13.09.15. Tony Broome Guest Blog 3
How technology has moved on! I used Kodachrome 25 in those days, a transparency film that two weeks to process in a laboratory somewhere before dropping through the letterbox. Out of 36 transparencies, you were lucky if there was a single good picture.
Fast forward to today and a new Canon with a telephoto lens, a superb motor-drive and instant results… There’s a lot to learn, so I’m still a novice but enjoying the challenge.
I started off at the old birdlog and walked around the Weaver Bend. The familiar call of Chiffchaff filled the bushes with the odd one singing every now and again.
Next to the old log is a beautiful old apple tree with small red apples clinging to the branches. Lit up in the sunshine it looked so rustic. Two of the Chiffchaffs dropped into it and began to chase each other around, occasionally perching out on the branches. I estimated around 20-25 Chiffchaff throughout the day.
I wondered back to the old log where Frank and Alyn turned up and we headed for Marsh Farm to see what Frodsham Score had in store. Just before the farm, a fine Whinchat sat up on the top of the bushes and a few Stonechat remained on the pipes, found earlier in the week.
Raptors were much in evidence. Common Buzzard were all over the tanks with four in a party the largest single count during the day. Difficult to count, there was probably somewhere between 15 and 20 birds. 10 Kestrels, 1 Sparrowhawk, at least one juvenile Peregrine and a single Hobby over No.4 tank made up the rest of the sightings.
One juvenile Peregrine over the Score chased a feral pigeon relentlessly for five minutes or so until finally grounding it and presumably lunching on it.
The Score held small numbers of waders as high tide approached, although most were hidden from view. 100+ Black-tailed Godwit, 150+ Redshank and 350+ Lapwing were counted very approximately. 9 Wigeon flew west.
I looked for the Black-necked Grebe but it wasn’t on show.
Interesting passerines consisted of 4 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtails, and 300+ Goldfinches.
Insects were about in abundance with 10+ Migrant Hawker Dragonfly being the most noteworthy. Butterflies included Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood and both Large and Small White.
It was a pleasant day. Lots to look at and the last of the sunshine before a week of forecasted rain and a lot of pictures to sort through…
Observer: Tony Broome (images 1-4 & 7-9 & 14).
Some additional reports included 14 Little Egret and a Great White Egret out on the Mersey marshes. Just before Tony left for home Sparky spotted (and Tony identified) a Large Red Under-wing moth perched up on a metal structure.
A covey of Red-legged Partridge are birds set down by the shooters on to the area east of No.5 tank.
.We continued our walk onto No.6 tank and the open water was filled with ducks (as mentioned above) three Cymru birders relocated the Black-necked Grebe as we walked past them and found it was tucked into the bank and obviously avoided detection for most of the day.
Observers: Alyn Chambers, Frank Duff, Sean O’Hara (images 5-6 & 10-11), 3 Welsh birders, Sparky, WSM (images 12-13 & 15).