22.12.13. Birdlog

22.12.13. Birdlog

I went to Parkgate to see that Yank Pipit and had a Look at Frodsham on the way back.

22.12.13. Fieldfare, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

There were large numbers of Lapwing c 1000 on Frodsham Score from Marsh Farm in spite of two wildfowlers who were there with their dogs. Golden Plovers again present on No. 3 tank low down to avoid the brisk wind. A small flock of Meadow Pipit and 3 Raven were at Marsh Farm. No. 6 tank saw in 130 Curlew, 20 Fieldfare, 8 Redwing and a scattering of Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Reed Bunting. A quiet period (not counting Arthur’s squeaky new knee).

Ciao Guido D’Isidoro.

22.12.13. Easyjet and Peregrines, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A pair of Peregrines were perched on the blue-topped chimney at Weston Point and must have provided some crippling views for the pilots and passengers arriving back in blighty.

22.12.13. Merlin, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley

Elsewhere a female Merlin flew past me on No.1 tank roughly 2 foot off the ground and then perched on a post on the bank junction of No. 2 and 5 tanks.

Observer and images: Paul Crawley


					

21.12.13. Birdlog (The Shortest Day)

21.12.13. Birdlog (The Shortest Day)

A day to celebrate with the Winter Solstice finally here and from now on the daylight begin to lengthen.

21.12.13. Whooper Swans, Frodsham SCore. Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A walk along the ship canal to view Frodsham Score before the WeBS count on No. 6 tank was again well worthy of the time put into it. A flock of 18 Whooper Swan included a juvenile bird. 81 Pink-footed Goose and a gathering of 2000 Canada Goose made for a raucous cacophony out on the salt marsh. c300 Wigeon and smaller numbers of Common Teal with a half-dozen Pintail were sticking to the tide edge.

The wintering Great White Egret and 4 Little Egret were distant and I wasn’t really that surprised they came any closer without a bigger tide to bring them in.

I flushed a Green Sandpiper from the pools below the northern bank of No. 4 tank and it then headed out to the Canal Pools calling on its way.

21.12.13. Lapwing and Golden Plover, No. 3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A Peregrine went on a killing spree and was forcing the Lapwings into some impressive wheeling murmaratations over the score and a single flock of 500 Golden Plover over No. 3 tank was just as spectacular.

I managed to connect with the 1st winter Marsh Harrier twice today. On the first occasion it flew overhead at No. 4 tank and by the time I struggled to get my camera out of its bag I only managed ‘going away shots’. On the second time I saw it, it was approaching late afternoon and the harrier was quartering the red beds on No. 6 tank before gliding away over to Marsh Farm.

The usual Raven gathering on Frodsham Score and adjacent areas totalled 20 birds. Finch flocks on No. 3 tank included 300 Goldfinch and smaller numbers of Chaffinch. A single Chiffchaff also on No. 3 tank were using the reed beds/trees for cover and feeding. Two other Chiffchaff were together on No. 5 tank. All three were of the nominate form ‘collybita’ but we’re hoping that perhaps a ‘tristis’ will surface sooner or later?

The WeBS Count on No. 6 tank was pretty lacklustre with 67 Common Shelduck, 43 Common Teal, 5 Tufted Duck, 12 Pochard and 12 Shoveler.

Observer: WSM ( and upper images)

21.12.13. Common Snipe, frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley

A walk around No. 6 tank this afternoon produced, c50 Curlew, 6 Buzzard, c30 Common Snipe in a single flock and a Kestrel.

21.12.13. Raven, frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley

A solitary Jay on No.4 with a Redwing flyover and 4 Raven performing aerobatics along the south bank of No.6.

Observers: Paul Crawley (and images), Paul Ralston

Old Tom the Birder (part 1)

Tom Edmondson’s photo’s

Les Baird, Hubert Sinar, Tom Edmondson and Frank R Horrocks

Many years ago there was an old chap who used to visit Frodsham Marsh and would regale tales of his early birding visits to the marsh and many other sites (mainly Pennington Flash) in the North West. Tom was a proper old school bird watcher and he would rise an eyebrow over his spectacles if I ever called him a ‘birder’. One thing Tom had was time to spare and share his love of birds and birdwatching . I’m a sucker for such things especially those pioneers of Cheshire birding in the years following the end of the WWII. Tom was a generous old man and would kindly give me copies of photographs and documentation from the marsh during his pioneering days here.

Frodsham Marsh from Helsby Hill. Tom Edmundson

I will post some more pictures during the course of the next few weeks but in the mean time I have included a photograph he took from Helsby Hill c1960. If you right-click and enlarge the image there are a few unfamiliar things that stick out. Firstly, the horizon shows a rural Runcorn with a lack of urbanisation, the towering power station chimney and I.C.I works at Weston Point stand ahead of the Weaver estuary. Secondly, the only deposit tank is No.1 tank and thirdly, the Merseyside Naturalists Association reserve on Weston Marsh is still intact and finally, there is no M56 motorway!

Top picture are Les Baird, Hubert Sinar, Tom Edmondson and Frank R Horrocks.

Tom died on 27th February 2016 aged 93 years. I intend to give Tom a fitting tribute in due course but If anyone knew him and would like to contribute to a post about him please send me an e-mail via contact at the top of the blog.

19.12.13. Birdlog

19.12.13. Birdlog

19.12.13.Kingfisher, Lordship Lane, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley (4)

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.

19.12.13. Lapwings over No. 3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley (4) 19.12.13. Lapwings over No. 3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley (6)

Observer and images: Paul & Daniel Crawley

Frodsham Marsh Wind Farm Latest

Wind Farm Latest

“Documentation relating to the Frodsham Windfarm has appeared in the planning section of the Cheshire West and Chester websitehttp://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/residents/planning_and_building_control.aspx.  The documents can be accessed under reference 13/05164/DIS.

 

It looks like the documents of main interest to birders would be Supplementary Information/Statement ref condition 35a.http://194.187.35.179/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.”

 

17.12.13. Birdlog

17.12.13. Birdlog

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.

17.12.13. Black-tailed Godwit & Curlews, Ince Marsh, Frodsham Marsh. Stuart Maddocks.

Highlights being a flock of Black-tailed Godwit mixed in with the feeding Curlew by the Pig Farm at the east end of Ince.

17.12.13. female Kestrel, Lordship Marsh, Frodsham Marsh. Staurt Maddocks

There were plenty of Fieldfare, Redwing and a dappled Starling along Lordship Lane with a female Kestrel taking in the warm winter sun too.

17.12.13. Starling, Lordship Marsh, Frodsham Marsh. Staurt Maddocks
Observer and images: Stuart Maddocks

14.12.13. Birdlog

14.12.13. Birdlog

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 presentcontinuing 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.

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The Weaver estuary attracted 94 Tufted Duck, 9 Goldeneye and an unseasonal ‘summer’ Great Crested Grebe’.

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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

14.12.13. Marsh Harrier, Wigg Island. Bill Morton

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 14.12.13. Peregrine, Wigg Island. Bill Morton

14.12.13. Peregrine, Wigg Island. Bill Morton

14.12.13. Peregrine (female), Wigg Island. Bill Morton