12.06.19. Birdlog.

An after work jaunt along the track that separates No.6-No.5 & No.3 tanks.

Looking out over No.6 tank and c400 Black-tailed Godwit were hundled close to my viewing point but soon after a passing Common Buzzard flushed the entire flock with half of them in panic heading off to the north. The remaining birds wheeled around and resettled. The usual ducks were about with 6 Eurasian Teal joining the big numbers of Gadwall and Coot. The first juvenile of the nesting flock was still about and a couple of Yellow Wagtail could be heard. A couple of Avocet were feeding on the far edge of the tank.

A flock of c300 Common Swift were over the east bank while at least 3 Cetti’s Warbler were busy calling.

The usual female Marsh Harrier was sat on her regular perch.

Walking out to the far end of No.3 tank to the ‘phalarope pool’ where I was hoping the other Black-tailed Godwit may have resettled. I could hear the birds long before I saw the flock and on arrival there was c600 birds. No sooner had I set up my scope, than I found a drake (moulting into summer plumage and tailless) Long-tailed Duck doing its best to dive and attempt to find food in the shallow pool. It was still there when I left and a good little pool that’s attracting at least two good birds so far.

Observer: WSM (images, video).

09.06.19. Birdlog.

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I was out early doors this morning and a change in the weather made all the difference with Chiffchaff, Wren, Reed and Sedge Warbler all in good voice, and their young making an appearance.

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A pair of Brown Hare were eyed along the lane and a Common Buzzard lingered whilst hunting the meadows and flushed several of the released hunting stock.

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Out on the River Weaver were Common Shelduck, Mallard, Gadwall and Canada Goose each enjoying the morning sunshine like myself.

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A female Northern Shoveler hid her ducklings in the reeds for safety from prying eyes.

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A couple of Northern Lapwing chicks have managed successfully to avoid the gull and crow patrols. The youngsters are growing well and were joined by a galoshes wearing Avocet chick for moral support.

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The Avocet parents were busy driving away Lesser Black-backed Gull and Common Buzzard away from the area.

c300 Common Swift were hawking low over the bank whizzing past at head height putting on a great display.

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The ‘phalarope pool’ was again quiet with just the one Black-tailed Godwit present. Yet more Reed and Sedge Warbler were along Lordship Lane with some busy feeding their young.

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A trespassing Common Buzzard ran the gauntlet of a very aggressive Avocet father or mother.

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On No.6 tank were 27 Tufted Duck, 20 Mallard, 60 Common Shelduck and several Gadwall have been joined by a few Eurasian Teal which took to the air as a Peregrine passed over. The Black-tailed Godwit flock from yesterday were still present with c350 birds.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-7 & 12), JS & WSM (image 8-11 & 13-17).

08.06.19. Birdlog.

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I was out on this wet miserable morning along Brook Furlong Lane and then around No.6 tank. The bird song was subdued by the but both Reed and Sedge Warbler still made their presence known. Reed Bunting were seen feeding young as were Common Whitethroat.

A Barn Owl was seen to disappear over the bank near to the pony paddock followed hotly by several Jackdaw.

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Onto No.6 tank and the duck numbers were low but still held Common Shelduck, Mallard, Gadwall and Tufted Duck, plus many Coot and a single Mute Swan. A flock of c300 Black-tailed Godwit were feeding in the shallow waters and a Marsh Harrier hunted the reed bed.

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A spot of nest robbery by either a corvid or gull on a Coot nest resulted in a broken egg on the path.

The ‘phalarope pool’ was devoid of any waders apart from the Lapwing family, but held the same species of wildfowl as on No.6 except for a pair of Eurasian Teal.

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Forward onward to Lordship Lane where the Oystercatcher is still sitting tight and a couple of Ring Plover where in the vicinity. Common Swift were in numbering c300 and hawked over the bank on No.6, ignoring a Kestrel hovering within their flight line.

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A couple of Brown Hare were again noted on my walk and I spent a couple of hours one night in the week in better weather watching a group of them feeding and chasing one another.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-6).

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I took on the next session with a walk along No.6 tank. The flock of Black-tailed Godwit that Paul had seen earlier were still in situ with an additional 75 birds. There were 3 Dunlin leaving it late before heading north.

A count of the ducks for the WeBS featured 71 Common Shelduck, 7 Northern Shoveler, 27 Tufted Duck, 16 Gadwall, 23 Mallard, 4 Little Grebe, 83 Eurasian Coot, 274 Black-headed and a single Lesser Black-backed Gull.

A pair of Yellow Wagtail have been here all summer but don’t appear to have had fledged young.

Observer: WSM (images 7-9).

05.06.19. Birdlog.

An after work ramble down to the far end of No.3 tank and back. There c500 Common Swift hawking low over the bushes that edge the embankment between No.6 & No.5 tank this evening.

Many of these birds flying so close they nearly took my breath away. Nothing on earth can make a flock of Swift disperse more quickly than a Hobby in stealth mode, and one duly applied the pressure hunting down one from the throng.

Ducks were busy doing what ducks do at this time of year and there were more Mallard and Gadwall than at any other period this year.

A walk further on produced several Avocet, an Oystercatcher, a few Black-tailed Godwit and a pair of ‘Lover (Little Ringed) Plover’ in the act of amore.

A couple of Cetti’s Warbler sounded out across the marsh, while a Marsh Harrier did its patrols.

One of the Brown Hare was not being so photogenic as of late.

 

 

Observer, videos and images: WSM

02.06.19. Birdlog.

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I was out this morning around the River Weaver. Again Blackcap were the most vocal warblers along Brook Furlong Lane, but were drowned out by a very loud Cetti’s Warbler. A family party of Long-tailed Tit made their way along the hedgerow while a Kestrel took an interest in there number.

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A couple of Brown Hare and their leveret were noted during my walk.

On the river path both Reed and Sedge Warbler were commonplace and several Reed Bunting were on territory one of which was wearing a ring. A clutch of recently fledged Wren exploded from the vegetation as I walked by and the parent bird scolded me from the reed bed.

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A male Stonechat sat along a fence and the first I have seen on the marsh for a while. A Common Snipe was flushed from the ‘shooters’ pool’ by a Canada Goose and its brood of goslings and a couple of Lapwing flew over my head calling loudly as their chicks hid in the reeds.

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There were c30 Avocet were on the far river bank with several sitting tight. A pair of Common Shelduck with a single shelduckling were on the river the chick was being stalked by a Lesser Black-backed Gull and had to constantly dive to avoid becoming the next meal and no doubt happened to the rest of the brood.

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Two Greenfinch were amongst a mixed flock of Goldfinch and Linnet.

Finally five additional Brown Hare were together in a field.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

01.06.19. Birdlog.

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An early start this morning around the River Weaver and No.6 tank.

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A Fox vixen made her way along the pony paddock and slipped away in to the vegetation when it got wind of me.

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There were Blackcap being the most vocal bird along the lane and were joined by Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat, Sedge and Reed Warbler.

Another highlight of the morning were four Brown Hare and it seems to be a good year for them on the marsh.

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On the river the usual ducks were present and a pair of Great Crested Grebe look to have failed breeding as yet and 6 Mute Swan made their way to the Manchester Ship Canal.

A Common Buzzard was chased away from the river by a posse of noisy Oystercatcher and several Avocet.

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Onto No.6 tank the Black-tailed Godwit numbers reached 590 were spread out over the shallow water with several 15 Ringed Plover (one of which had a retarded 1st winter plumage?) and 5 Dunlin being noted. Gadwall numbers have increased with 91 birds present. Tufted Duck reached 12 birds while Common Shelduck were much reduced and presumably busy elsewhere bring up their new families.

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Image may contain: bird, sky and outdoor

100’s Common Swift dropped down with the drizzle but some moved on .

The ‘phalarope pool’ had a dozen Black-tailed Godwit, a couple of Avocet and a pair of Lapwing with 2 chicks and the Eurasian Coot family. A pair of Gadwall, a Mallard and its brood and a Mute Swan.

Lordship Lane held more Reed and Sedge Warbler with Reed Bunting feeding young and the Oystercatcher still sitting tight.There were numerous singing Cetti’s  Warbler rang out all over the place.

Observers: Paul Ralston (images 1-6), WSM (7-8).