18.06.13. Delamere Forest
A walk up to Pale Heights, Delamere Forest and beyond was fruitful with 2 adult Mediterranean Gull calling constantly over head to each other.
A good selection of butterflies included a Brimstone, Small Copper, Green-veined, Small, Large and Orange-tip (Whites), Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock making up the rest.
Small Tortoiseshell: Image by Paul Crawley.
Brimstone: Image by WSM.
Kestrel: Image by WSM.
Observers: Sparky, WSM.
17.06.13. Birdlog & Nature Notes # 20
With the breeding season in full swing and flocks of juvenile Starlings gathering together on No 3 tank and small parties of House Sparrows in Marsh Lane the marsh tonight was typically quiet for the season. No 6 tank held 21 Cormorant, 60 Common Shelduck, 3 drake Common Pochard, 3 drake Common Teal and 15 Tufted Duck. A solitary raven flying over was perhaps the highlight.
Great Expectations (Frodsham Marsh style)
Imagine the scene you are on the set of the 1946 British black and white film ‘Great Expectations’. In the film the young orphan boy Pip is invited to meet Miss Havisham and soon learns she was left at the altar in her youth. He is invited to the room where Miss Havisham’s wedding cake and table lays untouched many years later and everything is covered in dust and cobwebs…The scene is set and cue Frodsham Marsh this evening.
I didn’t have to stretch my imagination too much as I walked along the track above No 6 tank. Nearly every bush on the southern edge of the track was covered in a blanket of silky webs created by the Spindle Ermine Moth caterpillars and this year’s infestation is as good as it gets. If you get the chance call down and get some photographs they will be about for the next week or so. As I write this post at home, I’ve got one of the little blighter’s on my shoulder…They get everywhere, clothing, car, binoculars and camera gear.
A minute and a half long video on ‘The Birds of Frodsham Marsh’ Facebook https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=167176353463230.
Observer and images: WSM.
Typically Stuart Maddocks came up with a surprise with these images of a Banded Demoiselle from Ince Marshes today.
6 Common Teal roosting up on No 6 tank with 12 Tufted Duck 3 male and a single female Common Pochard. A Ringed Plover joined the teal for a bit of peace away from the territorial disputes going on all around. 3-400 Common Swift hawking at eye level along the track leading to the viewing area. Their piercing shrill calls were like a taser to the head.
Not much surprisingly at the marsh apart from a Buzzard that thinks it’s a Kestrel on the edge of No 5 tank and Lordship Lane. Starling and their young on No’s 1 and 2. Raven being mobbed by Carrion Crows on No 2 near a deceased sheep. Some idiots decided it would be a laugh to open the gates to the horses near the motorway bridge (the big horses not the ponies). The girl from the MAVIS farm had just about managed to get them to safety as I arrived. Usual rules apply please report to police if vandals are about.
Observers: Paul Crawley, WSM.
All images by Paul Crawley
This juvenile Starling reminded us of one of the Babbler species or even a young Cedar Waxwing. Eds
Last night there was a Little Ringed Plover on No 6 and a male Marsh Harrier over tanks 1,3 and 6.
Spindle Ermine Moth caterpillars are back! The greedy little critters munching their way through the Spindle bushes on the banks of No’s 5-6 tank.
Observer and image: Paul Crawley.
A dozen Sand Martin hawking over the pond at Marsh Farm. 2 Raven, on the west side of No 6 tank, Lapwing with two young and 4 Little Ringed Plover. Coot with two young on Splashing pool on No 3 tank. The male and female Marsh Harrier over No 3, both birds had feathers missing from their inner primaries .
Ciao Guido D’Isidoro.
No 6 tank held 30 Tufted Duck, 2 male Pochard and 40 Common Shelduck.
The summer doldrums have truly arrived with little to add to the above sightings. So, apart from two Raven flying over and both panting heavily with feet dangling to reduce heat stress.
When the doldrums begin to bite I have to find something to occupy my interest and the invading Spindle Ermine moth caterpillars provided that with half a dozen or so scrubs covered by a veil of their webs cloaking them. Butterflies were out in force with Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Green-veined White and Orange-tip noted.
Upper image: Austin Morley. Lower images: WSM.
A pair of Yakovkev Yak-52s of the Red Star Pilots Association.display team flying wing tip to wing tip over No 6 tank. Andrew Seadon commented “These flew over Rudyard lake, Staffordshire as well today “
Thanks to Tony Broome for the identification of the aircraft.
A Swallow in the evening sunlight showing its russet throat matching the similarly russet sludge pipe.
After work and eager to enjoy the splendid sunshine I decided to watch over Frodsham Score. Canada Goose numbers were quite exceptional with in excess of 1000 birds and a smaller count observed over on Hale Marsh across the river. Obviously non breeding birds summering on the Mersey marshes makes for an impressive sight when parts of the flock fly overhead (head wear optional). Other species noted included a male Shoveler, 150 Common Shelduck, 40 Oystercatcher in pairs and loose flocks, 500 Black-tailed Godwit, smaller numbers of Curlew and 15 Dunlin.
No 6 tank: 2 male Pochard, 26 Tufted Duck and 5 Cormorant.
This metal dome with an Elder tree growing through it often gets me wondering what its original use was? If anyone knows can you please let us know.
“The metal dome is a wartime machine gun outpost which were scattered about strategic places, together with tank traps and block houses. Placed in case of a possible German invasion. Whether it is in its original location I can’t say”.
Comments from Rob Cockbain also thanks to Arthur Harrison and Duncan MacNaughton for similar interest.
I recalled that the old railway lines from the Wigg Works East at Astmoor were also used and are still present to this day scattered across the salt marsh there to deter German aircraft from landing. “First ve take Runcorn then ve take the World!”
Eventually the sun was slowly sliding down the sky and various features from the Liverpool skyline were emerging and one caught my eye and something I can’t recall seeing before (but this happens more often these days)? Hidden behind the Cathedral was the Liver Building and it’s two famous ‘Cormorants’ and a potential Frodder’s tick… Liverbirds! Just for the record and unlike Mr Duff and Mr Crawley I am not a Liverpool FC fan. My red allegiance lays further to the east!
Observer and images: WSM
Breeding in full swing at Spring Farm where family parties of Blue Tit and Wren were present, A Great Tit taking food to a nest hole, juvenile Swallow perched on the barn roof At least 10 singing House Sparrows by probable nest sites and I finally saw a pair of Collared Dove which may be a Marsh tick (will have to check my old records). Down the road at Hill View Farm a family party of Pied Wagtails fed, a single Raven soared overhead and a large 300 flock of corvids, mainly Rooks, fed on freshly cut grass-the farmer here informs me Two Little Grebe Pumping station pool with eight Tufted Duck. On the fishing pools one Great Crested Grebe and a Yellow Wagtail. Plenty of Sand Martin along the north side of No 4 tank with a single singing Willow Warbler near the corner and a pair of Gadwall and Stock Dove west side of No 4 tank.
Observer: Brian Rimmer.
Lomesome Elder on Frodsham Score
An evening watch on the Weaver Bend saw 4 Great Crested Grebe, 2 male Pochard, 20 Gadwall, 120 Tufted Duck and 98 Common Shelduck. A solitary Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Oystercatcher and a Ringed Plover.
No 6 tank was rather quiet with 8 Cormorant coming into roost, 2 male Common Teal, 10 Common Shelduck and several hundred Swifts over.
Images: Paul Crawley & WSM.