling of an accomplishment starting or ending an epic hike.

Attached are a few images (I took yesterday and yesteryear) of the views from the hills which you can enjoy on the walk. On a clear day the skyline from Helsby and Frodsham hills take in North Wales, Liverpool, Manchester, the Pennines, the Lancashire fells, the Cheshire Plain Jodrell Bank, Winter Hill and at least three Iron Age Hill Forts.

Follow the link below to download a copy of the Sandstone Trail route:

Map of Sandstone Trail in Cheshire 

Click the images for a larger version.

Sandstone trail. Bill Morton.

Sandstone trail. Bill Morton.10.05.13. Frodsham Marsh from Helsby Hill. Bill Morton.10.05.13. Frodsham Marsh from Helsby Hill. Bill Morton.10.05.13. Liverpool skyline from Helsby Hill. Bill Morton.
10.05.13. Sunsetting over Stanlow Oil Refinery. Bill Morton.

11.05.13. Birdlog

11.05.13. Birdlog (WeBS count)

Pied Wagtail. Bill Morton.

Surprisingly very little to report on the rising tide from No 6 tank. 5 Tufted Duck, 2 Mallard and 4 Common Shelduck being the highlights.

A male Marsh Harrier hunting over No 6 tank was watched over by 5 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin. 55 Whimbrel and an additional 30 Ringed Plover over No 1 tank was again notable. 4 Wheatear and 3 Yellow Wagtail also on that tank were sheltering from the strong westerly wind. A steady passage of hirundines and Swifts were moving through to the West along the ship canal.

Observers: Frank Duff, WSM (and image).

Very blustery on the exposed northern edge of No.4 tank sightings included:- Pairs of Greylags, Gadwall, and 12 paired Tufted Duck at the Pumping Station pools. Canal pools: Single Great.crested Grebe, 20 Coot, 15 Sand Martin, 1 Wheatear, 1 Yellow Wagtail newly fledged Canada goslings. 18 Mutes and another pair of Gadwall in a field near Hill View Farm.

Observer: Brian Rimmer.

10.05.13. Birdlog

10.05.13. Birdlog

10.05.13. Weaver Bend from Helsby Hill. Bill Morton.

After work trip to the marsh resulted in a call from Frank that he was watching a Hobby chasing the Swifts over the Weaver Bend and that it was heading in my direction based at the viewing area on No 6 tank. Alas it didn’t show for me but a fine male Peregrine perched on the blue-topped chimney at Weston Point made up for my disappointment. I’m pretty sure the Hobby will reappear soon. Frank also had flocks of hirundines and Swifts totalling 500 birds over the Weaver estuary and other smaller flocks were over No 4 tank heading west along the Mersey corridor.

Observers: Frank Duff, WSM.

It was blowing a hoolie tonight and cold with it and no birders about except Frank on the way out as we were coming over the bridge.

Lordship Marsh and the fields east held 10 Common Shelduck and 30 Mallard joined with an unkindness of Ravens. A Kestrel battling with the wind to hover over its prey and quite frequently it seemed getting fed up and went to sit on the electricity pylons.

Splashing pool – held about 30 Tufted Duck

No 3 tank – Kestrel and Common Buzzard.

No 6 tank – was quiet with the odd Common Shelduck, 4 Mute Swan, most noticeable excellent viewing in the evening sun of both female and male Marsh Harrier hunting together over the reeds.

Track between No 5 and 6 tank were 2 Common Whitethroat and on the ramp down on the way out we saw Sedge Warbler and Chiffchaff singing.

The Wilde Clan (Harley, Findlay and Nigel).

09.05.13. Birdlog

09.05.13. Birdlog

09.05.13. Linnet, Frodsham Marsh

The marsh was good in the morning but nasty later (the wind was that strong it blew the fence at the viewing point on No 6 tank down! Despite this the Cuckoo made an appearance from the track along No 5 near the first black gate. A Marsh Harrier was hunting all over the marsh, seen on half a dozen occasions.
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There were Meadow Pipit and Linnet all over especially on the road to Marsh Farm hiding from the elements behind the raised bank there.
09.05.13. Wheatear, Frodsham Marsh
Lordship Marsh had 3 Wheatear hiding behind lumps of soil for protection from the elements, the image shows how blustery it was on the birds feathers. I finally managed an OK shot of a Linnet, they nearly always fly off just as I assume the (photo) position.
09.05.13. Meadow Pipit, Frodsham Marsh
I also got a Meadow Pipit shaking its head blurring the crown to make an interesting pattern.
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Observer: Paul Crawley.

08.05.13. Birdlog

08.05.13. Birdlog

08.05.13. Whimbrel, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley (2)

Despite poor forecast the marsh was quite good today. Whimbrel on sowed field east of model airfield.
08.05.13. Grey Heron, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley (2)
A Grey heron with a Tench skewered on its dagger bill.
Weaver Bend had Ringed Plover calling and No 6 tank had a couple of Little Ringed Plover. Hirundines were plentyful with Swallow and House Martin present. 30 Common Swift.
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08.05.13. Common Whitethroat, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley (2)
Peregrine on Lordship Marsh eating a fresh kill with Magpie and Carrion Crow pestering it enough for the poor beast to leave post-haste. Both male and female Marsh Harrier over No.4 tank.
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2 male and a single female Whinchat on Lordship lane. 

Large flock of Linnets on No.1 tank and several Whitethroat.

Observers: Paul Crawley (images), Frank Duff, WSM.

A walk from Spring Farm to the Weaver Bend produced 1 Common Sandpiper and 2 Raven, 10 Common Whitethroat,10 Sedge Warbler, 6 Reed Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff-all singing. Also a single Long-tailed Tit at Spring Farm, .

Observer: Brian Rimmer.

07.05.13. Birdlog

07.05.13. Birdlog.

07.05.13. Yellow Wagtail. Frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley

Several Wheatear still lingered on the marsh and a weasel along Lordship Lane was notable. On the way back home on the corner of Straight Length and Godscroft Lanes I had this Yellow Wagtail, it is technically the marsh so counts! The bird looks partially silhouetted against the oil seed rape field backdrop.
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Observer: Paul Crawley.
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A report of Garganey on the marsh?

Next WeBS Count 12.05.13

Toni Ray Sherlock Teal out of the 'gutter'.

Remember it’s still migration season and what better way to find your own migrants than joining us on the monthly WeBS count. Ducks, geese and shorebirds have the urge to push north and obviously our river attracts birds refuelling on their journey ahead. If you interested in helping out at the next WeBS Count on the banks of the River Mersey then please send an email to Dermot Smith or visit here Mersey Estuary WeBS | Facebook  page.

Next count is this Sunday 12th May, high tide at 13.21

06.05.13. Birdlog.

06.05.13. Birdlog.

06.05.13. Grasshopper Warbler, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley (4)

3 Great Crested Grebe on the Weaver Bend, 10 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover, 4 Oystercatcher, Avocet, Greenshank on No 6 tank, Whimbrels on Lordship Marsh and off Frodsham Score, male Marsh Harrier and a Grasshopper Warbler (pictured) along Lordship Lane.

The first Orangetip Butterfly of the year on the marsh.

Observers: Frank Duff, Paul Crawley.

In a walk from Helsby Spring Farm to No 6 tank via Lordship Marsh the following were noted: 7 Whitethroat, 5 Sedge Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Reed Warbler, 3 Blackcap-all singing plus 8 Mutes and 100+ Tufted Duck No 6 tank.

Observer: Brian Rimmer.

05.05.13. No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

 

No 6 tank. Image by WSM.