20.11.14. Birdlog

20.11.14. Birdlog

20.11.14. Barn Owl, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston

A late afternoon walk around the Weaver Bend and along Lordship Lane as far as No.4 tank with a good listing of birds which included the following: 11 Little Grebe in one group on the ‘Bend’ also 3 Mute Swan with one male chasing another out of its territory. A male Stonechat along the Weaver Causeway. Not many duck on the river only small numbers of Shelduck, Mallard and Common Teal and a group of Tufted Duck were further along the river. A single Red-legged Partridge was on the path by the bridge while a Barn Owl was sleeping in a hawthorn bush which may not have been in the best of health? The Starlings put on a good show over No.4 and 6  tanks at dusk and were visited by a Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and young Marsh Harrier .

Observer and image: Paul Ralston

16.11.14. Birdlog

16.11.14. Birdlog

Dawn broke over No.6 tank and one die-hard took up the gauntlet determined to have a good day out on the marsh. Observation commenced at 08.15 – 09. 35 hrs.

16.11.14. Stonechat (female), No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome. 16.11.14. Stonechat (male), No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome.


3 Cormorant, 3 Curlew, 800 Lapwing, 17 Golden Plover, 50 Dunlin, 5 Ruff, 17 Pochard, 520 Common Teal, 22 Shoveler, 7 Gadwall, 23 Tufted Duck, 6 Common Shelduck, 30 Mallard, 6 Mute Swan,  a single Great Black-backed Gull and to cocktail shake this lot up was an immature Peregrine which flushed everything at 09.10.

Moving out to No.3 tank after the Peregrine aftermath produced  (09.35-10.26): 8 Common Snipe, 5 Pied Wagtail, 14 Meadow Pipit, 14 Reed Bunting and 5 Song Thrush.
16.11.14. Starlings), No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome.
16.11.14. Starlins, Moorditch Lane, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonNo.4 tank (NE corner, Canal Pools and Frodsham Score) 1026-1145: A single Great White Egret with 2 Little Egret, 7 Whooper Swan, 26 Mute Swan, 5000 Dunlin, 84 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Jay, 8 Long-tailed, 3 Blue and 5 Great Tit, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Redpoll spp (flying south) 10 Raven and 13 Jackdaw.
A ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier was over No.3 and 4 tanks while 25 Chaffinch, 5 Great Tit and 3 Song Thrush were in and around the scrubs.
No.3 tank – Canal Pools: 1 Green Sandpiper (another was on No.4 tank per JR), 3 Common Snipe, 60 Chaffinch, 40 Goldfinch, 15 Coot,
No. 6 tank (12.20-13.00): 20 Chaffinch and a Snow Bunting calling several times in flight from the south-west at 12.41 – 12.43 over the track above No.6 tank and flew north-east over the old bird log parking area.
Weaver Estuary (14.00 – 16.15): 150 Tufted Duck, 3 Goldeneye, 19 Little Grebe, 100 Redshank, 100 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Grey Plover,  500 Curlew, 30 Meadow Pipit,
2 male and 2 female Stonechat on the pipes on No.1 tank with another male and female at the ‘Point’.
Observer and images (images 1, 2 & 3): Tony Broome.
A couple of (presumably) immature Marsh Harrier was over No.4 tank.
Observers: Mr and Ms Mike Turton.

The stubble fields alongside Lordship Lane held 121 Linnet, 46 Skylark, 13 Reed Bunting and present in the hawthorn hedge near the slurry tank were 12 Fieldfare and 9 Redwing.
Observer: Jean Roberts.

16.11.14. Stonechat (male),Lordship Lane, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton
A walk around No.6 tank at dusk resulted in seeing other Stonechat which included a male and 2 females along the fence line opposite the model aircraft field. Two Chiffchaff along Moorditch Lane and 60 Linnet in the stubble field.
The flooded areas on No.6 tank included most of Tony’s sightings from earlier in the day with the addition of c600 Dunlin roosting with the Lapwing flock.
Observers: Sparky, WSM (images 4 & 5).
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15.11.14. Birdlog

15.11.14. Birdlog

15.11.14. Wader flock over Frodsham Score, Bill Morton

15.11.14. Blue-topped chimney, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

The Weaver estuary and Bend wasn’t at its best today. However, you have to deal with what’s on offer so, 214 Tufted Duck, 1 drake Common Pochard, 14 Goldeneye, 16 Little and 4 Great Crested Grebe and a Water Rail started the days birding up and running

Observer: WSM.

Further out on the margins of the marsh a Chiffchaff and a Cetti’s Warbler could be heard.

Observer: Frank Duff.

15.11.14. Great Spotted Woodpecker, Brook Furlong Lane, Frodsham Marsh, Bill MortonAlong Brook Furlong Lane and in the Hawthorn hedgerows was a Chiffchaff, 3 Bullfinch, 12 Fieldfare, 68 Redwing and a male Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Observer: WSM

Marsh Farm and the salt marsh across from the Manchester Ship Canal offered a better alternative with 2000 Dunlin, 2400 Lapwing and 120 Black-tailed Godwit. All these birds were flushed by a couple of wildfowlers out on the top banks. After a while and when everything eventually settled down, a Merlin spotted a Meadow Pipit and then gave chase, the aerial combat took some time before we lost both birds below the embankment and it all seemed enviable? A (Lesser) Redpoll flew east over the farm and a Grey Wagtail took time out to perch up.

15.11.14. Male Stonechat, No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh, Frank Duff

Three Stonechat  (including a nice male pictured above) were along the fence and pipes of No.1 tank and a pair were by the brick pit at Marsh Farm.

15.11.14. Kingfisher, Marsh Farm, Frodsham Marsh, Bill Morton

Along the waters of the Manchester Ship Canal was 21 Little Grebe and nearby a male Kingfisher was perched up.

A drive across the marsh to watch over No.6 tank was well worth the time there when the juvenile Marsh Harrier was watched hunting the western reed beds. The distant barking of a skein of 63 Pink-footed Geese flew in from the north. They flew purposely heading south west towards the Gowy Meadows but did a hand brake turn and circled back on themselves before returning north out to the estuary.

An increase in duck species on the waters of the tank included: 22 Common Pochard, 40 Tufted Duck, 26 Shoveler, 2 drake Pintail. 12 Mallard, 12 Gadwall and 178 Common Teal. Shorebirds featured a solitary Ruff, 230 Dunlin and 470 Lapwing.


Finally, a bird that isn’t particularly common anywhere on the marsh is the Collared Dove. When I was leaving the marsh I spotted two perched on wires by the caravan park, a welcome bonus for the day list.

Observers: Frank Duff (and image 4), WSM (and images 1,2,3, 5 and 6).

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).