31.08.15. Birdlog

31.08.15. Findlay Wilde and Friends Posting

31.08.15. Swallows, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Heather Wilde

Despite the awful weather, No.6 tank produced some great bird watching today, one of the main factors probably because of the high 9.5 meter tide, so when Bill told me about it, I was on my way down instantly. High tide was at 1 pm, I arrived at about half past, however the birds had stayed put, and I instantly locked on to the whole array of birds out on the pumping (west) end of No.6 tank.

31.08.15. Ringed Plovers, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Heather Wilde

Waders included (and end count of) about 400 Dunlin, and an overwhelming but impressive 350 Ringed Plover (the most I’d ever seen on the marsh, and probably anywhere). Mixed in with the Dunlin I picked out an adult summer Curlew Sandpiper in fantastic plumage that really stood out from the other waders.

31.08.15. Curlew, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Heather WildeAlso feeding with the Dunlin was a solitarly Little Stint. About 20 minutes after I arrived, there were still birds arriving, including more Ringed Plover and Dunlin, however there were also 3 Greenshank that flew in, along with a Bar-tailed Godwit, (only 6 Black-tailed Godwits noted). A flock of 6 Whimbrel were feeding on the mud and about 100 Curlew flew over in several flocks.

Other Waders included a party of 30 Lapwing, joined by 6 Golden Plover. Also on the mud there were 4 Yellow Wagtail feeding alongside a couple of Redshank which later flew off to join 30 Ruff.

31.08.15. Common Gull, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Heather Wilde

31.08.15. Common Gull,? No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Heather Wilde31.08.15. Common Gull?, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Heather WildeGulls included 50 Black Headed Gulls, 7 Common Gulls, and one strange oddball gull, see picture below, this gull had jet black legs and a dark bill, it was a bit bigger than a Common Gull which was alongside it, and looked different, with also a different head shape. Any advice on it would be appreciated.  Probably just a Common gull, looking at colour you can make out on the bill, it made me look more than twice.

31.08.15. Growhow works from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Heather Wilde

Other birds of note included a Whinchat, 30 Tufted Duck, and about 500 Swallow. The Swallows were gathering in massive numbers all along the fences on No3 tank.

Observers: Findlay Wilde with assistance from Heather Wilde (all images HW except # 6 by WSM).

…and the friends saw…

01.08.15. Black-tailed Godwit, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Heather Wilde (4)

An additional Little Stint to the above sighting plus a Spotted Redshank on No.6 tank (FD), 30 Black-tailed Godwit were out on the Weaver Bend, 23 Redshank and a Green Sandpiper was at the Lum with a late Sedge Warbler (SO). Golden Plover increased to 7 birds and a Yellow Wagtail dropped in.

Observers: Frank Duff, Sean O’Hara.

A walk from the Growhow works saw Shaun pick up 3 Wheatear in stubble fields, 3 Common Buzzard, 20 Swallow, a mixed flock 0f 40-60 Linnet and Goldfinch, a Grey Wagtail while a large flock of Lapwing present on No.6 tank.

Observer: Shaun Hickey.

A little more detailed reports came from Ray and his sightings included (in no particular order: 127 Lapwing , 1 Lesser Whitethroat , 4 Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, 7 Blackcap (site wide), 52 Goldfinch, 155 Tufted Duck (No.6 tank), 6 Sedge Warbler, 1 Willow Warbler, 4 Raven, 7 Dunlin, 20-30 Ringed Plover, 12 Ruff, easily 80 B/W Wagtail on 6 tank, 4-5 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Little Stint on 6 tank, 4 Snipe, 314 Black-headed Gull on 6 tank and adjoining fields, 6 Common Gull, 2 Buzzard, 2 Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler , 1 Swift above Lordship Lane, 1 Grey Wagtail on Weaver Bend plus 7 Little Grebe, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Whinchat on No.1 – Pipeline with 3 Wheatear.

Observer: Ray Scally

30.08.15. Birdlog

30.08.15. Birdlog

30.08.15. Shoveler (female), No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

30.08.15. Tufted Ducks, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonThanks to Findlay for writing up this post and to Heather who was still in holiday mode and forgot to charge her camera battery and missed loads of good birds to her SD card ;O)

If was great to get back to the marsh for a quick visit today after being in Portugal for two weeks. It was amazing to see how much it had changed in just a few weeks. The water level on No.6 was much higher and the vegetation in the middle was dense and tall making it difficult to spot any waders lurking about.

Luckily we arrived just in time for high tide, so we were able to watch small flocks of waders arriving ahead of the high tide.  In amongst a flock of 150 Dunlin coming in, there was a single Sanderling and a Little Stint that landed at the pumping end of No.6 tank.

30.08.15. Tufted Ducks, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

The high tide also flushed 3 Greenshank in, closely followed by 100 Ringed Plover (which also contained one Ruff and a couple of Redshank). A pair of Snipe flew over and then settled on the tank.

Also on the mud, there was a party of wagtails feeding, which included 4 Yellow, 6 Pied and 2 White Wagtail.

Duck wise there were about 250 Common Teal, 100 Tufted Duck, 7 Shoveler, a few Shelduck, a few Gadwall, 4 Wigeon and 2 Pintail.

A large flock of Black-tailed Godwits looked like they were going to head in, but instead settle on Frodsham Score. Later in the day 14 Ruff were again on the secluded pool.

The Peregrine was on the blue-top chimney, a Kestrel was feeding over No 6 and several Buzzards were circling round.

Observers: Frank Duff, Findlay and Heather Wilde, Sparky & WSM (and images)

29.08.15. Birdlog

29.08.15. Birdlog

29.08.15. 7 Greenshank, Ruffs, Teal, Dunlin on the secluded pool, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A trip out to the western approaches of Ince Berth and to view the salt marsh and a little before the expected afternoon tide was hampered by the heat haze out on Frodsham Score and Ince Marsh. A Great White Egret was a vision in gaussian blur.

29.08.15. Willow Warbler (juvenile), Ince Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

29.08.15. Lapwing, MSC, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A small flock of Lapwing roosting up on a pile rocks of  a Manchester Ship Canal wash defence were unconcerned by a passing tug boat, likewise 4 Common Sandpiper.

Driving back along Lordship Lane/ Ince Marsh Lane was rewarding for a couple of very obliging juvenile Willow Warbler feeding low down in the dried thistle beds at the field borders.

29.08.15. White Wagtails, Ince Marsh. Bill Morton

A little further along and another field conjured up a small feeding flock of alba wagtails which included 4 (2 juv, 2 ad) White Wagtail and a Yellow Wagtail.

29.08.15. Yellow Wagtail on the secluded pool, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

29.08.15. Ruff, on the secluded pool, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

The secluded pool on No.6 tank was very productive with 7 Greenshank roosting out the tide with a solitary Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Dunlin, 15 Ruff and a Wood Sandpiper.

The presence of a low flying trainer aircraft flushed everything off the pool and none of the above (apart from a few Ruff) made a return visit. Despite this a juvenile Little Stint was feeding alongside a Pied Wagtail (providing a handy comparison to how tiny these waders really are) and a couple of Yellow Wagtail were feeding in and out of the reed bed.

The flooded water is now encroaching into the clumps of Michaelmas Daisies and the pungent aroma was drifting in the summer breeze (it’s getting me all lyrical). On the open water were 3 Pintail and a whistling Wigeon was hidden in the water garden. Also noted was a Spotted Redshank (per #bluenorse).

29.08.15. Little Stint (juvenile) and Pied Wagtail on the secluded pool, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

29.08.15. Sparrowhawk (juvenile) over the secluded pool, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)Raptors were again present with 2 Peregrine circling high over No.3 tank and a Sparrowhawk checking out the empty pools.

A couple of Hobby‘s were hunting the hirundine flock over No.5 tank (per Jon Bowen & #bluenorse).

29.08.15. Common Buzzard, Ince Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

29.08.15. Swallow, Lordship Lane, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

The fields west of No.4 tank on Ince Marsh were alive with birds and watching with a keen interest was this Common Buzzard (above image). A Swallow took time out for a rest on the gravel path while hawking low over the recently cut hay were a couple of hundred hirundines.

Observers: Frank Duff, Mark Payne, Roger Wilkinson, WSM (and images).

Butterflies included: Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, 4 Painted Ladies along the track and 2-4 Common Blue’s were about on No.6 tank, where there was a day flying Silver Y moth.

28.08.15. Birdlog

28.08.15. Birdlog

28.08.15. (juvenile) Peregrine, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

28.08.15. (juvenile) Peregrine, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (3)An early dart from work and an early evening birdwatch over No.6 tank. I bumped into Macduff along the track above No.6 tank and we settled on the bank overlooking the secluded pool where a tidy flock of 80 Common Teal were ‘hanging out’ until the appearance of a marauding juvenile Peregrine upset the scene with its newly acquired aerobatics skills. The adult was some distance away perched up on her usual spot.

28.08.15. Common Teal, 15 Ruff and a Wood Sandpiper, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Five Ruff flew in for a bathe and preen and later 15 birds joined the Wood Sandpiper which reappeared in the evening (PR) but generally it was a little quiet.

The water level on six continues to increase and although ideal for a couple of Pintail and Wigeon and an assortment of various other species but it was not suitable of the shorebirds thus the lack of reports lately.

28.08.15. Common Swifte, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

28.08.15. Chiffchaff (juveniel), No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonA small passage of hirundines held 3 Common Swift and likewise Meadow Pipits were on the move. A tatty looking Chiffchaff was in elder bushes on No.5 tank where a juvenile Whitethroat was contact calling.

28.08.15. Comma Butterfly, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton28.08.15. Painted Lady Butterfly, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Butterflies included a couple of Painted Lady, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and Gatekeeper which are everywhere this summer.

28.08.15. Common Teal, Mallard and Ruff, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Observers: Frank Duff, Paul Ralston (image 3), WSM (and images 1-2 & 4-7)

26.08.15. Birdlog

26.08.15. Birdlog

26.08.15. Garganey and Teal, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (11)

The water level on No.6 tank is higher perhaps than we would have liked but the ducks have found these conditions ideal for their needs. The area of water has expanded out into the Michaelmas Daisy clumps and traditionally when this happens it provides easy access to the seed pods which the ducks love.

A flock of 11 Wigeon flew in and immediately made for these flowers and could be watched feasting on the seeds. Also in attendance were 7 Shoveler, 5 Pintail and Gadwall.

Over 300 Common Teal were crammed in on the secluded pool and after the birds got use to me sitting on the bank, an eclipse drake Garganey appeared and was watched preening until a vehicle, a bright yellow digger with its bucket raised on the track below spooked the flock and they left en masse.

Other birds of note was the Peregrine on the blue-topped chimney, 1 Ruff, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 102 Tufted Duck, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and a sub-singing Grasshopper Warbler. Additionally, a mixed flock of 100 Swallow, Sand and House Martins.

Observer and image: WSM

25.08.15. Birdlog

25.08.15. Birdlog

25.08.15. Swallow, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

I was on Joe le taxi duty ferrying Sparky and co to Chester for a girls night out and on these occasions I drop in at the marsh en route home.

25.08.15. Wigeons, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

No two days are the same and tonight’s instalment from Frodders was a complete contrast to last evenings fun. The fine sunshine of yesterday was replaced tonight by menacing low grey clouds rolling in but, retaining air humidity that makes you want to take a coat but you never get to wear it.

I met Sean on the track below the ‘secluded pool’, the same pool that is attracting some good birds of late. Sean had seen a Greenshank and a flock of Black-tailed Godwits but again due to the increased water level on the tank it was to deep for them and they flew back out to the river. I managed, 68 Curlew, 3 Ruff and a small number of Common Teal.

Further out on the main body of water it was interesting to note that Pintail had increased to five birds and they were busy upending Also present were 67 Tufted Duck, 7 Shoveler and 200 Common Teal. A small flock of ducks dropping in at dusk proved to be 4 male and 2 female Wigeon. A roost of 32 Cormorant were using whatever perch they could find to spend the night here.

The Peregrine was again perched on the blue-topped chimney and an impressive flock of 26 Raven flying out at dusk towards Fox Hill.

A few hundred Swallow and Sand Martin were feeding low over the water at dusk with some roosting up on trees below the northern banks.

Observers: Sean O’Hara, WSM (and images).

24.08.15. Birdlog

24.08.15. Birdlog

24.08.15. Pectoral Sandpiper (juvenile), No.6 tank (secluded pool), Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton. (2)

24.08.15. Pectoral Sandpiper (juvenile), No.6 tank (secluded pool), Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton. (4)An intended brief visit to catch up with two Wood Sandpipers from yesterday instead reaped my fourth Pectoral Sandpiper find for the marsh. So, you can imagine one happy birder was followed by two other happy birders who shared the rewards of putting in the effort (and finally back on the right side of the River Mersey) The bird was initially difficult to view as it was settled with a small flock of flighty Common Teal but eventually provided some superb views in excellent evening sunshine.

24.08.15. Greenshankr (juvenile), No.6 tank (secluded pool), Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)Also present within the area were 12 Ruff, 6 Greenshank, 10 Black-tailed Godwit and two handsome summer Golden Plover (the first of the Autumn migration) both birds circled the water but due to recent pumping of sludge into the tank and yesterdays heavy rain they didn’t settle and headed out to the Mersey Estuary.

24.08.15. Common Teal perched in tree, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (3)

Tufted Duck have been a little absent of late so 67 birds were a welcome break from the usual Shelduck, A flock of 10 Common Teal were perched up in the Cormorant roosting tree and looked a little comical.

Short video of tonight’s Pec Sand here: https://vimeo.com/137173698

Observers: Frank Duff, Roger Wilkinson, WSM (video and images).

23.08.15. Birdlog

23.08.15. Birdlog

23.08.15. imm Stonechat, No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Alyn Chambers.
The bushes along the south bank of No.4 tank were full of warblers, tits and finches early this morning. Amongst them was an adult male Redstart which gave a few brief views and possibly another female type bird? A Lesser Whitethroat was with numerous Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and Blackcap. A Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Sparrowhawk and Greenfinch were also present.
23.08.15. Greenshank, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston
Around midday No.6 tank had 2 Greenshank, 15 Ruff, 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Wigeon, 2 Pintail and 17 Shoveler. The Sparrowhawk appeared again and there was a fly over Collared Dove.
An immature Stonechat was on No.1 tank and 4 Avocet were on the Mersey estuary.

Observer: Alyn Chambers (image 1).

18.08.15. Wood Sandpiper, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston. (2)

A late walk around No.6 after the downpour. A Chiffchaff was calling by the track alongside the tank, while 2 Swift and many Swallow were feeding overhead. There were good numbers of Tufted Duck, Common Teal, Mallard and Shelduck out on the water with 8 Mute Swan amongst them. 38 Cormorant were on the roost tree and more were flying in as I walked along.

Waders were scarce with only 2 Curlew and a Common Snipe noted. Meanwhile an area set away from the main action featured 4 Greenshank and 2 Wood Sandpiper and yet more Teal and Gadwall.

The walk along Lordship Lane had both Reed and Sedge Warbler calling in alarm as I made my way back to my car.

Don had the first Merlin of the autumn on No.5 tank.

Observers: Paul Ralston (images 2-3), Don Weedon.

22.08.15. Elliot Montieth’s Guest Blog

22.08.15. Elliot Monteith’s Guest Blog.

The day started off meeting Bill on the bridge at Marsh Lane for my first ever visit to Frodsham Marsh…which was brilliant!”

Frodders Harrier

Ruddy Shelduck_edited-1

We first walked down to No.6 tank were we had a total of 22 Ruff with the female Peregrine perched on the blue-topped chimney, before walking down to the “secluded pool” where we had a Juvenile Marsh Harrier flying over No.5 tank before going onto No.6 and hunting over the reeds then going back over to No.3, and flying off into the distance.

Just before we reached the “secluded pool” we heard then saw a Greenshank flying from the river, over No.3 then dropping out of sight onto the pool, where it had a wash before flying south. There was also a nice number of Ravens about and a Juvenile Peregrine which was soaring over the path.


On the way back to No.6 I went off to see what Bill calls the “concealed spot”, which is so concealed that we walked past it twice! While there we had 3 Little Stint, 2 Little Ringed Plover, another Greenshank, 300+ Black-headed Gulls flying high over Lordship Marsh “anting”. A Peregrine caused chaos amongst the roosting waders!

There were two birds which I wasn’t expecting to see today and they were Spotted Redshank (quite a rare bird here!), which me and Bill spotted flying across the tank calling away, then relocated with the Lapwings, Ruff and Redshank. A female Ruddy Shelduck was pointed out to us by two birders from the south of the county which we didn’t get their names (sorry but you know who you are), which got me excited as it’s a lifer for me! We also had 2 female type Pintail which Bill spotted.

All in all a brilliant day out and will be returning soon!”

Observer and images 1-3: Elliot Monteith.

A great big thanks to Elliot and his mum (Adele) for sharing their time with me on Frodsham Marsh and it was great to see yet another young convert to birding on Frodsham Marsh. For more of Elliots birding trips and impressive photography visit him here: http://www.birdboy101.co.uk/

Included below some of my own images from a days birding with Elliot and Adele.

22.08.15. Spotted Redshank and Redshank, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

22.08.15. Spotted Redshank, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton22.08.15. Greenshank, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton22.08.15. Sea Aster, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonSea Aster/Michaelmas Daisy flowering in profusion on No.6 tank.

22.08.15. Ruddy Shelduck and Common Shelduck, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonThe female Ruddy Shelduck shares time with a juvenile Common Shelduck.

Other sightings today included a Garganey and a passage of 50 Swift, 23 Sand and 11 House Martin with Swallow noted as well.

Additional observers: Nigel G, Harry Cook, Frank Duff, WSM (and images 5-8)

21.08.15. Birdlog

21.08.15. Birdlog

16.08.15. summer Curlew Sandpiper, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

A watch before the evening gloom drifted in produced: One of the juvenile Marsh Harriers passing by. Two Common Snipe, 7 Greenshank, a Little Ringed Plover, Little Stint, summer Curlew Sandpiper, 200 Black-tailed Godwit, 200 Dunlin, 26 Ringed Plover, 27 Ruff, Garganey, 2 Pintail and a few Yellow Wagtail.


Observer: Frank Duff.

Image: WSM.