10.04.14. Birdlog & Nature Notes # 33

10.04.14. Birdlog & Nature Notes # 33

Three Wheatear today on the pipes across No.1 tank, 5 Gadwall and one Great Crested Grebe on the Weaver Bend. A Great spotted Woodpecker was about Lordship Marsh. There were plenty of singing Chiffchaff and also 3 singing Blackcap heard otherwise no other migrants seen.

Observer: Brian Rimmer.

Nature Notes # 33

The woods around North Cheshire are bursting with the competitive tunes and variations of different bird song. A Willow Warbler was singing in a park in North Widnes this morning and every other open space appears to have a Chiffchaff in every tree. It might just be that we’re more aware of these birds after such a lousy Winter, but I have a thought that their numbers are higher than is usually expected this year?

10.04.14. Murdishaw Valley, Runcorn. Bill Morton

Stopping off after work at a couple of local woodlands produce a fine selection of Spring flowers and a few surprises to boost a flagging birders midweek fix.

Above a scene from early Spring with Lesser celandine beginning to smother the edges of this woodland stream and a Badger set tucked in nicely beside the tree.

10.04.14. Marsh Marigold, Murdishaw Valley, Runcorn. Bill Morton

Marsh marigold, also known as Marsh Gold, is one of Britain’s most ancient native plants. It may have been growing here since before the last Ice Age and, after the retreat of the icecaps, it proliferated across the watery landscape. It is a spectacular-looking plant, with large rich yellow flowers, each with five petals, and shiny green, heart-shaped leaves borne on long, smooth hollow stems. Notes from Arkive (see link at bottom of this post.

The upper image shows the golden colours of the marigold contrasting with the inky black waters of a woodland pool.

10.04.14. Lesser Celendine, Murdishaw Valley, Runcorn. Bill Morton

Further along the Manchester Ship Canal and away from Frodsham. I was in the right place at the right time when a Kingfisher basically flying along the waters edge, it didn’t see me and was totally unaware of my presence as I stood on a water culvert bridge. It flew just below where I was standing and gave me the opportunity to see this bobby dazzler light up the canal’s murky black waters with its electric blue colours.

A pair of serenading Great Crested Grebe were more concerned with the thoughts of courtship to be bothered by me and both drifted close by. 20 Gadwall gathered on the canal with the males calling and chasing the females.

Highlight of the watch was a second calendar year (or 1st Winter in old money) Iceland Gull flying over the ship canal. 3 Raven getting mugged by 16 Carrion Crow at the back-end of Wigg Island was only what they deserved.

10.04.14. Murdishaw Valley, Runcorn. Bill Morton

More from the Arkive links here: www.arkive.org/

Observer and images: WSM

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