16.11.15. Birdlog

16.11.15. Birdlog

16.11.15. Chaffinch (female), No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)Not quite the excitement of yesterday so normal service is resumed. An afternoon free to spend on the marsh and in bright sunshine. I managed to see the 5 pale-bellied Brent Goose but distantly on Hale Marsh from the north-east corner of No.4 tank. There were 4 Pink-footed Goose, 3-5 Whooper Swan, 8 Little and two Great White Egret out on Frodsham Score. Waders were moving with the advancing tide which included several thousand Dunlin streaming through from the river with 216 Grey Plover and lesser counts of Golden Plover.

The high tide displaced c 700 feeding Wigeon from the score gutters where they rode the river until both it and a couple of wildfowlers withdrew for the day.

16.11.15. Merlin (female), No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

16.11.15. Gun Turret, Frodsham Score, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)16.11.15. Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (5)A playful flock of 24 Raven were riding the updrafts above No.5 tank.  High above the estuary a couple of adult Peregrine surveyed the area. A female Merlin sat out the afternoon along the fence line on No.5 tank (see pic above).

The flooded No.6 tank was not beneficial for shorebirds, it was no surprise to see nothing of note wading there. The only exception was 12 Tufted Duck, Common Teal hiding in the daisy beds, 8 Mute Swan and 23 Cormorant (carbo).

16.11.15. Growhow works from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (3)

Observer & images: WSM.


15.11.15. Birdlog

15.11.15. Birdlog

15.11.15. Bonxie from Hale shore. Dave Craven (4)

15.11.15. Bonxie from Hale shore. Dave Craven (2)Just after noon an adult winter plumaged Great Northern Diver (DC) flew into the Mersey Estuary from the river mouth on the incoming tide. The diver was observed opposite Hale Park area of the north shore and was eventually seen by WeBS counters (SH) looking out from Frodsham Score. Shortly after a Bonxie (DC) appeared and settled on the water mid river it was also picked up from Frodsham Score (FD, SH, AMB). A couple of Kittiwake (DC) were blown upriver but typical for the species they didn’t linger for long and went unnoticed by others watching the water.

15.11.15. Brent Geese, Frodsham Score, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (1)

15.11.15. Merlin hunting Starlings from Hale shore.Not to be out done the Frodsham boys pulled back 5 Pale-bellied Brent Goose (one bird third from left looks darker, possible dark juvenile?) which dropped in, fed on the short turf on the edge of the Score. They moved along in short flights, before flying up and away to come down at Pickering’s Pasture where DC successfully twitched them.

A Red-breasted Merganser (red-head) flew in and fed just below the bank most of the time before flying off west.

15.11.15. Frodsham Score. Shaun Hickey

15.11.15. View from Frodsham Score, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome.

15.11.15. Growhow works from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome.A Short-eared Owl  flew up high and was mobbed by 5 corvids over No.6 tank, plus another two were hunting together on No.5 tank.

Out on Frodsham Score were Grey Plover, 250 Wigeon, a couple of Peregrine  was out hunting the avian bounty from Frodsham Score off No.4 tank. Also noted a Merlin was doing the business against the Starling flocks. A Sparrowhawk also joined the party with the Starling flocks over No.6 at dusk. There were several 1000 Dunlin swirling about before and after the tide, A couple of Great White Egret, joined the 3 Whooper Swan on the marsh…What a day!


Observers: Tony Broome (images 3, 6-7), Dave Craven (images 1-2 & 4), Frank Duff, Shaun Hickey (images 5, 8-14).

NB. Nearby a Red-throated Diver was spotted at Eastham on the WeBS count there.

What was presumably the same Bonxie was seen earlier off the Dingle shore where a Shag was also seen flying up river (PB).

14.11.15. Birdlog

14.11.15. Birdlog

14.11.15. (winter adult) Spotted Redshank, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (61)

14.11.15. (winter adult) Spotted Redshank, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (16)

A dull start weather wise which eventually turned into a very wet finish. I am on other duties tomorrow so, I took the opportunity to do the WeBS count today. The weather conditions were not favourable and it was a much reduced count on No.6 tank, and the adjacent mitigation on No.3 tank also included in the adding up. The totals include: 21 Mute Swan, a solitary Cormorant (carbo), 23 Wigeon, 24 Gadwall, 2 Common Pochard, 2 Tufted Duck, 3 Common Shelduck, 130 Common Teal and 12 Mallard being the highlights or should that be lowlights.

A couple of Black-tailed Godwit feeding close to the bank attracted the wintering Spotted Redshank which fed unconcerned by my presence and due to the rain fall the water level has increased somewhat. Also noted were two Ruff.

14.11.15. (winter adult) Spotted Redshank, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (5) 14.11.15. (winter adult) Spotted Redshank, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (13)

I continued my visual but on a more bird friendly watch point at the corner of No’s 3, 5 & 6 tank. The lack of shooting in this area was rewarded with ‘birds’ a plenty! The site of mitigation on No.3 tank held a healthy concentration of 150 Curlew with 15 Golden Plover and 400 Lapwing. A few pools are filling nicely with rain water which usually fills up at this time of year.

14.11.15. mitigation No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

14.11.15. mitigation No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

However, the recently created scraped depressions (on the north side adjacent to the Canal Pools) lined with membrane to create habitat have got a long way to go before they have any usage.

14.11.15. (Wind turbine base setting, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

I moved out to look over The Manchester Ship Canal towards Frodsham Score where a single Pink-footed Goose was swimming with 800 Canada Goose. Swirling flocks of Dunlin were like a Starling murmuration and created some interesting forms high above the salt marsh. Also present but in much reduced numbers were wintering Grey Plover but Lapwing were again impressive here with several thousands present.

14.11.15. Kestral, Holpool Gutter, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston

Whooper Swan were back on their wintering marsh with three birds opposite the Holpool Gutter. Also seen were 8 Little and a solitary Great White Egret.

The Canal Pools held onto a pair of Green Sandpiper and a substantial flock mixed finches included Gold, Green, Chaffinch and Linnet. A Goldcrest joined up with the roving tit flock and a Lesser Redpoll was mobile.

Several hundred Golden Plover and Lapwing were in the fields alongside the Holpool Gutter, while a Sparrowhawk hunted the many finches on the bank of No.4 tank. A female Stonechat looked forlorn along Lordship Lane.

Spotted Redshank video: https://vimeo.com/145727980

Observers: Paul Ralston (image 6), WSM (video & images 1-5).

12.11.15. Birdlog

12.11.15. Birdlog

12.11.15. Hale lighthouse from Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

12.11.15. Lesser Redpoll Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (21)Today I took time out because last weekend was a wash-out and this coming weekend is forecast to be even worse.

No orange latte today, just straight down to the marsh to make the most of the first sunshine for days. It wouldn’t last.

12.11.15. Broken gate, Brook furlong LandFrodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (1)

12.11.15.Lesser Redpoll Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (20)I parked at the old log and walked along Brook Furlong and to the Weaver.

Around 6 Redwing exploded noisily out of the hawthorns, a female Bullfinch flew across the track and a Lesser Redpoll came and perched up near me, although a good view was obstructed by twigs.

12.11.15. birds on the Weaver Estuary, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

12.11.15. Water Pipit, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome.The water had 4 Goldeneye on, all female types, 21 Pochard, 100+ Tufted Duck, 60+ Redshank, 3+ Ruff and a handful of Black-tailed Godwit. An interesting pipit flew past calling and revealed itself to be a Water Pipit. Singles of Grey Wagtail and female Stonechat were seen on the way back to the car.

12.11.15. Pochards, Weaver Estuary, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (17)

12.11.15. Weaver Sluices, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (17)I had a drive up to Marsh Farm, Frodsham Score was full, high tide whipped up by the strong SW wind. Small parties of Starlings flew in from the east and continued west.

Back to No.6 tank, where a flock of gulls included around 75 Common, Ducks included 20+ Wigeon, 50+ Shoveler, 200+ Teal, 12+ Gadwall and numerous Mute Swan. a few Tufted Duck were present. The water level was very high and apart from a few Common Snipe flushed by an immature Marsh Harrier, 3 Kestrel and another Grey Wagtail, there was little else of note.

12.11.15. Construction work on No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

12.11.15. Gadwalls, Weaver Estuary, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (14)The cloud rolled in and the rain started to hit the side of the car from about 2.30 pm, as a deep area of low pressure, Storm ‘Abigail’, which was ex-hurricane ‘Kate’, began to approach the country from the south-west. Scotland could expect 90 mph winds and the first snow of winter…

12.11.15. Lapwings, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

Observer and images: Tony Broome.

08.11.15. Birdlog

08.11.15. Birdlog

winged tagged Common Buzzard, Leasowe. Allan Conlan

A grey dull and rainy day and only a brave soul would venture out and do some birding in it. Step forward Paul and his trusty saunter from Ince Marsh along the Manchester Ship Canal. There were two Little Egret out on Frodsham Score and a flock of 1000 Lapwing with Golden Plover mixed in with them. A Common Buzzard in the fields adjacent to the Gowhow works and was the same bird from last week and the same bird from Leasowe on the Wirral (see pic). A female Peregrine was watching from the pipes and stacks of the factory there.

Observer: Paul Ralston.

Image by Allan Conlin

07.11.15. Birdlog

07.11.15. Birdlog

07.11.15. Liverpool from Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

07.11.15. Merlin, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonThe rain cometh and continued for most of the day which was annoying after waiting all week to do some birding. During the course of the evening the clouds eventually rolled away to the east, behind them it cleared bathing the marsh in glorious sunshine.

The area on No.6 tank had a good selection of Common Teal with 340 birds, 32 Shoveler, 7 Common Shelduck, 6 Pintail and Gadwall and Mallard but most of the duck were weary of the raptors on show and mostly kept close to cover.

07.11.15. Green Sandpipers, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

07.11.15. Green Sandpipers, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonShorebirds included 780 Lapwing with 300 Golden Plover but a marauding Sparrowhawk sent back them out to the estuary. Two Green Sandpiper exchanged the plovers departure and came in calling. A big flock of 1000 Lapwing were disturbed by a Peregrine over on Frodsham Score where 400 Black-tailed Godwit resettled on the Weaver Estuary. A Great White Egret was also out on the salt marsh of the score.07.11.15. Marsh Harrier imm, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A Spotted Redshank was less evident and kept a low profile only showing itself to a group from Comberbach. The 20 Black-tailed Godwit on No.6 tank included a colour-ringed bird (details of is origin as and when they come back). 100 Common Snipe were flushed from the Michaelmas Daisy beds by a showy immature Marsh Harrier and a Merlin sat the rain out perched on top of a Willow tree before spotting a small flock of Snipe which it half-heartedly chased.

07.11.15. Chaffinch, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A Short-eared Owl was hunting in the full sunshine along the banks of No.5 tank and was perched up several times.

Other birds of note here were a Stonechat and a Brambling in the Chaffinch flock. The Long-tailed Tit flock contained a Goldcrest in their midst and a Grey Wagtail flew over. Ravens continued to show in good numbers over the Pumping Station.

At dusk a flock of 25 Cormorant roosted up on the dead tree at the east end of No.6 tank.

Observers: Frank Duff, Paul Ralston, WSM (and images).

04.11.15. Birdlog

04.11.15. Birdlog

04.11.15. Short-eared Owl. No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

It will be the last after work visit to the marsh until the winter solstice is well and truly over. A couple of Short-eared Owl hunting together across the rough pasture land and construction work site this evening and were unconcern by the site traffic moving back and to.

A Sparrowhawk was perched up and then hunting the wader flock on No.6 tank in the twilight. The plover roosting up didn’t realise what was going on within their midst as the Sparrowhawk craftily selected an unsuspected wader. Other birds within the flock had to be identified via silhouette because of the light so 250 Dunlin, 12 Black-tailed Godwit and a mixed group of 500 Golden Plover and Lapwing. Duck present and barely identifiable in the dark included: Pintail, Teal, Mallard and Shoveler.

04.11.15. Dead Badger, Marsh Lane, Frodsham Marsh (2)

A dead Badger was on the bridge above the M56 on Marsh Lane.

Observer and images: WSM

03.11.15. Birdlog

03.11.15. Birdlog

03.11.15. Short-ered Owl, I.C.I tank, Frodsham Marsh. Greg Baker

03.11.15. Short-ered Owl, I.C.I tank, Frodsham Marsh. Greg BakerHeading down to the Weaver Bend this morning, the gloomy weather on arrival didn’t bode well for great viewing conditions.  Thankfully the worst of the overnight fog had lifted and it was possible to scan the river up to the confluence with the Manchester Ship Canal.  I soon had counts of 168 Tufted Duck, 9 Pochard, 4 Gadwall, 15 Little Grebe and 7 Great Crested Grebe plus 2 Black-tailed Godwit.  Walking along the embankment I picked up 13 Pintail feeding at the bend and then spirits were lifted further by a Short-eared Owl which began quartering the adjacent fields and briefly landed near the now overgrown Shooter’s Pools.

03.11.15. Brambling, I.C.I tank, Frodsham Marsh. Greg Baker

It’s a long time since I’ve walked around the I.C.I tank so thought I’d give it a go today and was rewarded with a Brambling amongst a small flock of Chaffinches in the hawthorns.

03.11.15. Pintail, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Greg Baker03.11.15. Black-tailed Godwit and Ruff, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Greg Baker

Along the road to Marsh Farm there was still at least one male Stonechat distantly on the fence line by the pipes across No.1 tank.  From the farm, a scan across Frodsham Score showed where most of the Black-tailed Godwit and Redshank were today, with flocks of at least 200 of each.  Not much else though, so I headed over to No.6 tank.  Here were over 400 Teal, 4 more Pintail, 8 more Gadwall and 12 Shoveler with wader counts of 710 Lapwing, 6 Ruff and 6 Black-tailed Godwit.  No sign of the Spotted Redshank however and no raptors on show other than the usual Kestrels, Sparrowhawks and Buzzards.

Observer: Greg Baker.

01.11.15. Birdlog

01.11.15. Birdlog

01.11.15. Long-eared Owl, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

01.11.15. Brambling, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Alyn Chambers

In the mist this morning 2 Short-eared Owl were by the track along No.3 tank and 2 Brambling were in the bushes around the Splashing Pool.

As the visibility started to improve the Spotted Redshank and 3 Ruff were seen on No.6 tank.

A Great White Egret was out on the Mersey Estuary from Marsh Farm at midday and flew west as the tide came in.

Observer: Alyn Chambers

01.11.15. Common Buzzard in the mist, Marsh. Shaun Hickey

01.11.15. Common Buzzard in the mist, Marsh. Shaun HickeyOur man on the western frontiers of the marsh patrolled the border with a fine detail producing a couple of late Wheatear by the Ince Berth. Other species worthy of note were 250 Curlew, 1000 Lapwing, 60 Golden Plover, an incredible 26 Common Buzzard, male Marsh Harrier and a Kestrel. There was a good selection of passerines which apart from the Wheatears included: 4 Stonechat, 2 Jay and plenty of winter thrushes along the hedgerows.

Observer: Shaun Hickey (images 2-3).

01.11.15. Misty chimnys, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A misty day throughout.

01.11.15. Long-eared Owl, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

01.11.15. Long-eared Owl, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonAfter a walk around Blakemere at Delamere Forest with wildlife being in short supply, we continued an extension to our ramble by adding in Frodsham Marsh. Walking the track alongside No.5 tank we immediately flushed a Short-eared Owl from the rough area that runs adjacent to the rough track. After some brief views we walked up to the junction of No’s 5. 6 and 3 tanks where we met Colin and Carol Wilson from Glossop (who were stopping off from a visit to BMW reserve). Soon after a couple of Short-eared Owl were watched quartering the rough pasture land at the west end of No.5 tank. A little later the same or another two were seen from a distance over the east end of that tank. It is difficult to guess if these were the same birds which were moving widely? I fired off a few shots on my camera and then continued looking out for last nights harrier. I asked Colin if I could use his scope and he kindly allowed me to look through his top of the range Swarovski telescope when I spotted an owl perched up on a post. The bird eventually turned its head and revealed a long pair of ear tufts and fiery red eyes…A rarely seen sat out in the open Long-eared Owl which was still there when we left in the dark.

01.11.15. Long-eared Owl, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Looking back at my pictures on the way home I noticed one of the owls quartering the area was the LEO.

Observers: Colin & Carol Wilson, Sparky, WSM (and images 1 & 4-7)