14.10.15. Birdlog

14.10.15. Birdlog

14.10.15. Whooper Swans, Weaver Bend, frodsham Marsh. Paul Lee

14.10.15. Whooper Swans, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (17)

There isn’t much time to do a birdwatch after work and the light fades fast in mid October but the temptation to look over No.6 tank was needed. I pitched up half way along the top banks of No.6 tank looking south to the open water below. The Whooper Swans from two days ago were still present minus the third bird.

14.10.15. Ruff, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

14.10.15. Spotted Redshank, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

The water level here is much reduced and a Spotted Redshank and Ruff feeding in the shallow edges was very encouraging for the weekends WeBS count here. With the shallow water most of the ducks started to become more obvious and were forced from the Michaelmas daisy beds onto the open areas. Common Teal were by far the most numerous species with in excess of 1,000 birds, followed by Tufted Duck with 120, then 100 Shoveler and lesser numbers of Wigeon, Pintail, Gadwall, Mallard and Pochard.

14.10.15. Moorhen in elder tree, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.Four Moorhen were perched at the top of the highest Elder berry shrub and all were happily feasting out its berries while 6 Blue Tit were weaving in and out to pick off the harder to reach ones.

A couple of Common Snipe and 400 Black-headed Gulls were also noted.

The ramp track gorse and hawthorn trees had a Chiffchaff, 2 Bullfinch and a couple of Goldcrest. The first Redwing and Fieldfare of the autumn were moving through along Moorditch Lane. Mistle Thrush numbers have increased from zero to four birds.

The Weaver Estuary had a pair of Mandarin Duck and the elusive Red-necked Grebe (DGW) was again seen albeit briefly ( a tough nut to crack this one-my 3rd attempt and 3rd fail).

Walking back from Redwall reed bed to Brook Furlong Lane a Pipistrelle Bat was flying above my head.

Observers: Don Weedon, WSM (images 2-5). Image 1 by Paul Lee.

12.10.15. Birdlog

12.10.15. Birdlog

08.12.12. Whooper Swans, No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. WSM.An afternoon walk down to the Weaver Bend and along to No.6 tank and the Manchester Ship Canal path as far as the Holpool Gutter produced: the Red-necked Grebe from yesterday was again present and visible on the far bank where 10 Little Grebe and 2 Great Crested Grebe were also on the water. 2 Kestrel and 3 Common Buzzard were hunting along the banks and a male Stonechat sat on top of a nearby bush. At the top of the ramp to No.6 a Merlin could be seen in hot pursuit of a small bird and flew within feet of the contractors working on the construction of the turbine sub station.

04.03.13. Stonechat (male), Frodsham Marsh. Stuart Maddocks

25.08.12. Raven and Peregrine sparring over Frodsham Score. Paul Crawley (4)The waters on No.6 held good numbers of wildfowl with Common Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler and several Mute Swan with 3 Whooper Swan dropping in to join them. A Sparrowhawk flew over the tank to hunt the bushes on the far side and scattered a flock of Goldfinch. On to the canal path and at least 15 Raven were playing in the breeze over the salt marsh and more were feeding on a sheep carcase along with a couple of buzzard. A young Peregrine seemed to enjoy flying at the corvids forcing them to rise to meet the falcons challenge before settling back to feed. This action was repeated several more times. A Little Egret made its way along the ship canal and over to Frodsham Score. As I was walking back along No.5 and above No.6 tank the 3 Whoopers were fast asleep after their long journey.

Observer: Paul Ralston.

Images: WSM (image 1), Stuart Maddocks (image 2) & Paul Crawley (image 3)

11.10.15. Birdlog

11.10.15. Birdlog

11.10.15. female Great Spotted Woodpecker, Frodsham Marsh. Shaun Hickey

11.10.15. fRed-necked Grebe (partial summer), Frodsham Marsh. Shaun Hickey11.10.15. Partial summer Red-necked Grebe, Frodsham Marsh. Shaun HickeyI met Paul Kurs on the motorway bridge at 9 am, we struck off on foot down to the River Weaver opposite Redwall reed bed on our way to the Weaver Bend.

On route were 150 lapwing in the ploughed field on the right of Brook Furlong Lane, the usual Dunnock, Robin and Blackbird were plentiful.

We were followed by a female Great Spotted Woodpecker going from telegraph pole to telegraph pole.

Once on the ‘bend’ the usual Tufted Duck and a couple of Great Crested Grebe were present, suddenly, out of the reed bed under our feet a bird flew low scraping the water heading across the river.  Once it settled we had it in our binoculars and looked at each other and both said Red-necked Grebe (images 2-3) a bird in partial summer plumage! We watched it for 10-15 minutes and it looked quite settled feeding away.

11.10.15. female Pink-footed Geese, Frodsham Marsh. Shaun Hickey

After leaving the ‘bend’ we headed towards Marsh Farm.  Usual birds on route mostly Goldfinch and Meadow Pipit.

A large skein of Pink-footed Geese were heading over towards the Mersey Estuary.

Over on Frodsham Score was a Merlin being harassed by a Kestrel. Lots of Lapwing and a small flock of Black-tailed Godwit were spooked by the Merlin.

We back tracked to the motorway bridge for a drink and then headed to No.6 tank. A quick scan on the water were large numbers of Tufted Duck, Common Teal, Shoveller, a couple of Pintail and Pochard.

Looking across No.3 tank a Sparrowhawk was noted and also another Merlin. We then looked out across the estuary where a Peregrine was keeping the Lapwing flocks mobile.

All in all a great mornings birding!

Observers Shaun Hickey (all images), Paul Kurs.

11.10.15. Merlin and Lapwing flock, frodsham Score, Frodsham Marsh. Shaun Hickey

The WeBS count was kindly made by Macduff today and included: 210 Tufted Duck, 80 Shoveler, 20 Pintail, 1000 Common Teal, 21 Gadwall, 6 Common Pochard, 20 Wigeon, 20 Common Shelduck, 18 Mallard, 12 Mute Swan 12 Coot and 6 Moorhen.

Observer: Frank Duff.

There is approximately a mile and a quarter from Hale Park/lighthouse and Frodsham Marsh so when you add in: 13 Avocet (FD), 4 Great White Egret (DC), 2 Little Egret (WSM) on the south side then, a Great Skua and a Firecrest (per Dave Craven) on the north side we are looking at some pretty credible birding on and about the Mersey Estuary today. This doesn’t include the large numbers of shorebirds, ducks and raptors out there.

Observers: FD, DC, WSM.

I am guiding a walk next Sunday 18th on Frodsham Marsh for further details: http://www.record-lrc.co.uk/forum/calendar.php?view=event&calEid=1520

10.10.15. Birdlog

10.10.15. Birdlog

10.10.15. Images from Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (2)

10.10.15. Images from Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (3)Thought that I’d give viz-migging a go on a date which should be within the optimum time period of September and October. But standing on the NE corner of No.4 it was obvious it was not going to happen. It was so quiet with no birds that I could honestly say they were not moving.

There were 2 Little Egret out on Frodsham Score, 10 Greenfinch in the Elders, 2 Grey Wagtail mobbing a Sparrowhawk and a flock of about 120 Pink-footed Geese that flew over northwards in a noisy skein that broke up into skein-lets, my first of the autumn. There was one intriguing sighting when a Blue Tit flew past closely followed by a small green bird I didn’t get onto fast enough, but got the impression that it had creamy-yellow stripes on it… I saw where it went but couldn’t relocated it? 10.10.15. Images from Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (8)

As I walked off I stumbled on a lovely, delicate, translucent fungi that reminded me of the ones illustrated in children’s story books a delicate Glistening Parasol.

As I drove away from No.4 tank, the cattle were grazing in the scrape next to the Splashing Pool, the contractors working on No.3 (mitigation area) had left the gates open as they’d entered. They’d also knocked a fence down and the cattle were walking out onto the track (take note farmer).

10.10.15. Images from Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (7)

I then tried another look for a Yellow-browed Warbler but failed miserably, the bushes along No.6 tank were largely empty except for a few Chaffinch and tits. Standing at the top of the halfway ramp on No.6, a Cetti’s Warbler began to sing in the phragmites below and it did so for over half an hour, coming as close to me as 5 metres, but frustratingly never showed itself. A Red Admiral flew past as I waited and a Redpoll species went over calling.

10.10.15. Images from Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (6)

I moved to Brook Furlong Lane to resume my warbler search. A couple of Jays, an increase in Song Thrush numbers and a Great-spotted Woodpecker…but no warblers.

10.10.15. Images from Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (4)

10.10.15. Images from Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (1)On my way back to Lordship Lane I met another birder, Mark, who’d just had an adult winter plumaged Mediterranean Gull on No.6 with the Black-heads and a few Chiffchaff on his walk along No.6 to No.4. I decided to go and have a look and the ‘med’ was still there on the water with about a 100 Black-headed Gull and a single Common Gull. With an assortment of ducks which included 30+ Shoveler, 20+ Wigeon and a couple of Pintail, lots of Teal and Tufted Duck, the water was full of birds but looking into the sun is was never easy to see and I moved on, driving the full length of Lordship Lane as far as the construction site cabins.

10.10.15. Images from Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (5)

Apart from 51 Curlew in a field with 4 Common Buzzard, one of which was doing it’s best to resemble a Rough-leg, and a small flock of Linnet in with one of the large rambling flocks of Goldfinch, I didn’t see much else.

Observer and images: Tony Broome

Nature Notes (mini) # 46 / 08.10.15. Birdlog

Nature Notes (mini) # 46 / 08.10.15. Birdlog

08.10.15. No.6 tank at dusk, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

08.10.15. Fly Agaric, Runcorn Hill LNR. Bill Morton

A late start to my evening walk with a call at Runcorn Hill LNR to count the profusion of Fly Agaric fungi there. I counted 310 fruiting bodies with 100 already gone over. It is obvious that this is a good autumn for this species and I can’t remember ever seeing the place littered with them. It is also good for boletes including, a fine Orange Birch Bolete (pictured). If you are in the area take some time and admire the fungi that are emerging from these excellent local nature reserves. Checkout this site for activities in and around Cheshire: kidsnorthwest.blogspot.co.uk .

08.10.15. Orange Birch Bolete. Runcorn Hill, Bill Morton

08.10.15. Stonechat, Weaver Estuary, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonAs I mentioned due to my fungal foray it was later than expected but, still a sunny evening walk down to the shoreline of the River Weaver and the Weaver Estuary. A small concentration of Tufted Duck were gathered by the wooden jetty where 23 Little and 6 Great Crested Grebe were diving in the mirror like waters.

On the Weaver Bend was a couple of Black-tailed Godwit and 50 Coot. A Stonechat was clinging to a reed stem before dropping out of site by the Shooters’ (dried-out) Pools.

A walk out to Marsh Farm was rewarded with hundreds of Common Shelduck and Curlew out on the mudflats. It’s a great pity that we do not have free access to the area on Frodsham Score because the bird spectacle there is second to none. Time and tide may literally change all of this in the future (I am sure of this). A Sparrowhawk was on the lookout for one of the 300 Starling wheeling about the farm and 50 Meadow Pipit dropped out of the sky as the sun was edging towards the horizon.

08.10.15. Moel Famau from Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonI made my way out to No.6 tank for the sundown and watched the build up of Cormorant and Tufted Duck to the open water to roost for the evening. Also present were 10 Mute Swan, 3 Pochard, 300 Common Teal, Pintail, Gadwall and 100 Wigeon.

The day ended with a fiery sunset scorching the skyline.

Observer and images: WSM

07.10.15. Birdlog

07.10.15. Birdlog

07.10.15. Juvenile Moorhen, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

A couple of hours birding after work and a look over No.3 tank where recent work on soil deposits may be responsible for the departure of the Common Cranes two days ago?

A Peregrine was sparring with Ravens over Frodsham Score while an adult female sat on top of the blue-topped chimney over at Weston Point.

No.6 tank was again alive with ducks which included 70 Shoveler, 114 Tufted Duck, 100 Wigeon, 30 Gadwall, 300 Common Teal and lesser numbers of both Mallard and Common Shelduck. A pre-roost flock of 230 Black-headed and 30 Common Gull were resting on the open water.

A juvenile Moorhen was perched high up in an elder bush picking off the berries with 5 Blue Tits competing for the fruit.

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

05.10.15. Birdlog

05.10.15. Birdlog

05.10.15. Common Crane, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

With the recent fine weather it was ‘normal service is resumed’ today with wet and breezy conditions. In spite of this and with each passing day the nights are closing in quicker than is really required. I’m getting my birding in as and when I can.

05.10.15. Common Crane, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonScanning the open water on No.6 tank was with little change from yesterday’s observation. A group of Common Teal were flighting out to an area close to the secluded pool. My next decision was made for me. I follow their lead and went to investigate where and what they were doing in this area.

05.10.15. Common Crane, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

05.10.15. Common Crane, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonI eventually walked up to the junction of No’s. 5, 3 and 6 tanks where I could get a snapshot view of the teal assembled in the reedy corner. I thought I should give the fields of No.3 tank a quick scan where the Cranes were yesterday. I really wasn’t expecting to see much and the first scan revealed what I’d expect (nothing!), The second scan revealed the two Common Cranes emerging gracefully from behind the soil heaps and busily feeding within the sheep flock.

05.10.15. Common Crane, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

After a good grilling through my scope, I then reached into my pocket for my mobile to let other birders know about the birds presence. Pocket one draw a blank. pocket two ditto, pocket three zero and after running out of pockets it became apparent that my mobile phone was absent without leave. I’m glad I was alone because, the sight of me tapping my body in some germanesque lederhosen clad pocket slapping dance would not have been a pretty image!

05.10.15. Common Crane, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

05.10.15. Common Crane, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A half mile hike back to the car eventually reunited mobile with birder and messages were despatched. My old mucker Mark (Whipper) Gibson was conveniently passing by and, he managed to connect with the birds before they flew out and over the Canal Pools. They dropped behind behind the banks and disappeared onto Frodsham Score. I received a call later from Ian Iggy across the river who manged to see both birds (albeit distantly) from Hale lighthouse. Three birders Arthur, Paul and Roger unfortunately arrived a few minutes to late. Hopefully they will reappear tomorrow but, it’s reassuring that this is day two and they have appeared to have set up a pattern. Spending the last couple of days feeding on No.3 tank before leaving (6pm) to roost on Frodsham Score.

During the course of the evening a Little Egret flew over No.3 tank and onto No.6 tank.

Observers: Mark (Whipper) Gibson, WSM (all images).

04.10.15. Birdlog

04.10.15. Birdlog

04.10.15. Grey Heron, Parkgate, Cheshire. Bill Morton

Having spent the afternoon at Parkgate watching a young Marsh Harrier, a Great White Egret, loads of Little Egret, stalking Grey Heron and 6 Greenshank and sharing some of our time in good company with Elliot Monteith aka http://www.birdboy101.co.uk/ , Nigel, Heather, Harley and Findlay Wilde aka http://wildeaboutbirds.blogspot.co.uk/ who were doing a sterling job volunteering for the RSPB.

04.10.15. Common Cranes, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

04.10.15. Common Cranes, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonOn our way back, I received a text message from Sean who had just found a couple of Common Crane on the mitigation area of No.3 tank and were still there and happily feeding. The traffic on the M53 was beginning to snarled up with the Wales weekend traffic so a bit of logical thinking on Sparky’s part and we were soon relocated onto the M56 and hightailing it off at the next junction (14). Arriving on Frodsham Marsh we parked up and walked along the track with Sean’s figure appearing ahead and looking like he was still looking through his scope.

04.10.15. Common Cranes, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Within five minutes of arriving and viewing both began to sprint behind the earthen mounds and took to the wing with laboured wingbeats. Soon both were sailing over the Manchester Ship Canal to the west and appeared to dropped behind the score banks and out of sight. It is possible these were the two seen flying southeast in Cumbria at midday?

Common Crane video here: https://vimeo.com/141341019

Observers: Sean O’Hara, Sparky, WSM (images 1-4 and video).

Great Spotted Woodpecker [72095]

Earlier in the day : 6 Avocet were out on the Mersey estuary at low tide.

2 Mistle Thrush briefly landed in the trees on the east side of No. 1 tank before continuing north along with 3 Collared Dove and a Grey Wagtail. A further Mistle Thrush flew west along Moorditch Lane.

No.6 tank held 4 Pochard, 5 Wigeon and 15 Pintail among the usual ducks.

2 Coal Tit moved south passed the Splashing Pool along with 3 Swallow and a few Skylarks. Also present there were a Reed Warbler, a Blackcap and 2 Song Thrush.

Another 3 Coal Tit worked there way east along the south bank of No. 4 tank, where there was also a male Great Spotted Woodpecker, 5 Greenfinch, a Blackcap and a Snipe which burst out of the ditch. A female Great Spotted Woodpecker was later by the sludge pipe in the NW corner of No. 6 tank.

The Weaver Bend had a Common Sandpiper, a Grey Wagtail and 12 more Swallow flying south.

Also seen across the Marsh were 3 Jays, 10 Goldcrests and a Sparrowhawk.

Observer: Alyn Chambers (image 5).

03.09.15. Birdlog

03.09.15. Birdlog

03.10.15. Muck Spreader, Ince Marsh. Bill Morton

03.10.15. White Wagtail, Ince Marsh. Bill MortonI felt like a lost soul out on the marsh today and not really knowing which direction to take? I met MacDuff along Brook Furlong Lane and with a companion to keep me entertained we ventured out along Lordship Lane in the search for migrants. A field adjacent to the Growhow works was productive with 50 Meadow Pipit, 1 Grey, 2 White and a scattering of Pied Wagtail. Nearby, 3 Swallow flew over to the south, a Goldcrest, both Blackcap and Chiffchaff were calling.

03.10.15. Common Buzzard, Ince Marsh. Bill Morton

The nearby fields continued to attract tens of gulls with 5 Common Buzzard feeding on worms brought to the surface by a muck spreader which was spraying out of the back of the machine. A spiraling flock of 25 Raven were high above the Ince woods

03.10.15. Swallow, Marsh Farm. Bill MortonA visit to Marsh Farm could only muster a few Pied Wagtail, 2 Swallow and a Sparrowhawk coming in from the estuary.

The open water on o.6 tank was little changed from last weekend except the BNG was not to be found there. The duck flock included: Tufted Duck numbering 140 birds. Smaller numbers of Pintail, Common Teal, Wigeon, Mallard and Shoveler. The ramp track to No.5 tank attracted a couple of Goldcrect with a Chiffchaff noted.

FD called bt the pools at the CEGB plant and managed to see Siskin and a Coal Tit.

Observers: Frank Duff (image 4), WSM (images 1-3).

1000th Birdlog

1000th Birdlog

02.10.15. Frodsham Hill. Tony Broome

02.10.15. Merlin, Frodsham Marsh. Ray Atkinson

Two and a half hours spent on Brook Furlong Lane and the Weaver Bend, then Marsh Farm, in the hope of a finding Yellow-browed Warbler (there are hundreds knocking about along the east coast and Shetland and eventually they should start to filter west) but as you have probably guessed there was no sign…of course. I went up to Overton Hill, Frodsham Hill where I manages to get some great views out over the marsh.

02.10.15. Cole Tit, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

02.10.15. Great Tit, Frodsham Marsh. Tony BroomeA Coal Tit was in the hawthorn hedgerow bordering Brook Furlong Lane with both Blue and Great Tit also present. There were a couple of Blackcap along with Chiffchaff and Goldcrest, the latter was on the Weaver Bend where a Peregrine was in hot pursuit of the local ducks there. The only other passerine of note was an unspecified Redpoll spp.

02.10.15. Blue Tit, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

The fine warm weather brought out 4 Common Buzzard and 2 Kestrel. The highlight was a juv/female Merlin (RA).

02.10.15. Pied Wagtail, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

02.10.15. Curlew, Frodsham Marsh. Tony BroomeObservers: Tony Broome (images 1 & 3-7), Ray Atkinson (image 2).