20.10.18. Birdlog.

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Stepping out early doors for a ramble around No.6 and 4 tanks and to see this sunrise illuminating the eastern sky above Moorditch Lane.

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There were plenty of ducks on No.6 tank with mostly Common Teal and Mallard but with a supporting cast of Wigeon, Pintail, Shoveler, Gadwall and Tufted Duck.

Rabbits are still breeding with a doe and young seen on the pathways on the approach to the ‘Secluded Pool’ which held a few more Common Teal and Mallard with a single male Shoveler. A little further on and the ‘Splashing Pool’ had more Common Teal, Mallard and 20 Shoveler.

Walking along the Manchester Ship Canal path provided sightings of a Cormorant with Great Crested Grebe fishing side by side and a group of Tufted Duck as well.

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Frodsham Score salt marsh had a large roost of Great Black-backed Gull which were sitting out the tide while 4 Great White and several Little Egret were moving about the marsh.

The fields alongside the Holpool Gutter held c1000 Lapwing, 20 Curlew but no sign of the Golden Plover flocks that has been there recently.

Back along Lordship Lane and c40 Curlew and more Lapwing were feeding in the field at the junction with Rake Lane. At the No.4 and 6 tank turn off a dozen or more Reed Bunting were again favouring the Buckthorn bushes with more buntings spotted on the way back to my car.

A Common Snipe, single Ruff and a several Black-tailed Godwit were amongst a Lapwing flock which dropped in to the shallow waters on No.6.

A quiet day for raptors with only Common Buzzard and Kestrel being noted. Still no sign of the winter thrushes which have arrived in other places.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-3).

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There was a female Merlin hunting down the pipes on No.1 tank and 6 Stonechat in various locations around there and the Weaver Bend. A flock of 20 Meadow Pipit fed and bathed on the track near the to Marsh Farm while No.2 had 10 Curlew and 20 Lapwing.

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A Cetti’s Warbler was calling in the reeds for over 20 minutes on the Weaver Bend less than 6 foot from where I was standing but I couldn’t see it. There were plenty of Blackbird and Song Thrush flying down the banks of No.5 next to Brook Furlong Lane.

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Observer: Paul Crawley (images 4-8).

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I hiked along Brook Furlong Lane this afternoon with the intention of working the hedgerows there, unfortunately there was a lot of shooting activity in the fields to the east so most things were keeping a low profile. A couple of Goldcrest, Chaffinch and Bullfinch were bobbing about but nothing to get the juices flowing.

A Cetti’s Warbler blasted out a tune from Redwall reed bed.

A walk along the bank to the ‘Corner’ and a couple of hours sat watching the ebbing tide drain out of the Mersey estuary. The Peregrine was perched on its lofty citadel high above the Weaver estuary. There were 3 (juvenile) Common Pochard and 128 Tufted Duck with 7 Great Crested Grebe for company. Looking out from the bank and the Mersey estuary was full of birds including a tidy flock of c450 Wigeon, 120 Gadwall and several hundred Common Teal.  A few Little Egret were flopping about in and out of channels. The Golden Plover flocks that PR failed to see earlier were sheltering out on the mudflats numbering c400 with c700 Lapwing. There were several hundred Black-tailed Godwit but their true number was difficult to ascertain with birds stretching out towards No Man’s Land (which isn’t visible from my viewing position) and out of sight.

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A lonesome Pink-footed Goose was with Canada’s on the River Weaver but soon got restless and flapped away back to Frodsham Score. A lingering Common Sandpiper took time out from strutting its stuff to fall asleep in the bright warm sunshine while behind me a Skylark filled the air with its song.

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An injured drake Gadwall swimming close by had sustained an injury to its wings and held them over its back while swimming.

Walking back and Marsh Farm was pretty vacant with just a small flock of Linnet and a couple of Reed Bunting feeding on a patch of weedy seeds.

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There were six Ruff feeding in the extreme south-east corner of No.6 tank…

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… while the wide selection of ducks from earlier had vacated the tank there were c100 Common Teal still present and a single Common Snipe.

A skein of 95 Pink-footed Goose were winging their way to the south (and presumably the Dee Marshes) high over the turbines on No.4 tank.

Finally, another Cetti’s Warbler was vocal on No.5 tank and it seems birds have dispersed widely across the marshes today. A couple of Stonechat added to PC’s earlier reckoning.

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A few insects out today including Small Tortoiseshell, Common Darters and thousands of Harlequin Ladybirds.

Observer: WSM (images 9-15).

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This post is dedicated to Roy Taylor who died tragically young yesterday after fighting MND. Roy was a regular birder visiting Frodsham Marsh in the early 1980’s with his dad (Roy Snr). A few years ago and although he no longer lived in the area he paid a visit to the marshes with Tim Cleeves and they found a trip of Dotterels hiding on No.3 tank.

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