I had a stroll, due to my aching limbs, down the marsh and all the usual butterflies were about plus a Painted Lady. Dragonflies were everywhere.
The pipes had nowt apart from a distant female Stonechat.
No.6 had about 300 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Common Snipe feeding in the open. Small parties of Chiffchaff were also searching for food noisily. Bumped into Jackie and Idris Roberts and later Paul Ralston, not a bad afternoon.
Observer: Paul Crawley (images 2-4 & 6).
2 Ruff with a few Black-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Teal, hybrid duck, Northern Shoveler and Gadwall on the ‘phalarope pool’ and a Brown Hare was trying to hide in the short grass along a secluded field.
A Common Buzzard hovered over the fields while the Marsh Harrier flew over Lordship Marsh. Another Ruff was with the 5 Common Snipe, Northern Lapwing and 700 Black-tailed Godwit No.6.
Paul Ralston (images 5 & 7 & 9-10), WSM (images 1 & 8) & JS.
A brief walk out to No.6 tank after work. I settled down on the bank and watched c900 Black-tailed Godwit in two flocks including many juveniles. Apart from a couple of Common Redshank and 103 Northern Lapwing that was about it for waders. It looks like another autumn with water levels far to high.
Ducks were enjoying the benefits of the water levels with c400 Eurasian Teal, c100 Northern Shoveler, 5 Eurasian Wigeon, 8 Northern Pintail, 12 Gadwall, 12 Common Shelduck, 50 Mallard and c50 Eurasian Coot.
There was plenty of House and Sand Martin feeding low over the tank with the occasional Yellow Wagtail rasping overhead.
Observer and images: WSM.
I walk along Brook Furlong Lane to Marsh Farm and saw a Common Darter and Migrant Hawker dragonflies. The Butterflies were out in number with Small Tortoiseshell, White’s, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Peacock and Comma but no Painted Ladies?
There were Common Buzzard, Kestrel and Eurasian Sparrowhawk noted. The pipes across No.1 tank had 2 female Northern Wheatear with Raven and European Goldfinch were about.
Not a bad afternoon and the only remaining Cleg fly bit me.
Observer, video and images: Paul Crawley.
A brief visit to No.6 tank after work always helps me to unwind and assist in recording the bird life of my local patch. The flock of c1100 Black-tailed Godwit were still in residence, but often hundreds peel off and head off to the Mersey estuary and some often return. A couple of Ruff were watched preening with Common Redshank and the godwit flock, and a Green Sandpiper flew in and flew out again.
The Eurasian Teal flock are increasing daily and c500 were present with c110 Northern Shoveler, 5 Pintail, 30 Gadwall and 56 Mallard.
A Eurasian Sparrowhawk upset the band of roving tits, warblers and finches while a Cetti’s Warbler was singing nearby.
A couple of critters on the path back to my car.
Earlier and over in Spike Island, Widnes the Norwegian ringed Black-headed Gull made it into its 5th autumn return to this site.
Observer and images: WSM.
I started my walk around No.6 tank this morning where c1100 Black-tail Godwit were resting in the shallow waters with 7 Ruff and numerous Common Redshank. Reed Buntings seemed to be in every bush and caught the attention of a Eurasian Sparrowhawk which disappeared over the bank in pursuit of one them.
Linnet and European Goldfinch were flocking together and feeding on the thistle heads and several Chiffchaff could be singing in the bushes by the ‘Splashing Pool’ and along Moorditch Lane. There were more Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler and a Sedge Warbler were at the Canal Pools and good numbers of Barn Swallow, House Martin and a few Common Swift were feeding up before their long trek south.
Onto the Manchester Ship Canal path were 16 Yellow Wagtail were feeding at the edge of the canal and 5 Great Crested Grebe were fishing with some minor success. A family party of Grey Wagtail were near to Marsh Farm and 3 Common Sandpiper moved along the canal banks.
On the Weaver estuary were c300 Common Redshank and a handful of Black-tailed godwit flushed when a Common Buzzard took an interest in them all. Out on the Mersey estuary a Great Egret could be seen in the distance fishing alongside a Grey Heron.
A small flock of roosting Black-headed Gull had with them a white ringed bird, but it was to distant to read. A red ringed Black-tailed Godwit on No.6 tank didn’t revealed its other colour combination so was also unread.
A juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker flew across the river from the I C I plant and a dispersed Green Woodpecker was calling from fields by Moorditch Lane.
Observers: Paul Ralston (images 1-4), WSM (images 5-8).
I was out this morning starting my walk along Brook Furlong Lane where a couple of Chiffchaff were moving through in the company of several Long-tailed tit. A pair of juvenile Kestrel were hunting nearby and a Northern Wheatear was on the pipeline on No.1 tank.
There were several hundred hirundines which mostly contained House Martin with both Sand Martin and Barn Swallow within their throng. Also good numbers of Common Swift hawking above the River Weaver and its adjacent fields, and were joined by a few gulls possibly feeding on the many Crane fly.
A flock of 30 Common Redshank and a single Black-tailed Godwit fed at the river edge with 3 Common Sandpiper were noted. Many Tufted Duck, Mallard and Eurasian Teal were on the river with 5 Great Crested Grebe and several Great Cormorant which were attracted to a shoal of Roach seen breaking the surface.
The Frodsham Score salt marsh was quiet as the wildfowlers were active this morning reducing the Canada Goose numbers. A Kingfisher was seen leaving its post near the Marsh Farm berth and another Northern Wheatear was on the canal path.
A Little Egret passed overhead on its way to the Mersey estuary and 14 Raven were tumbling in the air enjoying the warm weather. Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Teal, Mallard and Gadwall were on the canal pools with 2 Black-tailed Godwit and several Eurasian Skylark were flushed as I walked by. A third Northern Wheatear was noted sat on a fence on No.3 tank and flushed when a Eurasian Sparrowhawk passed by.
c700 Black-tailed Godwit, a Little Stint, c40 Common Redshank were on No.6. During the tide period 3 Red Knot, 2 Ruff and 41 Little Grebe`
Observers: Paul Ralston (images), Mark (whipper) Gibson, WSM.
A walk around the track that borders No.6 tank was pretty uneventful bird wise, but a look over the north banks revealed c1000 Black-tailed Godwit with small numbers of Common Redshank and a single Ruff.
Observers: JS & WSM (images).
Another post work visit to No.6 tank and a chance to enjoy watching the birds bathed in glorious evening sunshine. A flock of 1250 Black-tailed Godwit contained a few juvenile plumage birds. A solitary Ruff was joined by a Greenshank, 3 Common Redshank and c450 Northern Lapwing.
Apart from the godwits the main highlight were the 102 Northern Shoveler, 340 Eurasian Teal, 6 Northern Pintail, the first returning 3 Eurasian Wigeon, 21 Gadwall, 31 Mallard and a small number of Common Shelduck.
A Marsh Harrier flew in and did a circuit of the tank before heading off, while tens of Raven were heading inland for the night.
The first lone Pink-footed Goose which was calling as it flew south over No.6 tank. c50 Canada Goose and a single Greylag with several Mallard, Eurasian Teal and Gadwall were on the ‘phalarope pool’ with a single Black-tailed Godwit. The Eurasian Coot family and a pair of Lapwing. The ‘Splashing pool’ held a mixed flock of c60 Mallard, Eurasian Teal and Tufted Duck. 3 Common Snipe dropped into a field along Lordship Lane.
Observers: Paul Ralston (4-5 & 7), WSM (images 1-3 & 6).
After work I again made my way to look over No.6 tank. A small assemble of Eurasian Teal were gathered below the bank gaining some shelter from the blustery NW wind.
A quick scan revealed a juvenile Garganey taking naps but keeping one eye on me. Further ducks noted included 47 Northern Shoveler and 2 juvenile Northern Pintail. There was no sign of the juvenile Black-necked Grebe and if it isn’t hiding in the reed bed and has finally departed it will have been a good month’s worth of sightings. The Little Grebe flock have now reached 23 birds.
Shorebirds present were c800 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Common Redshank and 2 Ruff.
A few raptors included a juvenile Eurasian Sparrowhawk, 4 Kestrel and a Common Buzzard.
Observer: WSM (images and video).
I was out today with a start at No.6 tank were several Barn Swallow were skimming the surface of the water, but suddenly and without notice stealthy Hobby powered past me and selected its intended victim! Both prey and predator put on a great show of aerial acrobatics and after several stoops the Hobby gave up and the Swallow gained its freedom for another day. Ducks were plentiful with Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler , Tufted Duck, Common Shelduck, Mallard and Gadwall, along with c8o Canada Goose, 15 Little Grebe and many Eurasian Coot.
The c1000 Black-tailed Godwit were feeding or resting in the shallow waters and 4 Common Snipe dropped in to feed in the vegetation.
A Stoat was seen hunting along the track near the mitigation pools and drew the attention of a Magpie which landed close by and followed the Stoat as it hunted, this was annoying for the Stoat and chased the Magpie repeatedly away.
The ‘phalarope pool’ held 10 Gadwall, 8 Eurasian Teal, 8 Mallard, 2 Mute Swan, 4 Black-tailed Godwit and a family of Eurasian Coot.
The pools at Ince held more Gadwall, Eurasian Teal, Mallard another pair of Mute Swan and several Little Grebe plus a single Little Egret.
Two Common Sandpiper were seen along the Manchester Ship Canal at Ince Berth and several more Little Egret were out on Frodsham Score salt marsh where Raven and Black-backed Gull were feeding on dead mutton. Common Buzzard, Kestrel and Eurasian Sparrowhawk were all noted during my walk.
A Cetti’s Warbler was the first for a while.
Observer and images: Paul Ralston