16.10.14. Birdlog

16.10.14. Birdlog

1.10.14. Little Egrets, No5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

16 Ruff and 2 juvenile Little Stint were present on No.6 tank until dusk. 120 Lapwing, 12 Golden Plover and 4 Little Egret were forced in by the rising tide.

The ever present assembly of ducks again included the Teal with 67 present. 6 Common Shelduck, 3 Shoveler, 40 Tufted Duck, 6 Gadwall and 2 drake Pochard.

A pair of Stonechat were along the pipes on no.1 tank.

At dusk a Cetti’s Warbler fired off a short burst of song to end the day.

Observers: Frank Duff, Sparky, WSM (and images).

Additionally 87 Redwing flew over Runcorn Hill and a Chiffchaff was still present (WSM).

15.10.14. Birdlog

15.10.14. Birdlog

30.07.14. Juvenile Marsh Harrier, No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston

The juvenile Marsh Harrier continues to be seen on the marsh and it appeared on No.6 this morning (FD). Presumably the same bird was perched in a hedgerow and seen by Rake Lane from the M56 motorway at 4.30 pm (Shaun Hickey).

A Cetti’s Warbler was again vocal at a site on the marsh. 2 Water Rail, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and 11 Redwing were nearby to keep it company.

A Stonechat favoured No.1 tank while along the River Weaver 8 Snipe and a Green Sandpiper were flushed by shooters on the aptly named Shooters’ pools.

Observer: Frank Duff.

Image: Paul Ralston.

Additionally, 30 Redwing and 2 Chiffchaff were on Runcorn Hill (WSM).

13.10.14. Birdlog

13.10.14. Birdlog

12.10.14. Great White Egret, Frodsham Score. Bill MortonA quick walk mid morning along the Manchester Ship Canal and Holpool Gutter produced just one of the Great White Egret and a single Little Egret on the score.

Jack Snipe flushed from the Canal path flew a short distance and landed after 20 yards only to be flushed again. Both Grey wagtail and Kingfisher were about the gutter near to the Growhow works and a male Sparrowhawk was on pallets at the pallet yard.

Observer: Paul Ralston.

I was keen to get down to the marsh after work and I was hopeful the rain would hold back long enough for me to get some birding done. As soon as I arrived at the ramp by No.6 tank the rain began and continued until I left…Birds just have to sit it out and so should me. A Golden Plover joined the small Lapwing flock facing the stiff NE breeze with heads down and shoulders hunched up. The (12) Ruff always appear frantic when they are feeding and these birds were no exception with the flock feeding one moment then flying ahead of each other to get to the best feeding spots.

3 Pintail, 8 Gadwall, 12 Tufted Duck, 32 Common Teal and 23 Mallard were out on the open water.

Observer and image: WSM

12.10.14. Birdlog

12.10.14. Birdlog

12.10.14. Misty Weaver estuary, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome.

12.10.14. Misty estuary, Frodsham Marsh. Tony BroomeAnother early start with the River Weaver shrouded in fog adding a mystic feel to the morning.

Out on the Mersey estuary an Avocet was feeding with Common Shelduck(FD).

2 Great White Egret were again on Frodsham Score (David Bedford).

At a location on the eastern side of the marsh a Cetti’s Warbler was actively calling.

Observer: Frank Duff

12.10.14. Stonechat (male), Lordship Lane, rodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

40 Linnet, 3 Song Thrush, 2 Blackbird, 25 Reed Bunting were at the I.C.I tank, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Sparrowhawk over the (old log) south-east corner of No.1 tank. The juvenile Marsh Harrier appeared over Redwall reedbed, 20 Skylark in a rough field behind ‘the Lum’.

12.10.14. Stonechat (female), Lordship Lane, frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome.

2 Stonechat (1m,1f) around track at entrance to flying field and 30 Skylark in a stubble field off Lordship Lane (another 2 were on No.4 tank (DB). Over on No.6 tank 15 Reed Bunting were along the banks.
2 Wheatear on the banks off Frodsham Score opposite the north-east corner of No.4 tank.
Tony broome.
Other notable exceptions to the avian kind included: 4 Red Admiral, 2 Small Tortoishell, and 2 Comma, 4 Migrant Hawker and a Common Darter.

Observer and 1-5 images: Tony Broome.


12.10.14. Mute Swans, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A flock of 58 Skylark were obviously migrating over the marsh at dusk so it may be worth vismiging in the evenings. I think I may try this again over the next week.

12.10.14. Kingfisher, No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Also at dusk No.6 tank held 175 Tufted Duck, 4 Shoveler, 3 Pintail and 87 Common Teal. 11 Ruff, 34 Lapwing and a male Kingfisher were noted.

Observer: Sparky, WSM (and images 6-7).

Snap Shots

A few images taken yesterday from Frodsham Marsh.

11.10.14. Gun turret, Frodsham Score, Frrodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A rare example of a WW2 gun turret aka ‘the plant pot’ on Frodsham Score in the morning sunshine. Image by WSM.

11.10.14. Gun turret, Frodsham Score, Frrodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

The plant pot with a Marsh Harrier emerging from the river behind. Image by WSM.

11.10.14. Marsh Harrier and Ravens, Frodsham Score, Frrodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A couple of Raven watch the harrier exiting stage right. Image by WSM.

11.10.14. Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

A lone tree in a stark landscape  with the Mersey estuary beyond. Image by Tony Broome.

11.10.14. Hale lighthouse from No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Sunshine illuminating Hale lighthouse at sunrise.Image by WSM.

11.10.14. Common Buzzard, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Pale phase Common Buzzard on Frodsham Score. Image by WSM.

11.10.14. Common Buzzard, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Same bird as above. Image by WSM.

Great Spotted Woodpecker, Pumping Station, Frodsham Marsh. Bill morton

A migrant Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Pumping Station. Image by WSM.

11.10.14. Cowsl, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Cows with a crown of burdock burs (sticky bobs). Image by WSM.

11.10.14. Grey Plovers, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Grey Plover resting the tide out on No.6 tank. Image by WSM.

11.10.14. Royal Iris cruise, Manchester Ship Canal, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

The Royal Iris cruise through Frodsham Marsh and past Marsh Farm on the Manchester Ship Canal. Image by Tony Broome.

11.10.14. Rainbow over Runcorn from Marsh Farm, Manchester Ship Canal, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

Rainbow over Weston Village from Marsh Farm. Image by Tony Broome.

11.10.14. Clouds over Runcorn, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

Big cloud probably from the ‘cloud factory’ at Fiddlers Ferry Power Station behind Runcorn Hill.. Image by Tony Broome.

11.10.14. Sky clouds, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

Cloud trident over Frodsham Marsh. Image by Tony Broome.

11.10.14. Pot-holed track by No.3 tank., Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

Pot-holed track on Frodsham Marsh. Image by Tony Broome.

11.10.14. Birdlog

11.10.14. Birdlog

11.10.14. Marsh Harrier, Frodsham Score. Bill morton

There were plenty of Wigeon out on the rising tide with several hundred seen. A juvenile Marsh Harrier (see image above) flew to the east along Frodsham Score while 6 Little and 2 Great White Egret were obvious out on the salt marsh. Also present were the 2 Whooper Swan (possibly ringed?) from earlier in the week. 3 Green Sandpiper were on the Manchester Ship Canal. The incoming tide forced in 135 Oystercatcher, 500 Lapwing, 21 Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Dunlin and Curlew.

11.10.14. Whooper Swans, Frodsham Score, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome.

An early start and a walk out to do some vismiging from the banks of No.4 tank: 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 9 Pied and 4 Grey Wagtail (flyng south), 32 Meadow Pipit (south), 43 Skylark (south),Swallow, Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit, finches and two Swallow were moving south. 1 Stock Dove (south), 1 Jay, 4 Song Thrush, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 4 Dunnock (south), and finally a Wheatear which didn’t appear to be going anywhere sat it out on the banks of the score. 

11.10.14. Great White Egret, Frodsham Score, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome.

Observers: Tony Broome, Frank Duff, WSM .
11.10.14. Frodsham Score, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome.

High tide and a watch overlooking No.6 tank saw 700 Dunlin, a Curlew Sandpiper, 2 juvenile and an adult Little Stint, 21 Ruff, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 100 Lapwing, 2 Ringed, 6 Grey and a single Golden Plover. A Peregrine briefly flew in and had a go at the wader throng but a female Sparrowhawk caused the worst damage by scooping up a Dunlin from the flock forcing everything to depart back to the river. Ducks continued to loiter on the flooded parts of the tank with 3 Pintail, 34 Tufted Duck and 64 Common Teal adding a little padding to the day. 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker in the white poplar trees above the tank and a Chiffchaff with the Long-tailed Tit flock.

Also noted was a Red Admiral Butterfly and several Migrant Hawker Dragonflies.

The Peregrine seen earlier was sat aloft the blue-topped chimney.

Observer: WSM

A Rock/Water Pipit was noted flying east along the Manchester Ship Canal towards Marsh Farm.

Observers: Tony Broome, Frank Duff.

11.10.14. Frodsham Score, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome.

The Weaver Estuary was alive with birds and included 16 Little and 5 Great Crested Grebe, 430 Tufted Duck, 210 Redshank and 120 Coot. A Great Spotted Woodpecker flew along the Weaver causeway and tallied the third of the day or an extremely flighty solo bird?

Observers: Stewart Clubbe, WSM.

Marsh Farm was the end of day venue with a Common Sandpiper, several Pied Wagtails and Kingfisher along the canal below the farm. Out on the mudflats were 400 Curlew and 2 Little Egret.

Observers: Stewart Clubbe, Tony Broome (images 2-4), Frank Duff, WSM (image 1).

10.10.14. Birdlog

10.10.14. Birdlog

10.10.14. Avocet and Black-headed gulls, No.6 tank. Bill Morton

After a brief period of evening rain the rest of the walk and watch along the banks of No.5 overlooking No.6 tank was in full sunshine.

The pre-roost of Black-headed Gulls included an Avocet which remained until dusk. We didn’t think the recent evenings count of Ruff would be surpassed but more were on offer with the total now reaching 30 birds. A Golden Plover was resting up with Lapwings on No.6 tank. Over on the river a flock of 500 Black-tailed Godwits were noted flying around with 300 Lapwing.

Passerines were also on the move at dusk with a flock of 54 Alba Wagtails flying south including a solitary flava wagtail. A roving Long-tailed Tit flock contained some Goldcrests and a Chiffchaff.

10.10.14. Kingfishers, No.6 tank. Bill Morton

A male Kingfisher (blurry image taken at dusk) put on a show when one was watched perched for 15 minutes by the old drainage tower.

10.10.14. Mitigation work on No.3 tank. Bill Morton15 Raven were moving about No.3 tank where mitigation work on the proposed “wetland area” was a hive of activity with big machines flattening the area..

Observers: Sparky, WSM (and images).

09.10.14. Birdlog

09.10.14. Birdlog

09.10.14. Ruffs, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

The evenings are inevitably drawing in and another after work fling before the clocks go back and all these trips will be lost until next year.

There was little in the way of shorebirds but 87 Lapwing, 2 Dunlin and a superb count of 23 Ruff made up for the lack of variety. Also in the same area on No.6 tank where the wetter parts still held 4 Pintail, 14 Tufted Duck, 6 Gadwall, 34 Mallard and 20 Common Shelduck. Additionally, 120 Linnet were also keeping low on the bare mud of the tank from the stiff breeze.

The big Peregrine was sat on top of the blue-topped chimney overlooking the Weaver estuary.

Observers: Arthur Harrison, WSM (and images).

08.10.14. Birdlog

08.10.14. Birdlog

08.10.14. Whooper Swans, Frodsham Score, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston

Out and about during the high tide starting at Ince berth where a Great Spotted Woodpecker was notable along the lane. Further out and on to the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal a Chiffchaff was with a flock of mixed tits.

08.10.14. Whooper Swans, Frodsham Score, Frodsham Marsh. Paul RalstonEven further out on Frodsham Score a pair of Whooper Swan made an early return and were feeding alongside a pair of Mute Swan.

A female Peregrine was causing panic amongst the Lapwing and Curlew flocks. Also notable was a couple of Green Sandpiper feeding on the side of the Holpool Gutter and 10 Raven were patrolling the tide line as it came in and were making sure the Buzzards didn’t settle on or steal any carcasses that the river may have washed up.

08.10.14. Dunlin, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston

On to No.6 tank a large flock of Lapwing joined up with the Dunlin numbers and were uneasy with the 3 Common Buzzard, 1 Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk causing much concern within their ranks.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston  

07.10.14. Birdlog

07.10.14. Birdlog

07.10.14. Black-tailed Godwit, No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

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The weather this morning and beyond to the noon high tide on the river was a lot of grey, wet and miserable but despite all of this it didn’t deter the birds coming on to No.6 tank.

700 Dunlin amassed in a tight flock close to the edge of the water on the flooded east end of the tank. After careful scrutiny a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper eventually showed its self and fed with Dunlin and 6 Ruff. 3 Black-tailed Godwit dropped in briefly while a couple of Greenshank remained throughout the watching period. Also noted was a single Golden and a small group of Ringed Plover.

Ducks are ever present on the tank so 2 Pintail, 120 Common Teal and 12 Tufted Duck were to be expected here.

A Chiffchaff joined a small band of Goldcrest along the hedges of No.5 tank. 2 Swallow rounded off the watch.

Observers: South East Cheshire Ornithological Society field trip, Sparky and WSM (and images).