A visit to the marshes after a gloriously sunny Spring day. No.6 tank had 47 Tufted Duck, c100 Common Shelduck, 278 Common Teal, 5 Gadwall, 43 Shoveler and 12 Mallard.
Waders were much reduced since my last visit but the 31 Ruff (some attaining their summer plumage) was considerably higher. There were c120 Redshank with smaller numbers of Lapwing and Common Snipe.
Over on the mitigation pools on No.3 tank saw 37 Shoveler, 51 Common Teal and 14 Coot.
There were 5 Marsh Harrier over the marshes and a Cetti’s Warbler singing was a welcome return.
Observer and images: WSM.
The Weaver estuary had 6 Goldeneye and a large flock of Tufted Duck.
Observer: Don Weedon.
CHESHIRE AND WIRRAL BIRD REPORT 2015
We’re delighted to say that the annual Bird Report for 2015 is now available – with many people working together to finally get it printed. This year’s eye-catching colour front cover is a stunning second-calendar-year Laughing Gull, which attracted many admirers to New Brighton Marine Lake, often giving ‘crippling’ views.
There are 152 pages of text with, as usual, the colour map of the county as the centre spread of the Bird Report. A total of 20 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:
- The first article tells the story of a Western Sandpiper discovered back in 2012. It attracted a steady stream of visiting birders, often showing well, over its 6-day stay. However, the identification prompted much discussion both locally and nationally such that it took four years and as many circulations for BBRC to agree it was the species claimed. This was the first ever for Cheshire and Wirral and only the 9th for the UK.
- Another article describes one observer finding tens of thousands of Common Scoters, all feeding just offshore from the low-water mark off Hoylake. After many weeks traipsing across the mud, the reward was discovering the first Surf Scoter for Cheshire and Wirral.
- Again on the Wirral, visiting birders upstaged the locals after finding the 1st-winter (second calendar-year) Laughing Gull on New Brighton Marine Lake on 2nd February. Fortunately for everyone, it hung around until 20th April; even visiting the Merseyside side of the Mersey estuary. The author of the article generously said “….anyone can be in the right place at the right moment and discover an exciting vagrant!”
- 2015 was a good year for Cetti’s Warblers, with reports of birds seen and/or heard coming from more than 20 sites. This secretive species is usually difficult to see, but one observer at Sandbach Flashes managed to hear, then finally see, a Cetti’s Warbler on a foggy day in October – the first for the flashes.
All the ‘regulars’ are there: ‘Weather and Bird Review of the Year’; the full ‘Systematic List of Birds Recorded in Cheshire and Wirral during 2015’, 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: email@example.com