Yellow-browed Warbler – New to Frodsham Marsh

I met Paul Kurs on the motorway bridge that crosses the M56 on Brook Furlong Land just off Marsh Lane accessed from Main Street in Frodsham at 7.30 am. It was a partially cloudy morning with the wind veering south with just a hint of south-east in it.

We both set off along the lane heading north towards the River Weaver. There were a few skeins of Canada’s and Pink-footed Goose doing their usual vacating the marsh and heading to an unknown location inland.

Shortly after we had started our attention was drawn to a large flock of mostly Long-tailed Tit by their distinctive ‘thrup’ calls. The flock contained a few Blue and Great Tit along with 2 Goldcrest, this type of passerine combo is usual around early autumn. A few Chiffchaff were periodically contact calling from our left and right side and showing themselves now and again. A smaller warbler flew across the path ahead of us and disappeared into a large Elder. We immediately suspected that it could be a Yellow-browed Warbler but needed a second view to confirm our initial suspicion. The bird fortunately emerged to give a full on view before vanishing into a bramble patch. I left Paul and walked ahead but he was lagging behind and managed a third view as it had a swipe at a Chiffchaff, showing its distinctive white wing bar during the skirmish. After that the warbler flew up the bank of No.5 tank and disappeared from view.

We continued our walk onwards to the River Weaver where Tufted Duck, Gadwall and Stonechat were the only other highlights.

A walk further along the lane to Marsh Farm resulted in seeing c150 Goldfinch along with a c30 Meadow Pipit and some more Stonechat.

On our return along Brook Furlong we saw the tit flock again but there was no sign of the YbW.

We managed 60 species for our visit which was a great count in just a few hours of birding and obviously the small piece of Siberia stole the show!

Written by Shaun Hickey.

Illustration: WSM.

24.09.17. Birdlog.

The pale morph Common Buzzard was in its usual perch above by the dredger berth at the Pumping Station.

A visit to No.6 tank and the Canal Pools. There were 3 Little Stint present on No.6 tank with (6 birds seen by SH & PK earlier), 110 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Golden Plover and 28 Ruff. A Mediterranean Gull was in with the gull roost on the sludge tank.

A little further away and a Kingfisher was sat on one of the jetty struts alongside the Manchester Ship Canal.

A large Mirror Carp was cruising on the surface of the Canal Pools.

A few sightings via AC starting at Marsh Farm this morning and a few birds were on the move, including 30 Meadow Pipit and 2 each of Grey and Yellow Wagtail. A group of 4 Collared Dove which flew East. A gathering out on the Mersey estuary included 2 Great White Egret and 12 Little Egret. A Wheatear and 2 Stonechat were also in the area.

A Green Sandpiper was on the Weaver Bend.

Also seen during the day were 18 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Redpoll and a Jay.

The lane that continues north over the motorway bridge is Brook Furlong Lane and is usually the best place to seek out roving tit flocks. Earlier this morning one such flock had with it a Yellow-browed Warbler (SH & PK) but despite a thorough search in the day it could not be relocated. There was a migrant Great Spotted Woodpecker flying through and also noted were 5 contact calling Chiffchaff with a few Goldcrest.

Observers: Alyn Chambers, Shaun Hickey & Paul Kurs, Paul Ralston (images 1-3), Heather and Findlay Wilde (image 4), WSM.