31.07.19. Birdlog.

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An hours worth of birding looking over No.6 tank after work.

A flock of 256 Dunlin, 241 Black-tailed Godwit, a single Curlew, 46 Redshank, several Lapwing, 2 Ringed Plover and an assortment of Black-headed and Common Gulls.

The few ducks that were present included 30 Eurasian Teal and a duck Mallard with recently fledged young.

The Peregrine was sat on the tall chimney at Weston Point.

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Juvenile Little Grebe.

Eel.

Observer and images and video: WSM.

29.07.19. Birdlog.

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A day off and another walk around No.6 and No.4 tanks this morning.

A female Northern Shoveler with her recently hatched brood made their way along the edge of the tank and were joined by several juvenile Common Shelduck and young Mallard.

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Again both Reed and Sedge Warbler were commonplace with a couple of birds still singing. There were foraging Common Whitethroat and Chiffchaff along the bank.

Butterflies were out in force with numerous Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and smaller numbers of Peacock, Comma, Red Admiral and Painted lady.

The Black-tailed Godwit flock of c400 were feeding in the water and more birds were constantly dropping in to join them. Alongside the godwits were c100 Dunlin and similar numbers of Redshank mixed in with the flock. There were also 9 Ringed Plover and a single Common Sandpiper noted.

The ‘Splashing Pool’ held c40 Tufted Duck, several Mallard and 2 fishing Cormorant.

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Out on the Frodsham Score salt marsh were 3 Little Egret were resting while a group of Raven were cleaning up the stricken dead-stock on the marshes.

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A combine harvester has been busy in the fields alongside the Holpool Gutter and a large flock of Canada Goose were feeding on the split grain.

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Walking back along Lordship Lane and the Kestrel family were hunting along the bank and a Brown Hare was snapped napping at the edge of the track but slipped in to the reeds when a vehicle approached.

Observers: Paul Ralston (images), WSM.

28.07.19. Birdlog.

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A rather wet walk around No.6 tank this morning and emerging from the dampness were groups of Tufted Duck, Mallard and Common Shelduck which all had young on show. A Little Grebe mother and her new family were watched over by several Eurasian Teal.

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A flock of c400 Black-tailed Godwit were feeding in the shallows with c60 Redshank, c100 Dunlin, 2 Common Snipe and a single Common Sandpiper.The Dunlin rose to the air as a Kestrel passed overhead but soon settled down again.

Both Reed and Sedge Warbler were noted along Lordship Lane and several Chiffchaff were moving along the bank.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

26.07.19. Birdlog.

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An early evening walk along the River Weaver and Manchester Ship Canal. There were few ducks on the river with just a small number of Tufted Duck, Mallard and a single male Common Pochard. A gathering of 11 Great Crested Grebe in a group on the far side of the river and Eurasian Coot numbers also beginning to increase. A herd of several hundred Canada Goose were on the fields alongside the river with c 40 Greylag Goose which made their way back to the water. A small flock of 15 Black-tailed Godwit and 6 Common Redshank which were feeding at the river edge with 2 pairs of Avocet, 2 Ringed Plover and 9 Common Sandpiper being noted.

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Common Swift were noticeable by their absence and only a handful of Swallow and both martin species were noted. Hundreds of Black-headed Gull were roosting on the Mersey sand bank alongside a flock of Black-tailed Godwit and several Eurasian Curlew.

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A large flock of mostly juvenile Starling were feeding by Marsh Farm and 15 Raven were sat in a tree watching over the marsh and both Common Buzzard and Kestrel were hunting in the area.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

22 & 23.07.19. Birdlog.

22.07.19. Birdlog.

An after work visit to No.6 tank was rewarded with c750 Black-tailed Godwit, 100 Dunlin, 56 Redshank, 2 Avocet and Common Buzzard.

Observer: WSM.

23.07.19. Birdlog.

The wall of warmth that greeted me this evening was overpowering with the cauldron of heat emanating from the dried fields and banks…perfect for savaging Clegs.

The Black-tailed Godwit were virtually absent from No.6 tank, but c130 Redshank, the Red Knot, 1 Ruff, 1 Common Sandpiper, 8 Ringed Plover and the  Little Ringed Plover outnumbered for a change.

Ducks included a family party of Gadwall and a couple of eclipse Northern Shoveler.

Observer: WSM.

21.07.19. Birdlog.

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An afternoon walk around No.6 tank.

Numerous Common Swift and Swallow were hawking over the fields along Lordship Lane while Goldfinch and Linnet fed on the wildflower seeds heads.

Common Buzzard and Kestrel were hunting along the bank and several Raven passed overhead on their way to the Mersey estuary.

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The ‘Splashing Pool’ held c200 Tufted Duck and a few Mallard, while the ‘phalarope pool’ was empty of birds apart from a few Lapwing.

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The shallow waters on No.6 held c500 Black-tailed Godwit, c80 Redshank, c40 Dunlin, a single Common Sandpiper and i managed to catch up with the summer plumage Red Knot feeding with the godwit flock.

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Butterflies were out in force with many Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Large White, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, a couple of Comma and a single tatty Painted Lady.

Damselfly and dragonflies were also noted.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

Steam Train ‘Leander’ leaving Frodsham Railway Station earlier today.

20.07.19. Birdlog.

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A very early morning stroll around No.6 tank. The moon was waning but showing well in the early sky, today being 50 years since the first man on la Luna.

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There were several hundred Wood Pigeon which flew east looking for crop fields to raid and later in the day the shooter was out reducing their number. ock of c50 Dunlin dropped in to the shallow water on the tank while c200 Black-tailed Godwit and a handful of Redshank were already settled and busily feeding. Tufted Duck, Mallard, Common Shelduck and Eurasian Teal were present in small numbers while c60 Eurasian Coot were spread out on the water.

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A Little Grebe had 4 young on the ‘secluded pool’ and several Avocet and Black-tailed Godwit could be seen on a scrape on No.3 tank. The ‘phalarope pool’ held 2 Common Snipe and 4 more Black-tailed Godwit. A pair of Common Buzzard hung in the air above the pool.

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Lordship Lane had Reed Bunting, Reed and Sedge Warbler hiding in the reed beds while a family group of Kestrel hunted together along the bank.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-4).

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I was in work today, so after that I made my way to the marsh to check out the birds brought in by the tide on the River Mersey.

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The Red Knot I found a couple of nights ago was still present along with 96 (mostly) summer Dunlin, a male Ruff, c750 Black-tailed Godwit which were forced to take to he wing when an inexperienced juvenile Peregrine forced everything into the air (some stayed, some left).

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There were 4 Common Ringed and 8 Little Ringed Plover sharing the exposed mud with the usual Yellow and Pied Wagtail family parties. Redshank are arriving freshly each day with a mixture of juvenile and summer adults.

Observer: WSM (images 5-13).

19.07.19. Birdlog.

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An after work walk along the River Weaver tonight with a start at Brook Furlong Lane where Blackcap and Chiffchaff were following a troupe of Long-tailed Tit along the hedgerow.

On the river were several Tufted Duck with their broods of tuftlings while good numbers of Common Swift, Swallow and Sand Martin hawking low over the water. A flock of c25 Greylag Goose were amid the many Canada Goose making their way towards the Manchester Ship Canal.

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There were only 5 Common Sandpiper seen today with 3 Ringed Plover and 4 Redshank which also fed at the edge of the river.

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A dozen Black-tailed Godwit flew out to the Mersey estuary to join c200 others feeding on the exposed mud, a Curlew was heard but not seen.

Two pairs of Avocet were still on gull patrol and chasing any that entered their territory.

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Earlier in the day a Peregrine was seen to mob a Common Buzzard over Stanlow making several stoops to which the buzzard rolled over to meet the falcon with its talons.

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Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

18.07.19. Birdlog.

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Another chance to pop down to the marsh and bumping into Arthur Harrison was a welcome release from the rigours of work.

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A look across No.6 tank had more Black-tailed Godwit than last evening with c300 birds. 37 Dunlin, 46 Redshank, 7 Little Ringed Plover, a single Ruff and a fine summer plumage Red Knot.

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A prowling juvenile Grey Heron managed to catch a duckling and after being harassed by a Black-headed Gull it tossed its head and gulped it down. The poor duckling could be seen struggling on its way down the herons neck.

Observer and images: WSM.

17.07.19. Birdlog.

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I made a visit after work to No.6 tank and as I did the rain started to fall. On my arrival there were hundreds of Common Swift hawking low over the bank and providing excellent views.

An assortment of shorebirds were settled on the sludge tank and a count of 24 Dunlin included a bird in non-breeding plumage. The Black-tailed Godwit flock were much depleted with just 15 birds present.

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A flock of 63 Redshank included a Greenshank and 2 Ruff. An adult Ringed Plover was okay, but 11 Little Ringed Plover (mostly juveniles) was by far the best count for the year. A flock of 130 (mostly juvenile) Starling were busy feeding with the Dunlin on emerging midges and the family party of Yellow Wagtail were still present.

A few Eurasian Teal, Gadwall, two female Tufted Duck and their respective attendant tuflings 5 & 4. A count of 11 Little Grebe must surely reflect a good breeding season for the species here. Mallard ducks with their various sized ducklings could be seen. The Common Shelduck pairs (which were few) had a creche of 30 shelducklings and Coot numbers are still high before they disperse out to the surrounding water bodies.

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A good number of the alien faced flower of the Broad-leaved Helleborine were present at a secluded site.

Observer and images: WSM.