28.02.16. Birdlog

28.02.16. Lamb and sunset, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

Out and about in this Spring like morning and a start from the Holpool Gutter. There were 4 Common Buzzard sat around the pallet yard next to the Growhow works. The 16 Mute Swan were minus their Greylag Goose companion on the field alongside the gutter.

28.02.16. Golden Plover, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston

Lapwing and Golden Plover took to the air as a Buzzard passed too close for their comfort. A selection of Common Teal, Mallard and a Little Egret were on the gutter side and a Green Sandpiper was seen to vacate the area.

28.02.16. Pink-footed Geese, Frodsham Score, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston (1)

Out on Frodsham Score were the usual large herd of Canada Goose with Pink-footed Goose present. I didn’t notice at the time but looking at the picture there may be some Brent Goose with them but hard to tell with the picture quality? A walk over to No.4 tank didn’t produce much other than the large Linnet and Goldfinch flocks and a few Reed Bunting. No.6 tank held good numbers of waterfowl eg Common Teal, Mallard, Gadwall, Common Pochard, Common Shelduck and Tufted Duck with 2 Little Grebe noted. A brief glimpse of a Water Rail was had as it dropped in to the reeds squealing and there were more Lapwing and Golden Plover flying overhead.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-3).

28.02.16. Merlin, No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (21)

28.02.16.Christchurch from Marsh Farm,, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (6)We took the opportunity after our walk at Tatton Park to drop in at the marsh. A walk from Marsh Lane to Marsh Farm and back was fairly productive. Although I only had my bins for watching it was crystal clear out across the Mersey Estuary it would have come in useful if I had my scope though with all those gulls out there. What I could pick out from distance included: 70 Oystercatcher, 100 Curlew, 200 Common Shelduck and a selection of small to medium-sized shorebirds and of course gulls galore.

28.02.16.Starlings and Merlin, No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (24)

Merlin attacking Starling flock (above and below images).

28.02.16.Starlings and Merlin, No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (22)

The Starling murmuration didn’t really materialised but when a juv/female Merlin which I first spotted perched up at the farm had an eye on the loose Starling flocks passing through. Shortly after it made a bee line of flight to attack the flocks that had gathered by the reedy pool , with a slight diversion across No.2 tank to use the raised bank as cover. The murmuration that occurred so after the Merlin attack was good while it lasted.

28.02.16. Sunset over No.2 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (4)A Common Buzzard helped itself to a supply of dead lambs around the fields and these carcasses are certainly aiding the sustainability of both Common Buzzard and Raven  in this area over the last few years.

A Short-eared Owl was hunting the banks of No.6 tank and didn’t take too kindly to the attention of a couple of Raven en route to their Welsh roost site. Another Short-eared Owl was watched over the Weaver Bend as we were walking back. A small flock of 14 Fieldfare were looking for a roosting tree for the night.

28.02.16. Sunset over No.5 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

The evening ended with a splendid sunset over the marsh and then a stunning estuary bathed in crimson and blues as the sun departed for the day.

Observers: Sparky, WSM (images 1 & 4-9).

27.02.16. Birdlog


27.02.16. Linnet, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (4)

A walk around No.6 tank and onward through No.4 tank was highly rewarding with a fine male Merlin flew over from No.4 tank and settled on the ground by the Canal Pools, a second bird (female) was perched up in a tree on four. 

27.02.16. (male) Merlin, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

Other raptors noted were Common Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk and several Kestrel.

27.02.16. Ship along the MSC, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (6)

Frodsham Score was alive with birds and included several Little Egret with a Great White Egret present. 96 Pink-footed Goose, c1000 Canada Goose and numerous Greylags were also feeding on the marsh grass with a 16 Whooper Swan. Although the tide wasn’t particularly high it was enough to force the 400 Wigeon off the river to feed on the turf. Small flocks of Dunlin could be see in clusters.

27.02.16. Golden Plovers, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (50)

The Golden Plover flocks have increased over the last few weeks with c1000 birds circling the marsh and what was presumably part of this flock relocated to No.6 tank later?27.02.16. Golden Plovers, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (54)

A thorough watch over No.6 tank was really rewarding with decent numbers and variety of species. A drake Goldeneye was a surprise and not usually a species that occurs here. 29 Pintail (pairs) were again unexpected and a good count for this side of the estuaries. The more usual species included 187 Shoveler, 26 Common Pochard, 42 Tufted Duck, drake Wigeon, 23 Gadwall, 49 Mallard and 67 Common Shelduck. Shorebirds featured a few Dunlin, c100 Black-tailed Godwit, 1000 Lapwing and 760 Golden Plover.

27.02.16. Sheep, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

A Mediterranean Gull was seen from Marsh Farm (TB).

27.02.16. Stonechat, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley (5)

27.02.16. Goldcrest, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Crawley.

Two Stonechat were by the farm and another two were on No.4 tank while a Goldcrest was also seen.

27.02.16. Coot, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

The Cormorant tree held 11 birds with 2 ‘sinensis’ present.

‘TB’ had a conversion with an eccentric farmer who spent his time talking Bullocks!

Observers: Tony Broome, Paul Crawley (images 7-8), WSM (Images 1-6 & 9).

26.02.16. Birdlog

26.02.16. Starlings, Marsh Farm, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

A walk out from Marsh Lane along Brook Furlong Lane and on to Marsh Farm this evening. A small group of Fieldfare and Redwing were along the hedgerow but little else of note was seen. Arriving at Marsh Farm and the fields were full of Spring lambs and another small party of Fieldfare were by the reedy pool at the farm.

26.02.16. Starlings, Marsh Farm, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (6)

The Starling gathering on No.3 tank had already started to stream off the marsh with loose flocks heading out up and over Weston Point as they made their way to Runcorn bridge.

26.02.16. Stonechats, No,1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (9)

Along the fence line bordering the track on Alder Lane, Marsh Farm were 2 male and a female Stonechat dropping into cover for food.

26.02.16. Canada Geese, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

The fields of No.2 tank held 15 Raven, 5 Common Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk adding to their number.

26.02.16. No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2) 26.02.16. No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

A couple of views from the north-east corner of No.5 tank looking to where the wind turbines will be situated soon.

26.02.16. Redwing, No,1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton 26.02.16. Fieldfare and Starling, Marsh Farm, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Redwing and Fieldfare on Frodsham Marsh this evening.

26.02.16. View from Marsh Farm, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Observers: Sparky, WSM (images 1-9).

26.02.16. Short-eared Owl, Manchester Ship Canal, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston (1)

The last hour along the Manchester Ship Canal as far as No.4 tank. There were 3 Little Egret and a flock of Pink-footed Geese feeding with the many Canada Geese out on Frodsham Score.

26.02.16. Great White Egret, Frodsham Score, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston (1)

The Mute Swan herd alongside the Holpool Gutter still had the Greylag Goose for company and a Great White Egret flew over the score possibly heading to roost at Hale?

26.02.16. Great Crested Grebe, Manchester Ship Canal, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston (1)

Short-eared Owl sat on a post by the path and then started to hunt along the canal bank. Returning my observation back along the ship canal and a Great Crested Grebe was having trouble swallowing a Perch it had caught. Little Grebe, Gadwall, Mallard and Common Teal were also on the water. There was a large amount of Coot present. Back at my car and several Little Egret were going to roost in the trees near Ince berth.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 10-12).

24.02.16. Birdlog

24.02.16. No.6 tank looking north., Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

An evening visit but the usual location on No.6 tank was block by earthworks and a trench dug to accommodate the new energy lines to be inserted. I’m not sure how long these works will continue but it doesn’t look like a quick job.

24.02.16. Ramp track to No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton I watched from the south bank of No.6 tank but crossing a drainage channel I slipped and ended up with a thorough soaking of my boots and when my scope disappeared beneath the water I ended up with wet a sleeve. Composing myself but feeling the chill wind it was warming to see 200 Black-headed Gull already in situ bathing before their flight out to the river. A very impressive courting, feeding and paired up flock of 200 Shoveler were present. Also on the flooded tank were 29 Common Pochard, 34 Tufted Duck, 11 Pintail, 11 Gadwall. 570 Common Teal, 40 Mallard and 120 Common Shelduck. The roosting Lapwing flock were gathered in the shallower water with 4 Ruff and 12 Dunlin.

24.02.16. Lapwings over No.6 tank looking north., Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Raven were typically active and everywhere in numbers and at dusk birds were watched heading south over Helsby and Fox Hills. A Short-eared Owl was hunting over No.4 tank and presumably the same bird was watched later over No.6 tank.

24.02.16. View of the Mersey Estuary from Runcorn Hill. Bill Morton

The Cormorant roost contained 12 birds with at least one being a ‘sinensis‘.

24.02.16. Mersey Estuary from Runcorn Hill. Bill Morton

24.02.16. Sunset over Frodsham Marsh, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton24.02.16. Sunset over Frodsham Marsh, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton…and finally when the sun set behind the Growhow works it brought the birding to a close except for my wet and freezing trench foot which needed some warmth and very quickly.

Observer and images: WSM

C&WOS 2014 Bird Report


BR2014 cover

We’re delighted to say that the annual Bird Report for 2014 is now available (February 2015). This year’s eye-catching colour front cover is a stunning summer-plumaged Red-necked Grebe, which graced the Weaver Bend at Frodsham for almost two months.

The 176 pages of text include 77 maps, graphs and tables, and 15 beautiful illustrations from three different artists. As usual, the colour map of the county forms the centre spread of the Bird Report. A total of 18 colour photographs, which best capture some of the highlights of the year, are spread over seven full pages.

The Bird Report is full of interesting articles:

  • Local ‘patchers’ turned Red Rocks into a rarity hot-spot, when Citrine Wagtail, Tawny Pipit and Marsh Warbler were discovered in 2014. Sound recordings are an under-rated aspect of bird identification, in that the resultant sonograms can often provide a clear ‘footprint’ as part of the evidence to substantiate a record – which were provided in two out of these three rarities.
  • Another article recalls the excitement of finding a male Little Bunting on Hilbre; the first record for the island, and also the first ‘boat twitch’ to the island as the tide was in!
  • Back in 1930s, Spotted Crake used to breed at Burton Mere Wetlands (known then as Burton bog), but in 2014 breeding was again witnessed by the sighting of an adult pair and two fluffy black chicks. Hopefully they will become regular breeders on the reserve.
  • Even the smallest of suburban gardens with an established feeding station can bring hours of fascinating birding with the odd surprise. This was true in 2014 when a redpoll bonanza occurred which included Common Redpolls, and more unusually, a Coues’ Arctic Redpoll.
  • Last, but not least, there’s a striking account of 27,000 Common Scoters seen from Hilbre on March 3rd 2014 – one of those great wildlife spectacles that will always remain in the memory of those who saw it.

All the ‘regulars’ are there: ‘Weather and Bird Review of the Year’; the full ‘Systematic List of Birds Recorded in Cheshire and Wirral during 2014’, including ‘Category E Species’; ‘Early and Late Dates for Migrants’; ‘Ringing Report’; ‘BBRC and County Rarities Decisions’; ‘Chairman’s Review’; and finally, advice on the Cheshire and Wirral Gazetteer, and the ‘Submission of Records’, including rarities.

Last, but not least, we have again included a ‘Species Index’ at the back to help you quickly look up your favourite species.

The Bird Report is free to Cheshire and Wirral Ornithological Society members (ordinary membership costs £12), otherwise it costs £8 + £2 p&p and copies are available from:

David Cogger, 71 Parkgate, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 8HF

Tel: 01565 228503   Email: davidcogger@cawos.org

“Hoopoe on the Bend!”

Hoopoe Weaver Bend note book. Bill Morton
Just why Mark and I were at Frodsham Marsh on 26th Sept 1987 is long forgotten, though I expect it was promising weather conditions or a run of Nearctic waders in the country, since then, as now, it takes a lot to get me away from north Wirral. We had parked up near the log and not seen a great deal, despite walking up to and around the I.C.I tank, checking the Weaver Bend and even getting as far as the Bailey Bridge.  Having struck out we started walking back round the IC..I tank, which held a largish gull roost, shimmering in the heat haze.  I thought I could see something with a slightly paler mantle in the middle of them and was thinking Mediterranean Gull, which would have been quite a good find then.

Hoopoe Weaver Bend note book. Bill MortonThe combination of heat haze and distance persuaded me that I’d be better off if I scrambled over the edge of the tank so that I could rest my elbows on my knees and get a steadier view, sat on the inner edge.  Just as stepped over the top, there was a completely  unexpected explosion of black white and pink from the bare ground in front of me and a Hoopoe took off and flapped low across the tank.

Normally when you find a good bird there is a short or sometimes long period of slow realisation as you piece together clues to its identity and you get  a chance to work out how to communicate what is going on. Not so on this occasion.  I knew it was a Hoopoe in the same instant as the photons hit my retina.  I also knew that there was a chance that it might just disappear if I didn’t persuade Mark to turn round and come up the bank.  He was watching the bend.  I am told not a single word that came out of mouth made any sense at all (except a few choice expletives).  Allegedly I was similarly incoherent when a Pallas’s Warbler interrupted my attempt to put yoghurts in the fridge, by flying across the bottom of the garden, when neither the words Pallas’s nor Warbler passed my lips.  I blame the adrenalin.  Fortunately on that warm day at Frodsham I managed to convince Mark of the urgency of the situation and he joined me on the edge of the tank while we watched the Hoopoe cross over the gulls and apparently land on the far edge near the bridge.

So what to do next?  There is a Hoopoe down somewhere on the edge of the I.C.I tank and no other birders nearby.  No mobile phones.  Then I saw in the very far distance a group of birders, heading off towards Frodsham Score.  I left Mark staking it out and set off to tell them. I was quite fit then, but even so by the time I jogged up to them I was hacking my lungs up and really rather sweaty.  As I got closer to the group I started to feel less and less that this was a good idea.  My worst fears came when I finally caught up to them and explained between gasps for breath, that there was a Hoopoe about.  I think their exact words were “That’s nice Deary” as they carried on unpacking their flasks and sandwiches.  On reflection I might have been quite an alarming sight/sound.  Next I headed off into Frodsham where I hoped that I could find a telephone box.  Fortunately I did and was able to make the appropriate phone calls.  When I got back to Mark, I was treated to the surreal view of the Hoopoe flying up the Weaver within a flock of Redshank, before it crossed the River and appeared to fly into Weston and was seen shortly after over the embankment at the Rocksavage works

Written by Jane Turner.

Note book illustration. WSM

22.02.16. Birdlog

22.02.16. Starlings over No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton  (32)

22.02.16. Starlings over No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton  (29)Birding is truly back on the menu after my working day. I set off for the marsh with the intention of watching the ducks on No.6 tank but the stiff icy cold westerly and my thin coat put paid to that. I used the comfort of the car and selected to park up overlooking the mitigation area on No.3 tank. Although fully flooded and hopefully attractive to migrants in the next couple of months tonight it was a little understated. Lapwings out over Frodsham Score were disturbed by a low flying rozzer chopper and they flew up and down in impressive numbers. There were 12 Redshank on the flooded scrapes but these were soon joined by Lapwing moving in to roost from the river. A small flock of Fieldfare were feeding on the short turf by the Canal Pools.

22.02.16. Starlings over No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton  (23)Shortly after the Starling flocks began to arrive and most stopped off for a collective  bathe in the pools before moving off towards the bridge. Dave Craven over on the north side of the river estimated c35000 birds coming into roost on the bridge so I would be happy to agree with that number being present on No.3 tank.

22.02.16. Starlings over No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton  (17)

22.02.16. Common Buzzard, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton  (1)On No.6 tank the Tufted Duck numbers had increased from yesterday with 24 birds along with 44 Common Pochard, 174 Shoveler, 300 Common Teal and a selection of Common Shelduck. A flock of 70 Curlew flew in from the south for the night. There were 800 Lapwing on the tank with a solitary Ruff for company. The Cormorant roost numbered 9 birds two of which were ‘sinensis‘.

The usual Raven were hanging out waiting for more mutton laying about in the fields to feast on. A Common Buzzard was extremely tame on No.5 tank and a Peregrine was sat on top of the big chimney at Weston Point.

22.02.16. Starlings and Liverpool skyline from No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton  (2)

The Liverpool skyline was clearly visible looking out from the track on No.3 tank.

22.02.16. Sunlight over the Growhow works from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

Observer and images: WSM.

Help Findlay Wilde get his message across here:

Frodsham Marsh Bird List (updated)

     Species                                         Scientific Name                                 Current Status

1   Mute Swan                                      Cygnus olor                        Common/migrant/breeds

  Whooper Swan                               Cygnus cygnus                     Passage/winter visitor

  Bewick’s Swan                          Cygnus columbianus bewickii    Scarce migrant/winter

   Bean Goose (Tundra/Taiga)           Anser fabalis                        Very rare winter visitor

   Pink-footed Goose                       Anser brachyrhynchus        Passage migrant/winter

   Eurasian White-fronted Goose        Anser albifrons albifrons          Rare winter visitor

      Greenland White-fronted Goose      Anser albifrons flavirostris      Rare winter visitor

   Greylag Goose                                   Anser anser                       Feral population/wild?

8    Greater Canada Goose                     Branta canadensis             Common, does breed

9    Barnacle Goose                                 Branta leucopsis             Rare winter and/or feral

10   Dark-bellied Brent Goose                Branta bernicla bernicla       Scarce winter visitor

       Pale-bellied Brent Goose                 Branta bernicla hrota               Rare winter visitor

11   Egyptian Goose                                 Alopochen aegyptiaca               Rare feral visitor

12   Ruddy Shelduck                                Tadorna ferruginea             Rare/continental feral

13   Common Shelduck                            Tadorna tadorna         Common breeds/passage

14   Mandarin Duck                                   Aix galericulata                          Rare feral visitor

15   Eurasian Wigeon                               Anas penelope          Winter/occasional Summer

16   American Wigeon                             Anas americana          Rare migrant/winter visitor

17   Gadwall                                              Anas strepera                Common winter/breeds?

18   Eurasian Teal                                    Anas crecca                 Common winter/has bred

19   Green-winged Teal                           Anas carolinensis             Very rare winter visitor

20   Mallard                                              Anas platyrhynchos      Common resident/breeds

21   Northern Pintail                                Anas acuta                          Regular winter visitor

22   Garganey                                          Anas querquedula                         Scarce migrant

23   Northern Shoveler                           Anas clypeata                  Common winter/breeds

24   Red-crested Pochard                      Netta rufina                                  Rare/feral visitor

25   Common Pochard                           Aythya ferina                                             Scarce

26   Ring-necked Duck                           Aythya collaris                           Very rare migrant

27   Ferruginous Duck                           Aythya nyroca                             The only record

28   Tufted Duck                                     Aythya fuligula                  Common breeder/winter

29   Greater Scaup                                 Aythya marila                 Very scarce/winter visitor

30   Lesser Scaup                                  Aythya affinis                               Very rare migrant

31   Common Eider                               Somateria mollissima          Very rare winter visitor

32   Long-tailed Duck                            Clangula hyemal           Rare migrant/winter visitor

33   Common Scoter                              Melanitta nigra                                   Rare migrant

34   Velvet Scoter                                   Melanitta fusca                   Very rare winter visitor

35   Common Goldeneye                      Bucephala clangula               Regular winter visitor

36   Smew                                               Mergellus albellus               Very rare winter visitor

37   Red-breasted Merganser              Mergus serrator              Very scarce winter visitor

38   Goosander                                      Mergus merganser                 Very scarce migrant

39   Ruddy Duck                                   Oxyura jamaicensis          Once common/now rare

40   Common Quail                              Coturnix coturni                       Rare summer visitor

41   Red-legged Partridge                   Alectoris rufa                                   Introduced/feral

42   Grey Partridge                              Perdix perdix                                   Now introduced

43   Common Pheasant                      Phasianus colchicus                        Introduced/feral

44   Red-throated Diver                      Gavia stellata                                Rare winter visitor

45   Black-throated Diver                   Gavia arctica                                Rare winter visitor

46   Great Northern Diver                  Gavia immer                                  Rare winter visitor

47   Northern Fulmar                          Fulmarus glacialis                            Very rare visitor

48   Manx Shearwater                         Puffinus puffinus                             The only record

49   European Storm Petrel               Hydrobates pelagicus                     The only record

50   Leach’s Petrel                               Oceanodroma leucorhoa                 Very rare visitor

51   Northern Gannet                           Morus bassanus                             Very rare visitor

52   Great Cormorant                           Phalacrocorax carbo carbo       Common/ has bred

       Continental Cormorant                 Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis     Scarce, has bred

53   European Shag                              Phalacrocorax aristotelis                       Rare visitor

54   Eurasian Bittern                             Botaurus stellaris                Very rare winter visitor

55   Western Cattle Egret                     Bubulcus ibis                         Very rare summer visitor

56   Little Egret                                       Egretta garzetta                        Common/has bred

57   Great White Egret                            Ardea alba                         Rare in small numbers

58   Grey Heron                                       Ardea cinerea                Common resident/breeds

59   Eurasian Spoonbill                          Platalea leucorodia                            Rare migrant

60   Little Grebe                                       Tachybaptus ruficollis     Common breeder/winter

61   Great Crested Grebe                       Podiceps cristatus        Passage/ common winter

62   Red-necked Grebe                           Podiceps grisegena               Rare migrant/winter

63   Black-necked Grebe                         Podiceps nigricollis                      Scarce migrant

64   Slavonian Grebe                                Podiceps  auritus                      The only record

65   European Honey Buzzard                Pernis apivorus                        Very rare migrant

66   Red Kite                                               Milvus milvus                      Very scarce migrant

67   Western Marsh Harrier                      Circus aeruginosus        Scarce migrant/breeds

68   Hen Harrier                                          Circus cyaneus          Uncommon winter visitor

69   Montagu’s Harrier                               Circus pygargus      Very rare passage migrant

70   Northern Goshawk                              Accipiter gentilis                       Very rare visitor

71   Eurasian Sparrowhawk                      Accipiter nisus                 Resident and migrant

72   Common Buzzard                               Buteo buteo                            Resident breeder

73   Rough-legged Buzzard                      Buteo lagopus                Very rare winter visitor

74   Western Osprey                                  Pandion haliaetus              Very scarce migrant

75   Common Kestrel                                 Falco tinnunus         Common/passage migrant

76   Merlin                                                    Falco columbarius          Scarce migrant/winter

77   Eurasian Hobby                                   Falco subbuteo                Very scarce summer

78   Peregrine Falcon                                  Falco peregrinus                                 Resident

79   Water Rail                                              Rallus aquaticus                  Winter/does breed

80   Spotted Crake                                       Porzana porzana                               Very rare

81   Corncrake                                              Crex crex                                           Very rare

82   Common Moorhen                                Gallinulachloropus               Common resident

83   Eurasian Coot                                        Fulica atra                   Common/breeds/winter

84   Common Crane                                      Grus grus                                         Very rare

85   Eurasian Stone-curlew                          Burhinus oedicnemus          The only record

86   Black-winged Stilt                                  Himantopus himantopus          Rare/has bred

87   Pied Avocet                                             Recurvirostra avosetta        Scarce/has bred

88   Eurasian Oystercatcher                         Haematopus ostralegus      Resident/migrant

89   European Golden Plover                        Pluvialis apricaria                  Common winter

90   Grey Plover                                               Pluvialis squatarola              Passage/winter

91   Northern Lapwing                                     Vanellus vanellus              Common/breeds

92   Little Ringed Plover                                   Charadrius dubius             Summer/breeds

93   Common Ringed Plover       Charadrius hiaticula ummer     Common/migrant/breeds

       Northern Ringed Plover                            Charadrius hiaticula tundrae           Migrant

94   Kentish Plover                                           Charadrius alexandrinus   The only record

95   Eurasian Dotterel                                        Charadrius morinellus    Very rare migrant

96   Whimbrel                                               Numenius phaeopu    Scarce passage migrant

97   Eurasian Curlew                                   Numenius arquata      Common migrant/winter

98   Black-tailed Godwit                      Limosa limosa islandica    Common summer/winter

99   Bar-tailed Godwit                                 Limosa lapponica         Scarce passage/winter

100  Ruddy Turnstone                                 Arenaria interpres     Scarce passage migrant

101  Red Knot                                              Calidris canutus                        Passage/winter

102  Ruff                                                       Philomachus pugnax                Passage/winter

103  Sharp-tailed Sandpiper                      Caldris acuminata                   The only record

104  Broad-billed Sandpiper                 Limicola falcinellus       Very rare passage migrant

105  Curlew Sandpiper                               Calidris ferruginea             Passage/has winter

106  Stilt Sandpiper                                    Micropalama himantopus        The only record

107  Temminck’s Stint                                Calidris temminckii         Rare passage migrant

108  Sanderling                                            Calidris alba                             Passage/winter

109  Dunlin                                                    Calidris alpina schinzii             Passage/winter

        Dunlin                                                    Calidris alpina alpina              Scarce passage

        Dunlin                                                    Calidris alpina artica               Scarce passage

110  Baird’s Sandpiper                                Calidris bairdii                       Very rare migrant

111  Little Stint                                              Calidris minuta            Passage/scarce winter

112  White-rumped Sandpiper                     Calidris fusci                        Very rare migrant

113  Buff-breasted Sandpiper                      Calidris subruficollis            Very rare migrant

114  Pectoral Sandpiper                                Calidris melanotos                     Rare migrant

115  Semi-palmated Sandpiper                     Calidris pusilla                     The only record

116  Wilson’s Phalarope                                 Phalaropus tricolor            Very rare migrant

117  Red-necked Phalarope                           Phalarope phalaropus       Very rare migrant

118  Grey Phalarope                                        Phalaropus fulicarius        Very rare migrant

119  Terek Sandpiper                                       Xenus cinereus                 The only record

120  Common Sandpiper                                 Actitis hypoleucos        Summer/rare winter

121  Green Sandpiper                                      Tringa ochropus     Passage migrant/winter

122  Spotted Redshank                                    Tringa erythropus        Passage/rare winter

123  Common Greenshank                               Tringa nebularia          Passage/rare winter

124  Lesser Yellowlegs                                      Tringa flavipes                Very rare migrant

125  Marsh Sandpiper                                        Tringa stagnatilis             The only record

126  Wood Sandpiper                                         Tringa glareola    Scarce passage migrant

127  Common Redshank                                    Tringa totanus   Passage/winter/has bred

128  Jack Snipe                                  Lymnocryptes minimus     Very scarce winter visitor

129  Long-billed Dowitcher               Limnodromus scolopaceus            Very rare migrant

130  Eurasian Woodcock                          Scolopax rusticola     Very scarce winter visitor

131  Common Snipe                                  Gallinago gallinago        Common/migrant/winter

132  Collared Pratincole                            Glareola pratincola                  The only record

133  Pomarine Skua                                Stercorarius pomarinus   Very rare – two records

134  Arctic Skua                                       Stercorarius parasiticus           Very rare migrant

135  Long-tailed Skua                              Stercorarius longicaudus          The only record

136  Great Skua                                        Stercorarius skua                     Very rare migrant

137  Razorbill                                                    Alca torda                          The only record

138  Common Guillemot                                  Uria aalge             Very rare summer visitor

139  Little Tern                                                   Sterna albifrons               Very rare migrant

140  Gull-billed Tern                                   Gelochelidon nilotica    Very rare – two records

141  Black Tern                                               Chlidonias niger           Rare/irregular migrant

142  White-winged Black Tern                      Chlidonias leucopterus       Very rare migrant

143  Sandwich Tern                                        Sterna sandvicensis                 Rare migrant

144  Common Tern                                          Sterna hirundo                Migrant/occasional

145  Arctic Tern                                                Sterna paradisaea    Rare passage migrant

146  Sabine’s Gull                                            Larus sabini            Very rare – Two records

147  Black-legged Kittiwake                            Rissa tridactyla              Very scarce visitor

148  Black-headed Gull                           Chroicocephalus ridibundus   Common/has bred

149  Little Gull                                                   Hydrocoloeus minutus        Scarce/migrant

150  Franklin’s Gull                                            Larus pipixcan                 The only record

151  Mediterranean Gull                            Larus melanocephalus  Scarce passage/winter

152  Common Gull                                               Larus canus      Common passage/winter

153  Ring-billed Gull                                             Larus delawarensis   Rare – two records

154  Lesser Black-backed Gull             Larus fuscus graellsii    Resident, breeder/migrant

        Lesser Black-backed Gull              Larus fuscus intermedius           Common/breeds

155  European Herring Gull                   Larus argentatus argenteus        Resident/breeds

        Scandinavian Herring Gull             Larus argentatus argentatus         Scarce/winter

156  Yellow-legged Gull                           Larus michahellis              Very scarce passage

157  Iceland Gull                                        Larus glaucoides                    Rare winter visitor

158  Glaucous Gull                                    Larus hyperboreus                Rare winter visitor

159  Great Black-backed Gull                   Larus marinus                      Common, has bred

160  Stock Dove                                          Columba oenas            Passage migrant/winter

161  Common Wood Pigeon                      Columba palumbus      Passage/winter/breeds

162  Eurasian Collared Dove                     Streptopelia decaocto              Scarce/ breeder

163  European Turtle Dove                         Streptopelia turtur                      Now very rare

164  Common Cuckoo                                  Cuculus canorus               Summer, has bred

165  Western Barn Owl                                 Tyto alba                        Local resident/winter

166  Little Owl                                                  Athene noctua             Very Rare, has bred.

167  Tawny Owl                                                Strix aluco                   Rare – breeds locally

168  Long-eared Owl                                        Asio otus             Scarce/irregular/has bred

169  Short-eared Owl                                        Asio flammeus          Irregular spring/winter

170  Common Swift                                           Apus apus              Summer/breeds locally

171  Eurasian Hoopoe                                        Upupa epops                  The only record

172  Common Kingfisher                                    Alcedo atthis         Resident/winter visitor

173  Green Woodpecker                                     Picus viridis       Very rare irregular visitor

174  Great Spotted Woodpecker                       Dendrocopos major        Resident/migrant

175  Red-backed Shrike                                      Lanius collurio               Very rare migrant

176  Great Grey Shrike                                        Lanius excubitor           Very rare migrant

177  Woodchat Shrike                                          Lanius senator              The only record

178  Eurasian Magpie                                           Pica pica       Common breeding resident

179  Eurasian Jay                                                  Garrulus glandarius    Resident/passage

180  Western Jackdaw                                          Corvus monedula        Common/migrant

181  Rook                                                               Corvus frugilegus  Breeds/locallymigrant

182  Carrion Crow                                                 Corvus corone            Breeding resident

183  Hooded Crow                                                 Corvus cornix           Rare – two records

184  Northern Raven                                              Corvus corax              Common/migrant

185  Goldcrest                                                         Regulus regulus              Migrant/winter

186  Common Firecrest                                          Regulus ignicapilla            Two records

187  Eurasian Blue Tit                                            Parus caeruleus        Breeding resident

188  Great Tit                                                           Parus major               Breeding resident

189  Coal Tit                                                             Periparus ater     Scarce migrant/winter

190  Willow Tit                                                          Poecile montana  Rare irregular visitor

191  Bearded Tit                                                       Panurus biarmicus                 Very rare

192  Eurasian Skylark                                              Alauda arvensis        Resident/migrant

193  Shore Lark                                                        Eremophila alpestris  The only record

194 Sand Martin                                                       Riparia riparia            Migrant/has bred

195  Barn Swallow                                                    Hirundo rustica           Summer/breeds

196  Common House Martin                                    Delichon urbica            Migrant/breeds

197  Red-rumped Swallow                                       Cecropsis daurica    The only record

198  Cettis Warbler                                                    Cettia cetti    Rare resident – has bred

199  Long-tailed Tit                                                    Aegithalos audatus Common resident

200  Common Chiffchaff             Phylloscopus collybita collybita   Summer/scarce winter

        Siberian Chiffchaff               Phylloscopus collybita tristis               The only record

201  Willow Warbler                      Phylloscopus trochilus         Common migrant, breeds?

202  Eurasian Blackcap                                              Sylvia atricapilla        Migrant, breeds

203  Garden Warbler                                                   Sylvia borin            Passage migrant

204  Lesser Whitethroat                                              Sylvia curruca         Scarce summer

205  Common Whitethroat                                          Sylvia communis     Migrant/breeder

206  Common Grasshopper Warbler                         Locustella naevia  Summer breeder

207   Savi’s Warbler                                                        Locustella luscinioides   The only record

207  Aquatic Warbler                                                   Acrocephalus paludicola   Very rare

208  Sedge Warbler                                 Acrocephalus schoenobaenus   Summer/breeds

209  Eurasian Reed Warbler                   Acrocephalus scirpaceus           Summer/breeds

210  Bohemian Waxwing                        Bombycilla garrulus                Rare – two records

211  Eurasian Nuthatch                                              Sitta europaea              Rare resident

212  Eurasian Treecreeper                                         Certhia familiaris          Rare resident

213  Eurasian Wren                                                     Troglodytes troglodytes      Resident

214  Common Starling                                                 Sturnus vulgaris     Resident/breeds

215  Ring Ouzel                                                             Turdus torquatus  Passage migrant

216  Common Blackbird                                               Turdus merula       Resident/breeds

217  Fieldfare                                                                  Turdus pilaris         Common/winter

218  Song Thrush                                                           Turdus philomelos Resident/winter

219  Redwing                                                                   Turdus iliacus          Migrant/winter

220  Mistle Thrush                                                  Turdus viscivorus  Uncommon resident

221  Spotted Flycatcher                                         Muscicapa striata          Scarce migrant

222  European Robin                                              Erithacus rubecula     Resident/migrant

223  Common Nightingale                                     Luscinia megarhynchos   Two records

224  Bluethroat                                                        Luscinia svecica svecica  One record

225  European Pied Flycatcher                              Ficedula hypoleuca           One record

226  Black Redstart                                                 Phoenicurus ochruros       One record

227  Common Redstart                                           Phoenicurus phoenicurus         Migrant

228  Whinchat                                                          Saxicola rubetra       Passage/has bred

229  European Stonechat                             Saxicola rubicola hibernans  Passage/ winter

230  Northern Wheatear                           Oenanthe oenanthe oenanthe  Migrant,has bred

        Greenland Wheatear                      Oenanthe oenanthe leucorhoa Passage/has bred

231  Dunnock                                          Prunella modularis                     Common resident

232  House Sparrow                               Passer domesticus   Scarce visitor/local breeder

233  Eurasian Tree Sparrow                  Passer montanus           Scarce passage migrant

234  Western Yellow Wagtail                 Motacilla flava                 Summer/migrant,breeds

        Blue-headed Wagtail                      Motacilla flava flava                         Rare/has bred

        Channel Wagtail                              Motacilla flava flava x flavissima    Rare/has bred

235  Grey Wagtail                                    Motacilla cinerea                Passage/winter visitor

236  Pied Wagtail                                     Motacilla alba yarrelli     Common/migrant/breeds

         White Wagtail                                  Motacilla alba alba         Scarce passage migrant

237    Richard’s Pipit                                Anthus richardi                      Rare migrant/winter

238    Tawny Pipit                                     Anthus campestris                            One record

239    Tree Pipit                                         Anthus trivialis                  Rare passage migrant

240    Meadow Pipit                                   Anthus pratensis        Common/breeds/passage

241    Eurasian Rock Pipit                        Anthus petrosus                   Rare migrant/winter

242    Water Pipit                                       Anthus spinoletta                 Rare migrant/winter

243    Common Chaffinch                        Fringilla coelebs             Resident/migrant/winter

244    Brambling                                        Fringilla montifringilla        Scarce migrant/winter

245    European Greenfinch                     Chloris chloris                          Resident/migrant

246    European Goldfinch                        Carduelis carduelis       Resident/migrant/winter

247    Eurasian Siskin                                Carduelis spinus         Scarce passage migrant

248    Common Linnet                                Carduelis cannabina    Common migrant/winter

249    Twite                                                   Carduelis flavirostris      Scarce migrant/winter

250    Lesser Redpoll                                  Carduelis cabaret           Scarce migrant/winter

251    Common Redpoll                              Carduelis flammea flammea         Rare migrant

252    Red Crossbill                                      Loxia curvirostra                           One record

253    Eurasian Bullfinch                   Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata      Scarce resident, breeds

254    Hawfinch                              Coccothraustes coccothraustes                 One record

255    Snow Bunting                      Plectrophenax nivalis                      Rare migrant/winter

256    Lapland Bunting                  Calcarius lapponicus                       Rare migrant/winter

257    Yellowhammer                     Emberiza citrinella                  Scarce migrant, has bred

258    Common Reed Bunting      Emberiza schoeniclus                         Resident/migrant

259    Corn Bunting                       Embiriza calandra                   Scarce migrant, has bred

The list stands at 259 as from 2016.

21.02.16. Birdlog

21.02.16. Lapwing and Golden Plover, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Out early morning from Ince Berth and 30 Little Egret some sitting in the trees and others feeding in the field mark a considerable rewrite of the history books. A large flock of Lapwing were over on the salt marsh with a smaller flock of Golden Plover which held a few Dunlin with them. There were more flocks of Golden Plover noted flying west along the Manchester Ship Canal during my walk.

The fields alongside the Holpool Gutter held even more Lapwing and 11 Mute Swan which had a single Greylag Goose for company. The gutter also held a pair of Tufted Duck and 3 Little Grebe. On the ship canal were a couple of pairs of Canada Goose which were putting their claim on the territory. Also paired up were Gadwall and Mallard. 21.02.16. WeBS counter on Frodsham Score, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

The ‘Splashing Pool’ held more Tufted Duck and another pair of Little Grebe. Further along the path the mitigation area held c1000 Lapwing which took to the air as I walked by but 20 Redshank and a few Dunlin held their nerve and carried on feeding. No.6 tank held hundreds of Common Teal in the shallows and with the Green-winged Teal reported across the river they might be worth a grilling.

Lordship Lane was quiet with a female Stonechat on the fence and a flock of mixed finches moving along the bank. A female Kestrel went past clutching a vole and a pair of Common Buzzard were noted. At the southern end of six a female Sparrowhawk was in pursuit of a Blackbird and more Buzzard were over the reed bed on No.4 tank.

21.02.16. Great White Egret, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston (2)

Walking back along the canal path and the Great White Egret passed overhead to land on the Frodsham Score close to a couple of Little Egret. while I spotted a WeBS counter could be seen out near the river.  A male Stonechat sat on a teasel stalk on the edge of the canal.

Observer: Paul Ralston (image 3).

21.02.16. Common Teal and Lapwing flock, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (4)

I started my WeBS count overlooking No.3 tank where earlier PR had seen the plover flocks. Most of the birds stuck to the northern section of the mitigation area on No.3 tank where they were relatively sheltered from the brisk south-westerly wind. The Golden Plover flock looked quite impressive with c500 birds present and the 1500 Lapwing were mixed in and on the margins. A handful of Dunlin were dwarfed by their companions and found shelter in the earthy hollows.

21.02.16. Ravens, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (7)

21.02.16. male Sparrowhawk, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (9)The flock of Raven were scattered across the whole of the marsh with c35 birds on view and perhaps they should be renamed ‘mutton and lamb carrion crows’ because there were plenty laying about the fields.

I shifted my position on the tide and watched over No.6 tank where 470 Common Teal were flushed out of the flooded daisy beds by a female Merlin then a fine male Sparrowhawk added to their anxiety. A couple of drake Pintail, 22 Common Pochard, 12 Gadwall, 56 Mallard, 9 Tufted Duck, 100 Common Shelduck, 178 Shoveler, 6 Cormorant and 9 Coot.

Observer: WSM (images1-2 & 4-6).

A Lesser Redpoll was joined by a Siskin, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Goldcrest at the CEGB Pools.

Observer: Frank Duff.

Out on Frodsham Score a pale-bellied Brent Goose was noted per Robbie Allcock. A set of evocative images from Shaun Hickey from Sundays WeBS count on the southern Mersey marshes.

19.02.16. Birdlog

19.02.16. Starlings, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonEvery birder who is addicted to a bit of patch birding knows it can get obsessive sometimes and my obsession doesn’t look like abating anytime soon.

I thought I would take advantage of any early dart from work and squeeze in sometime at Marsh Farm. We took the pot-holed track along Brook Furlong Lane where a small flock of 20 Fieldfare were looking for a roost site for the night. On arrival at Marsh Farm via a very big earth digger and loads of newly born lambs a brisk cold wind met us and didn’t give us much of a chance to shelter from it. A male Stonechat flushed out of the clumps of dead grass adjacent to the track brighten an otherwise dull setting.

It was impressive to watch the gathering of Raven over on Frodsham Score with many more nearby on No.3 tank. I estimated that there were in excess of 50 birds but a much more concerted effort should increase that number on the Sunday WeBS count (over to you Shaun and Dermot et al).

16.11.14. Stonechat (male and ), Lordship Lane, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A Great Crested Grebe flew west along the Manchester Ship Canal while a Great Black-backed Gull was swimming on the ‘cut’.

There was a reason why we chose to walk to Marsh Farm instead of watching over No.6 tank as usual. The gathering of Starling on the flooded scrapes of No.3/mitigation area were building up nicely and I wanted to see them streaming out at dusk to see where they were heading to. Eventually they departed in two flocks, the first contained c3000 birds and these were soon followed by a solid block of birds containing in excess of 30000 all headed north towards Runcorn Bridge.

Observers: Sparky, WSM (and images).