29.04.20. Birdlog.

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A quick visit to the marsh this evening for my daily exercise with a start at Brook Furlong Lane and its usual warbler species being present and vocal, the loudest being the Cetti’s Warbler and the most numerous a change is the Common Chiffchaff. A flock of c40 Linnet were stripping the seed heads off dandelions clocks and several Eurasian Skylark were taking time from singing to feed on one of the tanks.

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A released pair of Grey Partridge were and that makes a change from the released French Partridge. A Common Buzzard and Common Kestrel were both hunting in the same area to the soundtrack of a male Blackbird in full song.

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A couple of Brown Hare were also seen at an undisclosed location elsewhere.

Observer: Paul Ralston (image 1 &3). Image 2 by WSM.

28.04.20. Birdlog.

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A very brief visit to the marsh after work and without a sole about it was obviously in total isolation. I walked along Moorditch Lane where the singing Cetti’s Warbler have entrenched themselves in the Mersey Valley.

A look over No.6 tank was rather quiet with c100 Tufted Duck, Common Shelduck and a drake Northern Pintail upending with the Mallard. A Western Marsh Harrier was looking bedraggled sat on its perch.

I walked back throughly soaked inside and out.

Observer and images: WSM.

27.04.20. Birdlog.

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An after work walk again in complete isolation. A walk along Moorditch Lane and a few warblers were singing from the wayside vegetation.

A look over No.6 tank revealed 4 Pied Avocet, 142 Tufted Duck and an assortment of ducks and the drake Northern Pintail reappeared.

The ‘phalarope pool’ was overrun with cattle wallowing in the pool and any chance of Little Ringed Plover, Common Redshank and Northern Lapwing attempting to nest here are well and truly ended.

Observer and image: WSM.

26.04.20. Birdlog.

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I started my daily walk at Brook Furlong Lane early this morning before most people were out and about. There were Willow Warbler serenading but a much bruskier continental Cetti’s Warbler, one of several heard during my walk made a louder sound. There were many Common Chiffchaff and Common Whitethroat being numerous as were both Reed and Sedge Warbler.

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A perched Eurasian Skylark was bursting with song from a post while its more energetic brothers were aloft on high.

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The River Weaver held good numbers of Tufted Duck and Common Shelduck with smaller numbers of Eurasian Teal, Mallard and Gadwall. A herd of seven Mute Swan flew over Red Wall reed bed and landed on the river joining another herd of 18 swans already on the water.  Also on the river were 2 Common Sandpiper with 2 Common Ringed Plover and noted a further 9 Common Sandpiper were along the Manchester Ship Canal.

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A flock of Sand Martin were busy excavating their nest burrows in the canal bank.

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The Canal Pools were quiet with just a few Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Mallard and a non breeding pair of Mute Swan. A Great Crested Grebe was sitting on its nest amongst the reeds and a patrolling Western Marsh Harrier flew over the pools but didn’t cause much concern to the resident wildfowl.

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A flock of c150 Black-tailed Godwit passed overhead on their way to No.6 tank.

Looking over No.3 from the bank above the ‘Secluded Pool’, a Grey Heron was standing on a small island on the scrape where last week a group of Pied Avocet were feeding but there was no sign of any there this morning.

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A couple of Brown Hare were noted during my walk.

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Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

25.04.20. Birdlog.

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I was exercising my daily walking routine on the marsh with a start looking across No.6 tank. A variety of ducks were present but the sunshine was directly across from my position and it was difficult to view their numbers in the shimmering waters.

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Walking along Moorditch Lane between No.3 and No.6 tank and a Western Marsh Harrier was jousting with a Common Buzzard high above. The ‘phalarope pool’ was rather quiet with Little Ringed Plover, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and a few ducks.

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A small flock of Tufted Duck included a confiding pair on the river bank.

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The Weaver Estuary was also quiet with 5 Common Sandpiper, 1 Little Ringed Plover and 34 Pied Avocet flying out to the Mersey Estaury in dribs and drabs. A large group of Sand Martin were flying over and a White Wagtail was on the waters edge.

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I continued alongside Redwall reedbed where a Grasshopper Warbler, 2 ‘Greenland’ Northern Wheatear, a fine male European Stonechat and the mixed songster Willow Warbler. A couple of Little Egret dropped into one of the shooters’ pools and another Western Marsh Harrier flew over heading west.

 

Observer: WSM (video & images 1-13).

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A walk around No.6 tank then on to Ince later in the day. Again Reed, Sedge and Cetti’s Warbler were vocal along  Lordship Lane and Common Whitethroat were seen all along my walk.

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A male Western Marsh Harrier was seen hunting over the area. There were 4 Common Snipe, 3 Black-tailed Godwit on the ‘phalarope pool’ with Eurasian Teal, Common Shelduck, Gadwall and Mallard.

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Northern Wheatear was seen on the top of a bush along Lordship Lane it then dropped into a field and was observed fly-catching.

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Later at Ince there were 2 more Cetti’s Warbler and a pair of Mute Swan were on one of the pools alongside the usual ducks and 2 Little Grebe.

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Just as the sun was setting a Barn Owl left its roost and hunted over the fields and a nice way to end the day and my exercise.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 14-19).

24.04.20. Birdlog.

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An after work walk along Brook Furlong Lane and then the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Weaver. Common Chiffchaff and Cetti’s Warbler were heard along the lane and a family of Long-tailed Tit were foraging in the hedgerow. Meadow Pipit and Linnet were common in the fields near to Marsh Farm and c60 Canada Goose were grazing on No.1 tank.

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There were both Pied and White Wagtail were along the canal and river and 4 Common Sandpiper were noted.

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A pair of Mediterranean Gull were flying back and forth along the river then made their way towards Frodsham and were calling as they went. There were 4 Pied Avocet flew out to the Mersey Estuary with several Eurasian Curlew following them. The Tufted Duck, Mallard, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Teal and Gadwall were all on the river in small numbers.

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A herd of 11 Mute Swan were joined by 7 Greylag Goose and a pair of Canada Goose with their brood crossed the river and were wary of a pair of Lesser Black-backed Gull taking an interest in the goslings.

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A Brown Hare was noted during my walk.

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Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

23.04.20. Birdlog.

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An after work ramble as part of my daily exercise routine saw me walking along Moorditch Lane to the ‘phalarope pool’ on No.3 tank. Stopping to look across No.6 and a large group of 184 Tufted Duck were busy in nuptials with other species with a similar idea in mind.

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A pair of Northern Pintail was a surprise and Eurasian Teal were building up in numbers. A small flock of Sand Martin headed east over the water and the adult summer Little Gull was again sitting it out picking emerging flies from the water surface and was watched at dusk fly-catching on the wing.

A Grasshopper Warbler was ‘reeling’ away from the horse paddock and the now established summer warblers are back with some voice.

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The ‘phalarope pool’ had Little Ringed Plover and an assortment of ducks and a few Black-tailed Godwit.

 

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On my evening ramble across the marsh I was surprised to see a rusty block of metal with windows hanging from a crane on a harpobarge boat heading west along the Manchester Ship Canal. The structure resembled a WW2 Redsand Forts (from the south-east coast).
Observer: WSM (and images and video).

22.04.20. Birdlog.

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A walk around No.6 tank this afternoon and after work was filled with the sounds of Common Whitethroat, Reed, Sedge and Cetti’s Warbler.

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A Little Egret was foraging on the hovercraft field alongside a Grey Heron. A Western Marsh Harrier flew over.

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The ‘phalarope pool’ on No.3 tank was quiet with just a pair of Northern Lapwing, Little Ringed Plover and a single Common Redshank while the mitigation pool held a dozen Black-tailed Godwit, several Eurasian Teal, Mallard and Northern Shoveler. Pied Avocet were present.

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The summer adult Little Gull was again active over No.6 hawking above the water like a tern. The usual ducks were there but I didn’t spot the Long-tail.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-4). Image 5 by WSM.

21.04.20. Birdlog.

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An after work ramble along the tracks of No.6 tank and a look in on the ‘phalarope pool’ didn’t produced the sought for Pectoral Sandpiper, so I guess the ‘yank has left the tank’.

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A shy Common Snipe chose a patch of rushes to hide out in. A few Eurasian Teal and Black-tailed Godwit were really the only other birds of note.

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A small number of Pied Avocet were busy defending their territories, particularly against a Common Buzzard propecting the area.

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Walking back to No.6 tank and a peep over the banks immediately provided a fine adult summer Little Gull. The Long-tailed Duck was again with the Tufted Duck flock and a couple of Western Marsh Harrier were over the distant reed beds.

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Walking along Moorditch Lane and a large flock of hirundines headed north east high above me. Four Brown Rat were by the stables in the pony field by the motorway bridge.

 

Observer: WSM (video & images 1-8).

Image 9-10 by Nigel Case.

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A walk along Brook Furlong Lane, the Manchester Ship Canal and River Weaver after work this afternoon. Common Chiffchaff and Blackcap were vocal along the lane and a pair of European Stonechat were on the fence on Alder Lane.

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Barn Swallow and Sand Martin were foraging near to Marsh Farm with c40 Sand Martin checking out last years nest sight.

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A Canada Goose was incubating its clutch in a hollowed out wooden structure along the ship canal. Duck numbers were low on both the river and canal with just a few Tufted Duck, Mallard, Eurasian Teal and Common Shelduck being noted.

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There were 5 Common Sandpiper which were active on the river bank with a pair of Eurasian Oystercatcher defending their territory. Surprisingly no Pied Avocet were seen or heard on my walk.

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There were 3 Common Swift were hawking over the river and finally summer has arrived.

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More  Brown Hare were seen during my peramble.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 11-17).

20.04.20. Birdlog.

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I took my excercise after work along the dusty tracks of the marsh. I met a couple of other birders doing likewise and both were keeping a respectful distance in accordance with guidelines.

I eventually passed the ‘phalarope pool’ where the Pectoral Sandpiper was busy feeding at the back of the pool before getting spooked and flying off calling loudly to a much safer area for the duration of my watch. A couple of Little Ringed Plover were in the area and numerous Black-tailed Godwit also.

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A quick scan of No.6 tank revealed c100 Black-tailed Godwit, a lone Eurasian Whimbrel, the female Long-tailed Duck hanging out with the Tufted Duck flock and several Cetti’s, Reed and Sedge Warbler with a couple of Western Yellow Wagtail flying over. A male Western Marsh Harrier was also in the area.

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Observers: Peter Malpass, Ian Igglesden, WSM (images).