04.02.14. Birdlog

04.02.14. Birdlog

04.02.14. Big Sky over No. 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonA brief visit towards the end of the day and a walk along the track above No. 6 tank coincided with the evening tide and a mass of 10,000 Dunlin tightly packed in three massive roosts. Also attached with them was 34 Grey Plover, 600 Golden Plover and 1,000 Lapwing.

Eventually the waders gathered together and streamed back out to the river sketching through a beautiful inky sky

30 Cormorant roosting up for the night on the dead tree had with them a continental ‘sinensis’ form. Ducks always make up for any shortfall and a note-book entry of 100 Common Teal, 12 Common Pochard, 34 Mallard, 4 Pintail and 9 Tufted Duck was duly made. Both a Kestrel and Sparrowhawk were about to add a passing interest. Looking further west over No. 4 tank revealed the Marsh Harrier coming into roost and quartering the reed beds there.

Observers: Sparky, WSM (and images).

A Back Stage Pass!

A Back Stage Pass! Article by Stuart Maddocks

Ince Map

Here is a map I put together from Google Earth this morning. Sorry for the rush but I currently have (Man) flu and I’m a bit off colour.

Access from Ince:
01.02.14. Horse and rider, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton
 Horse and rider negotiate the pot-holed track along Lordship Lane.
Whatever your form of transport whether it’s by car, on foot, on horseback, horse and cart, hovercraft, stilts or any other type of transportation that springs to mind. Then you should be aware there are often deep potholes, heavy rutting and soft verges to negotiate. These tracks/roads have caused damage to many vehicles and you should remember this especially if you intend to use  a “normal family car”.
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16.04.13. Yellowhammer, Ince Marsh. Stuart Maddocks
Firstly locate Marsh Lane in the Village of Ince and travel west passing The Duke of Wellington Pub on the RHS (right hand side). Continue down the hill passing the treatment works on your left, follow the ‘left to right bend’ (good for close up views of Curlew and Pied Wagtail), and continue straight until the road bends again (RTL),  There are often livestock/pigs in the field on the left and from here carry straight on joining the track (Marsh Lane). Before you access this dirt track please beware of heavy vehicles coming from the (slurry sucking) road tankers which are usually in a rush travelling at speed from the Pig Farm.
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24.03.13. Black-tailed Godwits, Ince-Holpool Gutter fields. Stuart Maddocks.Once on the dirt track slow right down to 5 mph (or if your walking, walk slowly:-) if you value your suspension and thus not wanting to damage your car, take it slowly. As soon as you join the track heading east look out for Sparrowhawk, Redwing, Fieldfare and Curlew which can normally be found loitering in the fields. The Summer months have all manner of warblers in the reed beds here. Continue along the track where a small water course is on your right and good for Water Rail, Common Teal, Coot and Grey Heron.
Eventually the track/road splits as you approach a fork, take the left hand track and watch out for Yellowhammer, occasional Little Egret and wintering thrushes. The track leads to the Growhow factory shipping berth, and these two tracks merge and carry on to pass at the rear of the Growhow Works car park, again good for Buzzard, Lapwing, Little Egret etc.
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The Growhow works will become apparent on the left, occasionally with a strong smell of ammonia, I normally turn the fan off and close the windows if it is very strong. In the event of works alarms sounding I would advise to retrace your steps and leave the visit for another day but this almost never happens!
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06.02.13. Hen Harrier (1st winter male), Frodsham Marsh. Stuart Maddocks
Carry on past the works and cross the bridge over the Hoolpool gutter. r Kingfisher are a good bet, Little Grebe and Green Sandpiper are frequent. It was here I managed to get a shot of a young male Hen Harrier in the Winter 2012/13, other possible sightings may include Black-tailed Godwit and Whooper Swan off Rake Lane.
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Beyond the Hoolpool Gutter Stream and your on Lordship Lane. Be aware that it can get quite muddy here so only attempt if you feel confident or you have one of the modes of transport mentioned at the top of the page.
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There’s good potential in this area as few observers venture this far and I would recommend walking at least part of the lane for good birding. In the past Nightingale and more recently Long-eared Owl have occurred. Back in the car and continuing down the lane keeping speed to a snail’s pace remembering the risk of vehicle damage.
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25.03.13. Mute Swans at Rake Lane. Stuart Maddocks.Eventually the track becomes better and you can drive around the back of No. 6 tank by joining the elevated access point on the left hand slope just off the tarmac road (Moorditch Lane). Once at the top of the track the sludge tank will become apparent on your left side and No. 4 tank lays further along this (at times pot-holed track). Follow the track westbound to do a full loop of the tank. Again be aware of very deep hidden holes in the track towards the back during winter time.
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Eventually you will join Lordship lane again and if you turn right you rejoin the track you left earlier and travel back home to Elton/Ince.
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Hope this helps and now I shall retire back to my sick-bed with aches and a snotty nose!
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Stuart (“achooo!”) Maddocks