18.05.19. Birdlog.

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I was out this morning around the River Weaver and onto No.6 tank.

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A Willow Warbler was singing near the old bird log while nearby were Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat and melodeous Blackcap along the Brrok Furlong Lane. Both Reed and Sedge Warbler were in the reeds alongside the river as were 2 pairs of Reed Bunting. The river was alive with Tufted Duck, Common Shelduck. Mallard and Gadwall present alongside several broods of Canada Goose. 3 Common Sandpiper, a pair of Ringed Plover, several Oystercatcher and a pair of Avocet were on the river bank.

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Looking over the Mersey estuary at the Weaver Sluice gates from the junction of the River Weaver and Manchester Ship Canal, a pair of Spoonbill in their fine summer plumage were feeding in the tidal gutter and were joined by a flock of Avocet that were on the river bank.

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A short while later the pair of Spoonbill flew up the River Weaver and were I relocated them on No.6 tank where they were still sleeping when I left at 10 30 am.

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Also on the No.6 were c200 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Greenshank amongst 32 Tufted Duck. 53 Gadwall, 21 Common Shelduck, 12 Mallard, 14 Northern Shoveler, 7 Eurasian Teal, 5 Mute Swan and 4 Little Grebe.

The Black-tailed Godwit flock increased to 350 birds with a winter plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit joining them. Another Little Ringed Plover was als present, while a Whimbrel called overhead. A Marsh Harrier was sat on her usual perch while on the blue topped chimney sat a Peregrine.

Walking along Lordship Lane were more Reed and Sedge Warbler in competition with each over and 2 Cetti’ Warbler adding value by the ‘Splashing Pool’.

On the ‘phalarope pool’ were c150 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Avocet and, another Greenshank took flight and looked to drop down on one of the hidden scrapes, while the Avocet birds took a dislike to the Black-headed Gull on the pool and were chasing them off. A 1st summer Mediterranean Gull flew out to the estuary with a Black-headed Gull for companionship.

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A Raven was sat on the track and had trouble flying off and crash landed in a nettle bed although I couldn’t see any damage to it.

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Fly-tippers have been active and blocked both of the entrances to No.6 tank.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-10) with additional sightings by WSM (11-14).

16.05.19. Birdlog.

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An after work hike around No.6 tank taking in Moorditch and Lordship lanes.

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The walk was pretty uneventful until the first Ermine Moth caterpillars and webs of the year appeared in bushes along Lordship Marsh.

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Looking out across No.3 tank revealed a disjointed flock of c300 Black-tailed Godwit on the scrapes while 5 Little Egret were seen flying from Frodsham Score along the Manchester Ship Canal before pitching down on No.6 tank.

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Apart from the mobile egrets there was more Black-tailed Godwit on the tank with c60 Tufted Duck, 20 Eurasian Teal and an assortment of other species. A female Marsh Harrier flew over but didn’t stay for long.

 

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Looking across to the ‘darkside’ of the river, I fiddled with my camera while Hale burns.

Observers: JS & WSM (images).

14.05.19. Birdlog.

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An early morning walk around No.6 tank on this warmest of sunny days. I began at Godscroft lane where the usual Sedge and Reed Warbler song were vocal, but not vocal enough to drowned out a Cetti’s Warbler.

A Ringed Plover was alarm calling over one of the distant fields, but the sitting Lapwing didn’t seemed too concerned. Both Goldfinch and Linnet were busy feeding on the seed heads of gone-over flowers and one of the first juvenile Starling of the year began begging for food.

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Onto the ‘phalarope pool’ where c50 Black-tailed Godwit which were joined by 2 Avocet, while another Cetti’s song gave a Mediterranean vibe to the proceedings. A group of drake Gadwall were chasing a wearily oppressed duck around on No.3 tank and Avocet were being equally amorous.

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No.6 tank had the remainder of c200 Black-tailed Godwit with 6 more Avocet in the shallow waters, while a pair of Black-headed Gull were trying to bully a Coot off the nest it had occupied from them. Common Shelduck, Tufted Duck, Mallard, more Gadwall and small numbers of Eurasian Teal were all present alongside 4 Mute Swan and 4 Little Grebe.

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A Common Sandpiper flew in and landed on the edge of a Coot nest where it sat calling before moving on.

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Observer and Images: Paul Ralston.

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Rake Lane.. Yellow/Grey and Pied Wagtail also Sedge/Reed/Grasshoper Warbler.

Observer and image: Steve O’Connell.

A Barn Owl was perched alongside the eastbound carriway of the M56 at junction 12 at 21.05 per WSM.

13.05.19. Birdlog.

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A walk along No.3 tank this late morning – afternoon period was rewarded with some really intimate views of c300 Black-tailed Godwit all territorial and testosteroned up, fanning tails and intolerant to their neighbours…a lot of squabbling about.

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I met Keith G en route and we both took a look across No.6 tank, but apart from the Black-headed Gull and coot colony there wasn’t much to write about. A couple of contractors surveying the bed for Peel must have been very warm within the sludge tank. It was hot enough standing on the bank with a slight breeze not being effective to cool them down.

Observers: Keith G (image 10) and WSM (images 1-9).

Dedicated to my Dad R.I.P.

12.05.19. Birdlog.

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I had a female Northern Wheatear on No.1, Blackcap along Brook Furlong and Lordship lane, Common Whitethroat all over the marsh as were Sedge and Reed Warbler.

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There was a Whinchat on Lordship Marsh and 3 Yellow Wagtail along the track leading to the model airfield consisting of a male and female, the third flew away before I could tell it’s gender.

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Sadly there was a Raven by the Marsh Farm that on reviewing the photo’s has a broken wing. It looks like a blunt force injury so I am wondering if this bird and the injured Marsh Harrier have had collisions with a turbine?

Observer: Paul Crawley (images 1-7 & 9-11).

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Also additional images by WSM 8 & 12-19.

11.05.19. Birdlog.

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A walk around No.6 tank this morning with a start at Godscroft lane where many Common Whitethroat, Reed and Sedge Warbler all made their presence known. A Cetti’s Warbler was a little more boisterous. A pair of Oystercatcher was in a field along Lordship lane as were several breeding Lapwing.

A Common Buzzard flew over No.6 much to the annoyance of the small but mob handed Black-headed Gull colony there.

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The ‘Splashing Pool’ had a pair of Common Shelduck, a pair of Gadwall and several Mallard while the nearby scrape held Tufted Duck and more Common Shelduck,  6 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 pair of Lapwing and the Eurasian Coot family, which is down to 2 chicks. There were 6 Avocet on the scrape with the godwit flock which had relocated from No.6 to feed in the shallow water and increased to c300 birds.

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A Small Copper butterfly was also noted.

The waters of No.6 held the usual ducks, Tufted Duck, Common Shelduck, Mallard, Gadwall, 4 Mute Swan c30 Coot and 7 on their nests. A small number of godwits remained and 12 Dunlin dropped in on the tide.

The hirundines have all arrived back in force and Common Swift were handing about.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston with additions by WSM.

10.05.19. Birdlog.

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I was out and about this afternoon around the River Weaver at Frodsham Marsh. The rain was constant for the first hour or so and suppressing the bird song keeping them hidden in the foliage. The river held the usual wildfowl with Tufted Duck, Common Shelduck, Mallard and Gadwall with several broods of Canada Goose, 4 Mute Swan and 4 Great Crested Grebe. The Swallow, House and Sand Martin were hawking over the river and the Sand Martin were busy excavating their nest holes in the Manchester Ship Canal bank.

A Black Tern made its way up river and was followed a short while later by 2 more birds. There were 4 Oystercatcher, 2 Ringed Plover, a single Common Sandpiper and a single Avocet were all noted. The Avocet was later seen feeding on the tide line on the Mersey estuary.

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A Northern Wheatear was seen on the far bank of the ship canal and 2 more were by the Marsh Farm which also had a pair of Whinchat with them.

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On my walk back to my car 2 was an adult and 2 leveret Brown Hare seen in the meadows.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

09.05.19. Birdlog.

An after work walk down to the River Weaver in continuous rain, which hadn’t relented throughout the day. A selection of Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck and Common Shelduck were the most prominent species. A quick scan of the Weaver Bend didn’t produce much but 10 minutes later 3, then 4 then 5 Black Tern were hawking close over the water before coming close enough for me to fire off a few shots on my camera. After 20 minutes 4 of the terns called loudly before heading south then south east towards No.6 tank. The fifth bird headed out to the Mersey estuary.

The river was alive with Common Swift, Barn Swallow, House and Sand Martin.

A ‘Greenland’ type Wheatear was on the pipes that cross No.1 tank.

Observer: WSM (images 1-4).

I headed off to No.6 tank where two of the previous (or different birds) Black Tern were busy feeding over the expanse of water with hundreds of hirundines Barn Swallow, House and Sand Martin and numerous Common Swift.

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Ducks included Tufted Duck and 24 Gadwall. A flock of c200 Black-tailed Godwit included a gold and black Ruff with them.

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A female Marsh Harrier sat out the rain on the deck with a couple of amorous Pheasant for company.

Observers: Paul Ralston and WSM.

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A Cetti’s Warbler was along Lordship Lane.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 5-10).

07.05.19. Birdlog.

An hour or so towards dusk and No.6 tank held c400 Black-tailed Godwit with a black & gold male Ruff, a solitary Eurasian Whimbrel and an assortment of ducks.

A couple of Marsh Harrier flew through while good numbers of hirundines were hawking over the pool before heading north.

A sinensis Cormorant came into roost and was the same bird I saw here last wekk.

Observer: WSM.

06.05.19. Birdlog.

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The marsh had 3 female Northern Wheatear on No.1 tank with 2 Eurasian Skylark, the Raven flock were brunching on a recently deceased lamb near to Marsh Farm with worried mum nearby.

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A Jackdaw was pecking on a piece of solid earth along Moorditch Lane were a Stoat was seen but not photographed. The weather was not nice.

Observer and images: Paul Crawley.

We took our second hike around No.6 tank during this cold breezy bank holiday weekend. Yesterday didn’t add to PR’s already concise post, so today it was a struggle to eek anything from our walk. The numbers of Tufted Duck have increased to 50 birds with c23 Eurasian Teal and a few Common Shelduck and Gadwall. A flock of c150 Black-tailed Godwit were to far to see them properly and a fly over Marsh Harrier moved on. We met up with Jacqui and idris en route and with whom only the briefest of conversation was had.

Also seen but not by us were a Common Sandpiper and a Yellow Wagtail.

Observers: JS & WSM