28.02.14. Birdlog

28.02.14. Birdlog

28.02.14. Mediterranean Gull, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

After work and a Friday evening visit to the marsh and a hike around No. 6 tank until dark. A summer adult Mediterranean Gull was in the roost with both Common and Black-headed Gulls. 30 Shoveler, 2 Pintail, 60 Common Shelduck and 200 Common Teal were settled in for the evening. 10 Tufted Duck were located at the Pumping Station Pool. We could find only two Whooper Swan this evening although the others could have been concealed by the hedgerow.

28.02.14. Mediterranean Gull and Avocet, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton8 Redshank and the solitary Avocet were frequenting the same area of flooded tank as the gulls

The Raven count was lower than usual with 10 birds noted including some flying off to roost on Frodsham Hill. Over 100 Jackdaw were also roosting up by Frodsham Station. A couple of Chiffchaff saw one on No. 5 tank and another calling from No.4 tank.

Observers: Sparky, WSM (and images).

Marsh Farm Edition

Marsh Farm Edition

A few weeks ago Farmer Chris from Marsh Farm ask if I would put some images of his livestock on the blog. So, to celebrate the next few weeks of Spring I have picked some pictures from the marsh taken by myself and Stuart Maddocks.

Chris and his late father have worked and at times endured the harsh environment that a small farm perched on the edge of the Mersey Estuary can experience. The farm is often in the firing line of howling gales, snow storms, drought and is at the brunt of the seemingly ever-present rain that appears horizontal at times there. Farming life is a difficult job at the best of times so please follow the country code when visiting the marsh particularly during the lambing season.

Lamb and Ewe, Marsh Farm, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

I took this image last Spring of a cute lamb “smiling”.

Sheep, frodsham Marsh

The Black Sheep from Ince Marsh by Stuart Maddocks28.01.13. Cow, No 5 tank, Frodsham Marsh
23.05.13. Bulll, Frodsham Marsh. Stuart Maddocks. copy

A Bull from Ince Marsh by Stuart Maddocks

Pig, Frodsham Marsh, Stuart Maddocks.

A wallowing pig at Holme Farm, Ince Marsh a good area for Black-tailed Godwit and Little Egret.

Cattle, No. 5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

The Panda Cow was a calf last summer but is full sized now.

Cattle, No. 5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Red-backed Shrike, Marsh Farm, Frodsham Marsh. Colin DavisI couldn’t really leave all this without mentioning birds that have frequented Marsh Farm over the years and have included, One of Cheshire’s earliest ever Ospreys spotted by Martin Gilbert heading north over the farm on the last day of March’93. Some much sought after Frodder’s ticks like Pomarine Skua, Bittern, Ross’s, Brent, Barnacle and White-fronted Goose, Corncrake, Dotterel, a Bishop spp which caused quite a stir for a while, Black Redstart (the only marsh record) and more recently a juvenile Red-backed Shrike that pulled in birders.

Red-backed Shrike image by Colin Davis.

27.02.14. Birdlog

27.02.14. Birdlog

21.09.10. Common Snipe. Frodsham MarshThe Whooper Swan flock increased to 15 birds in fields by the motorway (SH) and would have got the morning off to a good start as Shaun drove to work. 100 Black-tailed Godwit in a field near to Holme Farm (pig farm) and  a similar number of Curlew in an adjacent field. There were 3 Little Egret with Mute Swans by the Holpool gutter.

A Great White Egret was out on Frodsham Score during high tide. Also present were large numbers of Lapwing and Golden Plover on No.6 tank along with Common Snipe, 6 Pintail amongst the Tufted Duck, Common Teal and Mallard flocks. A single Chiffchaff was also calling along the bank of that tank. A quiet day for raptors with only Common Buzzard being seen.

Observers: Paul Ralston, Shaun Hickey

26.02.14. Birdlog

26.02.14. Birdlog

Pied Wagtail. Heather Wilde.

Observations from 3.00 – 6.00 pm.

A walk round No.6 tank and I spotted a female Marsh Harrier hunting over reed beds, c500 Golden Plover roosting, 30 Curlew dropped in later, 2 Chiffchaff either side of path between No.4 tank and No.6 tank. The 5 Whooper Swan were still out in the field near to the motorway. Over I00 Fieldfare in corner of No.5 tank with over 30 Pied Wagtail. 2 Little Grebe on the Pumping Station/Splashing Pool. 3 Buzzard in bushes nearby plus several Raven.

Then a quick walk out to the Weaver Bend and 9 Goldeneye on the river, 24 Redshank in the pools on the Lum, plus Common Snipe.

Other birds included 4 Greylag Goose with the Canada Geese. Also a Sparrowhawk hunting along hedgerow again as I got back to car.

Observer: Sean O’Hara.

Also reported a Short-eared Owl along the banks of No.6 tank. Eds

24.02.14. Birdlog

24.02.14. Birdlog

24.02.14. Common Shelduck in flight, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

200 Common Teal, 2 Pintail, 30 Common Shelduck, 46 Mallard and 8 Tufted Duck were present on No.6 tank along with 15 Cormorant and yesterday’s Avocet still in residence.

24.02.14. Avocet, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A Woodcock was watched flying from No.5 tank before it crash landed on inner banks of No. 6 tank. A pair of Common Buzzard displaying over the marsh, a flyby Merlin and 2 Kestrel were about.

24.02.14. Hen Harrier, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonA Hen Harrier over No.3 tank made light work of the buffeting wind before it glided out of sight on the tank fields.

Observers: David Saunders, Sparky, WSM (and images).

23.02.14. Birdlog

23.02.14. Birdlog

04.03.13. Avocet, No 6 tank, Frodsham MarshA Marsh Harrier hunting over No.6 tank this afternoon, and the first Avocet of the Spring was feeding in deep water with 230 Common Teal and the usual assortment of Athya ducks here. 300 Golden Plover were spooked along with 400 Lapwing from the tank.23.02.14. Little Egrets, Lordship Marsh, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

23.02.14. Little Egrets, Lordship Marsh, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Little Egret were roosting by a flooded field close to Spring Farm.

23.02.14. Whooper Swanss, Lordship Marsh, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonWhooper Swan were in a field on Lordship Marsh and viewable from the M56 motorway if you knew where to look as you drove by.

100 Fieldfare on No.5 tank with a Starling flock, also Sparrowhawk hunting along hedgerow there. The gathering of Raven along the banks of No.6 and No.5 tanks numbered 13 birds.

Observers Sean O’Hara, Sparky, WSM (and images)

22.02.14. Birdlog

22.02.14. Birdlog

19.12.13.Kingfisher, Lordship Lane, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley (4)Nice and busy down at the Weaver Bend this morning (9:45-11 am). 40 Teal, 30 Redshank, 2 Oystercatcher, at least 15 Goldeneye, 2 Tufted Duck, 1 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 4 Common Shelduck, a very vocal Curlew, the usual female Stonechat around ‘The Lum’, 500 Lapwing that were constantly up in the air which I presumed was the 2 Buzzard circling overhead, 2 Skylark gave me a really close view of their full display, singing from ground and up to about 60 ft, pausing, then sailing back down.

One rather decapitated rabbit on Weaver Lane heading back to Ship Street, presumably lunch for stoat or weasel that I probably disturbed as I walked past. Waited around to see if it returned but had to leave before the culprit came back for its lunch.

Observer: Michael Giverin.

A Kingfisher in the ditch along Moorditch Lane was a welcome surprise for Arthur Harrison.

21.02.14. Birdlog

21.02.14. Birdlog

11.01.14. Ducks on No. 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh

I was hoping for a spot of birding/walk after work but the weather decided to loom menacingly overhead with the threat of a good downpour imminent.

So along with Sparky I walked part way along the track (No. 5 tank) above No. 6 tank keeping one eye on the blackening cloud ahead and the birds present on the tank below. 200 Common Teal, 30 Shoveler, a drake Pintail and 40 Mallard were tucked into the banks to avoid the brisk south-westerly wind. Also present were 140 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Raven high riding the up draughts from the bank and a Chiffchaff calling from a nearby reed bed.

We briefly met Paul Crawley and he told us of a Chiffchaff and Cetti’s Warbler he had heard along the eastern track of No. 4 tank yesterday. Alas with the rain beginning to drop heavily I couldn’t persuade Sparky to endure the hike to No. 4 tank and we cut the visit short and raced back to the car.

Observers: Sparky, WSM (and image).

16.02.14 Birdlog

16.02.14 Birdlog

16.02.14. Song Thrush, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Went to the marsh from Elton again. A couple of hundred Curlew near the Pig farm. A respite from the rain clearly enjoyed by the birds as several species of the commoner passerines showing themselves on the marsh on this sunny day; Blue Tit, Great Tit, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Robin and Reed Bunting, the Skylark now doing their display flight. A small flock of 10 Redwing and a couple of Fieldfare by the old birdlog and a Stonechat by the dung heap near Marsh Farm.

16.02.14. Ravens, No. 5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Lots of Corvids, including c15 Raven here to take advantage of the recently started lambing season, a sub-adult female Marsh Harrier on No 6 tank, 38 Coot feeding on the grassy banks on No. 3 tank by the Canal Pools. Two sightings of Sparrowhawk (on No. 3 and at Marsh Farm), a Peregrine on the Power Station chimney. I could see several hundred Lapwing in the distance towards the West and over the Manchester Ship Canal, but oddly not one Lapwing or Golden Plover on No. 6 tank in spite of it being high tide? Good numbers of Buzzard with some starting to pair up.

Also noted was a Fox on the Frodsham Score as well as two WeBS counters/birders with binoculars and scope. Did they all swim across or did they share a boat? (Mike and Ian shared a boat. Eds)

Ciao from Guido Isidoro.

Guillemot off Frodsham Score, Frodsham Score. Mike Buckley.The WebS counters scored top drawer with 2 Guillemot on the rising tide close to the Weaver Sluice gates at the eastern edge of the score. A female/1cy Marsh Harrier out on the salt marsh was some reward for all the effort put in by counters doing this work.

Elsewhere on the marshes other counters added a Great White Egret, an additional Guillemot (possibly killed by a Great Black-backed Gull) and a rintail Hen Harrier.

Observers: Ian Coote, Mike Buckley (and image).

A walk along the track above No. 6 tank at dusk was rewarded with a sighting of a ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier quartering the reedbed on the sludge tank below. 56 Tufted Duck, 28 Shoveler, 6 Common Pochard, 4 Pintail, 12 Common Shelduck was a much improvement from yesterdays assembly and 400 Lapwing roosting up made up for Guido missing them earlier. 16.02.14. Chiffchaff, No. 5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

The Chiffchaff was more obliging along the western end of No. 5 tank but proved difficult to get a photograph (see opposite).

Guido’s Peregrine was still sat  on top of the chimney at Weston Point and a pair of Kestrel were pair bonding.

Observers: Sparky, WSM (images).

15.02.14. Birdlog (WeBS Count)

15.02.14. Birdlog (WeBS Count)

15.02.14. Waves over gantry wall at Weston Point from Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

The build up to the high tide brought with it some more of the wet stuff and a squall of hail thrown in. It didn’t make for an enjoyable WeBS count on No. 6 tank with almost continuous rain making viewing difficult but not impossible. The picture above shows the waves on the River Mersey crashing over the gantry wall into the ship canal at Weston Point as seen from Frodsham Marsh.

15.02.14. Ducks on No. 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

The ducks on the tank were again keeping close into the bank getting whatever shelter they could get from the strong tidal wind and cold. A drake Pintail was displaying and then mating with a female while an additional 2 drakes were enviously watching on. 6 Tufted Duck, 4 Pochard, 87 Mallard and 448 Common Teal made for a low count.

15.02.14. Dunlin and Grey Plover on No. 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Shorebirds forced by the rising tide to seek shelter on the sludge tank consisted of 7400 Dunlin, 14 Knot, 10 Redshank, 100 Curlew and 114 Grey Plover. Nearby 430 Golden Plover and 800 Lapwing were in much reduced numbers from previous counts. The waders were no doubt seeking sanctuary elsewhere on the Mersey marshes.

15.02.14. Raven riding the updrafts at  No.  5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Upwards of 17 Raven were riding the updrafts from the west side of No. 5 tank, while a very vocal Chiffchaff was keeping low in the reedy ditches off the track and again on the west side of No. 5 tank.

Observer and images: WSM