14.11.14. Birdlog

14.11.14. Birdlog

14.11.14. Sunset over No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

I managed just under the hours birding towards dusk from the banks of No.5 tank looking out and over No.6 tank. 10 Mute Swan continue to find the water suitable for feeding and were again present. A build up of Pochard numbers saw 22 birds along with 4 Tufted Duck, 11 Shoveler, Mallard and 247 Common Teal.

14.11.14. Lapwing roost, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

14.11.14. Cormorant roost, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonShorebirds were roosting up and 568 Lapwing with 1500 Dunlin, 2 Redshank and 14 Ruff were notable. During the course of the observation the whole flock took off and a Sparrowhawk scythed through the birds but without success. Once they settled back along the waters edge the waders hunkered down for the night.

A Chiffchaff was calling from the reedy ditch by the track and Redwing could be heard in the gloom passing overhead. Finishing the watch a murmuration of 4000 Starlings could be seen over No.4 tank and the Growhow works.

14.11.14. Red Admiral Butterfly, Runcorn Hill. Bill Morton

Earlier in the day the weather looked for all the world to be a complete washout but it was a day of two halves! In the afternoon it turned out fine with wall to wall sunshine. A Chiffchaff in the roving tit flock and a very mobile Red Admiral was out and about on Runcorn Hill.

Observer and images: WSM.

14.11.14. Asbestos dump, Frodsham Marsh

Just a note of caution if you are visiting the marsh over the weekend. Some clowns have fly tipped several bags of Asbestos which have been cordoned off, at the top track of the ramp to No,5/6 tank. Lets hope they had the correct safety gear when they dumped it…Somehow I doubt it?

10 & 13.11.14. Birdlog

10 & 13.11.14. Birdlog

03.11.14. Lapwing flock, Leasowe, N Wirral

10.11.14. Birdlog

The usual on the Great White Egret on Frodsham Score. Nearby a Marsh Harrier was roaming about and a very pale (wannabe) Common (Rough-legged) Buzzard was on No.6 tank. Two Common Snipe were frequenting No.4 and just south along Lordship Lane a male and female Stonechat lingered. Over on the Holpool Gutter a Grey Wagtail was noted.

Observer: Jean Roberts.

13.11.14. Birdlog

A late afternoon walk from the Ince berth along the Manchester Ship Canal and No.4 tank. A group of swans on Ince Marsh were made up of 14 Mute and 7 Whoopers. A Little Egret was blown along the ship canal and then over Ince Berth followed by a calling Green Sandpiper which settled on the canal bank. There were at least 40 Mallard taking shelter out of the strong wind on the canal. Good numbers of Lapwing were out on the Frodsham Score and a single Common Snipe which left the marsh. As the light faded large numbers of Starlings built up over No.4 but this time on south side at the Lordship Lane end and not by the canal as they did last week.

Observer: Paul Ralston.

Image: WSM

09.11.14. Birdlog

09.11.14. Birdlog

09.11.14. Fox and Sheep on Frodsham Score., Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

A very odd sighting today in the form of a small  worker sized (one of the) white-tailed bumble bee species. Unfortunately could not narrow it down to species but I’ve never seen other than an obvious queen in November before. Some very early morning vis mig (after a pre-dawn Barn Owl over No. 4 tank) included two separate Brambling calls (amongst a small movement of seemingly SW-bound Chaffinch), 145 Fieldfare (3 flocks), 12 Redwing, about 350 Woodpigeon (8+ flocks) and a southbound Rock/Water Pipit. 3 Stonechat (m/2f) along southern edge of No. 6 tank.

Observer: Pete Marsh.

Out on the Weaver Bend 6 Black-necked Grebe were found on the WeBS count by John Gascoyne.

Frodsham Score on a good tide should never disappoint and this mornings watch produced 10 Whooper Swan with a further two flying low over No.3 tank. Also present were 10 Little and the (and I thought I’d ever say this) usual Great White Egret were spotted on the incoming water. Big counts of 5000 Canada Goose and 13 Greylags. Golden Plover numbers peaked at 420 birds and there were 20 Raven on the salt marsh competing with the more brutish Great Black-backed Gulls over a sheep carcass. The Rock Pipit from last week resurfaced calling several times on the score but remains elusive.

09.11.14. High tide on Frodsham Score., Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

Elsewhere a Merlin on No.6 flew to No.4 tank and 6 Common Buzzard included a pale phase bird along the track on four. A Common Snipe and a Green Sandpiper was on the Canal Pools and 4 Common Snipe frequented No.6 tank. Kestrels were seen on tanks 3, 4 and 6. A Water Rail calling from the willows on No.4 are typically vocal during this period of the autumn. 12 Jackdaw noted flying east and a Tree Sparrow is a rare bird, so one at the Pumping Station was a welcome surprise before it then flew out towards Marsh Farm. Also by the station jetty was a Kingfisher perched up.

Observer: Tony Broome (image 1, 2 & 3).
09.11.14. Weasel, Brook Furlong Lane, Frodsham Marsh10 Ruff, 35 Ringed Plover, c1500 Dunlin and a Little Stint came in with the afternoon tide.
A Great Spotted Woodpecker was in the trees along the side of the tank and a Merlin flew through.
A Weasel ran across the track a few times along Brook Furlong.
Observers: Alyn Chambers (image 3), Frank Duff.
We didn’t manage to get down to the marsh until towards dusk after spending the day fungi-ing at Delamere Forest (more of that at a later date). A walk along the track above No.6 tank and below us on the flooded eastern corner were 8 Common Pochard (a bigger increase on yesterday), 10 Mute Swan, 3 Tufted Duck, 87 Common Teal, 7 Shoveler and 9 Gadwall were noted and a few Moorhen were about the reedy margins.
09.11.14. Growhow works from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh

A further walk out to the junction of No’s 6, 5 and 3 tanks overlooking the western part of six was worthy of the effort. Several hundred Starlings were gathered on No.5 tank and were joined by more from the west before creating a small mushroom cloud murmuration prior to moving off elsewhere.

The juvenile Marsh Harrier from yesterday reappeared and another more well-marked imm/female was over on No.4 tank. The first ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier of the autumn put in an appearance and was fairly showy from No.6 then out on the fields and working area of No.3 tank.

Chiffchaff which was contact calling from the scattered willows below where we were standing above No.6 tank. 54 Fieldfare passed over to the south to end the day.

Observers: Sparky, WSM (image 4).

Summer still lingers on with a Red Admiral on the marsh today (JR, PM) and a Migrant Hawker at Blakemere, Delamere Forest (JS, WSM).

08.11.14. Birdlog

08.11.14. Birdlog

08.11.14. Sunrise over the Growhow works. Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston

Pictured the sunrise over the Growhow factory along Lordship Lane.

An early morning walk again from the Ince berth taking in the Manchester Ship Canal around No.4 tank and back along Lordship Lane to the Holpool Gutter.

4 Little Egret out on Frodsham Score where several Great Black-backed Gulls pulled rank over the first dabs on a sheep carcass with the local Ravens. A small male Peregrine went into a dive and connected with a Wood Pigeon which lost a few feathers but managed to evade capture. A Sparrowhawk was following the Starlings leaving the roost on No.4 tank with Common Buzzard and Kestrel also in the area. Large numbers of finches were roaming around made up of Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Linnet.

08.11.14. Whooper Swans, Ince Marsh. Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston

08.11.14. Grey Wagtail, Ince Marsh. Frodsham Marsh. Paul RalstonLordship lane held more finch flocks with Redwings amongst them. On to the Holpool Gutter were 4 Little Grebe, a Grey Wagtail and many Moorhen were seen the field alongside the gutter which also held 4 Whooper Swan and a good numbers of Curlew.

08.11.14. Marsh Harrier (juv), No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

The young Marsh Harrier was sitting amongst the reeds on No.6 tank and later (pictured) hunting over the tank.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1,2 & 3)

08.11.14. Dunlin, Lapwing and Golden Plover flocks, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

During the afternoon tide I was positioned out of the stiff wind and rain on the banks of No.5 overlooking No.6 tank. Watching the shorebirds vacating the River Mersey and settling out on the safety of the tank below.

08.11.14. Wader roost on No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

4000 Dunlin made up the mass of numbers with 251 Golden and 190 Grey, 12 Knot, 6 Ruff and 409 Lapwing made up the rest. Just as the tide on the river was reaching its peak the whole throng of waders took to the air and when they eventually settled half of the Dunlin flock had left the area…thanks to a Sparrowhawk hunting the flock.

08.11.14. Growhow works from, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A drake Pochard, 8 Gadwall, 10 Common Shelduck, 1 Mallard, 178 Common Teal and 6 Shoveler were settled on the water here.

Further out on the reed beds two Common Buzzard chose the walking technique and were stalking their prey by foot, while a Kestrel used the conventional method and picked hovering for food. A juvenile Marsh Harrier was quartering the tank for most of the afternoon and was presumably the same bird PR had seen earlier in the day. A Carrion Crow with bonxiesque under-wing pattern flew across while the harrier was about its business.

08.11.14. Blah blah Black Sheep flocks, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A Chiffchaff was wandering the reedbeds and bushes alongside the dirt track with a small bunch of Long-tailed, Blut Tits and Goldcrests. Another Chiffy was on Runcorn Hill yesterday.

A blah blah Black Sheep amounst the normal ones stuck out like a sore thumb on No.5 tank.

Further out on the marsh a Cetti’s Warbler gave a brief artillery blast before going undercover.

Observer and images: WSM (and images 4, 5, 6 & 7).

05.11.14. Birdlog

05.11.14. Birdlog

05.11.14. Sunset over No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonA late walk along the Holpool Gutter to the Manchester Ship Canal produce a Grey Wagtail on Rake Lane by the Growhow works and another on the gutter itself. A  single Green Sandpiper dropped in to the ditch that runs in to the gutter by the canal. 4 Whooper Swan on Frodsham Score and another 20 Mute Swan further out. A flock of approx 20 Pink-footed Geese flew over No.4 tank and looked to drop down near Lordship Lane only to return to the score an hour later and join the many Canada Geese there. The Starlings again put on a show going to roost on No.4 tank.

Observer and image: Paul Ralston.

Further across the marsh at No.6 tank and due to the sunny day extending the evening light I managed an hours watch after work as the sun slipped below the Growhow works and the Welsh hills beyond.

Ducks were gathered on the tank and I managed to count 5 Shoveler, 6 Pochard, 1 Tufted Duck, 6 Shoveler and 200 Common Teal. Lapwing were roosting along the waters edge with 3 Ruff and small numbers of Golden Plovers noted.

Observer and image: WSM.

Additionally, a Chiffchaff was on Runcorn Hill today hanging out with the roving tit flock (WSM).

03.11.14. Birdlog

03.11.14. Birdlog

03.11.14. Ruff and Lapwing, No.6 tank, Moorditch Lane, Trodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A Barn Owl hunting over No.5 tank at 06.50-06.55. Single Migrant Hawker and Common Darter seen along track between No 6 and No 4 tank – the former needing a zimmerframe. Merveille du Jour moth accidentally escaped from the car by No 5 tank – must have unknowingly been in there for three days – source probably Millhouses nr Wray! Four Angle Shades in the headlights along road to No.5 tank this morning at 06.15. One vismig Yellowhammer SE No. 5 tank 08.15hrs.

Observer: Pete Marsh.

A later than normal ramble from Ince berth and along the Holpool Gutter, passing Frodsham Score which was quiet as a wildfowler was out on the marsh. A juvenile Great Crested Grebe on the Manchester Ship Canal also 30 Mallard and 2 Coot. a large pig alongside the ship canal and gutter was a bit of a surprise and was AWOL from thelocal  pig farmat Ince. A few hundred Starling above No.4 tank were good entertainment. The Kingfisher was again by the bridge over the gutter by Growhow works.

Observer: Paul Ralston.

We managed to get the last hour of daylight before the night took over. 14 Ruff were again feeding with the Lapwing flocks on No.6 tank where 300 birds were gathered to roost. 167 Golden Plover in flight over No.2 tank were just beginning to spend the winter here. Other species on No.6 included 300 Common Teal, a pair of Pochard, 7 Gadwall and 4 Shoveler.

25 Raven rising and tumbling over the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal before 12 separated and headed off to the south to roost.

03.11.14. Ditch Dreging, Moorditch Lane, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A ditch dredger was hard at work toiling through the gloom as we walked back to Marsh Lane. I know it’s a nessacary evil but I wonder how this affects the introduced Water Vole population in the ditches along Moorditch Lane?

Observers: Sparky, WSM (and images).

03.11.14. Raven, Moorditch Lane, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

02.11.14. Birdlog

02.11.14. Birdlog

02.11.14. CEGB pools, Frodsham Marsh,

Frodsham Score was a little quiet with 2 Little Egret, 10 Mute Swan and an immature Peregrine were noted (another probably the adult was perched on the blue-topped chimney). The juvenile Marsh Harrier was over the Lum then later at No.6 tank and 3 Common Buzzard were noted. 800 Lapwing and 1000 Dunlin could be seen distantly over the Mersey. 2000 Starling were gathered to feed on the salt marsh and 17 Jackdaw were present.

 A pair of Bullfinch and 2 Greenfinch with the Redwings along Brook Furlong Lane, 2 Fieldfare by No 6 Tank before flying down to Lordship Marsh and with the 300 Dunlin on the tank were 1 Sanderling, 1 Redshank, 8 Ruff and 16 Mute Swan.

Observers: Alyn Chambers, Sean O’Hara.

5 Meadow Pipit, a Goldcrest (one at No.4 tank), 7 Chaffinch and 10 Redwing along Brook Furlong lane hedgerow. A Skylark was in song and two others flying high to the west, a Grey Wagtail flying north-east over the old birdlog and 1 at No.4 tank.
A male Stonechat along the track between No.3 and No.6 would have had problems trying to dispatch a late Migrant Hawker flying further along the track above No.6 tank.
Observer: Tony Broome.
Small Tortoiseshell and Common Darter were by No.4 tank.
Observers: Mr & Mrs Paul Yates.
5 Stonechat along the fence line on No.1 tank have been here on and off for a week now.
Observer: Alyn Chambers.
Red Admiral was at No.4 tank. While a pair of Stonechat at the junction of Rakes Lane and Lordship Lane. A female type Marsh Harrier and a spectacular Starling murmuration – of 7000 and could have been 8000 birds, went down in the reeds on the tank.
Observer: Jean Roberts.

02.11.14. River Weaver, Frodsham Marsh

02.11.14. CEGB pools, Frodsham Marsh.

Walking along the River Weaver shoreline produced a Kingfisher, Cetti’s Warbler and a fine male Bullfinch.

Observers: Sparky, WSM (and images).

Barn Owl was giving good views hunting over No.5 tank from 4.30 until dark,at one point it was harassed by a Sparrowhawk.

Observer: Mark Wotham

01.11.14. Birdlog

01.11.14. Birdlog

No.1 – Weaver estuary: 3 Mute Swan with one juvenile, 23 Pochard, 4 Mallard, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebe.
Weaver Bend: 17 Mute Swan with one juvenile, 13 Redshank, 4 Shelduck, 20 Black-headed Gull, 2 Shoveller.
No.6 tank: 120 Lapwing, 20 Teal, 9 Mute Swan.

Observer: Lee Lappin.

A female Marsh Harrier over No.4 tank this evening and Starling murmaration by the Growhow works.

Observer and video: Shaun Hickey