31.05.15. Birdlog

31.05.15. Birdlog

30.05.15. (male) Red-backed Shrike, No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Graham Manson

The Weaver estuary still held on to its summering flock of Black-tailed Godwits with a slight reduction on yesterdays numbers (500 birds). The elusive (if that’s possible) Black Swan was again on the Weaver estuary. Nearby, the Cuckoo pairs were again at Redwall reed bed so get them now before they mate, lay and leave but if you find something odd (tell me first!).

31.05.15. Grey Plover, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Alyn Chambers

The male Marsh Harrier wandered through.

A 1st Summer Grey Plover, 20 Ringed Plover, 12 Dunlin and a Little Ringed Plover joined 6 Avocet on the mitigation area over high tide.

Observers: Alyn Chambers (image 2) , Sean O’Hara, Frank Duff, Sparky, WSM.

30.05.15. (male) Red-backed Shrike, No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Graham Manson

On Friday and yesterday a fine summer male Red-backed Shrike found its way to the fence line (by the pipes) on No.1 tank and gave excellent views to two very fortunate observers. Alas, circumstances worked against a much wider audience (perhaps lessons should be learnt here) and the bird was nowhere to be found today. Like all rare things it vanished!

30.05.15. (male) Red-backed Shrike, No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Graham Manson

30.05.15. (male) Red-backed Shrike, No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Graham Manson30.05.15. (male) Red-backed Shrike, No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Graham Manson30.05.15. (male) Red-backed Shrike, No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Steve O'ConnelThanks to Graham Manson (images 1 & 3-6) and Steve O’Connell (image 7) for the use of their photographs.


30.05.15. Birdlog

30.05.15. Birdlog

30.05.15. Marsh Harrier, No.3 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

30.05.15. Reed Bunting (male), Frodsham Marsh. Heather WildeThe morning started well with a spiraling flock of 2,000 Common Swift low and high over the River Weaver at the marsh. Walking out to the river and the male Cuckoo was serenading a female close to the stile on the approach to Redwall reed bed.

30.05.15. Little Ringed Plover, No. 3 tank. Frodsham Marsh

Out on the Weaver estuary an exotic Black Swan joined the bachelor Mute’s. 4 drake and 2 female Pochard were roosting up on the Weaver estuary marsh with 187 Tufted Duck, 2 Common Teal, Gadwall and Mallard. The Great Crested Grebes were again present and Common Shelduck were numerous and amorous in equal measure.

30.05.15. Black-tailed Godwit flock, Weaver estuary. Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton..Down river 8 Avocet were on the Weaver Bend and an impressive c700 Black-tailed Godwit, a single Dunlin and singles each of Ringed and Little Ringed Plover. Watching all of this from above was the sentenal male Peregrine perched on his Blue-topped chimney.

30.05.15. Sanderling and DUnlin, No.3 tank, Frodsham MarshHigh tide brought some fresh blood to No.3 tank with a partial summer Sanderling, 12 Dunlin, 32 Black-tailed Godwit and presumably the same Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers from earlier in the day. During the course of the watch a young male Marsh Harrier flew by and was actively seeking out young birds from the grassy borders to the mitigation area.

Two Avocet were on No.6 tank and with pumping of sludge from the Manchester Ship Canal into the basin it is beginning to get flooded again…happy days ahead we hope.

Observers: Frank Duff, WSM (images 1, 3 – 8 ).

30.05.15. Black-tailed Godwits, No.3 tank.. Frodsham Marsh

30.05.15. Marsh Harrier, No.3 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

A successful Cuckoo marsh mission this afternoon with Fin.
We went straight down to the Weaver Bend and saw a male and female on the fence across the field, but before we could get the scope out they were off, crossing over to the other side of the river. We heard them calling and decided to hang around to see if they would come back.
30.05.15. Black-tailed Godwit flock, Weaver estuary. Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton,
Whilst waiting we were entertained by Reed Bunting, Reed and Sedge Warbler popping up to the tops of the reeds and calling to each other. The Swifts were flying between us again and party of 8 Mute Swan were making their way up the river.
30.05.15. Cuckoo, Frodsham Marsh. Heather Wilde
Fin kept a watch on the field and then gave the loudest “whisper” of CUCKOO! And there it was, sitting on the fence just behind us, feasting on what seemed to be Drinker Moth Caterpillars. I bet it had been there for ages. We watched and photoraphed and scoped and mainly just enjoyed.  Fin ran off to get the guy (whose name we didn’t catch) who’d come especially to see the Cuckoos. He came back with him just in time. We all just stood their grinning!
30.05.15. Black-tailed Godwit No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Heather Wilde
After that we headed to No.6 tank and the mitigation (No.3 tank) which held 33 Black-tailed Godwit, a single Ringer Plover and 16 Dunlin, along with Lapwing, Shelduck, Coot and Mallard. A pair of Marsh Harrier (male and female) flew low over the mitigation tank causing panic and lifting everything. The godwits re-settled on No.6 tank with half the Dunlin. No.6 also had 4 Little Ringed Plover feeding on the mud.
As we left we driving back alongside No.6, another female Cuckoo was sitting on the fence on the tank side of the road. So I think it was 2 males and 2 females we saw today?
A day of Cuckoos, Caterpillars and Chaos. Perfect!
Observers: Heather (images 2 & 9 -10) & Findlay Wilde.

29.05.15. Birdlog

29.05.15. Birdlog

29.05.15. Corncrake & Grey Partridge, Carr Lane, Hale, Cheshire...,

A 1st Little Gull (RW) was at the Weaver Bend until dusk where 500 Swift continue to provide a great spectacle for viewing.

The male and female Cuckoo are still available to see along the fence line in fields bordering Brook Furlong Lane. The Marsh Harrier was again seen.

Observers: Roger Wilkinson, Frank Duff, Phil Oddy.

A local Corncrake (pictured above) was in farmland across the river (tantalisingly close but, alas not close enough).

28.05.15. Birdlog (200,000 BC)

28.05.15. Birdlog (200,000 BC)

28.05.15. Swallows, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

After work and with big black clouds rolling in from the Atlantic it was in between sunshine and showers that we ventured out to the Weaver estuary to see the low flying Swifts performing the low flybys. There were in excess of 400 birds from the Weaver Bend all the way up to the Weaver Sluice gates.28.05.15. male Cuckoo, Brook Furlong Lane fields, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

28.05.15. male Cuckoo, Brook Furlong Lane fields, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

A slight diversion on the choppy waters were 10 Great Crested Grebe, 100 Tufted Duck, Common Shelduck, Gadwall, Black-tailed Godwit and Oystercatcher. The energetic male Marsh Harrier was en route from one feeding duty to another

28.05.15. male Cuckoo, Brook Furlong Lane fields, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (4)

We flushed a female Cuckoo from the fence line by Redwall reed bed which flew out to the fields adjacent to No.5 tank. On our way back and just before the big black clouds released a downpour a male Cuckoo was singing from the corner on the field and close to the track we were walking on. After some careful positioning, a bit of tweaking and taking into the account the vegetation and hawthorn twigs we managed to secure some pics.

A little later we arrived at the area of the mitigation on No.3 tank which was a sorry sight and site. It looks all the world for a forgotten place with water levels quickly evaporating and with the exception of a few ducks an avian black hole. Perhaps, the constant passing of heavy machines with their resultant noise and dust have had their toil on the nesting season here? The initial area set aside for birds to breed and to roost was a reasonably good idea after public consultation but seems to have gone to pot! Those of us involved are going to have to pull our proverbial fingers out to make this area what was promised or else it will end up like the Shooters’ Pools…redundant for wildlife and grazing land for livestock!.

28.05.15. Swallows, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

You can’t keep a good sludge tank down for long and the area of flooded water on the eastern edge of No.6 tank still supports a breeding pair of Grey Heron with a healthy population of both Tufted Duck and Common Shelduck, 8 Ringed Plover, a single Dunlin and 3 Lapwing chicks were notable for a tank that continues to give. The western edge of the tank is gathering water and should be an alternative viewing site if it continues to remain so.

A second batch of rain dropped a group of Swallows to sit out and preen on a dead tree close to the banks providing some opportunities for pictures to be taken. More Swift were zipping close over our heads.

28.05.15. Swift, Weaver Causeway, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

Today saw a mini milestone on this blog with its 200,000 (BC) views since May 2012! …and the BC stands for Birds Count.

Video of Cuckoo here:  https://vimeo.com/129183147

Observers: Emily Traynor, WSM (video and images)

The 4 Queens ;O)

The 4 Queens ;O)

25.05.15. Star of the line and the star of the shoreline, New Brighton. Bill Morton

Star of the Cruise line and Star of the Shoreline.

25.05.15. Herring Gulls and the 3 Queens from New Brighton. Bill Morton

Not strictly Frodsham Marsh but as the local corvids fly just a wing beat away. On Bank Holiday Monday me and Sparky spent a full day at New Brighton to watch the gathering of Cunard;s finest boats out on the mouth of the River Mersey. We decided the best option for us would be the shoreline at New Brighton and then walk down to Seacombe ferry terminal. I didn’t want to waste an opportunity of capturing this unique moment and at the same time try and get some local wildlife in the act as well. A selection of images from the day with a few more to follow later…

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Oystercatchers gather on the foreshore while a tug showers one of the big three which manoeuvres into position for their spectacle on the river.

25.05.15. Queen Mary and Common Tern, Seacombe Ferry Terminal. Bill Morton

A Common Tern dives for a fish beside the ferry terminal at Seacombe with the Queen Elizabeth at the cruise terminal in Liverpool in the distance.

25.05.15. Herring Gulls and the 4 Queens from New Brighton. Bill Morton

Typical scouse humour is always on hand and someone put this cardboard cutout of the `fourth` Queen in their bedroom window overlooking the ships.

All images WSM

26.05.15. Birdlog

26.05.15. Birdlog

26.05.15. Swift(s), River Weaver, Frodsham Marsh...,

After work and time to drop in on the marsh with the emphasis on watching the Swifts over the River Weaver. As always this species never fails to enthrall and entertain and at one point one particular bird flew at chest height between me and my telescope..amazing!

26.05.15. Cuckoo (female), Brook Furlong Lane fields, Frodsham Marsh......

Out on the river Tufted Ducks were sheltering against the north banks of the river to avoid the cold strengthening westerly breeze. The Weaver Bend had a flock of 34 Black-tailed Godwit with birds commuting between there and the Shooters’ Pools.

26.05.15. Cuckoo (female), Brook Furlong Lane fields, Frodsham Marsh.......

Walking back to Brook Furlong Lane and a freshly arrived female Cuckoo was sheltering from the stiff wind in one of the fields east of No.5 tank and close by was a male suitor.

26.05.15. Cuckoo (female), Brook Furlong Lane fields, Frodsham Marsh.

26.05.15. Cuckoo (female), Brook Furlong Lane fields, Frodsham Marsh..26.05.15. Cuckoo (female), Brook Furlong Lane fields, Frodsham Marsh.......26.05.15. Cuckoo (female), Brook Furlong Lane fields, Frodsham Marsh,..26.05.15. Cuckoo (female), Brook Furlong Lane fields, Frodsham MarshObserver and images: WSM.

Additional info via Cheshire & Wirral Birders facebook page: 2 female and a male Cuckoo (Paul schouller) and male Marsh Harrier (Paul Lee)

25.05.15. Birdlog

25.05.15. Birdlog

25.05.15. Cuckoo, Redwall reed bed, Frodsham Marsh. Craig Hibbert

25.05.15. Grey Partridge, Shooters' Pools, frodsham Marsh. Alyn Chambers (1)

A Little Egret and a Little Ringed Plover were with 450 Black-tailed Godwit at the Weaver Bend and a Grey Partridge was around the Shooters’ Pools.
A further 150 Black-tailed Godwit were on the Weaver estuary and a Cuckoo was in Redwall reedbed before being chased off towards the Weston Marsh lagoon. Over 300 Common Swift and 20 House Martin were over the Weaver Bend and a couple of Great Black-backed Gulls were feasting on a bloated sheep carcass.
A female Marsh Harrier was hunting by Marsh farm and a Whimbrel flew down to the Mersey estuary, joining 2 Avocet and another 150 Black-tailed Godwit.
Over on No.3 tank 3 Little Ringed Plover kept a close eye on the wanderings of a male Marsh Harrier
A Wheatear was on the track between No.6 and No.4 tank and a Whinchat was by the model flying club field along Lordship Lane.

Video of male Cuckoo: https://vimeo.com/128764845 (WSM).

Observers: Alyn Chambers (image 2), Frank Duff.

Image 1: Craig Hibbert.