05.03.19. Birdlog.

An after work visit before my services were required to taxi the girls night out in Chester.

I arrived with the sun sliding behind the clouds and a chilly westerly breeze wafting through the area of No.6 tank. There was much activity with Common Shelduck posturing before each other, while Eurasian Teal drakes were head banging to their potential suitors. Northern Shoveler drakes were keeping close dibs on their female partners and Mallard pairs were engaged in acts of amore. A small flock of Common Snipe dropped in. A Cetti’s Warbler rang out from the banks.

The poplar trees alongside the westbound M56 had several hundred Rook spiralling in the air their ballet display flocks. The raven flocks were moving through and within the short time I was there I estimated c1500 birds.

The shot blast plumaged Marsh Harrier sailed in from No.4 tank before it was joined by three other birds. Over on the distant blue topped chimney at Weston Point the female Peregrine sat for her evening roost.

Observer and images: WSM.

CHESHIRE AND WIRRAL BIRD REPORT 2016

We’re delighted to say that the annual Bird Report for 2016 is now available – with many people working together to develop the content and get it printed.

The front cover features 8 of the 12 Spoonbills which graced BMW in August and September and delighted many observers.

The Report has 144 pages of text, 7 pages of photos and the colour map of the main birding sites of the county as the centre spread. The photos capture some of the highlights of the year, including stunning shots of Nightjar and Marsh Harrier (taken under licence) and the full Spoonbill cast.

The Report is the one document that brings together individual observer sightings (including Birdtrack), records from major sites and annual counts from the key BTO surveys of WeBS, WBBS and BBS. This all goes to demonstrate that Cheshire and Wirral has a rich avifauna – 232 species were recorded in 2016 of which no less than 28 were BBRC or County Rarities.

As well as the Systematic List, the Report contains articles on:

  • A White-crowned Sparrow ringed at Woolston Eyes – the first for Cheshire and Wirral. This was accepted as the first record of the sub-species gambelii recorded in Britain.
  • Finder’s accounts of two rare tern species and an inland Sabine’s Gull.
  • An account of the influx of Yellow-browed Warblers during the autumn.
  • The regular ‘Early and late dates for migrants’ including an October Cuckoo (the latest ever) and a December Swallow.
  • Cheshire and Wirral in the BTO Online Ringing Report, which now selectively focusses on recoveries chosen to illustrate movements and longetivity – or both in the case of the Reed Warbler which crossed the Sahara at least 24 times!

For 2016, the Index might be particularly helpful. The Systematic List now follows the International Ornithological Congress (IOC) order – so you if you are looking for Falcons, they sneak in between Woodpeckers and Parakeets.

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

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