19.09.13. Birdlog

19.09.13. Birdlog

19.09.13. Ruffs, No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

Last night about 7.00 pm over no 3-4 tanks I watched 3 Marsh Harriers gracefully hanging in the wind and tumbling occasionally. Very atmospheric in the fiery sunset sky! When I arrived at 6.45 pm there were no Curlew Sandpipers or Little Stint sadly on the secluded pool.

Observer: David Kennedy.

19.09.13. curlew Sandpiper (juv), No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.I’m squeezing in as many after work trips to the marsh before the nights draw in. So, with a fine sunny end to anotherwise wet and windy morning it was a welcome solitary watch on the banks of No 6 tank this evening.

19.09.13. Pintails, No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.3 juvenile/female Pintail, 104 Common Teal, 2 Shoveler, 24 Tufted Duck, 1 Common Pochard and 10 Common Shelduck.

7 Ruff, 1 Common Snipe and 2 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper one of which spent most of the time dozing away in the bright setting sunshine.

19.09.13. Pintails, No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.A male Sparrowhawk was seeking out its supper while the big female Peregrine was sat atop the blue-chimney at Weston Point.

Viewing from Marsh Farm across the ebbing tide resulted in a big flock of 1,000 Dunlin and 500 Black-tailed Godwit. Meanwhile a young male Wheatear sought out shelter from the windy conditions.

A Migrant Hawker dragonfly patrolling the Elder berry-bearing trees along the track on No 5 tank was watched feeding off small flies on the lea side of the bushes. On one occasion I spotted it kill a small moth dropping its prey without consuming the poor critter.

Observer and images: WSM

14.09.13. Birdlog

14.09.13. Birdlog

Hobby copy

A juvenile Hobby over No 5 and an adult over 4 tank were hard to pin down and quite elusive. A juvenile Marsh Harrier over Frodsham Score and later over No 5 tank were the first sightings for a few days and reports of this bird have been made up river at Wigg Island recently.

14.09.13. Marsh Harrier (juv), Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston (1)

550 Common Teal, 24 Tufted Duck, 1 Pochard, 30 Common Shelduck and 17 Shoveler made up the numbers on No 6 tank. Elsewhere the two Ruddy Shelduck were again on the Manchester Ship Canal below No 3 tank and 300 Common Shelduck were on the Mersey mudflats.

Overlooked recently the Weaver Bend held 40 Tufted Duck and 5 Common Shelduck. The water level on the River Weaver is kept high and really non productive for wading birds presently, although the potential for finding a rarer duck is a possibility.

2 Golden Plover, 200 Lapwing, 4 Dunlin and a solitary Curlew Sandpiper were the only notable waders present on No 6 tank but a Common and Green Sandpiper were at the Holpool Gutter.

14.09.13. Peregrine, Kamira works, Frodsham Marsh

Birds of prey featured a spiraling pair of Sparrowhawk, 12 Common Buzzard, A male Peregrine (pictured) at Kamira and a female perched on the blue-topped chimney before she spent sometime circling over Weston Point. Also 3 photogenic Kestrel hovering over both No 4 and 3 tanks.

The bushes below the viewing area on No 6 tank held warblers galore with Sedge, Reed, Blackcap, Whitethroat and a variety of tit and finch species. Holpool Gutter attracted a couple of Kingfisher and a Grey Wagtail adding to the waders already noted there.

14.09.13. Kestrel, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

The Southport airshow added some fly over sorties by 2 Spitfire, the European fighter Typhoon and a Lancaster Bomber?

Observers: Paul Crawley, Lee Lappin, Simon Myers, Guido D’Isidoro, Alyn Chambers, Frank Duff, WSM.

Images: Hobby by Alyn Chambers, Marsh Harrier by Paul Ralston and remainder WSM.

Greenshank over Runcorn docks at dusk.

13.09.13. Birdlog

13.09.13. Birdlog

13.09.13. juv Little Stint, No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh

2 Garganey, 550 Common Teal, 24 Tufted and a Common Pochard. Also present were 3 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, juvenile Little Stint, Ruff and 2 Common Snipe.

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

About and circled left, Little Stint and right, Curlew Sandpiper.

Passerines included 100 Goldfich, juvenile Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Reed Warbler joining the roving tit flock along the southern track of No 5 tank. Along Lordship Lane were 5 Linnet and two Chiffchaff.

Comma copySpeckled Wood copy

Observers: Mark Gibson, John Gilbody (Butterfly images), WSM (and images).

12.09.13. Birdlog

12.09.13. Birdlog

12.09.13. Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Blk-t Godwit, No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh

Once the sluice gates on the drainage towers were opened recently the water level on No 6 tank has continued to drop. The numbers of commoner ducks have fluctuated and tonight was no exception. 340 Common Teal, 7 Shoveler, 34 Tufted Duck and a scattering of Common Shelduck were hemmed in by the receding water level.

Nearby on the secluded pool, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, a juvenile Little Stint, single Snipe and 2 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper. One of these birds was the one which appeared to have a broken left leg a few days ago. Fortunately for the sandpiper it was not a broken leg but a swollen knee-joint a fairly regular occurence with young birds here.

Above image of Common Teal, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Curlew Sandpiper and a Little Stint

12.09.13. Med Gull (winter adult), No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh

12.09.13. Med Gull (winter adult), No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh..

The gull roost contained a winter adult Mediterranean Gull which settled briefly and gave me enough time to get a few record shots (opposite) before it departed out to the estuary with Black-headed and Common Gulls.

Observer and images: WSM.

Guido's Notes
Test drilling underway by Van Elle on various locations around the marsh in preparation for the foundations needed for the construction of the wind farm by Peel Energy which is scheduled to start, or so I am told by the project manager, on the" fourth quarter of 2014". No doubt access will be severely restricted once that is underway.

Of note today: one Wheatear at Marsh Farm, Ravens back in force with 18 distributed along the North side of the Marsh, one female Sparrowhawk, 31 Curlews in a field South of No 4, many migrating House Martins and Swallows, two flocks of Meadow Pipits with a total of 18 + birds, several Chiffchaff with one singing near the Old Log.

Ciao from Guido

Nature Notes # 26

Nature Notes # 26 09.09.13. juvenile Wheatear, Pale Heights, Delamere. Bill Morton.

Sparky and I had a mixed bag on our walk up and over Pale Heights, Delamere Forest this morning and afternoon.

A juvenile Wheatear hanging out along the fence by the stone circle was quite confiding and allowed close approach. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Further down the track we came across a dead Weasel and can only presume from its injuries (face and forelegs) that it may have met its maker via the sky and dropped by its potential predator (Buzzard). 09.09.13. Toad, Delamere Forest. Bill Morton. 09.09.13. Honey Bee honeycomb, Delamere Forest. Bill Morton.

Next thing we came across was this young Toad making its way across a path. We had witness a mass migration of ‘toadlets’ earlier in the summer so to find a young toad well away from its normal comfort zone was unusual for us.

But without doubt the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA highlight was finding a honeycomb hanging in a Larch tree and on the edge of the plantation (on the walk down from Pale Heights) and within the honeycomb were tens of dead Honey Bees. It was good to find but would have been better if it was earlier in the summer when the hive was more active.

The Beechwood we often search on the way back to the car is probably the best place to find Common Stinkhorn and it was no surprise to smell the decaying odour long before we found 7 examples on display and each one covered in a variety of flies. We’re looking forward in finding other fungi on future visits. Some like this Bolete spp (below) need further investigation regarding its id?

All images: WSM.


09.09.13. Honey Bee honeycomb, Delamere Forest. Bill Morton. Bolete spp, Delamere Forest. Bill Morton. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Additionally a video filmed from 13.09.13. of some Puffball fungi at Delamere Forest actively encouraged to explode.

09.09.13. Birdlog

09.09.13. Birdlog

09.09.13. Ruddy Shelduck, Frodsham Marsh

09.09.13. Curlew Sandpiper (juv)

46 Tufted Duck, 300 Common Teal and reduced numbers of Common Shelduck all from No 6 tank. Two ‘full’ Ruddy Shelduck were spotted on the Manchester Ship Canal below the canal pools (PR).

1-2 Hobby and a Peregrine between the Holpool Gutter and the ‘splashing pool’ was noteworthy.

2 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper (one with a broken leg), a juvenile Little Stint, 1 Ruff 2 Common Snipe and a single Black-tailed Godwit were on and over No 6 tank.

Kingfisher was again present along the Holpool Gutter.

Observers: Frank Duff, Paul Ralston (upper image), WSM (images).

09.09.13. little Stint (juv), Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

A short video of the Little Stint.

08.09.13. Birdlog

08.09.13. Birdlog

24.05.13. Hobby, Frodsham Marsh. Steven BurkeA superb juvenile Hobby performed for 10 minutes at Marsh Farm before flying off to No 5 tank. 2 Wheatear on Frodsham Score opposite the farm where 200 Black-tailed Godwit were present.

Observers: Frank Duff. Guido D’Isidoro.

Image: Steve Burke


Notes from Guido

A pleasant 19 degrees at Marsh Farm today. Frank put me on to a Hobby which we watched performing its characteristic acrobatics chasing insects around the farm building and scaring the bejesus out of the Swallows which it ignored. 2-3 Wheatear were also here along with 80-100 Goldfinches. 4 Ravens on the Score. Lots of waders wheeling on the River Mersey at high tide and roosting on the banks adjacent to the Score out of view, while hardly any were to be found on No 6 tank; just one Black-tailed Godwit with 4 more flying over head without stopping. Another 8 Black-tailed Godwits were flying over the Weaver Bend. The warm weather brought out the insects and I heard two Chifchaffs calling, one by the old log and one on Lordship Lane South of No 4 tank. One Reed Warbled gave short bursts of song from the reeds at No 6 and a Whitethroat was perched on a bush next to the ‘splashing pool’. c100 Lapwings left the Estuary and flew West. A family group of 3 Peregrines were messing around Holpool Gutter with one perching briefly on one of the chimney stacks of the nitric acid plant. A covey of 13 Red-legged Partridges were walking nonchalantly on the track at Brook Furlong Lane. A wildfowler I met told me that they were released only last week from the pens nearby. No sign of the Black-necked Grebe or Harrier’s today.



07.09.13. Birdlog

07.09.13. Birdlog

Whitethroat, Austin Morley (2)

No 6 tank on the tide featured 20 Ringed and 3 Little Ringed Plover, 50 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Little Stint, 12 Curlew Sandpiper, 50 Dunlin and a single Redshank.

The juvenile Marsh Harrier was out and about and the elusive Garganey gave it’s self up again to the Chambers boys.

The Cetti’s Warbler was in full voice at the south-east corner of No 4 tank. 5 Chiffchaff and 2 Whitethroat in the roving tit flock there. A further Whitethroat on Brook Furlong Lane while 2 Wheatear were on No 2 tank by Marsh Farm.

Observers: Alyn Chambers, Gavin Chambers, Frank Duff, Mark Payne, Paul Crawley and Guy Groves.
The cutting swathes on 4 tank are made for access vehicles which will drill test bore holes for the Wind Farm.

Image: Austin Morley.