08.02.20. Birdlog.

Image may contain: bird, outdoor and water

I parked on the motorway bridge and made my way along Brook Furlong Lane this morning. There were still occasional Redwing searching for any leftover berries on the hawthorns and were joined by a flock of Fieldfare which chose the ground to feed on.

Image may contain: bird, sky, tree, plant and outdoor

Image may contain: sky, plant, tree, bird, outdoor and nature

A flock of c200 European Golden Plover passed overhead heading west and more were seen later mixed in with a huge flock of Northern Lapwing.

Image may contain: bird and outdoor

A male Stonechat sat on the fence along Alder Lane with an wintering Common Chiffchaff close by. The three Western Cattle Egret were still hanging out amongst the cows near to Marsh Farm and a flock of Eurasian Curlew dropped on to No.3 tank.

Image may contain: sky, ocean, outdoor and water

Another male Stonechat was on the canal bank. A flock of Common Redshank moved along the river with a single Black-tailed Godwit with them and a Common Sandpiper was noted.

Image may contain: grass, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: grass, bird, sky, outdoor and nature

Moving on to No.6 and the usual suspects were on the water and a Water Rail was heard squealing in the reed bed. A partial leucistic Canada Goose was amongst the flock on No.3 with a flock of Eurasian Wigeon on the scrapes there.

On Lordship Marsh were 9 Mute Swan were in their usual place and the Whooper Swan herd were again by Hill View Farm.

Image may contain: bird, sky and outdoor

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-8).

Despite PR out on the marsh it’s usually rare for us to bump into each other and today was no exception. I walked along Brook Furlong Lane and out along the River Weaver where a herd of c100 Canada Goose had with them a white domestic Greylag Goose.

Image may contain: outdoor and water

The Common Goldeneye were busy head flicking to their aroused female partners and the female Long-tailed Duck was difficult to pin down but when I eventually found her, she was fast asleep and remained so for the period I was watching her (with a short head up and immediately down again). A flock of 284 Tufted Duck, 28 Common Pochard and the long staying 1st winter/female Greater Scaup. The recent arrival of good numbers of Gadwall are increasing with migrants heading in. There were small numbers of Eurasian Teal mostly hiding at the margins.

Image may contain: bird, outdoor and water

There were ten Great Crested Grebe with many sporting their fine summer plumage.

Image may contain: sky, outdoor, nature and water

Image may contain: sky, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: plant, outdoor and nature

The shoreline had a small flock of Common Redshank and 6 Common Ringed Plover.

Image may contain: grass, sky, outdoor and nature

Walking to Marsh Farm only revealed two of the three Western Cattle Egret and a smart male Peregrine shot over their heads long before they knew what was occurying.

My BTO WeBS count includes the fields on No.3 and No.2 tanks and this was the first time this winter that they were relativley short on Eurasian Wigeon. There were small numbers of Northern Shoveler, 400 Eurasian Teal and 10 Black-tailed Godwit.

Image may contain: outdoor and nature

Image may contain: shoes, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: people playing sport, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: outdoor

A look over the saltmarshes of Frodsham Score was alive with stuff and included 2.5 thousand Pink-footed Goose and included a partial luecistic individual and several with a white blaze above their bills. Apart from the ubiquitous Canada Goose herds the only addition was the white Greylag as seen from the Weaver Estuary earlier. A large flock of Black-tailed Godwit were further out on the river. Also 2 Great and several Little Egret.

Image may contain: sky, tree, grass, outdoor and nature

A Common Chiffchaff and Cetti’s Warbler were calling from No.4 tank.

After a long watch I made my way for the count on No.6 tank and was surprised to see the ringtail Hen Harrier being the first bird on the menu. It was soon joined by 2 Marsh Harrier. The ducks were mill to my grist with 83 Northern Shoveler, 28 Tufted Duck, 19 Common Pochard, 350 Eurasian Teal, 56 Mallard, 2 Common Goldeneye, 25 Gadwall and 58 Eurasian Coot.

Image may contain: tree, sky, grass, outdoor and nature

The fields of Lordship Marsh had 22 Whooper Swan and the Mute’s PR had seen earlier.

Observer: WSM (images 1 & 9-20).

07.02.20. Birdlog.

Image may contain: sky, tree, bird, plant, outdoor and nature

I started my walk at Ince after a early finish from work. There were c200 Rook, Carrion Crow and Western Jackdaw fed amongst the pigs near to the farm and then were joined by a large flock of Eurasian Starling.The ditches are overflowing their banks causing a mini wetland in one of the fields thus attracting a single Mute Swan, c40 Eurasian Cand urlew several Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Grey Heron and 2 Little Egret. The pools were quiet with a handful of Gadwall, Mallard, Eurasian Teal and a single Little Grebe.

Image may contain: sky, tree, outdoor and nature

Onwards to the Manchester Ship Canal path overlooking the south mersey saltmarshes. A large herd of 1,000 Pink-footed Goose which took to the air and then settled down near the river. There were good numbers of Canada Goose and Common Shelduck were present also. A flock of c60 Eurasian Coot were on the canal bank then took to the water on my approach mixing in with a group of Great Black-backed Gull bathing in the canal water. Another group of Great Black-backed Gull were resting on the marsh while one gull fed on a sheep carcase keeping the Raven birds at bay. Several Little Egret were noted on the saltmarsh and a pair of Common Buzzard were displaying high up. Hundreds of Northern Lapwing took flight as a Sparrowhawk circled above them. 

Image may contain: sky, plant, tree, grass, outdoor, nature and water

A Marsh Harrier was hunting between No.4 and No.6 tanks and then over Lordship Marsh. 5 Mute swan were in there usual field alongside a dead close to one of the turbines. The Whooper Swan herd could be seen near to Hill View Farm.

A distant Peregrine could be seen sat on the ground in the stubble field adjacent to the Holpool Gutter and a flock of c100 Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit were feeding close to the track. Back close to my starting point produced several Little Egret were seen going to their roost for the night. 

Observer: Paul Ralston (images).

Image may contain: bird, grass, outdoor and nature

While Paul was out to the west of the marshes I dropped trundled along Brook Furlong Lane where a couple of Short-eared Owl were present. The 3 Cattle Egret were still mithering the cattle by Marsh Farm and a Marsh Harrier floated over the area.

Observers: JS & WSM.