31.08.14. Birdlog

31.08.14. Birdlog

30.08.14. Dunlin flock, No.6 tank, Tony Broome.

Another day another high tide. The sunny weather and position on the banks of No.6 tank was just about right to get some brilliant views of the wader flocks present at high tide.

The eclipse drake Pintail was joined by an eclipse drake Shoveler, the usual Common Teal flock were scattered far and wide on the waters of the tank.

Dunlin were by far the most numerous species with approximately 450 birds, 110 Ringed Plover, a juvenile Sanderling, 2 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 7 Little Stint (one partial summer adult), 3 Ruff and a Little Ringed Plover.

The Weaver Bend had 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Ruff, 30 Redshank and a small flock of Black-tailed Godwit. 4 Whinchat were reported from the Weaver Bend/Lum area.

A mixed flock of 300 Swallow and Sand Martin came in to No.6 tank for a drink and quickly departed. A Hobby was reported over No.5 tank? Again the Peregrine Falcon was visible on the top of the Blue chimney at Weston Point.

Observers: Frank Duff, Don Weedon, Sparky, WSM.

Image by Tony Broome.

30.08.14 Birdlog

30.08.14. Birdlog

30.08.14. Wirral RSPB at Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome.

30.08.14. Swallow, River Weaver, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Wirral Bird Club members enjoyed a guided walk across the marsh starting from Marsh Lane. The group then continued along Half Furlong Lane and across the lane and along the field leading to Redwall Reedbed and the River Weaver beyond.

Starting with the ever-present Peregrine sat sentry like on the top of the blue chimney overlooking the Mersey and Weaver Estuary. Several hundred hirundines probably totalling 2,000 birds were observed hawking insects low over the river and amounted to 500 Swallow, 1500 Sand Martin. A spell of morning rain was responsible for this activity and provided some excellent views of these departing summer visitors. 24 Common Swift were also to be seen. Along the edge of the Weaver Bend several migrant Pied Wagtails were joined by a couple of Yellow Wagtail.

Shorebirds featured a single Greenshank, 100 Redshank, 3 Ruff, a Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel (TB) and a solitary Curlew. 80 Coot, 200 Tufted Duck, 4 Pochard.

30.08.14. Stolt Redshank and Redshank flock, River Weaver, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

The Weaver Estuary was full of Tufted Duck with 6 Great Crested Grebe, 200 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Ruff. The highlight from here was the ship Stolt Redshank manoeuvring from the Manchester Ship Canal through the waters of the River Weaver and disturbing a flock of real Redshank (see image).

Dunlin by Heather Wilde

30.08.14. Dunlin and Curlew Sandpiper, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Retracing our steps we made our way to No.6 tank to witness the gathering wader flock which were pushed off the River Mersey to find shelter on the drier areas of this sludge tank. 3 Greenshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 125 Lapwing, 70 Ringed Plover, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 500 Dunlin including a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and 1 adult and 6 juvenile Little Stint didn’t disappoint.

30.08.14. Goosanders in flightr, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Also present were 5 juvenile Goosanders which dropped in on the action for 15 minutes before taking to the wing and disappearing as quick as they arrived out towards the Mersey Estuary. The eclipse drake Pintail, 10 Gadwall and 170 Common Teal added to the watch.

30.08.14. Wirral RSPB members, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

All in all a great start to Wirral Bird Club’s field trip season. For further details see this link: http://www.wirralbirdclub.com/

Observers: Hugh Stewart and the members of Wirral Bird Club, Tony Broome (image one), Frank Duff, Mark Payne, Heather and Findlay Wilde (image four), WSM (all other images).

29.08.14. Birdlog

29.08.14. Birdlog

29.08.14. Little Grebe juvenile and Mallard, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Present over high tide today from No 6 Tank and new in for the autumn was a drake Pintail in eclipse plumage. 154 Tufted Duck and 205 Teal showed an increase over the last week. On the wader front included 100 Dunlin, 2 Little Ringed and 45 Ringed Plover with, 5 Little Stint, 5 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Ruff, 2 Greenshank and a Black-tailed Godwit.

29.08.14. male Marsh Harrier, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonA Peregrine was present on the mud on No.6 tank and caused some concern amongst the shorebirds. Later a male Marsh Harrier flew over the banks and disappeared over Lordship Marsh.

29.08.14. eclipse drake Pintail, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonWeaver Bend: 5 Great Crested Grebe, 26 Little Grebe, 3 Pochard, 342 Redshank and a single Knot, 5 Ruff, 2 Common Sandpiper and 15 Black-tailed Godwit.

A solitary Green Sandpiper was at The Lum.

Additional noteworthy were species, c.700 Swallow, c.400 Sand Martin, c.10 House Martin and c.30 Swift. 2 Grey Wagtail flying low over Redwall Reedbed towards Frodsham Hill.

Observers: Alyn Chambers, John Spottiswood, Sparky and WSM (4.00 pm onwards and images).

28.08.14. Birdlog

28.08.14. Birdlog

28.08.14. Ruffs, no.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A brief watch after work on No.6 tank and after the tide had rolled away on the river. 60 Redshank were gathered on the edge of the water close to the bank below the track on No.5 tank. Also present were 3 Greenshank and 120 Black-tailed Godwit but they were there for only a short period. The godwits took flight and disappeared out towards No.5 taking with them the Greenshanks. What was still present was more than adequate to keep my attention focused.28.08.14. Curlew Sandpiper (adult), No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

28.08.14. Little Stint, No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonAbove an adult Curlew Sandpiper and below a juvenile Little Stint.

6 Little Stint, an adult Curlew Sandpiper (with small traces of red plumage on the underparts). 3 Ruff (pictured and one bird upper left is ringed on right leg) and a solitary Whimbrel which dropped in for a kip. The locally bred Ringed Plover chick was looking more like the real deal but no parents on view so it buddied up with a juvenile Little Ringed for company.

28.08.14. Domestic Duck, No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Other birds making up the numbers were 140 Common Teal, 49 Mallard, 12 Tufted Duck and a white domestic duck that should have stayed on whatever park pond it originated from because the Peregrine was watchful from the blue-topped chimney.


300 hirundines were high above No.5 tank and several juvenile Pied Wagtails were actively feeding and sharing the muddy edges of the wader feeding areas.

N.B. 4 Swift were moving south this morning over Runcorn Hill.

Observer and images: WSM

27.08.14. Birdlog

27.08.14. Birdlog

27.08.14. Little Stints, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. John Rayner

No 6 Tank (either side of the high tide):  250 Lapwing, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Little Stint, 2 Greenshank, 1 Ruff, 31 Ringed Plover, 750 Dunlin, a Turnstone and 2 Redshank. 250 (mostly) juvenile Common Shelduck

At just after 11.00 a juvenile Hobby flushed the waders and the proceeded to pursue a lone Dunlin for about 30 seconds before eventually giving up and drifting off to the west.
Weaver Bend:  1 Spotted Redshank, 282 Common Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Knot, 52 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Green Sandpiper (at the Lum) and 1 Common Sandpiper. Also 6 Little Grebes, 5 Great Crested Grebes, 124 Tufted Duck and 2 Pochard.

A watch over Frodsham Score from Marsh Farm included 625 Shelduck (in view), 1 Yellow Wagtail west over the farm and a flock of c70 Goldfinch.

Observers: Greg Baker, John Rayner (and image), Sean O’Hara.

Later, Sean watched over No.6 tank from 4.30 pm and noted a solitary Little Stint, 2 Ringed Plover, 3 Greenshank and a couple of Redshank. Across the marsh by the Weaver Bend at 7.00 pm: 23 Black-tailed Godwit, 32 Redshank, 3 Ruff and 2 Common Sandpiper.

N.B. I’m keeping a tab on singing Willow Warblers so another three birds sub-singing again on Runcorn Hill this morning (WSM).

26.08.14. Birdlog

26.08.14. Birdlog

26.08.14. Yellow Wagtail, No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Common Teal numbered 140 birds with 8 Tufted Duck, 4 Gadwall and a scattering of juvenile Common Shelduck.

8 Ringed Plover, 23 Lapwing, 2 Ruff (Reeves), 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Greenshank, a Curlew Sandpiper and 6 Little Stint lingered from the tide. One of the juvenile stints stayed whilst the others eventually returned to the river.

A Marsh Harrier was over No.4 tank followed shortly after by 12 Raven heading off to roost beyond the hills of Frodsham and Helsby..

Hirundines were moving in a south-westerly direction in small groups and a male Yellow Wagtail dropped in for a bath.

26.08.14.Speckled Wood Butterfly, No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A few Speckled Wood and Red Admiral Butterflies were about the tracks alongside No.6 tank.

Observers: Don Weedon, WSM (and images).

N.B. Earlier in the day three sub-singing Willow Warbler were on Runcorn Hill (WSM).

25.08.14. Birdlog

25.08.14. Birdlog

25.08.14. Curlew Sandpiper. No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome.The awful weather didn’t deter some birders from making the pilgrimage to see the waders on No.6 tank, so it was no surprise that the first Curlew Sandpiper of the Autumn finally made it to the marsh when a juvenile paid a visit. Also present and an increase in numbers was an adult and 5 juvenile Little Stint. In a similar vein a juvenile Golden Plover dropped in to join the 12 Lapwing, 800 Ringed Plover, 3 Greenshank, 4 Black-tailed Godwit and 700 Dunlin. The only addition to the normal duck species were a few Shoveler. The wind blew in a SE 3-4 for most of the time with thick drizzle occurring later in the day didn’t dampen the spirits of those fortunate to see the variety and not considerable volume of shorebirds present.

Five Common Swift were over the M56 where it crosses the River Weaver at dusk (WSM).

Observers: Tony Broome (and image), Frank Duff.

Nature Notes # 43

Nature Notes # 43 (24.08.14.)

I haven’t written a NN # for a while and Mr Broome’s contributions have been more than welcomed and very informative.

24.08.14. Speckled Wood Butterfly, Pale Heights, Delamere Forest

A walk with Sparky about the forest paths and hills at Delamere and attempting to avoid the popular Gruffalo crowds discovering their own nature notes. We choose the steep path to Pale Heights where a young migrant Wheatear flew from the track by the cow field and rested up on a fence for a while. A couple of Raven were also present but generally the wind direction and warm sunshine put paid to any obvious migration.

24.08.14.Brimstone Butterfly, Pale Heights, Delamere Forest

Butterflies were still enjoying the fine summer with a bright Brimstone feeding on a dandelion flower. Several Peacocks, Red Admiral, Green-veined White and Speckled Woods caused further direction distractions.

Red Admiral. Bill Morton

24.08.14. Coral fungi, Delamere Forest. Bill Morton

The emergence of Stinkhorn fungi ‘eggs’ were beginning to push through the beech wood leaf litter. A small cluster of one type of Coral fungi and a patch of Amanita pantherina aka Panther Caps growing by the pathside were surprisingly intact considering their close proximity to the pathside. The latter species is considered to be widespread but we didn’t expect to see it so early in the season.

08.08.14. Amanita pantherina, Delamere Forest. Bill Morton

.Swallows and House Martin were still hunting low over the fields and several juvenile Willow Warblers, Chiffchaff and Blackcaps joined up with a fairly large roving tir flock from the trees adjacent to Black Lake.

24.08.14. Black Darter at Black Lake, Delamere Forest

Dragonflies and Damselflies attracted a few people to linger by the lake with a curious Southern Hawker paying close attention to its admirers. Black Darters are usually tame when they are about and this trip was a good one with several posing for photographs by the bench. Azure, Emerald and Blue-tailed Damselfies in nuptial pairing also added to an excellent  morning ramble here.

24.08.14. Southern Hawker, Black Lake, Delamere Forest. Bill Morton (1)


24.08.14. Summer Berries, Delamere Forest

.24.08.14. Summer Berries, Delamere Forest. Bill Morton (20) 24.08.14. Summer Berries, Delamere Forest. Bill Morton (15)



24.08.14. Summer Berries, Delamere Forest. Bill Morton (17).

24.08.14. Beech Mast, Delamere Forest.24.08.14. Summer Berries, Delamere Forest. Bill Morton (16)




The Blackberries are ripening up well in the forest at the moment. All in all a great time of year to go out and collect some of the natures bounty (just need to wash the little buggers first).

Observers: Sparky, WSM (and images)


24.08.14. Birdlog

24.08.14. Birdlog

24.08.14. Sand Martin, Marsh Farm, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome.

A ‘trektellen’ count between 07.19 – 09.20hrs at Marsh Farm was without any obvious movement. Lots of hirundines and Swifts fed over the fields. 700 Swallows, 100 House Martin, 400 Sand Martins and 100 Swifts.

24.08.14. Sand Martin, Marsh Farm, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome.Yellow Wagtails totalled ten birds, there was a single Grey Wagtail, 4 Pied Wagtails and a pristine juvenile White Wagtail that sat on the fence next to me but flew before any photos could be taken. Meadow Pipits were more obvious than of late with 10 birds feeding around and about, a feeding flock of 600 Starlings flew west and a female House Sparrow sat on top of the hay stack.

24.08.14. Robin, Marsh Farm, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome.
A count on the high track between No.6 and No.4 tanks between 10.00-15.00 hrs produced a south-westerly movement of Common Buzzard which totalled 16 plus one flock of 8 which I took to be local birds. A lone Greenshank overflew calling several times, there were six Kestrels around at any one time and a big juvenile Peregrine skimmed my position and looked at me as it went past!

24.08.14. No.4 & 6 tanks, , Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome.

Passerines included two juvenile Whitethroats and a juvenile Reed Warbler, which, along with 7 Chiffchaffs, a Wren, a Chaffinch, a Blackcap and a Great Tit, all fed in one Elderberry bush.

Observer and images: Tony Broome.

The high water brought in 3 Little Stint to No.6 tank (Frank Duff).

23.08.14. Birdlog

23.08.14. Birdlog

23.08.14. Ship from Marsh Farm. Tony Broome

There’s always something to see at Frodsham Marsh and if the birding is a little slack then there’s the big ships that sail through the marsh via the Manchester Ship Canal which will hold your interest before the birding picks up.

23.08.14. Marsh Farm. Tony Broome

The large haystack at Marsh Farm is a great wind barrier and often attracts migrating birds to shelter from the rain and wind. It was early doors and a ‘trektellen’ count from and over the farm started at 09.50-10.30 hrs: A flock ahead of heavy rain featured 800 Swallows, 300 Sand Martins, 50 House Martin, 50 Swift, a solitary Yellow Wagtail and 23 Lapwing heading south-west.

23.08.14. Spotted Redshank and Greenshanks, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

23.08.14. Spotted Redshank , No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

No.6 tank from 10.40-14.00 hrs: A male Marsh Harrier was perched on the grassy field of No.5 and then a little later over No.6.tank. Also noted were 30 Black-headed Gull, 12 Common Gull (with 56 there at 16.50hrs). An adult moulting Mediterranean Gull flew off high to the south at 11.24 hrs. Note: Green ring on left leg below knee, metal ring on right leg above knee. It is possible this bird is from Hamburg, Germany where this colour combination occurs but obviously without the letter or number code it would be difficult for curtain?  

23.08.14. Juvenile Little Stint, No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh.  Tony Broome

Also present were 24 Redshank, 300 Dunlin, 150 Ringed Plover, 9 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Little Stint,  2 Greenshank, 1 Turnstone, a juvenile Spotted Redshank, 12 Lapwing, a Common Buzzard and a juvenile Peregrine. Finally here a count of 40 Pied Wagtail.

23.08.14. No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh.  Tony Broome

Nearby No.4 tank had 4 Common Buzzard, 2 juvenile Willow Warbler in fresh green and primrose yellow plumage, 13 Chiffchaffs, 20 Long-tailed Tit and 6 Ravens.

23.08.14. Marsh Farm track in the rain, Frodsham Marsh.  Tony Broome

The Splashing Pool still had a pair of Little Grebe plus with a small chick. The secluded pool on No. 6 also had a Little Grebe pair with a bigger sized chick.

Observers: Tony Broome (and images), Frank Duff.