30.04.15. Birdlog

30.04.15. Birdlog

30.04.15. Avocet, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

The stiff breeze continued to sweep across the marsh but with a sunny disposition I was situated on the track beside the mitigation area on No.3 tank.

30.04.15. No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Mitigation area of No.3 tank from the banks of No.5 tank.

30.04.15. Avocet, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

30.04.15. Black-tailed Godwits, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

29.04.15. Whitethroat, No.6 tank, Frodsham MarshAn overly active Avocet was on the scrapes with 10 Black-tailed Godwit nearby. A couple of Ringed Plover and Lapwing added to a very busy end of April. 27 Raven dwarfed an attendant 17 Jackdaw feeding over the fence from the wet scrape.

The male Marsh Harrier flew over en route to No.4 tank. Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Swallow were about the area.

Observers: Ron Brumby (image 5), WSM (images 1-4).

28 & 29.04.15. (Frodsham Festival of Walks) Birdlog

28.04.15. Birdlog

Small Copper Butterfly. Tony Broome

A male Marsh Harrier was seen several times around the area of No.6 tank and a Wheatear south of the tank.

Observer and image: Tony Broome.

29.04.15. Frodsham Festival of Walks

29.04.15

A 32 strong group of walkers joined me on an amble along Moorditch Lane, through the track on No.5 tank to the mitigation area on No.1 tank.

A small party of Golden Plover were settled into the wind on the edge of the flooded area of No.6 tank with half a dozen Dunlin. A group of 25 Ringed Plover flew in when the tide began to flood the river. Three Common Snipe and a flock of 40 Curlew flew over and out to the river. Shelduck numbers are gathering pace with 70 birds present on the open water. Common Teal have virtually departed the marsh except for a few pairs settled in the area. The Grey Heron was snuggled down low in its nest and barely revealed any of its body.

A Peregrine perched on the blue-topped chimney chose to sit on the outer lip and proved difficult to show or convince everybody that there was a bird there. A dozen Raven sailed through from mutton munching on Frodsham Score and headed south over the hills. A roost of 50 immature and sub-adult Great Black-backed Gulls with smaller numbers of Lesser Black-backs were roosting at dusk on the tank.

29.04.15. Frodsham Festival of Walks on Frodsham Marsh. copy

The group eventually reached the mitigation area and the stiff cold breeze kept most of the summer migrants low down in cover or simply remaining quiet. However, someone spotted the male Marsh Harrier quartering the reed beds on No.6 tank which saved the day.

Observers: Frodsham Festival of Walkers

27.04.15. Birdlog

27.04.15. Birdlog

27.04.15. Teal and White Wagtail, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonA Wheatear was along the pipes at Marsh Farm.

Observer: Frank Duff

The Avocets were not present on No.3 tank although we could hear one calling nearby. Birds lingering on the mitigation area included: 5 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover and a Little Ringed Plover. There were also a couple of pairs of Shoveler and Gadwall present.

No.6 tank was a good spot for White Wagtail with about a dozen birds present, a Yellow Wagtail, 20 Meadow Pipit and 7 Wheatear were also noted. A small party of Ringed Plover, 1 Little Ringed Plover and 4 Dunlin dropped.

Observers: Frank Duff, WSM (and image)

26.04.15. Frodsham Festival of Walks

26.04.15. Frodsham Festival of Walks

26.04.15. Frodsham Festival of Walks, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonAfter starting our Frodsham Festival of Walks first visit to Frodsham Marsh (a group of 28) on the motorway bridge at Brook Furlong Lane/Marsh Lane., we made our way along Moorditch Lane. Soon after we stopped off to pick up a singing Lesser Whitethroat probably the bird from yesterday. There were plenty of spring migrants about which were either passing through to the north or setting up their breeding patches.

26.04.15. Frodsham Festival of Walks, Lordship Lane, Frodsham Marsh. Heather and Findlay Wilde (2)
The area of No.6 tank was a bit more productive today with a similar array of ducks and the wetter muddy margins held a small flock of Golden Plover ‘northern form’, 6 Dunlin and a solitary Black-tailed Godwit.
26.04.15. Dunlin and Ringed Plover, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Heather and Findlay Wilde (2)
Moving further on we stopped to check the mitigation area on no.3 tank where 3 Avocet were still present, a flock of 16 Dunlin dropped in from the river and 6 Ringed Plover were busy chasing each other on the exposed muddy areas. A Whimbrel was heard whistling distantly but couldn’t be picked up.
26.04.15. Avocet and Ringed Plover, Frodsham Marsh. Heather and Findlay Wilde (2)
A plentiful supply of Common Buzzards were a good indication to their success over the last few decades and Frodsham Marsh is one of its strongholds.
26.04.15. Wheatear, Lordship Lane, Frodsham Marsh. Heather and Findlay Wilde (2)
Following the track and circumnavigating No.6 tank we walked along Lordship Lane to the junction of Haresfinch, Moorditch and Lordship Lanes. The ploughed fields here attracted 4 Wheatear and a grassy field nearby held two more birds which allowed us to watch them closely.
26.04.15. Marsh Harrier, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Heather and Findlay Wilde (2)
A full list of the species encountered today include (not in any particular order): Song Thrush, Carrion Crow, Great Tit, Jackdaw, Magpie, Blue Tit, Starling, Chiffchaff, Rook, Raven, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Whitethroat, Wood Pigeon, Wren, Dunnock, Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Buzzard, Meadow Pipit, Shoveler, Teal, Grey Heron, Tufted Duck, Shelduck, Sand Martin, Mute Swan, Golden Plover, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Mallard, Lapwing, Pheasant, Avocet, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Blackcap, Wheatear, Skylark, Ringer Plover, Whimbrel, Black-headed Gull, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Gadwall, Swallow, Oystercatcher, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk (disguised as a Cuckoo!), Cormorant, Reed Bunting, Linnet, Coot, Moorhen, Redshank, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Long-tailed Tit,
Marsh Harrier (after the group had departed and seen by Findlay and Heather Wilde)
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Butterflies: Orange Tip, Large White, Comma, Tortoiseshell and Peacock.
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Mammals: Rabbit, Stoat
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Frodsham Festival of Walks Birders.
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In the evening Sean managed to see 16 Golden Plover, 30 Dunlin, 8 Ringed plover, 2 Whimbrel and 2 White Wagtail.
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3 Common Sandpiper were on the Weaver Bend. The male Marsh Harrier put in another appearance.
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Observer: Sean O’Hara.

25.04.15. Birdlog

25.04.15. Birdlog

25.04.15. gun turret from No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

After my week away I was gagging to get down to the marsh to see what was about. I parked up by the ramp and was immediately greeted by a singing Lesser Whitethroat in the fully leafed hedgerow bordering the fields that leads out towards the motorway from Moorditch Lane…a good start. Soon after a reeling Grasshopper Warbler, Whitethroat and Blackcap had obviously arrived since my last visit. A Comma Butterfly sunning itself on some garden flytipping stayed long enough to be snapped.

25.04.15. Ship sailing through No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

No.6 tank lacked a bit of gusto with 17 Tufted Duck, 6 Mute Swan, a few Common Teal and Common Shelduck being meager fare for the seasonal migration. I continued along the newly paved track above No.6 and headed off to the mitigation area on No.3 tank. There I met Sean who had been scoping the birds on the scrapes in the rain.

25.04.15. Avocet, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Three Avocet looked likely to be establishing a territory here with 4 Ringed Plover, a Dunlin and a Black-tailed Godwit. Soon after Sean departed I was happily scoping the surrounding area but a squall of rain forced me to seek cover in a belt of trees (just a few remnants from the mass clear out of trees here recently). The rain came in, back up by the Icelandic wind the weather man had promised earlier on the forecast. Just after the rain was beginning to ease, all of the duck and waders rose from the water and there overhead was an Osprey! I presume the raptor had dropped height when passing over from the hills in the squall. With all my camera gear securely tucked away from the weather I gave up attempting to get a picture and just watched it fly over to the Canal Pools before heading out towards Hale Head.

Soon after the Osprey flew through the rain cleared and out popped the male Marsh Harrier hunting the reed beds of No.6 tank. The usual Peregrine was perched on the big blue chimney at Weston Point.

The rain brought in a Swift, 40 Meadow Pipit, Swallow and Sand Martins.

Observer and images: WSM.

25.04.15. Comma Butterfly, Moorditch Lane, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

After Sean had departed he made his way down to the Weaver Bend were there were plenty of Swallow and a few House Martin. On the river was a small flock of 26 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Redshank, a Ruff (in stunning summer plumage), 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Swift high over heading north and 4 Wheatear along the pipes on No.1 tank.

Observer: Sean O’Hara.

24.04.15. Birdlog

24.04.16. Birdlog
24.04.15. Whimbrel, No.3 tank, frodsham Marsh. Alyn Chambers
This afternoon on the marsh and there were 2 Avocet and a Whimbrel on the mitigation area. While No.6 tank had 2 Little Ringed Plover, 18 Golden Plover, 3 Yellow Wagtail and 4 White Wagtail.
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There was also 4 Wheatear on No.1 tank and 2 more Little Ringed Plover were present over on the Weaver Bend.
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Observer and image: Alyn Chambers.

18, 20 & 21.04.15. Birdlog

23.04.15. Whitethroat and Whinchat, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston

18.04.15 Birdlog

Out this morning along the Manchester Ship Canal around No.4 and 6 tanks.

Blackcaps were the most vocal along the canal path with smaller numbers of Chiffchaff heard and seen. 3 Wheatear were sat on driftwood on the waterside while good numbers of Sand Martin hawked overhead.

23.04.15. Eygptian Geese, Frodsham Score, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston

23.04.15. Avocets, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Paul RalstonOut on Frodsham Score salt marsh and 2 Egyptian Geese were sat amongst the Canadian and Greylags and then flew west along the river.

Reed and Sedge Warbler were singing in the reeds at the edge of No.4 and a Fox crossed my path only to disappear over the bank. 2 Avocet were on the mitigation pool as were good numbers of Shoveler, Mallard, Teal, Gadwall and 2 Shelduck. The Grey Heron sat tight on its nest on No.6 and was joined by its mate as a Cormorant sat close by. A party of 11 Mute Swan were on the water and a Common Sandpiper flew along the bank.

23.04.15. Fox, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston

On to Lordship Lane and Common Whitethroat were more vocal of the birds present and 2 male Whinchat were fly-catching from the hawthorn bushes near the model flying field. A pair of Kestrel were copulating close to the owl box near the blue storage tank and Common Buzzard were displaying over head.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

20th & 21st

A Cuckoo seen near the secluded pool at the corner of No.6 tank (where the road bends round to the mitigation pools).

Observer: Jean Roberts.

19.04.15. Birdlog

19.04.15. Birdlog (WeBS Count)
19.04.15. Golden Plovers, Curlew et al, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Heather Wilde
It was total gridlock on the marsh this morning. A group from RSPB Southport were doing the circuit (and had spotted 3 Wheatear which we never saw), as well as numerous ramblers, dog walkers and birders.  The banks were alive with birdsong; Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Sedge Warbler and a Reed Warbler all competing with each other and a Skylark climbing high trilling above them all.
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23.04.15. male Marsh Harrier, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Heather WildeThe mitigation tank held 2 stunning male Shoveler, Coots, Mallards, Teal, Shelduck, Oystercatchers and a Whimbrel (which later flew on to No.6 Tank).
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The male Marsh Harrier was quartering No.6 tank and then flew off towards the Weaver Bend straight over our heads! 6 Buzzard were riding the thermals high over the chimneys on the Helsby side, as small flocks of birds started to fly in escaping the high tide.
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19.04.15. Golden Plovers, No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome
No.6 tank held the main even though today with 74 Black-tailed Godwit, 16 Ringed Plover, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 8 Golden Plover, 9 Dunlin, 67 Teal, 35 Tufted Duck, 5 Redshank, 2 Greylag Geese, 1 Snipe and a nesting Grey Heron pair. Also present were Mute Swans, Shelduck, Cormorants, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Canada Geese and Mallards.
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A flock of about 50 Curlew circled the tank but didn’t settle. There was also a Yellow Wagtail feeding on the mud at the waters edge on the tank.  About 50 Swallows, 2 House Martins and 2 Sand Martins were feeding over the water.
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Observers: Findlay and Heather Wilde (images 1-2).
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19.04.15. Oystercatcher pair, Pumping Station, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome
Some additional and some overlapping sightings involved:
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A very cold day but a few bits and pieces. Heather got some nice pictures including the male Marsh Harrier over No.6 tank. I saw the f/imm bird over No.4 onto 6.
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Frodsham Score had 30+ Raven and 4 Buzzard. The Whimbrel on No.6 tank flew over me towards there whilst I was on No.3 tank. 23 Oystercatcher on the Score plus a pair at the Pumping Station.
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11 Sand Martin and 2 Swallow on a fence opposite the Pumping Station. 10+ Swallow south over No.6 tank.
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1 Common Snipe at the Canal Pools. Also a male Wigeon on the Score.
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Out of the 74 (Heather’s count) Black-tailed Godwit on No.6 tank, two were colour-ringed. I couldn’t make out one of them, but the other was pale green over black above knee left leg, blue over red above knee right leg.
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Observer: Tony Broome (images 3-4)

Frodsham Marsh Wind Farm: No.4 tank: A Time of Change.

No.4 tank: A Time of Change.

16.04.15. SW corner of No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed. Bill Morton

Following on from my previous post for the 20th March 2015, I thought it would be a good time to give you a visual update on the work undertaken on the huge reed beds of No.4 tank and the infrastructure of roads that are being put in place on the marsh.

17.04.15. Rake Lane, Helsby Marshes. Bill Morton

16.04.15. New road from Rake Lane. Bill Morton (2)16.04.15. New road from Rake Lane. Bill Morton (1)

16.04.15. Extreme South-west corner of No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed. Bill Morton (1)16.04.15. Extreme South-west corner of No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed. Bill Morton (4)16.04.15. Extreme South-west corner of No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed. Bill Morton (3)The first set of images show the south-west corner of the tank adjacent to and the improved road/track by the Holpool Gutter and Lordship Lane to Rake Lane.

16.04.15. South west corner of No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed. Bill Morton (2)

16.04.15. South west corner of No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed. Bill Morton (3)16.04.15. South west corner of No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed. Bill Morton (4)The second set of images show the reduction of the reed beds close to the south-west corner.

16.04.15. Centre of No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed. Bill Morton (2)

16.04.15. Centre of No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed. Bill Morton (1)16.04.15. Centre of No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed begining to be cleared. Bill Morton (1)The third set of images show the central region of reed bed clearance.

16.04.15. Centre of No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed begining to be cleared. Bill Morton (2)

16.04.15. South-east corner of No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed and clear scrub in foreground. Bill Morton (2)16.04.15. South-east corner of No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed and clear scrub in foreground. Bill Morton (3)16.04.15. South-east corner of No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed and clear scrub in foreground. Bill Morton (4)The fourth set of images are of the south-east corner where the site office is situated and shows the track that separates No.4 and No.6 tanks.

16.04.15. North-east corner No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed and clear scrub. Bill Morton (13)16.04.15. North-east corner No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed and clear scrub. Bill Morton (12)16.04.15. North-east corner No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed and clear scrub. Bill Morton (11)

16.04.15. North-east corner No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed and clear scrub. Bill Morton (7)16.04.15. North-east corner No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed and clear scrub. Bill Morton (4)16.04.15. North-east corner No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed and clear scrub. Bill Morton (1)16.04.15. Northern banks of No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh, remaining reed bed and clear scrub in background. Bill Morton (5)The fifth set of images depict the heavy machines, wind turbine bases and the close proximity to the Mersey estuary.

16.04.15. No.3 tank (mitigation), Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)16.04.15. No.3 tank (mitigation), Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (6)16.04.15. No.3 tank (mitigation), Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (3)

The final set of images No.3 tank and the wetland area of mitigation.

All images by WSM.

18.04.15. Birdlog

18.04.15. Birdlog

18.04.15. Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston (1)

Out again this morning along the Manchester Ship Canal and around No.4 and No.6 tanks. The female Marsh Harrier was again pursued by Lapwings over 4 while a Fox took advantage of the absence of contractors being about and was searching for the Lapwing nests.

18.04.15. Whitethroat, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston (3)

An arrival of summer migrants included Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Reed and Sedge Warbler and they didn’t waste anytime making themselves known throughout the mornings walk. A single Little Egret was out on the salt marsh keeping company with the many Common Shelduck, Mallard, Gadwall  and smaller numbers of Common Teal.

18.04.15. Golden Plovers, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

There were 23 Golden Plover sat on the waters edge with a small number of Redshank.

Along Lordship Lane both Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler were evident by their song. A Little Egret flew over No.6 then was forced to avoid a mid-flight collision and rapidly changed course when a model aircraft flew to close. Many Common Buzzard, Raven and a pair of Kestrel seen during the walk with Sand Martin over the Holpool Gutter.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-2 & 4).

18.04.15. Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston (2)

The area of No.1 tank featured 5 Wheatear and 3 Whimbrel this morning.
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The first Swift of the summer flew east over the River Weaver with 50 Sand Martin. The area around the Weaver Bend also had 4 Avocet, 1 Little Ringed Plover and 1 Common Sandpiper.
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During the tide on the River Mersey birds were displaced on to No.6 tank and included: 23 Golden Plover, 10 Ringed Plover, 6 Dunlin and a Little Ringed Plover.
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Warblers seen/heard included: 28 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler, 8 Blackcap, 10 Whitethroat, 4 Sedge Warbler and 1 Reed Warbler.
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Observer: Alyn Chambers

18.04.15. Track on, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

After work I made my way along the top newly widened track above No.6 tank and stopped to observe the ducks there. 3 Little Grebe, 17 Tufted Duck, 64 Common Shelduck, 67 Common Teal and a few Mallard.

18.04.15. Golden Plovers, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

The Golden Plover flock from earlier in the day was still present and were bathing and constantly calling to each other.

18.04.15. Little Grebes, No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Three Little Grebes were calling and displaying in the corner of No.6 tank.

18.04.15. No.3 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Onward and forward brought me to the mitigation area and 4 Ringed Plover, 2 Redshank, 4 Shoveler and 10 Common Teal. 3 Swallow and 4 Sand Martin were over the pools.

Observer: WSM (images 3 & 5-7)