16.08.20. Birdlog.

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I took a walk around No.6 tank this morning where c150 Canada Goose were grazing on the fields along Lordship Lane and a pale morph Common Buzzard was sat on a post while a young buzzard could be heard calling for attention nearby.

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On the tank were Black-tailed Godwit were again in decent numbers but not as many as yesterday. Common Redshank and Greenshank were noted amongst the flock with a Common Sandpiper at the waters edge.

The ‘phalarope pool’ held c25 Black-tailed Godwit with 15 Northern Lapwing and a few more Gadwall, Eurasian Teal and Mallard. A Green Sandpiper passed overhead and dropped down alongside the Canal Pools.

A mixed flock of tits moved along the bank on No.6 followed by Common Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat and Blackcap.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-3).

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I’ve been in work this weekend and after I finished this evening I wasted no time and settled in my favourite spot on No.6 tank to watch over the godwit flock feeding in the shallow waters. Small flocks dropped in to join the birds already here and I estimated that there were c1000 birds.

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A Common and Green Sandpiper were still about and 2 Ruff joined up with c600 Northern Lapwing.

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The Eurasian Teal flock have increased and now number 134 birds. There were much smaller numbers of Northern Shoveler and Tufted Duck. A Sparrowhawk was soaring over the far bank and both Common Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler burst into song.

Observer: WSM (images 4-6).

15.08.20. Birdlog.

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I started my walk at Brook Furlong Lane this morning where a few warblers were busy eating and storing food for their incredible journys ahead for each one of them..

I reached the River Weaver where Common Redshank and Black-tailed Godwit were on the muddy bank and a couple of Eygptian Goose flew down river and out to the Mersey Estuary leaving c300 Canada Goose still on the water.

At the junction of the Weaver Estuary and Manchester Ship Canal a Common Sandpiper was noted with a Greenshank for company.

Looking out over the Mersey Estuary were 4 Little Egret flew up river and hundreds of gulls were resting on the sand banks with a mixed flock of c400 Black-tailed Godwit and Common Redshank they all took to the air and the gulls soon settled back down, but the waders made their way over to No.6 tank. A pair of Western Yellow Wagtail passed over the canal and dropped down on Frodsham Score salt marsh.

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A large charm of European Goldfinch were feeding close to Marsh Farm and were targeted by a Sparrowhawk and a Common Kestrel.

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On to No.6 tank saw more warblers were moving along the path feeding in the elderberry bushes and several Western Reed Warbler were noted in the reeds at the water’s edge.

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A big flock of c2500 Black-tailed Godwit were in the shallows with Common Redshank, 2 Greenshank and a Ruff.

At the ‘splashing pool’ I bumped in to Alan C whose sharp eyes found a Spotted Flycatcher feeding in the bushes alongside the pool. There were 6 Grey Heron were resting on the mud at the south end of No.6 and a Western Marsh Harrier dropped into the reed bed.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-6).

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Starting at No.6 tank this morning, 2 Common Pochard and 17 Little Grebe were
on the water and 2 Ruff, a Green Sandpiper, a Dunlin and 5 Common Ringed
Plover joined the Black-tailed Godwit and Redshank flock.

A Lesser Whitethroat was with a group of Common Whitethroat and Blackcap on No.5
tank.

Two further Green Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank and a colour ringed
Black-tailed Godwit were on the ‘phalarope pool’.

Details of the colour ringed bird are here:

Sex: Female

Cr-rings: Y8-YY
Metal: 586061

Date Location

4.7.2012 Iceland,NW Ice,A-Barðastrandarsýsla,Reykhólar,

29.10.2013 England,E Eng,Suffolk,Orwell estuary,Levington Creek
18.7.2015 England,E Eng,Suffolk,Deben estuary,Melton
31.7.2015 England,E Eng,Suffolk,Alde estuary,Hazlewood Marshes

6.8.2016 England,E Eng,Suffolk,Minsmere,
7.8.2016 England,E Eng,Suffolk,Minsmere,
29.10.2016 Ireland,W Ire,Galway,Rahasane Turlough,
15.8.2020 England,NW Eng,Cheshire,Mersey estuary,Frodsham Marsh

A Spotted Flycatcher was in the bushes by the ‘splashing pool’.

The pipes on No.1 tank held a Northern Wheatear and 2 European Stonechat and a Common Sandpiper was on the Weaver Estuary.

Observer: Alyn Chambers (image 1).

14.08.20. Birdlog

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A dawn raid on No.6 tank and after the last honking Canada Goose left the water to spend the rest of the day on the cooling Mersey Estuary I settled down to go through a flock of c1500 Black-tailed Godwit.

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A couple of juvenile Ruff were feeding on the edge of the distant muddy margins. A couple of Dunlin were aslo present and were small reward from the big numbers out on the river.

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A calling Greenshank soon revealed 3 birds feeding close to the bank below where I was situated.

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A flock of nervous Northern Lapwing included a flock of c50 Common Redshank. A preening female Western Marsh Harrier was sat in the damp grass only a few mitres away from the godwit flock. A singing Western Reed Warbler and Cetti’s Warbler reminded e that the breeding season was still happening.

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Over in Widnes, why didn’t the Collared Dove cross the road, because she nested on the pedestrian crossing lights…

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…and over in Runcorn a Mistle Thrush found a handy southern bracket fungus convenient to build its nest upon.

Observer: WSM (images 1-10).

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Four European Stonechat by Redwall reed bed were made up of a family group.

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Two Juvenile Great Crested Grebe were on the River Weaver amongst the Eurasian Coot, Mallard and Gadwall. A mixed flock of Northern Lapwing and Common Redshank were flushed by trial bikes racing on the I.C.I tank and Weaver Bend path. A few Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Gadwall and Common Snipe were on the shooters’ pool.

Alarm calls from the Great blac- backed Gull over the river drew my attention to a raptor high up and half expecting it to be an Osprey, but it was just a Common Buzzard alas.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 11-12).

10.08.20. Birdlog.

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An uneventful walk along the River Weaver and Manchester Ship Canal this afternoon. A flock of c200 Comon Redshank and a similar number of Northern Lapwing were on the river bank with 2 Common Sandpiper and numerous Pied Wagtail being noted. A small number of Mallard and Tufted Duck were amongst the many Canada Goose  and Eurasian Coot on the river.

Out on the Mersey Estuary were many Common Shelduck drifting with the incoming tide and c20 Great Cormorant were hanging out their wings on the bank. A Common Kestrel and 2 Common Buzzard were perched on fence posts watching the Eurasian Starling and European Goldfinch flocks feeding in the hay fields.

On the way to the marsh a Western Marsh Harrier was seen hunting over the Gowy Meadows alongside the eastbound carriageway of the M56.

Observer & image: Paul Ralston.

09.08.20. Birdlog.

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A Sunday morning hike around No.6 Tank in very humid conditions made for a sticky walk. We stopped for a drink looking over the ‘phalarope pool’ where a small number of Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Northern lapwing, 16 Eurasian teal and 3 very grown up juvenile Gadwall.

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Walking further we stopped again to look across the waters on No.6 tank. A flock of c1000 Black-tailed Godwit included with them 230 Northern Lapwing, 67 Dunlin, 54 Common Redshank and a single Common Sandpiper. A small number of ducks were also present.

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A tractor ploughing the field by Moorditch Lane where several hundred Black-headed Gull (including the luecistic bird) were with Herring, Lesser Black-backed and Common Gull.

Observers: JS & WSM (images).

08.08.20. Birdlog.

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The highlight of my morning visit was a Hornet Mimic Hoverfly Volucella zonaria) apparently a scarce species which was feeding on Ragwort flower at the top of the ramp track to No.5 tank from Moorditch Lane.

A look over No.6 tank had c50 Eurasian Teal, 14 Tufted Duck, a few Northern Shoveler, a single Common Snipe, 11 Dunlin, 67 Common Redshank and c280 Black-tailed Godwit.

A flock of Black-headed Gull were following a tractor ploughing the field by Moorditch Lane.

Common Swift were still active at their nest site along Marsh Lane.

Looking over the Mersey Estuary at dusk and a small flock of 4 Egyptian Goose were on the mudflats with c500 Common Shelduck and c400 Common Redshank.

Observer and image: WSM.

06.08.20. Birdlog.

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An after work walk along the River Weaver this afternoon where c300 cCanada Goose were grazing on the cut grass on No.1 tank and more were on the river.

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A pair of Great Crested Grebe were fishing including a single juvenile with them and 3 more adults nearby. Waders were scarce with just a handful of Black-tailed Godwits, a single Common Sandpiper and several Northern Lapwing at the rivers edge.

Wildfowl were also scarce with just a few Mallard and Tufted Duck present. The Mersey Estaury wasn’t much better with just Northern Lapwing, Eurasian Curlew and Great Cormorant feeding at the edge of the tidal channel. Common Shelduck were in good numbers on the mudflats alongside more Canada Goose and several Greylag.

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There were 3 juvenile Western Yellow Wagtail were on the MAnchester Ship Canal path and were being chased away by a group of young Barn Swallow.

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A large flock of mostly juvenile Common Starling were feeding around Marsh Farm a pair of European Stonechat were on the fence along Alder Lane.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images).

Emerging ants video by WSM.

04 & 05. 08 .20. Birdlg.

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04.08.20. Birdlog.

A brief visit after work was well after the ebbed tide, so it was no great surprise to see little of note on No.6 tank. A small flock of Black-tailed Godwit were on the far side of the water with small numbers of Dunlin and Redshank.

A look over the Merset Estuary produced c500 Common Shelduck, hundreds of Canada Goose and a flock of 45 Common Raven.

05.08.20. Birdlog.

One of Poynton’s finest paid a visit to the marsh this evening seeing 4 Green Sandpiper on the ‘phalarope pool’, while a juvenile Common Cuckoo flushed a flock of 170 Black-tailed Godwit.

On the River Weaver were 6 Common and 2 additional Green Sandpiper. A flock of 80 Common Swift were overhead.

Observer: Mark (whipper) Gibson.

I took up position looking across the Weaver Sluices and the highlight was c300 Common Redshank, c400 Common Shelduck, 16 Common Raven, 2 Little and a Great Egret.

Observer: WSM (image).

03.08.20. Birdlog.

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After work today I paid a visit to No.6 tank to look through the Black-tailed Godwit and sat in my usual spot with the godwit flock below me.

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After 30 minutes of scanning the birds suddenly and without warning then rose in the air and wheeled around in an attempt to evade the clutches of on this occasion an unseen predator. The majority of c1000 birds couldn’t cope with all the anxiety and departed to the Mersey Estuary. The remainder resettled and continued to commece feeding joined by c100 Dunlin and a juvenile Little Ringed Plover.

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The female Tufted Duck with her brood had six left from my previous observation and was very intolerent to any other ducks that ventured near to her tuftlings.

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Observer: WSM (images 1-7).

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Small Copper Butterfly.

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Male Tetragnatha (spider) species and the curl leaf retreat will be either a Clubiona species or Cheiracanthium species

Additional pictures (8-15) by Keith Gallie.

02.08.20. Birdlog.

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A walk along the Manchester Ship Canal and around No.4 tank this morning. There were thousands of Canada Goose on the Frodsham Score salt marsh and the ship canal when something disturbed them out by the river and they took off on mass.

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Their noise moving in flight was impressive and caused the sheep to panic and run. A Great Egret and several Little Egret were feeding in the tidal channels while Common Raven, Carrion Crow and Lesser Black-backed Gull were scavenging on the dead sheep on the marsh. A look over the ‘phalarope pool’ on No.3 tank was unproductive as the cattle were wandering through it. Arthur Harrison had seen 4 Common Snipe on the pool earlier. A Western Marsh Harrier was hunting over No.4 tank and a Weasel crossed the path in front of me. Butterflies were numerous with Speckled Wood and Common Blue amongst the usual species seen.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-4).

A look over Frodsham Score on the rising tide saw 14 Pied Avocet, c500 Common Shelduck and a flock of 54 Common Raven.

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Our walk took us to watch over No.6 tank during the period of high tide. An impressive gathering of 2254 Black-tailed Godwit was by far the highest flock of the year. Hiding in their throng were several juveniles and a colour ringed bird.

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Black-tailed Godwit YY-GH was ringed as an ad and has been recorded since at: 07.01.19 Evoa, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por 11.04.19 Alhos Vedros, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por 02.08.20 Frodsham Marsh, River Mersey, Cheshire, NW Eng. Thanks to Jose Alves for his data.

The whole flock rose into the air when a juvenile Peregrine sliced through the flying birds like a knife through butter. A flock of 153 Dunlin made the price and one caught a hit.

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A single juvenile Ruff, 43 Common Ringed Plover, 43 Common Redshank and 3 Green Sandpiper. The gulls gathered were many and an adult Yellow-legged Gull the first of the year dropped in and fell asleep in the grass for a half hour.

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A few hirundines were still about and like wise several Common Swift.

Observer: JS & WSM (images 1 & 5-10).