Sacré bleu!

It took a while for this little critter to emerge from the wood (so to speak) hence the post title,  Sacré bleu being a French curse!

14.08.14. Colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwit, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Extracts of an email from Jenny Gill who co-ordinates sightings of colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwits. This one is from No.6 tank on 14.08.14.

We’ve had quite a bit of discussion about this sighting and we are now pretty sure that the flag on this one must be Orange (thanks to Pete for finding a photo to confirm that ON-YRf has smaller rings and the Rf is indeed on the right leg, as it should be). The flag is therefore likely to be a stained orange, which is a bird ringed in France.

Thanks to everyone for detective work on this one!

Previous locations of this bird are as from details listed below and include: date & time of observation, country and location, observer, latitude/longitude, habitat and where available flock size.

26/01/2009 NA FR PORT-DES-BARQUES monportail nord Pichard, A 45,930 -1,070 NA NA NA

10/04/2009 NA NL OUDERKERK-SUR-L’AMSTEL landje van Geijsel Van Grieken, G 52,280 4,920 NA NA NA

10/01/2010 NA FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Leuchtmann, M & Blanc, JF 45,950 -1,070 NA NA NA

17/01/2010 NA FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Leutchmann, M & Blanc, J-F 45,950 -1,070 NA NA NA

13/02/2010 NA FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente NA 45,950 -1,070 NA NA NA

19/07/2010 8:00 FR MOEZE le mornay Jomat, L 45,880 -1,080 NA NA 100

22/07/2010 NA FR MOEZE reserve naturelle Lelong, V & Loriol, A 45,880 -1,080 lagune NA 370

28/07/2010 NA FR MOEZE reserve naturelle Jomat, L 45,880 -1,080 lagune reposoir 120

05/09/2010 16:00 FR MOEZE reserve naturelle Lelong, V & Cuvier, Z 45,880 -1,080 lagune reposoir 2100

06/09/2010 16:00 FR MOEZE reserve naturelle Aubry, P & Parisien, A 45,880 -1,080 lagune reposoir 2000

12/09/2010 NA FR MOEZE reserve naturelle Lelong, V 45,880 -1,080 lagune reposoir 600

16/12/2010 15:00 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Rousseau, P 45,950 -1,070 vasière reposoir 3000

17/12/2010 13:00 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Lelong, V 45,950 -1,070 vasière NA 3000

11/08/2011 19:00 FR MOEZE reserve naturelle lelong, V 45,880 -1,080 lagune reposoir 3000

07/09/2011 13:00 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Lelong, V 45,950 -1,070 vasière alimentation 1130

08/09/2011 13:00 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Lelong, V 45,950 -1,070 vasière alimentation 400

15/09/2011 8:00 FR YVES reserve naturelle Lelong, V 46,040 -1,060 lagune reposoir 2500

07/10/2011 12:00 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Lelong, V 45,950 -1,070 vasière alimentation 2800

08/10/2011 12:00 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Lelong, V 45,950 -1,070 vasière alimentation 3000

09/10/2011 13:00 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Lelong, V 45,950 -1,070 vasière alimentation NA

13/10/2011 17:00 FR YVES reserve naturelle Babin, G 46,040 -1,060 lagune reposoir 4600

20/10/2011 13:00 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Rousseau, P & Lelong, V 45,950 -1,070 vasière reposoir 2500

21/10/2011 13:00 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Lelong, V 45,950 -1,070 vasière alimentation 4200

22/10/2011 13:00 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Lelong, V 45,950 -1,070 vasière reposoir 1700

23/10/2011 13:00 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Rousseau, P 45,950 -1,070 vasière reposoir 4700

25/10/2011 14:00 FR YVES reserve naturelle Babin, G 46,040 -1,060 lagune reposoir 3200

02/12/2011 13:00 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Rousseau, P 45,950 -1,070 vasière alimentation 3000

11/12/2011 15:00 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Rousseau, P 45,950 -1,070 vasière reposoir 800

21/12/2011 15:30 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Lelong, V 45,950 -1,070 vasière alimentation NA

29/12/2011 12:00 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES ile madame Rousseau, P 45,960 -1,110 vasière alimentation NA

06/01/2012 16:30 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Lelong, V 45,950 -1,070 vasière alimentation 3900

02/02/2012 14:00 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Lelong, V 45,950 -1,070 vasière alimentation 2000

05/02/2012 17:00 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Lelong, V 45,950 -1,070 vasière alimentation 2200

19/02/2012 13:30 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Jomat, L 45,950 -1,070 vasière reposoir 800

07/03/2012 9:00 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Lelong, V 45,950 -1,070 vasière alimentation 800

29/04/2012 12:00 IS ALFTAFJORDUR NA Alves, J 66,020 -22,97 vasière NA NA

22/08/2012 18:00 FR MOEZE reserve naturelle Jomat, L 45,880 -1,080 vasière reposoir 2000

29/08/2012 14:00 FR MOEZE reserve naturelle Jomat, L 45,880 -1,080 lagune reposoir 3500

02/10/2012 NA FR YVES reserve naturelle Laubin, A 46,040 -1,060 lagune reposoir NA

16/01/2013 16:00 FR MOEZE reserve naturelle Rousseau, P 45,880 -1,080 prairie alimentation 600

23/01/2013 13:30 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Lelong, V 45,950 -1,070 vasière alimentation 3500

07/02/2013 13:00 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Lelong, V 45,950 -1,070 vasière alimentation 3000

20/02/2013 NA FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Rousseau, P 45,950 -1,070 vasière reposoir 1000

30/10/2013 16:30 FR PORT-DES-BARQUES estuaire charente Jomat, L 45,950 -1,070 vasière alimentation 1500

14/08/2014 18:00 GB FRODSHAM frodsham marsh farm, WS Morton, 53,296 -2,757 lagune reposoir NA (it was actually on no.6 tank but i guess that was lost in translation-Sacré bleu)

If you see any Black-tailed Godwits with colour rings/flags send details to Jenny Gill at mailto:j.gill@uea.ac.uk

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18.08.14. Birdlog

18.08.14. Birdlog

Raven, Frodsham Score. Bill Morton

A short walk this afternoon along Holpool Gutter to the Manchester Ship Canal and a male Marsh Harrier being harassed by the ever present Raven. There was a solitary Little Egret in a field alongside the gutter with 3 more little Egret out on Frodsham Score. The juvenile Marsh Harrier reappeared out on the score with many more Raven playing in the breeze. Finally, a Green Sandpiper on the shallow pool alongside No.4 tank concluded an eventful walk.

Observer: Paul Ralston.

Image: WSM.

17.08.14. Birdlog

17.08.14. Birdlog

+A Little Egret joined the high tide wader roost on No.6 tank which consisted of 1000 each of Ringed Plover and Dunlin. Other birds with a little more interest included a single Sanderling, 3 Turnstone and 5 Knot. Black-tailed Godwit, an interesting gull spp and 2 Ruddy Shelduck which had a hybrid Shelduck x Mallard combo in tow.

The Dunlin flock were expected to return with the other species back to the estuary to continue their feeding activity after the tide. Unexpectedly they rose in two flocks to leave, they gained height and departed south-east and were lost to view.

IMG_6466

Elsewhere Paul saw Sparrowhawk, Peregrine and Little Egret.

Observers: Tony Broome, Frank Duff, Paul Ralston (and images), Don Weedon.

16.08.14. Birdlog

16.08.14. Birdlog

16.08.14. Ruddy Shelduck in flight, No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Trektellen Count (07.18hrs-10.16hrs):
A watch from Marsh Farm this morning overlooking Frodsham Score resulted in 5000 Common Shelduck, 3 Ruddy Shelduck (2 males & female type), 2 male Common Scoter (flew west) and 460 Mallard feeding on mudflats.
16.08.14. No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (12)

Shorebirds saw an increase in c2000 Dunlin and 1200 Black-tailed Godwit, 300 Curlew, 1 Little Egret down river and a juvenile Peregrine keeping an eye on things.

Passerines included: 100 Swallow, c300 Sand Martin, 4 Yellow Wagtail flying high east then 5 south, 21 Pied/White Wagtail south, 5 Swift west, 1 Grey Wagtail south, 500 Starling around farm and a juvenile Peregrine noted.
.

Observer: Tony Broome.

16.08.14. No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (7)

After a brief respite and onto No.4 tank overlooking Frodsham Score where again a juvenile Peregrine shot through. Following the falcon was a juvenile Marsh Harrier and then shortly after by a juvenile Hobby chasing a passerine over the old magazine site. Several Little Egret were seen and although difficult to get an accurate count we estimated that 4 birds were present.

42 Raven were out and about the marsh and banks bordering the Manchester Ship Canal. A dead cow out on the salt marsh should bring in quite a few others?

16.08.14. No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (4)

16.08.14. Ruddy Shelduck, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

High tide was rushing onto the exposed mudflats so a hasty retreat to the comfort of No.6 tank for the tide. 500 Ringed Plover, 800 Dunlin came in dribs and drabs but when they settled they didn’t move around much and made for a thorough scrutiny through the ‘scopes’. Several Redshank, 4 Black-tailed Godwit and 3-4 Turnstone added to the count.

Two Ruddy Shelduck dropped onto the tank for the period of the tide before flying back out to the feeding grounds on the Mersey Estuary

A Little Egret flew over without settling and the watch ended with a Peregrine sat atop the usual spot above the Weaver Estuary.

A Garganey was present briefly on No.6 tank (Colin Davis) and a Crane observed over Hale at midday avoided our detection? Three hours later it or another was over Mold, N Wales.

https://vimeo.com/103625564?utm_source=email&utm_medium=clip-transcode_complete-finished-20120100&utm_campaign=7701&email_id=Y2xpcF90cmFuc2NvZGVkfGE3NDU2ZGI0YzRkZDhjMWY1OTZhYTZjMzY2MmUyZDgzODE2fDIyNzUyNTk5fDE0MDgyNjYzOTR8NzcwMQ%3D%3D

Observers: Tony Broome (images 2-4), WSM (video images 1 & 5).

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Marsh & River

Marsh & River

16.08.14. Views from Weston Road, Weston Village. Bill Morton

A selection of images taken with a mobile phone from Weston Road, Weston overlooking the huge works of Ineos Chlor. Below and beyond the tall blue-topped chimney stands aloft Weston Point.

The chimney is much favoured by Peregrine Falcons as a lookout over the estuaries of the Weaver and Mersey.

16.08.14. Views from Weston Road, Weston Village. Bill Morton

Images of Ineos Chlor works and the Mersey Estuary beyond.

 

16.08.14. Views from Weston Road, Weston Village. Bill Morton

Hale Head and the lighthouse are a feature of the estuary and are also a notable birding site and along with Oglet Bay, Carr Lane pools and Pickerings Pasture make up a fine alternative on the north side of the Mersey Estuary to Frodsham, Helsby and Ince marshes to the south.

16.08.14. Views from Weston Road, Weston Village. Bill Morton

The River Mersey, Frodsham Score and Manchester Ship Canal.

16.08.14. Views from Weston Road, Weston Village. Bill Morton

Looking south-west where the River Mersey meets the Weaver Estuary and where the latter converges with the Manchester Ship Canal

All images: WSM

14.08.14. Birdlog

14.08.14. Birdlog

ruddy shelduck frodsham 140814 copy

14.08.14. Ruddy Shelduck, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

High tide on the River Mersey brought in two Ruddy Shelduck onto No.6 tank for a few hours before flying out again to spend the remainder of the day off Frodsham Score. Shorebirds drifted in and out with a total of 700 Dunlin, 150 Ringed Plover (including a local pair of Ringed Plover and their growing chick), 20 Redshank and 24 Black-tailed Godwit.

At dusk ducks were again low-key with 3 Pochard, 8 Tufted Duck, 124 Common Teal and 37 Common Shelduck about towards dusk. A skein of 500 Canada Goose flew in and out towards the Gowy and watching over all of this was a Peregrine on the Blue-topped chimney.

14.08.14. Juvenile Black-tailed Godwit, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.  (3)

A colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwit joined a small party within the gull roost and also present was a juvenile bird contact calling some distance away. I will let you know the  history of the colour ringed bird BtG as soon as I get details back.

Walking back to the car a flock of Sand Martin were moving west with a solitary Common Swift perhaps one of the last of the year.

Observers: Tony Lovett, John Rayner (top image), Don Weedon, Sparky and WSM (and images 2 & 3)

13.08.14. Birdlog

13.08.14. Birdlog

13.08.14. Ruddy Shelduck, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh

Two drake Ruddy Shelduck observed on No.6 tank during today’s tide. The two present off Frodsham Score subsequently seen on the mudflats of the River Mersey off Frodsham Score are adult male and juvenile so, four birds here?

Also present c100 Black-tailed Godwit, c40 Dunlin, c20 Ringed Plover & 7 Turnstone on No.6

per AMB. 

Observer and image: Paul Brewster

10.08.14. Birdlog (Hen Harrier Day)

10.08.14. Birdlog (Hen Harrier Day)

10.08.14. Weaver Estuary, Frodsham Marsh. John Spottiswood

The blustery wind with insistent rain abated on several occasions. At one point during late afternoon when the sun shone, you could be forgiven for thinking it was all hype until it started again.

10.08.14.The days temp, Frodsham Marsh. Tony BroomeBut it was the tail end of a tropical storm so the reality was a temperature of only 13c with a WNW 6-7 and at times horizontal driving rain. It did feel like 2c and very cold with hands failing to operate.  All the same us intrepid souls braved the elements and were rewarded with 2 Ruddy Shelduck off Frodsham Score. The two RS’d’s have been in the area for a week now and with new arrivals arriving in the country it appears that the usual summer immigration is already underway.  A mixed flock of 1000 Black-tailed Godwit and Curlew added to the watch here.

09.08.14. Marsh Farm track, Frodsham Marsh.Tony Broome

10.08.14. Marsh Farm track, Frodsham Marsh.Tony BroomeThe images opposite from yesterday and today illustrate the weather and the same location at the track leading to the viewing area at Marsh Farm. The weather was responsible for downing a Greenshank onto No.6 tank along with 10 Ringed Plover and 2 Little Ringed Plover, 48 Dunlin and a single Redshank. Ducks were much more in evidence and 70 Common teal, 4 Tufted Duck and 40 Mallard.
.

Observer and images: Tony Broome.

09.08.14.  Frodsham Marsh.Tony BroomeI braved the heavy rain, windy conditions and elephantine reeds growing over the path for a walk along the causeway to the Weaver Bend starting from Redwall Reedbed and turning back after the bend itself. By far the highlight was a juvenile Greenshank on the bend near the lozenge-shaped island with a small group of Black-tailed Godwit, 52 Redshank, 2 Common Sandpiper and a Little Ringed Plover.

09.08.14. Teal, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh.Tony Broome

Further upriver and c400 Black-tailed Godwit were on the small marsh bordering the Weaver Estuary (out towards (‘the Corner’). A Little Egret flapped low upriver past Redwall Reedbed at 10.30

Hirundines were forced down by the weather with c500 Sand Martin and c100 Swallow, while 21 Swifts appeared from the north after the first burst of torrential rain petered out. They then lingered for a while.

With only an hour left I went to No.6 tank for the high tide with low expectations. It has been quite poor on my recent visits. As soon as I got out of the car I could hear the same or another Greenshank flying around somewhere. Up at the tank I could immediately see quite a big flock of small waders so I settled in for a proper high tide. The tail end of Hurricane Bertha and the heavy rain must have driven the tide a bit higher and forced some of the birds off the estuary.

There were 405 Dunlins and 88 Ringed Plovers (one chick joined the flock). I scanned through them pretty carefully but I couldn’t find anything different. It was very enjoyable because the light was good and the birds were reasonably close.

The Greenshank I saw on the bend was there between about 11.00 and 11.40. I heard it at No.6 at about 12.05 but by the time I got up to the tank it had gone.

Observer and top image: John Spottiswood.

09.08.14. Birdlog (Trektellen & WeBS Count)

09.08.14. Birdlog (Trektellen & WeBS Count)

09.08.14. Ruddy Shelduck, Frodsham Score. Tony Broome.

This was the start of ‘Trektellen’ at Frodsham Marsh. What is Trektellen? It began as a Dutch ‘vismig’ online site, that is, a visible migration on-line database that birders from across Europe contribute to and the results are published each day on the Trektellen website. ‘Trek’ means migration and ‘tellen’ means to count. There are around 540 sites in eight countries, including about 125 sites in the UK. Anyone has access. Most of the major migration sites in the UK are listed and the nearest to Frodsham Marsh is Hale Head or mostly the lighthouse. Some of the counts carried out by Rob Cockbain and Jeff Clarke have been impressive and RC believes that the Hale birds head south-east, somewhere in the vicinity of Marsh Farm on the south side of the Mersey.

09.08.14. Sand Martins, Marsh Farm. Tony Broome.

We agreed that, myself and WSM would attempt our own watch and follow-up with counts from Marsh Farm and today was the inaugural count. I arrived at 0735hrs to a perfect August morning. The temperature was a pleasant 14c and crystal clear with a light westerly blowing. Interestingly there was no southwards movement from the direction of Hale lighthouse, but a definite east-west migration along the Manchester Ship Canal, with Swift, hirundine and Wagtails moving, their calls emanating from the sparkling blue sky. In three hours, 49 Swift headed west with a local feeding party of around 80 that stopped by briefly, there were 80 Sand Martin that also went west but around 300 hung around to feed and rest on the roof of Marsh Farm. Ten Yellow Wagtail went west in ones and twos and eight Swallow passed by in a party. So, a modest count for a first attempt. Interesting all the same.

09.08.14. Ruddy Shelduck, Frodsham Score. Tony Broome.

Out on Frodsham Score there were the two Ruddy Shelduck in with around 5000 Shelducks. Waders consisted mainly of Curlew, around 500 and Black-tailed Godwit, possibly as many as 700, but counting them wasn’t easy with them constantly moving about. 200 Lapwing were flushed and flew inland, possibly by the Peregrine as it left the blue-topped chimney.

09.08.14. Black-tailed Godwit, Frodsham Score. Tony Broome. WeBS Count: No.6 tank had 450 Black-headed Gull, 22 Common Gull, 5 Ringed Plover including a pair with a small chick, and two Dunlin initially before 30+ flew in and out and then seven dropped in and fed. Ducks consisted of 9 Gadwall, 107 Teal, 66 Mallard, 27 Shelduck and just a single female Tufted with seven small young. A lone Black-tailed Godwit fed on the far side.

09.08.14. Marsh Farm, Tony Broome

Another aerial rarity to make anyone look skywards was a RAF Lancaster Bomber (pictured below) flying over the River Mersey.

I finished the day back at Marsh Farm as the tide went out. To the west, the clouds darkened on the distant horizon as ex-hurricane Bertha made full steam towards the UK, predicted to make landfall overnight bringing unseasonably strong gales and heavy rain… Autumn looms around the corner.

09.08.14. Lancaster Bomber. Tony Broome.

Observer and images: Tony Broome.

 

08.08.14. Birdlog

08.08.14. Birdlog

08.08.13. Little Egret, No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

My short walk around No.4 tank this morning was before the forecasted change in the weather. A single Peregrine was perched on a tower at Growhow factory and there were two juvenile Marsh Harrier perched in a bush in the middle of the tank. A single Moorhen was small reward in the Holpool Gutter, so expectations were heighten for the birds on or by the Manchester Ship Canal and turned out marginally better with Coot,Tufted Duck and two Great Crested Grebe. A lone Little Egret out on Frodsham Score with a dozen Raven feeding on a sheep carcass.

July 2012. juv Marsh Harrier. David WilsonA family party of Common Whitethroat  in the undergrowth on the bank of No.4 with several Sedge Warbler and at least one Reed present. There were two ringers setting up their mist nets on four (interesting  to know what they were catching?).  Along Lordship Lane were two additional Sedge Warbler and again the Great Spotted Woodpecker was in the same stand of dead trees as the previous visit.

A juvenile Cuckoo flew from Rake Lane and over the bank of No.4 where 3 Marsh Harrier rose up to join a fourth bird in what looked to be a food pass.

Observer: Paul Ralston.

Another Peregrine was perched high above the Weaver Sluices on the Blue-topped chimney (WSM).

Images top and bottom: WSM, David Wilson