18.10.15 Chester RSPB Birdlog
We assembled on the motorway bridge that crosses the M56 on Marsh Lane before Chester RSPB’s field trip to Frodsham Marsh with Bill.
A full list of the species encountered from the day bird watch including as they were seen: A collection of released into the wild Red-legged Partridge in fields adjacent to Brook Furlong Lane, Goldfinch, Pied wagtail, Pheasant (again a released species bred in captivity and released into the wild for the purpose of shooting), Goldcrest – a passage migrant and seen on 3-4 occasions, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker was perched in trees by the horse paddock field, Robin, Dunnock and Blackbird noted.
A very late Swallow flew over head over the end of Brook Furlong Lane flying south-east and a little bizarre with a flock of Fieldfare chattering away nearby, 3 Stonechat were observed with a pair at Redwall reed bed and another male on No.5 tank, Reed Bunting, Wren and Blue Tit. Out on the Weaver Estuary was a dozen Mute Swan with 8 birds on No.6 tank, small numbers of Common Teal were on the river with 560 on No.6 tank, 12 Little Grebe, a Grey Wagtail flew over, 21 Cormorant were roosting here at dusk. Sat on top of the blue-topped chimney above the Ineos Chlor factory at Weston Point was the big female and her smaller suitor Peregrine Falcon, Raven were a familiar sight with birds flying over head, Tufted Duck reached a total of 87, 19 Coot, 32 Shelduck and 2 Kestrel.
A flock of 9 Pink-footed Geese flew over heading north, Mallard, a female Sparrowhawk was actively pursuing passerines in the elder shrub on Weston Marsh, Magpie, Wood pigeon, House Sparrow, Common Buzzard, Long-tailed Tit.
After sometime along the river the group retraced their steps along Brook Furlong and diverted along Moorditch Lane pausing briefly to take a look at the German P.O.W plauqe and listened to Bill updating the group on the progress and implications of the wind farm on the local environment and its wildlife. We eventually arrived onto No.5 tank were construction work on the turbines is still in progress and we stopped occasionally along the way to watch the birds below us on No.6 tank. Two Ruff were feeding knee-deep in the shallow waters while 123 Shoveler and 14 Pintail, 12 Wigeon, 21 Gadwall were feeding, Carrion Crow and 60 Black-headed Gull.
A female Merlin zipped through and headed west above the daisy clumps, Lapwing, Great black-backed Gull, Redshank and 4 Black-tailed Godwit. The highlight from No.6 tank was a juvenile Spotted Redshank, Redwing, Bullfinch, 8 Pochard. The bird walk continued after lunch (minus Bill) and included other observations like seeing Jay, 1 Grey Heron, Feral Pigeon, Lesser black backed Gull, Common Gull, Little Egret, Canada Goose and a small flock of Siskin.
Chester RSPB Group and WSM (images 1-2 & 4-5)
Tony took the opportunity to find his own birds and was overlooking the edge of the river with 8 Avocet on Frodsham Score. A Peregrine took advantage of the food source out pn the Mersey Estuary and was out hunting. It was joined a little later by a second bird which disputed the hunting grounds, both were engaged in an aerial battle with talons locked in strike mode.
A Goldcrest was at the old log while another two were on No.5 tank. 40 Wood Pigeon headed high to the south over No.1 tank. 5 Whooper Swan (including brown stained colouring which suggests fresh arrivals from Iceland) came in from the west over No.1 tank at 10.57 am and carried on south-west. A Kingfisher was on the Manchester Ship Canal, 25 Meadow Pipit on No.1 tank and another 4 Stonechat were observed. A Cetti’s Warbler was singing a couple of times on No.6 tank, 100 Black-tailed Godwit on Score, 2 Common Snipe and a Grey Wagtail watched at these locations.
A couple of interesting birds included an anthus calling in flight from from Frodsham Score to the Weaver Estuary was a Rock Pipit. A smallish goose on the score looked like one of the Lesser Canada Goose types and requires further study.
Observer: Tony Broome (images 3, 6-9 ), Arthur Harrison.