29.09.19. Birdlog.

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I was out and about this morning around No.6 tank. The herd of c1000 Canada Goose were again on the water with the Greylag x Canada Goose hybrid in their midst.

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Shooting was taking place on Lordship Marsh which made the waders very nervous and several hundred Black-tailed Godwit took to the air and moved out towards the only refuge (of sorts) on the Mersey estuary followed swiftly by a dozen or more Ruff.

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On the tank were the usual Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, Tufted Duck and Common Shelduck were on the water with at least 20 Little Grebe. A few Common Buzzard and 3 Kestrel were active around the tank as were a 9 Raven. 

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Along Lordship Lane a Kingfisher was sat on one of the outflow areas and sped along the ditch when it spotted me walking by.

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A small group of  Barn Swallow and House Martin were seen flying south.

Observer and images (1-5): Paul Ralston. Image 6 by WSM.

28.09.19. Birdlog.

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An after weekend working session it was immediately down to the marsh and No.6 tank. A few Hawker dragonflies were still about, but the honking of many geese drew my attention to the waters of the tank. Peering over the bank and an estimate of 1700 was easily the highest count ever made on this part of the marshes.

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Hidden within these hoards were 9 Greylag and a lone but assertive Pink-footed Goose. The high or low light was a hybrid Greylag X Canada which was monstrous even against the Western Canada’s. Duck numbers have dropped slightly with c100 Mallard, 10 Gadwall, 4 Northern Pintail, 81 Tufted Duck and c100 Northern Shoveler.

With the water level rising everyday my attention will switch from the hoped for Dunlin flocks to return and switch over to scrutinizing ducks instead. The waders that were available were c240 Black-tailed Godwit, 100 Northern Lapwing, 2 Common Redshank and 9 Ruff.

Observer and images: WSM.

27.09.19. Birdlog.

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A long weekend off and a long walk around the marsh early this morning. I started with a look over the Mersey estuary from the Manchester Ship Canal at Ellesmere Port where a Little Egret and a Grey Heron fished side by side.

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Kingfisher seem to be on the move with two seen on the ship canal and another seen later on the River Weaver.  A couple of Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff were making their way along Brook Furlong Lane, meanwhile a Eurasian Jay was foraging nearby a pair of Stonechat on the fence along the pipeline on No.1 tank.

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On the River Weaver were Tufted Duck, Eurasian Teal and Mallard were present with c200 Common Redshank and a dozen Black-tailed Godwit and a Kingfisher landed on a post for a short while before moving up the river. Two Common Sandpiper were noted on the ship canal, while 4 Raven were perched on the remains of a jetty waiting for a Great Black-backed Gull to have its fill of laid to waste mutton from a sheep carcass at the waters edge.

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Looking out over the Mersey estuary a flock of c40 Pied Avocet were feeding in a tidal channel and 3 Great Crested Grebe were flying  west along the river with 2 more on the canal.

The rain showers turned to being more persistent making it difficult to use my optics, but walking past the ‘phalarope pool’ I saw 8 Black-tail Godwit, c 30 Eurasian Teal, 4 Gadwall, 4 Common Shelduck and a pair of Mute Swan were feeding in the shallow water. A quick look over No.6 and c700 Black-tailed Godwit were huddled together with c80 Northern Lapwing and several Common Redshank the usual ducks were present.

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Sunrise over Frodsham Marsh.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

25.09.19. Birdlog.

An after work visit was cut short by some localised heavy rain. Again there were plenty of activity with 430 Canada Goose and a rare sighting for No.6 tank 4 Greylag Goose. Also noted were 101 Tufted Duck, 21 Northern Pintail, 6 Gadwall, c110 Mallard, c800 Eurasian Teal and c100 Northern Shoveler.

A tightly bunched flock of c900 Black-tailed Godwit included two Ruff and 23 Common Snipe.

A short Cetti’s Warbler song rang out from No.5 tank.

An immature Marsh Harrier drifted over but didn’t linger and when the rain started neither did I linger much longer, but by the time I reached my car I was totally soaked. Arriving home and it was dry as a bone.

Observer and image: WSM.

24.09.19. Birdlog.

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An evening stroll along the track between No.5 & 6 tanks revealed 5 Ruff, c20 Common Snipe, several Common Redshank in amongst the c1000 Black-tailed Godwit on No.6. A few of the male Northern Shoveler were looking splendid now they have finished their moult.

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15 Raven were active around the tank with more on the fence off No.3. 16 Black-tailed Godwit were on the ‘phalarope pool’ with 20 Eurasian Teal, 2 Northern Shoveler, 2 Mute Swan and several Eurasian Coot and Moorhen. A Marsh Harrier had settled for the night in the reed bed on No.6 tank.

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A Kingfisher was seen in the ditch along Lordship Lane and 4 Eurasian Curlew were feeding in the fields alongside the lane.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

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After dropping JS and Jo off for their girlie night in Chester I managed to squeeze in 20 minutes in the failing light and met PR on his way back to his car.

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The sun had dropped below the horizon and the best colour in the sky was left to the end of the day. A small group of Raven were riding the breeze while a female Marsh Harrier panned and tilted their advances.

There were hundreds of ducks milling around on the water of No.6 tank and included 71 Tufted Duck with an assortment of Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail and c800 Eurasian Teal. A skein of 18 Pink-footed Goose flew over heading south and looked to drop into Lordship Marsh.

Observer: WSM.

22.09.19. Birdlog.

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An early morning walk around No.6 tank saw a flock of 1000 Canada Goose dominating the water on 6 they all left at daybreak leaving good numbers of Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Common Shelduck, Gadwall and a few Northern Pintail.

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A flock of c500 Black-tailed Godwit were in the shallow water and 6 Ruff flew over several Common Snipe which dropped into the vegetation.

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The ‘phalarope pool’ had more 2 Ruff and were joined by a single Black-tailed Godwit, c20 Eurasian Teal, 1 Wigeon, 6 Canada Goose, 2 Mute Swan and both Eurasian Coot and Moorhen families.

A couple of Marsh Harrier were hunting over Lordship Marsh as were Kestrel and Common Buzzard.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

21.09.19. Birdlog.

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The temperate gauge was touching 25 degrees this afternoon and the cooling south-easterly breeze wafting in was much needed.

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No.6 tank was alive with ducks and 1118 Black-tailed Godwit boosted the avian activity on there. A small flock of 5 Ruff were conspicuous but the 30 Common Snipe were either very showy or very not.

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Already mentioned ducks stole the show with 118 Mallard, 12 Gadwall, c800 Eurasian Teal, 14 Northern Pintail, 24 Eurasian Wigeon, 14 Common Shelduck, 77 Northern Shoveler and 30 Eurasian Coot.

A female and juvenile Marsh Harrier flew in for a short period while c12 Common Buzzard and 6 Kestrel were also noted.

Observer and images: WSM.

19.09.19. Birdlog.

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I parked off the marsh and walked in. My first port of call was a amble around No.6 tank in the evening light. A Hobby was flying over the M56 and heading towards the tank.

A late Willow Warbler was foraging along Moorditch Lane and a Kestrel was hunting the bank of No.3 tank. There were good numbers of wildfowl on the water which were made of Mallard, Tufted Duck, Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, Common Shelduck a few Gadwall, plus a couple of Northern Pintail.

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Unfortunately there were no Black-tailed Godwit flock present this evening, but c30 Common Snipe, 2 Greenshank and a Ruff were noted alongside c50 Northern Lapwing.

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The ‘phalarope pool’ supported 2 Mute Swan, c20 Eurasian Teal and 2 Ruff which fed in the shallow waters. A Marsh Harrier flew over No.3 and on to No.6 and the same bird or another was later seen hunting over Lordship Marsh.

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A flock of c60 Mallard flew on to the corn fields to feed on the grain left over after the harvest  and were spooked by a Common Buzzard on a mission.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (all images).

15.09.19. Birdlog.

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I was out this morning starting at Brook Furlong Lane. The sorry sight of a dead Brown Hare on the lane which had no obvious signs of any injuries and was warm to touch was very odd indeed.

Onward to the River Weaver where a pair of Mute Swan and 3 cygnets are new in and a flock of c150 Tufted Duck were noted along with 5 Great Crested Grebe which also on the river and Manchester Ship Canal. A flock of c150 Common Redshank, 6 Black-tailed Godwit and a single Common Sandpiper were at the edge of the river.

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A Common Buzzard was feasting on the carcase of a Canada Goose and a Kestrel was plucking a small bird probably a European Goldfinch.

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A partial leucistic Canada Goose.

Shooting was taking place on the salt marshes so not a lot to see out there today despite the WeBS count being conducted.

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The ‘phalarope pool’ held 6 Ruff, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Greenshank,  several Gadwall and Eurasian Teal, 2 Common Shelduck and 2 Eurasian Wigeon, 5 more Wigeon passed overhead.

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On No.6 tank were c400 Black-tailed Godwit, c80 Northern Lapwing and c20 Common Redshank were in the shallows with 20 Little Grebe were amongst the Tufted Duck, Eurasian Teal and Common Shelduck being present.

A couple of Marsh Harrier were present briefly before heading out towards the river.

I made my way to Ince for the WeBs count where the pools held 14 Eurasian Coot 5 Moorhen, 4 Tufted Duck, 7 Little Grebe, 13 Eurasian Teal, 9 Mallard, 18 Gadwall, 2 Mute Swan.

The Holpool Gutter and surrounding fields held c120 Canada Goose, 7 Moorhen, 36 Mallard ,3 Eurasian Coot and 5 Eurasian Curlew.

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A Peregrine Falcon with a full crop sat on its tower at the Growhow Works digesting its meal and 3 Mistle Thrush fed nearby.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

14.09.19. Birdlog.

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An evening visit that was full of late summer sunshine. A look over No.6 tank revealed a flock of c500 Black-tailed Godwit and whilst I was sat down looking across to the godwit throng, I could see there were 3 Ruff and c30 Common Snipe within their numbers.

Duck were very much the main feature with c750 Eurasian Teal, 6 Northern Pintail, 7 Wigeon, 97 Northern Shoveler, 187 Mallard, 12 Tufted Duck, 12 Gadwall, 54 Eurasian Coot, 30 Little Grebe and a single Great Cormorant.

A couple of Marsh Harrier flew through and hundreds of Black-headed Gull were again feasting on the rising insects from the reed bed.

The low-light of my evening watch was the random vandalism created by an half-witted prick or pricks who childishly punched a hole through my car window.

Observer and image: WSM.