I went for a stroll with my son around No. 6 tank today and had reasonable views of a Kingfisher in a ditch alongside Lordship Lane. Hundreds of Lapwings with a few Goldies amongst them over No. 3 tank. Not much else although a walker told me that the hovercrafts would be using the turf fields.
Observer and images: Paul & Daniel Crawley
Wind Farm Latest
It looks like the documents of main interest to birders would be Supplementary Information/Statement ref condition 35a.http://184.108.40.206/Planning/lg/GFPlanningDocuments.page This refers to ‘Areas (habitat) to be retained’ and includes reference to the massive reedbed on Tank 4 which Peel have taken responsibility for.
It may be that this recent paper activity is an indication that work may be happening on the ground in the not too distant future.”
I stole a couple of hours on the marsh today with the Winter Sun providing some good natural low light. All birding was rather quiet, as my muddy mobile car limped its way through the potted track from Ince Marsh to No. 6 tank at Frodsham.
Highlights being a flock of Black-tailed Godwit mixed in with the feeding Curlew by the Pig Farm at the east end of Ince.
There were plenty of Fieldfare, Redwing and a dappled Starling along Lordship Lane with a female Kestrel taking in the warm winter sun too.
Observer and images: Stuart Maddocks
A walk from the Growhow works along the Holpool gutter flushed out a Green Sandpiper and further on beside the Manchester Ship Canal where a pair of Goosander were present, continuing past No. 4 tank and around No. 6 beds and a Great Spotted Woodpecker added to the tally.
Out of the area but of interest was a female type Wheatear on Burton Point on Friday morning.
Observer: Paul Ralston
A count of the duck on No. 6 tank produced 6 Shoveler, 7 Pintail, 5 Pochard, 200 Common Teal, 24 Tufted Duck and a 1st winter Scaup. Nearby the shooters disturbed the roosting Lapwings and 2,000 birds were quite mobile with 50 Golden Plover and a solitary Ruff. At the viewing area was a Chiffchaff and another was calling from the ramp area (east end).
The track leading to Marsh Farm had a Great Spotted Woodpecker feeding along the fence posts there. On Frodsham Score and the mudflats beyond were upwards of 23 Raven, 150 Black-tailed Godwit and 500 Dunlin.
The Weaver estuary attracted 94 Tufted Duck, 9 Goldeneye and an unseasonal ‘summer’ Great Crested Grebe’.
On the way home I stopped off at the lay by on Wigg Island and was rewarded with a pair of Peregrine hunting the gulls on the mudflats there. Several dead gulls lay scattered on the mud and these attracted a passing juvenile Marsh Harrier who dropped in to take advantage of the free food. A Little Egret flew over Widnes Warth Marsh and disappeared into a distant pool.
Observer and images: WSM
A History of No 6 tank (part one)
Tonight saw this blog reach 100,000 views so a big thank you to everyone who has taken the time to dip in and dip out with the Birds of Frodsham Marsh. To mark the occasion an article on the history of No. 6 tank and hopefully tomorrow some more recent gen from the marsh.
Years ago the fields of Lordship Marsh were barely given a glance as we drove or cycled or walked along Moorditch Lane on our way to the Pumping Station reed beds and/or to access the northern banks of No. 4 tank and Frodsham Score beyond.
The early winter period of 1989-1990 gave no hint to what lay ahead or how it would make a significant change in shaping our time birding the marsh. There were rumours surfacing about excavation work by the Manchester Ship Canal Company for a new tank on the ancient farmland of Lordship Marsh bordering Moorditch Lane. But when the bulldozers, diggers and trucks arrived it was a shock!
The development of a sixth silt deposit tank situated on Lordship Marsh was not without its critics but, it went pretty much unnoticed by the less savvy confrontational groups in and around Frodsham. A few of us locals looked ahead with some anticipation having seen No 4 tank flourish a few years earlier.
The following Spring of 1990 was laden with early spring showers and excavation work by bulldozers and diggers went ahead with some fervour. Heavy machines and pumps worked ferociously gouging out hundreds of tons of quality topsoil to form a ring of banks along and around the fields. Large machines grubbed out ancient hedgerows and industrial equipment pumped in and pumped out flooded areas.
Our selfish anticipation of what lay ahead was tinged with some regret as we were fully aware of the bird species this area once supported. The traditional farmland birds like Grey Partridge, Yellowhammer and Corn Bunting were in a free fall decline here and good numbers of breeding Lapwings frequented the marsh fields in the spring.
I suppose we can all be selective on the benefits of such work and the ‘developed’ use of our countryside, but when its gone, its gone. So, it is with a retrospective back glance tinged with a little regret to witness an area of traditional farmland ripped apart for the development of a new tank. But ultimately the rewards were many with new breeding species for Cheshire and decades of superb birds that still to this day marks the tank a work in progress.
Ron Harrison found the very first rare bird on the new tank in the form of a sparkling drake Garganey.
To be continued…
11.12.13. Birdlog (Counting Up)
A Common Buzzard flushing a Reed Bunting from the track along Lordship Lane.
A fine drive around starting from No. 6 tank then down to the farm and finally arriving at a muddy Ince marshes 3 hours later. My car was covered in splattered mud, but at the end of the day it was well worth it.
Male Stonechat along Lordship Lane.
Observations are not in any particular order so included: Kestrel, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Stonechat, Raven, Lapwing, Reed Bunting, Goldeneye, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Bullfinch, Great Tit, Curlew, Goldfinch, Greenfinch.
A festive Redwing settles in a Holly bush to feed.
Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Little Grebe, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Chaffinch, Cormorant, Dunnock, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Heron, Snipe, Linnet, Mute Swan, Moorhen, Magpie.
Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Redshank, Robin, House Sparrow, Rook, Shelduck, Skylark, Starling, Collard Dove, Wood Pigeon and Wren.
This Stoat (above) wasn’t the brightest bauble on the Christmas tree when it raided a bird nest and obviously went away empty pawed. Also present were Weasel and of course the ubiquitous Rabbit.
Observer and images: Stuart Maddocks
Frodsham Score was a little quiet but despite that it still managed to conjure up a Great White and several Little Egret. Whooper Swans were again with the Mute Swan herds on the salt marsh. One of the Great White Egrets was taking timeout over at Hale shore.
A Peregrine was chilling out on the pipe works of Growhow and nearby a Green Sandpiper along the Holpool Gutter was being typically secretive.
Observers: Paul Ralston (bird images), WSM (scenic images)
The bright lights of the former I.C.I Castner Kellner plant with the Mersey estuary, Frodsham Score beyond and a Mandrill sky sunset this evening .
A period of sunshine, cold wind and scattered rain was the order of the day and a typical winters day on the marsh.
Two Whooper Swan rested on No. 6 tank during the tide (AC). Later a couple of Little Egret flew around the tank one dropping on to the secluded pool. Waterfowl featured 97 Tufted Duck probably the birds which have frequented the Weaver estuary of late. Also present were 3 Common Pochard, 2 Shoveler, 26 Common Teal and 34 Common Shelduck.
A single Black-tailed Godwit joined a flock of 100 Dunlin to pay a brief visit to No. 6 tank during the rising tide. 1000 Lapwing and 2-300 Golden Plover were more settled nearby on No. 3 tank.
Elsewhere, 31 Raven were on and about No. 5 tank, 14 of this number and a bevy of less confident Carrion Crows were picking a fight with an adult Great Black-backed Gull over a sheep carcass but, they wisely left it to just tormenting the gull while it delicately pull out the sheep guts.
200 Fieldfare were a roving flock seeking out the abundant berry harvest along the hawthorn hedgerows.
Observers: Alyn Chambers, Frank Duff, WSM.
A walk around the marsh produced the wintering immature Marsh Harrier and Short-eared Owl along track by No. 6 tank this morning.
Observer and image: Paul Ralston.
Tidal Surge reports from today
River Mersey breaching the embankments at Ince marshes and flowing into the Manchester Ship Canal today.
Click here for tidal surge at Wigg Island.
A short video of the tidal storm at full bite and some images of the salt marsh at Wigg Island. Images and video by Eric Morgan.
During the tidal surge.
At the height of the tidal surge with Common Gulls feeding on voles flooded out by the rising water.
Below a link to join us on Cheshire and Wirral Birders Facebook page for more of the same events from the coast.