19.04.20. Birdlog.

Image may contain: bird, outdoor and water

I started my walk from Ince this morning and with not a great deal on the pools apart from a handful of Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Gadwall, 2 Mute Swan and a single Little Egret. Onward in isolation to the Manchester Ship Canal path and a look over Frodsham Score saltmarsh which held more ducks with the addition of several Common Shelduck, 4 Little Egret and 4 Grey Heron. There were 2 Northern Wheatear on the far canal bank and Sand Martin, Barn Swallow and House Martin all noted.

Image may contain: outdoor and water

Image may contain: bird, outdoor and water

Looking over the ‘phalarope pool’ and 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Common Redshank eventually the Pectoral Sandpiper flew in and landed next to a godwit where it stayed feeding. The scrapes on No.3 tank held a good number of Black-tailed Godwit and Pied Avocet could be heard calling nearby.

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

Image may contain: sky, ocean, outdoor, nature and water

The Canal Pools had a pair of Great Crested Grebe with a nest hidden in the reed bed and a Northern Wheatear on the bank. The godwit flock on the mitigation pools also had a summer Dunlin feeding alongside.

Image may contain: bird, outdoor, water and nature

The female Long-tailed Duck was still enjoying the company of the Tufted Duck on No.6. Passerines singing included Reed Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler and Common Whitethroat.

Image may contain: bird and outdoor

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-7).

No.4 tank and the surrounding area with 8 Eurasian Whimbrel, 12 Eurasian Curlew a Grasshopper Warbler and 11 separate calling Cetti’s Warbler.

Observer: Robby Brown.

Image may contain: bird, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: bird, outdoor, water and nature

After I had finished my weekend work I paid a shorter visit to the marsh for some mind wellbeing and where better than a walk on the marshes.

Image may contain: bird, outdoor, water and nature

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

The Pectoral Sandpiper was still present on the ‘phalarope pool’ and approached much closer and in better light than yesterday. A flock of 6 White Wagtail were busy fly-catching over the pools and both a 1st summer Western Marsh Harrier and a Western Yellow Wagtail flew over.

Image may contain: outdoor and nature

A solitary Ruff was on No.6 tank lacking the glamour from a few hundred metres away.

A couple of Common Swift were high over Weston Road having just crossed Frodsham Marshes.

Observer: WSM (images 1 & 5-12).

18.04.20. Birdlog.

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

An early morning walk around No.6 tank as part of my daily exercise routine. A brood of Mallard ducklings were in the outflow ditch on No.6 with no sign of the parent bird about?

Image may contain: bird, plant, sky and outdoor

Songbirds included many Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat, Cetti’s, Reed and Sedge Warbler were all vocal throughout my walk. One of the Cetti’s broke cover and perched in full view for a few seconds before taking cover again.

Image may contain: bird, plant, outdoor and nature

A pale phase Common Buzzard drew the attention of the breeding Northern Lapwing on Lordship Marsh and had to tack cover in a hawthorn bush.  A pair of Eurasian Jay moved from No.4 to No.6 tank searching for early nesters, while a Western Marsh Harrier sat in the reed bed while another hunted overhead.

Image may contain: bird, outdoor, nature and water

Four Black-tailed Godwit were foraging on the ‘phalarope pool’ with several Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Eurasian Coot, Common Moorhen and a single Mute Swan. There were 11 Mute Swan flew from the River Weaver out over No.4 to graze on Lordship Marsh. The scrapes on No.3 held a flock of c80 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Pied Avocet, 4 Common Redshank and several more Eurasian Teal and more Northern Shoveler.

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

A pair of Canada Goose have set up home on the ‘secluded pool’ with one brooding eggs and the other trying to make itself as small as possible to evade detection.

Image may contain: bird, outdoor and water

The female Long-tailed Duck was associating with Tufted Duck, Gadwell and the usual duck species. A couple of Little Egret were on the hovercraft site.

Image may contain: outdoor and nature, possible text that says '18.04 2020'

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-7).

Image may contain: bird, sky, outdoor and water

Image may contain: outdoor and water

Image may contain: bird and outdoor

I made my walk down to Frodsham Marsh after I had finished work. A long walk ahead lead me eventually to the ‘phalarope pool’ were I was engrossed by a pair of Little Ringed Plover both preening close together. A small number of Black-tailed Godwit were busy feeding and a smaller wader feeding at the back of the pool revealed itself to be the UK’s first Pectoral Sandpiper of the year.

Image may contain: bird, outdoor, water and nature

Image may contain: bird, outdoor and water

Image may contain: bird, outdoor and water

Nearby a Western Marsh Harrier was about and tens of hirundines were riding high above No.6 tank and the female Long-tailed Duck was busy washing her plumage before I headed homeward.

Observer: WSM (images 1 & 8-13).

17.04.20. Birdlog.

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

There were 6 Black-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Teal, Mallard and a single Eurasian Coot sitting tight on its nest on the ‘shooters’ pool’. I spotted a Ruff which flushed and flew over the River Weaver.

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

Hirundines were a very much back this evevning with Sand Martin and Barn Swallow hawking over the river and the banks of No.1 tank. on the Weaver Estuary were c10 Common Sandpiper along the river and Manchester Ship Canal with 4 Common and 2 Little Ringed Plover being noted, a solitary Black-tailed Godwit, small numbers of Pied Avocet and several Common Redshank were seen.

Image may contain: bird, grass, outdoor and nature

Ducks were much reduced with 84 Tufted Duck, a few Gadwall, Many Common Pochard and Mallard.

Image may contain: bird, grass, outdoor and nature, possible text that says '17.04 2020'

A small mixed group of both Pied and White wagtail were feeding on the edge of the river while high above House Martin could be seen.

Image may contain: water, sky, outdoor and nature

Looking over the estuary a flock of Black-tailed Godwit and Pied Avocet were feeding at the junction of the Weaver Sluices.

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

A pair of European Stonechat were on the fence along Alder Lane as were several Linnet, European Goldfinch and 2 Northern Wheatear.

Image may contain: outdoor

Image may contain: outdoor

A couple of Brown Hare were at an undisclosed location.

The mixed songster Willow Warbler was again at the old bird log on No.1 tank and several Cetti’s Warbler singing are rapidly becoming the most vocal warbler present.

No.6 tank enticed back the female Long-tailed Duck where she was wing stretching and flying around a bit.Tufted Duck reached 143 birds with 3 Common Pochard, c100 Northern Shoveler and c100 Eurasian Teal to name but three species. A Common Sandpiper and a single Black-tailed Godwit were the sole waders here.

The evening ended with 3 Western Marsh Harrier high over the marshes.

Observers: Paul Ralston (images 3-8) and WSM (images 1 & 2).

15.04.20. Birdlog.

Image

After working the weekend I had a couple of extra days off. Part of my isolating exercise regime was to walk about the marshes. My first rest break was to look over No.6 tank where a flock of 131 Tufted Duck continue to settle. A solitary Common Pochard was also present with the usual variety of ducks in situ.

A Western Marsh Harrier flew over high up and 3 Common Buzzard were spiriling above while the sounds of Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Willow and Cetti’s Warbler and Common Chiffchaff were serenading.

The ‘phalarope pool’ had a few Black-tailed Godwit with some coming into fine summer plumage. A couple of Little Ringed Plover and noisy Pied Avocet could be heard in the distance and were on another secluded pool and upwards of 9 Mute Swan were out stretching the small pool they were on. A small flock of 4 Sand Martin were over the ‘pumping station’.

Walking back along the track between No.6 and No.3 tanks (Moorditch Lane) a dark thrush flew out from the bank and did a wide circuit of No.3 before re-entering the vegetated shrubbery and elder trees. It perched for a brief period revealing its pale gorget indicating it was a female Ring Ouzel.

Observer and image: WSM.

Later while enjoying a beer in the yardinere a flock of c100 Eurasian Curlew noisly calling in a v formation high above. A Barn Swallow and a drifting Eurasian Sparrowhawk headed off to the sunset.

14.04.20. Birdlog.

Image may contain: bird, outdoor, nature and water

A day off work and an opportunity to take some exercise and following instructions issued by the government by walking down to the marsh. I started along Marsh Lane where a flock of mixed Rook, Jackdaw and Carrion Crow were feeding in the stubble fields. The songs of summer filled the air with Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Cetti’s Warbler and Common Chiffchaff rang out loud.

Image may contain: sky, cloud, outdoor, nature and water

Looking across No.6 tank and a smaller variety of ducks could be seen, but the female Long-tailed Duck was not one of them. A couple of Western Marsh Harrier were in the area and Common Buzzard were very much common with birds ‘mewing’ overhead.

Image may contain: bird, outdoor, water and nature

Image may contain: bird, outdoor and water

A pair of Little Ringed Plover were at a secluded pool with several Black-tailed Godwit with one particular bird in flushing red plumage. A pool further out and hidden mostly from view had 6 Pied Avocet, 120 Black-tailed Godwit and several Northern Shoveler.

Image may contain: sky, ocean, boat, outdoor and water

A female Northern Wheatear was perched at the top of a very tall tree at the Pumping Station watching a pair of Common Buzzard high over her head.

My walk took in Marsh Farm and the River Weaver and it was rewarding to see 48 Pied Avocet out by the Weaver Sluices and a further 8 flying from their private/security patrolled site. All in all I would estimate that we have c60 birds. Also on the mudflats were c350 Black-tailed Godwit. 11 Sand Martin flew around my head while over a Yellow Wagtail called.

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

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

A Common Ringed Plover was with a couple of Common Sandpiper and several Common Redshank on the river.

Image may contain: bird, outdoor and water

Ducks on the river included c110 Tufted Duck, c100 Common Shelduck, 12 Gadwall, 31 Mallard and I relocated the female Long-tailed Duck playing daft buggers with its chose of sites. A herd of 13 Mute Swan and 2 Great Crested Grebe were adding to the overall picture.

Image may contain: sky, bird and outdoor

Image may contain: sky, bird, plant and outdoor

Image may contain: sky, bird, plant and outdoor

A look along the pipes on No.1 tank revealed 3 Northern Wheatear and a (mixed songster) Willow Warbler was very obliging nearby.

Observer and images: WSM.

13.04.20. Birdlog.

Image may contain: outdoor, water and nature

I was out at first light for my daily exercise with a walk around No.6 tank.

There were 4 Cettis Warbler giving it large along Lordship Lane and the first Common Whitethroat was seen performing from the top of a bush on the bank of No.6 along with Linnet and European Goldfinch.

Image may contain: bird and outdoor

Also many Northern Lapwing were defending their territory and mobbing the corvids or raptors that entered the area. Several Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Common Redshank were on the ‘phalarope pool’ alongside Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, several Canada Goose and a single Mute Swan. The scrapes held more of the same with the addition of c12 Pied Avocet while the Northern Shoveler were watched spinning in circles as they fed. A Western Marsh Harrier was seen driving a Common Buzzard away from the reed bed again and was targeted by the resident Northern Lapwing.

Image may contain: bird, outdoor and water

There were good numbers of Sand Martin and several Barn Swallow hawking over No.6 where the female Long-tailed Duck was associating with a Tufted Duck flock and was sound asleep when I moved on. Also on the water were numerous Common Shelduck, Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Gadwall, Common Pochard. Little Grebe, Eurasian Coot, Common Moorhen and 2 Mute Swan.

Image may contain: grass, sky, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: grass, outdoor and nature

There were 4 Brown Hare noted during my walk.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

Image

10 years ago today I and a lot of his friends lost Martin Gilbert in tragic circumstances at Aber Falls. Below is a link to some stories involving this engaging and charismatic character. #mentalhealth

https://frodshammarshbirdblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/martin-gilly-gilbert/

11.04.20. Birdlog.

Image may contain: bird

I was out at first light getting in my daily exercise with a start at Brook Furlong Lane where Common Chiffchaff, Blackcap, the first Willow Warbler of the spring and Cetti’s Warbler were all noted.

Image may contain: bird, sky and outdoor

Image may contain: bird, sky, outdoor and nature

A pair of European Stonechat were on the fence along Alder Lane with several Meadow Pipit were foraging in the field and c300 Black-headed Gull and a smaller number of Lesser Black-backed and Common Gull were feeding amongst the sheep on No.1 tank.

Image may contain: outdoor, nature and water

Further on and the Manchester Ship Canal with Tufted Duck, Mallard, Canada Goose, Eurasian Teal and several Eurasian Coot were joined by a pair of Common Sandpiper.

Image may contain: bird, outdoor and water

Image may contain: bird, sky, outdoor and nature

The River Weaver held much of the same plus c150 Common Shelduck, a drake and 2 female Common Goldeneye, 7 more Common Sandpiper, c20 Black-tailed Godwit and c15 Common Redshank, several Pied Avocet flying out to the estuary and a single Little Ringed Plover.

Image may contain: 1 person, bird, plant and sky

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

Image may contain: plant, bird, outdoor and nature

A Mallard and her brood of 10 ducklings were in the ditch alongside Moorditch Lane and 4 Eurasian Greenfinch were in the trees near to the motorway bridge.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-9).

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

Image may contain: bird, outdoor and water

Image may contain: bird, outdoor, water and nature

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

Image may contain: bird, sky, outdoor and water

After I had finisched work like Paul I took the opportunity to walk down to the marsh and with few people about it was made in complete isolation.

Image may contain: bird, outdoor and water

Image may contain: bird, outdoor and water

Image may contain: bird, outdoor and water

I looked over No.6 tank and could see that the female Long-tailed Duck was still present and she wasn’t so energtic than my last visit. c200 Tufted Duck, 123 Northern Shoveler and c100 Eurasian Teal were the main species.

A few Cetti’s Warbler were chattering away from various directions and the first Sedge Warbler of the spring burst into song after its long journey. My time was limited so I made my way home.

During the course of my work involves travelling around the district and it’s not difficult to see or hear birds en route. I spotted a Great Egret from the Mersey Gateway bridge on Widnes Warth Marsh, singing Willow Warbler at two sites in Runcorn and one in Widnes.

Observer: WSM (images 10-17).

10.04.20. Birdlog.

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

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.

Image may contain: bird, plant, outdoor and nature

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.

Image may contain: bird, plant, outdoor and nature

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Image may contain: plant, bird, outdoor and nature

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.

Image may contain: plant, flower, outdoor and nature

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.

Image may contain: bird, ocean, sky, outdoor, water and nature

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.

Image may contain: ocean, outdoor, water and nature

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.

Image may contain: outdoor and nature

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.

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

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.

Image may contain: bird and outdoor

Image may contain: outdoor, water and nature

Observer and images: WSM.

08.04.20. Birdlog.

Image

After I finished work at Stanlow I walked out to Ince marsh fields for my daily constitutional where I was greeted by Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Gadwall, Little Grebe, Eurasian Coot and Common Moorhen on the pools in reduced numbers. A single Little Egret was foraging at the edge of one pool and another passed overhead.

There were four Sand Martin hawking over the pools and a Green Woodpecker was calling from the woods near to the pig farm entrance.

The Barn Owl was again seen at the entrance to its shelter.

Image

A Common Snipe rose from the ditch near by Ince berth and c700 Pink-footed Goose were gathered together on the Frodsham Score salt marsh preparing for the push north.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

Yesterday after work I put up a bird box on a tree outside my house, this morning before I went to work a Blue Tit was prospecting the box, and again when I return home…result. Built it and they will come.

WSM