08.04.17. Birdlog

A mid afternoon hike along Moorditch Lane was typically sidelined when the Black-tailed Godwit flock was encamped close to the northern banks of No.6 tank. Most of the birds were bathed in beautiful spring sunshine with numerous birds glowing in their pristine summer plumage. Only one individual had an orange leg ring but the depth of the water it was standing in didn’t give the opportunity to observe the other colour combination. The Ruff flocks were numbering 16 birds and two (black and white) were acquiring their breeding plumage.

A small group of Dunlin included the Little Stint (pictured above and below the Redshank in image 4) which chose to feed using the matted vegetation as a platform to pick off the mud beneath.The Avocet group increased by one to 17 birds. The first Whimbrel of the year settled briefly before heading off to the estuary calling on its way.  It was a bit of a surprise to see a flock of 110 Golden Plover (all in summer dress) nervously circling overhead, then landing on the drier areas of the tank when their nerves finally settled. A scattered group of 23 Common Snipe joined the 131 Redshank huddled in a group for most of my watch.

Over on the mitigation pools, No.3 tank were the usual Common Teal, Shoveler, Gadwall and Common Shelduck. Shorebirds featured a few Black-tailed Godwit, A couple of Ringed Plover and the first Little Ringed Plover of the year.

Ducks were fairly numerous with 46 Tufted Duck, 123 Common Shelduck, 43 Gadwall, 2 female Pintail, a pair of Wigeon and 24 Shoveler. Two pairs of Little Grebe were being a bundled of fury to each other in their territories.

A pair of Marsh Harrier were roaming about the area and Common Buzzard were drifting through.

A group of gulls flying over from Frodsham Hill in the direction of the Mersey estuary had a pair of summer Mediterranean Gull in with them and they were followed an hour later by another bird.

The Raven were rabble-rousing with Carrion Crow flocks on Frodsham Score today.

A small movement of spring passerines were noted and included Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Swallow. A couple of Cetti’s Warbler were sounding out the local competition at two different locations.

Observers: Frank Duff, John Gilbody (image 2 & 7), WSM (images 1 & 3-6 & 8-10).

07.04.17. Birdlog

I was out on a walk this afternoon which I began at Ince. A Green Sandpiper was at the new pools along with Common Teal, Mallard, Gadwall and Common Shelduck. There were  several Swallow hawking overhead and a Sparrowhawk cruised by. On the Manchester Ship Canal path were more Common Shelduck, Common Teal and Tufted Duck were on the water with many Canada Goose.

Butterflies were out in the force in the sunshine later in the day with Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood noted.  A Fox was seen on the salt marshes keeping a keen eye on the geese with interest. Several Common Buzzard were rising on the thermals and a female Marsh Harrier was sat on a fallen tree on No.4 tank. The mitigation pools on No.3 held Shoveler, Common Teal, Gadwall, Common Shelduck, Mallard and a flock of c120 Redshank. Onto No.6 and a mixed flock of waders grouped together at the edge of the water were made up of Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Dunlin and Avocet.

A Cetti’s Warbler was heard and seen moving from a bush to a reed bed and back again. A pair of Kestrel were catching insects on the newly cut grass on the model air field  and were giving the hovering a rest by running to catch their meal. Chiffchaff were seen all along the walk and a Willow Warbler was singing on the bank of No.4. Back at Ince there were 10 Little Egret were feeding on one of the pools before going to roost in the nearby trees. I thought i heard a Green Woodpecker call but it only called once so can’t be sure?

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.