12.07.20. Birdlog.

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Another walk along the River Weaver and Manchester Ship Canal today.  A small pleasure boat made its way along the Weaver as far as the ship canal so not a lot to be seen due to disturbance. The 3 Dunlin were still in the company of a couple of Common Ringed Plover but were flushed and moved out to the Mersey Estuary, at least 4 Common Sandpiper were noted along the river and the canal. There were several family parties of Pied Wagtail were feeding at the waters edge.

Looking over the Mersey Estuary and again c3000 Canada Goose were out on the mudflats with several hundred Black-taileded Godwit, 15 Pied Avocet, c30 Eurasian Curlew present and gulls were in their hundreds, mostly Black-headed and 4 Grey Heron.

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The Mute Swan pairs on the ‘Canal Pools’ have 4 cygnets, the first for a couple of years on the marsh. 

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An early Northern Wheatear was seen near the dredger berth and made its way over to the ‘Canal Pools’ where better views of it were had by me. Eight Common Raven and a Common Buzzard were busy feeding on a sheep carcase in the long grass allowing a close approach before seeing me and making a hasty exit.

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The ‘phalarope pool’ held several Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Gadwall and a single Black-tailed Godwit while No.6 tank was a wader free zone. A Western Marsh Harrier hunted over the reed bed.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-4).

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The highlight of today’s walk around the marsh was a European Nuthatch (a local scarse bird) which flew south along the track at the east end of No.6 tank. Also seen was a
Western Yellow Wagtail on No.3 tank and 8 Common Sandpiper were along the
Weaver Estuary. A Grasshopper Warbler was reeling along Brook Furlong Lane.

Observer: Alyn Chambers.

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We took a stroll around No.6 tank where we stopped by the ‘phalarope pool’ were we exchange pleasantries with Guy and Lou who were cycling from from deepest Cheshire. All the ducks mentioned earlier by Paul were still present including mother Gadwall with her six ducklings. A 1st summer Western Marsh Harrier flew over and another passed by sometime later. The highlight was a Little Egret which dropped in to feed and on this occasion didn’t fly away as soon as iy her us.

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There were again plenty of butterflies along the lane and a Black-tailed Chaser dragonfly was idyling on the track by the viewing area above No.6 tank. The tank was rather quiet but 61 Tufted Duck, 2 Common Pochard, and single numbers of Eurasian Teal, Common Shelduck and Northern Shoveler.

That walk completes 53 klm (each) offsetting our carbon footprint on the marsh this week. #savingtheworldsoyoucanenjoyit

Observers: JS & WSM (images 1 & 5-8).

11.07.20. Birdlog.

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A walk along the River Weaver this morning starting at Brook Furlong Lane where Common Chiffchaffs, Sedge Warbler and Common Whitethroat were still in song and the juvenile European Stonechat were fly-catching along the river path with one bird catching a white butterfly in flight.

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Looking over the river several Eurasian Oystercatcher, a pair of Common Sandpiper were feeding on the far bank and a flock of c40 Black-tailed Godwit moved down river.

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While I was watching the waders a large Brown Rat crossed the path running over my foot as it made its way in to the reeds. c60 Tufted Duck, several Mallard, 6 Great Crested Grebe and 3 Mute Swan were on the river.

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There were 8 Common Ringed Plover, 4 Little Ringed Plover which were made up of 2 adults and 2 juveniles, 3 Dunlin (1 juvenile) and another 4 Common Sandpiper,  several Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank and Eurasian Oystercatcher were at the river edge.

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Out on the Mersey Estuary were c3000 Canada Goose were either grazing on the cropped grass or resting on the mudbanks alongside many Common Shelduck and even more Black-tailed Godwit. 

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A Ringlet butterfly was amongst the more common Meadow Brown and Small Tortoiseshell being noted along the river path.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-8).

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A little way over the M56 but still within the scope of the marshes was a fine Eurasian Hobby circling the area and a tatty looking Common Buzzard.

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Observer: Nigel Case (images 9-11).

10.07.20. Birdlog.

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A mid day walk around No.6 tank.  Not a lot on the water c40 Tufted Duck, several Mallard and Common Shelduck and a family of Little Grebe. The water levels are high so not so attractive to the waders, a flock of c300 Black-tailed Godwit made their way from the estuary but didn’t settle and flew back with just a few dropping on to No.3 tank.

On the ‘phalarope pool’ were c60 Northern Lapwing, c15 Black-tailed Godwit, c30 Eurasian Teal similar  numbers of Mallard and Gadwall with a single Common Shelduck noted.

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Another c60 Northern Lapwing were on the exposed mud near the out flow pipe which was discharging silt from the dredger.

On to Lordship Lane and a family of Reed Warbler were contact calling and several Reed Bunting were present.

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A pair of Stock Dove were at the entrance to one of the owl boxes and 5 Grey Heron were resting in their favourite place alongside the hedge on the model flying field.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-3).

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Our daily walking ritual took us first to Blakemere at Delamere Forest and a stop to overlook the Black-headed Gull colony. It didn’t take long before the first of 3 Mediterranean Gull showed up. Shortly after two of the three were engaged in a display performance.

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After we finished our walk at Delamere it was a short diversion to Frodsham Marsh and we continued along the track to one of the lookout posts looking down and over No.6 tank. A flock of 61 Tufted Duck were really the only birds of note here.

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We bumped into Sean O’Hara who had taken a walk down to the River Weaver and spotted a Common and Green Sandpiper.

Observers: JS & WSM (images 4-7). Images 8-9 by Sean O’Hara.

09.07.20. Birdlog.

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I got a text from Sean O’Hara who is currently riding high on finding his third good Frodsham Marsh bird this year with a moulting drake Greater Scaup. We walked along Moorditch Lane and out along the northern banks of No.6 tank where Sean was already in situ and the sea duck was with a loose flock of 150 Tufted Duck and 4 Common Pochard.

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After having our fill of the drake we headed out to the ‘phalarope pool’ where the long staying Green Sandpiper was performing well. A flock of beautifully dressed Black-tailed Godwit were busy feeding with 34 Northern Lapwing and an assorment of Eurasian Teal, Gadwall and Mallard.

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Walking back and a small flock of Black-tailed Godwit were feeding in one of the scrapes in the middle of No.3 tank and Common Swift and many hirundines were quite obvious flying low over the fields.

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A look over No.6 tank on our way off the marsh and the scaup and tufties were no longer present, presumably headed back to the River Weaver. A visit to that area later by Paul Ralston drew a blank on the ducks there, but the activity of a dredger may have moved them elsewhere.

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

Observers: Sean O’Hara (video 3), JS & WSM (video 1-2 & images 1-8).

No luck with the scaup on the River Weaver this evening with very few ducks at all on the water. Much later a flock of c1000 Black-tailed Godwit were dislodged from their feeding mudflats by the evening tide.

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There were 4 Common Sandpiper and Common Redshank feeding at the edge of the Weaver Estuary. Common Swift were numerous flashing past within touching distance as I disturbed insects from my pathway by Marsh Farm. There were also House and Sand Martin joining in feeding up before their long trek south.

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A flock of c1000 Black-tailed Godwit were feeding on the exposed mud on the Mersey Estuary alongside hundreds of Common Shelduck, huge numbers of Canada Goose with Common Redshank and Eurasian Curlew.

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A large flock of gulls mostly Black-headed Gull took to the air as a Peregrine cruised by and a less intimidating Common Kestrel sat on a salt bin while its partner hovered above.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 9-13).

It was interesting to see Deo-Gloria dregder pumping sludge back into the Weaver Estuary by the Weaver Sluice gates, or were they just clearing their tanks? WSM.

08.07.20. Birdlog.

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A short visit to the ‘phalarope pool’ on No.3 tank before heading back for an engagement at home. A couple of Cetti’s Warbler were sub-singing from the shrub on the bank of the ‘splashing pool’.

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The pool had a dozen Black-tailed Godwit mostly in dispute over their feeding areas and each in fine russet plumage.

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A solitray Green Sandpiper and a summer Dunlin were feeding in and around the godwits.

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A female Gadwall had with her 6 ducklings which didn’t aleays keep close to mother.

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Numerous Common Swift were over the pools and a 1st summer Western Marsh Harrier flew over and headed south.

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Observers: JS & WSM (images).

07.07.20. Birdlog.

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A walk around No.6 tank along Moorditch Lane in the steady rain that plauged the day today. A few Common Swift were giving close flight views at the corner in the road along Moorditch Lane and were at head height. Most of the birds along Lordship Lane were keeping still but a flock of 150 Northern Lapwing rose from the fields on Lordship Marsh before resettling again. A duck Tufted Duck with her 7 tuftlings were in the ditch by the ramp to No.4 tank.

A juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker did its best to hide behind a fence post before its concealment was sussed.

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The ‘phalarope pool’ had a small number of Black-tailed Godwit which brighten a dreary afternoon, a few ducks and two Green Sandpiper feeding together. A mixture of low flying Common Swit, Barn Swallow and Sand Martin made the weather conditions more bearable.

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Walking on on to No.6 tank and finding some shelter from the continuous rain produced a flock of 114 Black-tailed Godwit a much reduced count from the big numbers of yesterday. 298 Northern Lapwing, 4 Dunlin, 25 Common Redshank and an additional 2 Green Sandpiper.

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Common Swift did their usual aerial display when the rain and clouds brought down their food source and were hawking low over the water. A rain sodden Western Marsh Harrier was sat out in the open perched on its favourite tree stump. A few Tufted Duck and Eurasian Teal were keeping a low profile.

Observers: JS & WSM (images).

05 & 06.07.20. Birdlog.

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05.07.20. Birdlog.

A brief visit after work and a small amount of birds on No.6 tank barely warrented the visit, but where there are birds, there is a chance.

A small flock of 16 Black-tailed Godwit and 7 Common Redshank made up the shorebirds while 127 Tufted Duck, 4 Northern Shoveler, 31 Mallard, 21 Eurasian Teal and 5 Common Pochard did the same for ducks.

Observer: WSM.

06.07.20. Birdlog.

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I got to the motorway bridge just turned 09:00 had a wet walk to No.6 tank, soon dried off with the fairly strong breeze, there was about 60 Black-tailed Godwit with a couple of Common Redshank and 3 Dunlin, a group of 7 Little Grebe together. And a few Common Shelduck and a good few Northern Lapwing further up from the godwits.

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I continued walking to the ‘phalarope pool’ where there was another 7 Black-tailed Godwit and a single juvenile Common Ringed Plover which flew a few yards and landed out of sight, but it moved a wader into my view, it was a Green Sandpiper.

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I headed back towards No.6 tank and noticed the godwits had grown in number considerably.

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On the way back to my car I saw a sheep with a young one in the field as you get to the bottom of the ramp.

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Observer: Keith Gallie (image 2-7).

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A big walk of 23 klm down and around the marshes today made for sore feet after it. A look over No.3 tank and the only birds of note were a new family of Gadwall and a fly over Western Yellow Wagtail.

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Things picked up and continuing along the track to the eastern half of No.6 tank was much better with a sizeable (revised up) count of 1184 Black-tailed Godwit (one colour ringed bird), a single adult Common Ringed Plover, 2 summer Dunlin, 204 Northern Lapwing, 13 Common Redshank and a fine summer plumaged Greenshank, with another calling off in the distance.

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We carried on our hike along Brook Furlong Lane where the trees and hedgerows were full of song with the occasional Cetti’s Warbler disrupted the peace. My first Ringlet butterfly for this part of the marsh was in the lane below the old birdlog with Large Skipper, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Meadow Brown, Wall and Comma butterflies.

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The River Weaver and Weaver Bend had all the ducks with c200 present at two spotsalong the river. A small number of Common Pochard were on the Bend and c1000 Common Swift were hunting over the water. A groupr of Lesser Black-backed Gull had found a dead Roach and each struggles to get it airbourne before one was successful.

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Observers: JS & WSM (images 1 & 8-16).

05.07.20. Birdlog.

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I was out this morning starting at Ince pools which were quiet with just 5 Mallard, 4 Tufted Duck, 8 Eurasian Coot, 3 Common Moorhen,1 Little Egret, 2 Grey Heron. The Barn Owl was again at the box entrance to its summer home.

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Onward to the Manchester Ship Canal path and Common Chiffchaff and Blackcap were always vocal. Looking over Ince salt marsh which was also quiet with just a few Canada Goose, Common Shelduck and a single Little Egret. The Holpool Gutter held 12 Mallard, 3 Eurasian Coot, 1 Little Grebe and a Grey Wagtail with a beak full of insects. There were just 3 Northern Lapwing and a pair of agitated Eurasian Oystercatcher in the field alongside the gutter.

A male European Stonechat was flycatching near to the ‘splashing pool’ and Common Swifts, Barn Swallow and Sand Martin were hawking overhead. The ‘canal pools’ had 4 Mute Swan with 1 pair still sitting tight on their nest. Also 4 Tufted Duck and several Eurasian Coot were present, a single Common Sandpiper and a Little Ringed Plover were at the edge of the pool.

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On a scrape on No.3 tank were two more Common Sandpiper and 3 Little Ringed Plover a single Common Ringed Plover and a Black-tailed Godwit were noted.

as I made my way back to my start a Western Marsh Harrier was hunting over No.4 and a juvenile Eurasian Cuckoo was seen in flight heading towards the ship canal path.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images).

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After work I made my way to No.6 tank to watch the waders there. It was with some surprise to find a handful of Black-tailed Godwit, a single Dunlin, c110 Northern Lapwing and 4 Common Redshank. The Tufted Duck flock was fragmented with a grand total of 119 with 5 Common Pochard, 4 Northern Shovler, 21 Eurasian Teal, 6 Gadwall and 43 Mallard. A small raft of 8 Little Grebe and just one Common Gull in with a few Black-headed Gull made up a below par seesion. A Western Marsh Harrier was harrying things over the reed bed and a Little Egret was hunting the marsh.

The blue-topped chimney at Weston Point had two adult Peregrine.

Observer: WSM.

02 & 04.07.20

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02.07.29. Birdlog.

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A short visit after work to No.6 tank produced 146 Tufted Duck, 5 Common Pochard and an assortment of Northern Shoveler, Gadwall and Mallar.

A medium sized flock of Black-tailed Godwit included a colour flagged bird and currently I am still awaiting its life history.

Observer: WSM (image 2).

04.07.20. Birdlog.

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A midday walk along the River Weaver and Manchester Ship Canal. Meadow Pipit were numerous along Alder Lane with small flocks of European Goldfinch and Linnet being noted.

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On to the Manchester Ship Canal the dredger left its berth and turned around at the entrance to the Weaver Estuary displacing the Tufted Duck, common Shelduck and Mallard resting nearby. A flock of 47 Greylag Goose were bunched together on the canal while many Canada Goose were on the river.

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Looking over the Mersey Estuary a mixed flock of mostly  Black-headed Gull with several Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gull were roosting at the waters edge alongside c200 Black-tailed Godwit, 13 Common Redshank and a flock of 125 Pied Avocet were spooked by an unseen threat but soon settled down again.

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Further shorebirds included 37 Eurasian Curlew and 2 Whimbrel were also feeding on the salt marsh. 3 Common Sandpiper were on the River Weaver with a further c30 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Common Redshank and several Eurasian Oystercatcher. 

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A group of Sand Martin were feeding young sat on a barbed wire fence jutting out into the river.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1 & 3-7).