29.03.14. Birdlog

29.03.14. Birdlog

My walk around No.4 & No.6 tanks this morning produced the following: Great Spotted Woodpecker along the fence at the Growhow Works and a female Sparrowhawk over head.

Along the Holpool Gutter a herd of 15 swans made up of 10 Mute and the missing 5 Whooper Swans from Lordship Marsh, also in same field a flock of Black-tailed Godwit. Several Canada Goose, Tufted Duck and a pair of Gadwall were on the Manchester Ship Canal.

At the Splashing Pool was a pair of Little Grebe and an impressive 18 Tufted Duck. Another Sparrowhawk (this time a male) spooked Common Teal and Shoveler on the small pool on No.6 tank. Nearby a male Merlin hunted low and fast over No.3 tank.

Chiffchaff were calling and singing everywhere and were the background to a pleasant mornings hike

Observer: Paul Ralston.

29.03.14. Sheep, lamb and rising tide. Ewe and lamb wade and swim back to firmer ground during the tide on Frodsham Score.

High tide beckoned on Frodsham Score and as always during fine weather heat haze can be a problem, but with the slow temperature rise and milky sunshine that was not to be a problem today. The  9.4 metre tide wasn’t enough to force the birds close to the ship canal but plenty of stuff was moving around and some was already viewable on arrival.

29.03.14. Barnacle and Canada Geese, Frodsham Score, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Above a Barnacle Goose with Canada’s on Frodsham Score today.

11 Whooper Swan were distant on the Score, presumably these and the 54 Pink-footed Goose and a Barnacle Goose were birds stopping off en route north. 134 Wigeon, 6 Gadwall and 44 Common Teal rode the tide in and rode it out.

Shorebirds noted included 600 Curlew, 67 Oystercatcher, 34 Ringed Plover, 23 Grey Plover, a Whimbrel was heard as it move through, 120 Dunlin and 45 Redshank. Also present and flushed from the tidal gutter were 2 Little Egret.

Ever watchful a big female Peregrine was strategically positioned on a fence post in the middle of the Score. While a ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier was hunting the reed beds of No.6 tank and both male and female Marsh Harrier were present.

A rich supply of carrion attracted the big hitters to the Score with 30 Raven and an equal amount of Great Black-backed Gull enjoying the mutton dinner. I couldn’t avert my scope when a GBBG found a recently dead Ovis aries and proceeded to enjoy an Eastern delicacy of sheep’s eye!

Two Sand Martin over the Canal Pools and 2 Swallow over No.1 tank brought the warmth of summer with them. Displaying Meadow Pipit and tuneful Skylark filled the air with song. A flock of 200 Goldfinch were fairly mobile.

Observers: Frank Duff, Arthur Harrison, WSM (and images).