10.04.20. Birdlog.

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A change of plan and my Bank Holiday keyworker weekend working was called. I took a dawn walk along the Manchester Ship Canal and around both No.4 and No.6 tank with the sun rising up from the east and the moon was setting.

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A Common Chiffchaff and Blackcap were seen and heard alongside the canal and Tufted Duck, Mallard, Gadwall, Eurasian Teal and Common Shelduck were with many more Common Shelduck. A male and female Northern Wheatear were alongside the embankment of No.4 tank.

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Frodsham Score saltmarsh had Little Egret and Canada Goose, but no sign of any Pink-footed Goose, presumably they have all left. Raven and Great Black-backed Gull were foraging on the saltmarshes with 3 Common Buzzard waiting their turn to feast on a sheep carcase.

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The Canal Pools held Mallard, Tufted Duck, Eurasian Teal and a pair of Great Crested Grebe, also a pair of Mute Swan, but no sign of any nest building by the Mute Swan pair.¬†Several Eurasian Skylark were singing high up above the pools and Pied Avocet and Black-tailed Godwit were on the scrapes with a single Common Redshank being noted on No.3 tank.¬†Two more Northern Wheatear were on the pipes near to the ‘phalarope pool’ and another 4 more were by the sub station near the northern ramp of no.6 tank.

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Two Western Marsh Harrier were over No.6 with one bird confronting a Common Buzzard. More Tufted Duck were joined by several Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Common Shelduck and Eurasian Teal with 3 pairs of Little Grebe. At least three more Cetti’s Warbler were heard with one seen as it moved from one bush to bush.

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Northern Lapwing were busy defending their territory along Lordship Lane with some nests being lost to tractors working in the fields. Linnet and European Goldfinch were busy nest building along the lane and a group of Mute Swan were grazing in the field alongside Lower Rake Lane.

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A fine Orange-tip was also seen alongside with several Peacock butterflies during my govenment guidelined exercised walk.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

09.04.20. Birdlog.

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I powered up my pedles and cycled down to the marsh after work and chossing the back lanes to avoid contact with others I reached the dusty tracks and took a drink break overlooking No.6 tank. I had in my bag my binoculars and used them to scan the waters below the bank.

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The female Long-tailed Duck was surprisenly present again after her recent flight out to the Weaver Estuary. She was busily preening, wing stretching and occassionaly flying around the tank. It is evident that she is preparing for her long flight up to the far north. also present was a good selection of ducks with a single Common Goldeneye, 71 Northern Shoveler, 134 Eurasian Teal, 14 Eurasian Coot, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 12 Little Grebe, a pair of Common Pochard, c200 Tufted Duck, 76 Mallard, 34 Gadwall and c150 Common Shelduck.

A Western Marsh Harrier was floating about the area and several Common Buzzard were circling high above the tank.

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A tractor ploughing a field on Lordship Marsh had a large flock of Black-headed Gull with 4 Lesser Black-backed, 2 Herring, 3 Common, 3 adult summer Mediterreanean Gull and the leucistic Black-headed Gull that has been present at Blakemere, Delamere Forest recently.

Cycling around the tank have me the opportunity to listen out for singing passerines and with numerous Common Chiffchaff and a single Blackcap. The commonest songster was Cetti’s Warbler with 11 birds tuning up.

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At my next sheduled stop a small pool held a pair of Little Ringed Plover, calling Pied Avocet, a male Ruff, 20 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Common Redshank and a variety of ducks.

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Observer and images: WSM.