27.02.21. Birdlog.

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An early morning walk around the marsh starting at Brook Furlong Lane. A Cetti’s Warbler burst into song as I made my way to the river with Song Thrush and Blackbird were also vocal. On the River Weaver two groups of Common Goldeneye c20 all joined alongside Mallard, Eurasian Teal and Common Shelduck in courtship displays.

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Two Pied Avocet flew down river and out to the Mersey Estuary where they joined a flock of c50 more feeding in the tidal channel.

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A cargo ship the Kuzey Star II heading west along the Manchester Ship Canal misjudged its turning circle at the canal bend and temporarily grounded near to Marsh Farm, but managed to free itself from a very embarrassing position.

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Several Eurasian Skylark were singing from on high, while Meadow Pipit watched me pass by as they sat on the fence posts. Ravens were commonplace all over the marsh cleaning up any casualties of lambing. On to No.6 and a harrier was seen briefly before it dropped in to the reeds (looking at the photo at home on my computer screen and it was an obvious ring tail). Several European Stonechat were noted during my walk with flocks of European Goldfinch and Linnet keeping a keen eye on a passing Sparrowhawk.

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The Whooper Swan herd were grazing in their favoured area on Lordship Marsh.

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Onward to Ince and the 3 Western Cattle Egret foraged amongst the pigs with just 2 Little Egret with them.

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May be an image of bird and nature

Out on Ince salt marsh and a mass of waders were moved of the mud banks by the rising tide and put a fine display by Stanlow Island.

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A good day to be out on the marshes.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-7 & 9-11).

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A morning ramble along Brook Furlong Lane where the last throws of winter thrushes were eeking out afresh emergance of bugs and worms. With the sweltering(ish) warm temperatures one particular Cetti’s Warbler emerged from its dense cover to show whilst singing for a few seconds, a wheezing Lesser Redpoll and a pair of Bullfinch added a splash of colour to the sunshine.

A look over the River Weaver produced 43 Tufted Duck, 9 Common Goldeneye and 11 Great Crested Grebe, but the wintering imm drake Greater Scaup looks to have moved on. A pair of Pied Avocet flew up river and the sounds more could be heard at their traditional breeding site. A pair of Common Ringed Plover, 43 Common Redshank and the reappearing and wintering Common Sandpiper were about. A flock of 211 Eurasian Curlew and a further 12 Eurasian Oystercatcher.

A walk back along the lane and a look over No.6 tank saw 32 Black-tailed Godwit, 75 Common Snipe, Northern Lapwing, 43 Tufted Duck, 18 Common Pochard, a pair of Northern Pintail, 79 Northern Shoveler, 11 Gadwall and c200 Common Shelduck. A ringtail Hen Harrier dropped in briefly before heading south again.

A Little Egret flew over Frodsham Bridge and flew inland.

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A few Buff-tailed Bumblebee and Small Tortoiseshell were benefiting from the warm rays of the sun.

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May be an image of nature
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May be an image of nature

Observer: WSM (images 8 & 12-18).

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Observer: Davis Eisner (image 19).

26.02.21. Birdlog.

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We did a long walk which included one end of the marsh to its other end covering 26.5 km. Bumping into Arthut Harrison on Marsh Lane where he informed us that he had seen the winter swans, 17 European Stonechat and a Western Marsh Harrier. We had a lot to catch up on.

A Brown Hare was spotted but made a quick disappearance act. The Whooper Swan were grazing the fields and look settled away from disturbance on Ince marsh fields. A Common Chiffchaff was at the ramp.

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A look across the south Mersey salt marshes produced c3000 Pink-footed Goose (PR had also seen) and a passing ship caused them to raise into the air yelping to each other. A flurry of Little Egret and a Great Egret were about the marshes.

A Western Marsh Harrier was over No.6 tank as we made our way to the flooded eastern end. Ducks were again numerous with mostly Eurasian Teal occupying any patch of open water with Northern Shoveler and Pintail. The flock of 51 Tufted Duck had with them c56 Common Pochard.

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Observers: JS & WSM (images 1-3).

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I parked up by the model flying field and walked along Lordship Lane and by No.4 tank. The herd of 25 WhooperSwan were still on Lordship Marsh and Linnet and European Goldfinch were numerous on the bank.

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May be an image of bird and nature

A group of 6 European Stonechat were also by No.4 tank. Back at home a Collared Dove has been sitting tight on its nest for the last few days.

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Sunsetting over Lordship Lane.

Observers: Paul Ralston (images 4-7).

25.02.21. Birdlog.

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We took a tramp down to the marsh and along the lanes. The herd of 25 (2 juvenile) Whooper Swan were munching grass close to the track and below the turbines on Lordship Marsh. A Common Chiffchaff was contact calling on the bank and a flock of c150 Linnet attracted in with them 5 Lesser Redpoll and 4 European Stonechat were by Lower Rake Lane junction with Lordship Lane..

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A quick look across Frodsham Score and c3000 of Pink-footed Goose were grazing contently on the grass swarth. A hour later and the entire herd of 2.5 – 3 thousand pinks rose from the salt marsh and flew around the area before resettling. A Great Egret was in the tall grass and flocks of shorebirds were moving about the mudflats.

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No.3 tank had 100’s of ducks with Eurasian Teal, Shoveler and Eurasian Wigeon being the most prominent. Flocks of European Golden Plover were conclealed in the tall grass and out of view and the odd Black-tailed Godwit were dozing in the bright sunshine.

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Looking across No.6 tank also had ducks galore with c400 Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, 61 Common Pochard and 57 Tufted Duck.

Observer: WSM (images 1-6 & video).

Whooper Swans on Lordship Marsh.
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Hale lighthouse from Frodsham Marsh.

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An after work walk to Ince this afternoon with three Western Cattle Egret and 9 Little Egret foraging amongst the pigs at Kinsey Lane pig farm. A Common Chiffchaff was again in the hedgerow and a group of Fieldfare sat on top of a sycamore tree. On the nature reserve pools and the Mute Swan pair have now driven last years young away and now have the pool to themselves.

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Ducks numbers have improved with Mallard, Eurasian Teal and Northern Shoveler. A Lesser Redpoll was feeding on weed seeds and a group of 10 Eurasian Curlew dropped into feed in a wet field.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 7-9).

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No description available.

The Whooper Swan herd as seen by Phil Barker yesterday (images 10-11).

24.02.21. Birdlog.

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Whooper Swans and Greylag Geese on Lordship Marsh.

look after work over the 23 Whooper Swan herd , but the Bewick’s from yesterday had moved on. There were also 3 Greylag and the white domestic goose all grazing on Lordship Marsh. A Peregrine flew low over the stubble fields and settled alongside a ditch near to the Holpool Gutter.

A Pipistrelle bat flew between the trees on the approach road to the Growhow works fertiliser plant.

Observer and image: PAul Ralston.                                                          

22.02.21. Birdlog.

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A bright sunshine day as I finished work this afternoon and a short walk around Ince fields.

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The 3 Western Cattle Egret, 6 Little Egret and a Grey Heron foraged amongst the pigs at Kinsey Lane. A flock of c200 Linnet fed in a recently manured field with many Pied Wagtail being present. A couple of Common Chiffchaff moved back and forth along the hedgerow.

A look over Ince salt marsh which was very quiet for a change with no Pink-footed Goose or Canada goose present, just a few Common Shelduck, Mallard and 2 Little Egret seen. A Small Tortoiseshell butterfly was warming up in the sunshine whilst sat on a gorse bush.

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A Fox slept on the sunny banks of the Manchester Ship Canal. Several Common Buzzard were rising on the thermals and calling to each other as they gained height.

Ducks included: Eurasian Teal, Mallard and Gadwall were on the Goldfinch nature reserve pools with a couple of dozen Eurasian Coot feeding in the fields. The Mute Swan family were on one of the pools with the cob trying to drive last years cygnets away. Walking back to my start and a skein of c80 Pink-footed Goose made their way to the Mersey Estuary.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

21.02.21. Birdlog.

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A touch of Spring in the air this morning with Song Thrush and Blackbird competing with each other, followed by European Robin, Wren and Cetti’s Warbler all providing the backing vocals along Brook Furlong Lane. Out on the River Weaver was c30 Common Goldeneye with 7 drakes displaying. There were many Canada Goose pairs, pair bonding and including the part leucistic bird. A Pair of Eurasian Oystercatcher were laying claim to their territory on the far bank and a pair of Common Ringed Plover were noted.

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A Common Buzzard must have been tired of a diet of lamb and mutton so sat it out in a field catching worms while dozens of Raven dining on lambing casualties of birth. Good numbers of Tufted Duck and Common Pochard were on the water with Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler and Common Shelduck being present.

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Eurasian Skylark were singing and a Meadow Pipit performed its parachute flight in the fields alongside the river. There were two pairs of European Stonechat were along the river and Manchester Ship Canal.

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May be an image of bird and nature

Thousands of Northern Lapwing took to the air and were spooked by a couple of Common Buzzard. Looking over No.6 tank and more ducks were present with several Little Grebe calling from the reed beds. A large flock of Eurasian Wigeon were grazing alongside the Canada Goose on No.3 tank while15 Black-tailed Godwit fed in the shallow water of the mitigation pool.

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A herd of 24 Whooper Swan,3 Greylag and the white domestic goose were grazing on Lordship Marsh close to the junction of No.4 and No.6 tanks. Further along the lane and a group of 10 (possibly more) European Stonechat were feeding alongside the track on Lordship lane.

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A couple of Brown Hare and a Red Fox were seen at a secluded location on my walk. I stopped at Kinsey Lane, Ince on my way home where 2 Western Cattle Egret and a Little Egret were with the pigs

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-3 & 5 & 7).

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We took our daily ramble along the lanes of the marsh where the herd of 24 Whooper Swan were still enjoying the benefits of the lush grass in fields alongside Lordship Lane. They even had time to perform their ritual head bowing display. We saw Paul’s 9 European Stonechat and added an additional 2 to his total further along the lane.

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A scan over Frodsham Score revealed several hundred Pink-footed Goose, 7 Little and 6 Great Egret. An adult male Peregrine and a female Merlin made additional observations for me. Our first Buff-tailed Bumble Bee of the year flew past us on our walk.

The ‘splashing pool’ had 10 Eurasian Teal, 10 Northern Shoveler and 7 Mallard. The adjacent ‘phalarope pool’ also had Eurasian Teal with c110 birds, 7 Shoveler and 8 Gadwall. The pools further out onto No.3 tank produced 76 Eurasian Wigeon, c350 Eurasian Teal and 21 Northern Shoveler. An additional 6 European Stonechat were along the fence line.

No.6 tank was showing more muddy margins and 3 Common Redshank will do for starters. Ducks included: c450 Eurasian Teal, 87 Tufted Duck, 61 Common Pochard and c200 Common Shelduck.

Observers: JS & WSM (image 8).

A dark immature Western Marsh Harrier was by Frodsham Swing bridge earlier todaty as seen by Gary Worthington.

Thanks to David Eisner who we met with his wife along Lordship Lane where he took these excellent images of some of the birds there (images 4 & 6 & 9).

20.02.21. Birdlog.

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The day did’nt turn out as planned so just the last hour at Ince. No camera as it suffered water damage from yesterday. There were 6 Little Egret feeding amongst the pigs at Kinsey Lane pig farm and 2 Great Egret were out on Ince salt marsh with 4 more Little Egret being noted. A further 9 Little’s were foraging in a field along the Manchester Ship Canal path.

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Ducks featured Mallard and Gadwall on the ship canal alongside c40 Eurasian Coot, a female Sparrowhawk hunted for its supper along the hedgerows. On the nature reserve pools a few more ducks than yesterday wit Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Gadwall and Northern Shoveler with 9 Mute Swan present. A single Western Cattle Egret was foraging in the field behind the pig farm and a flock of c50 Fieldfare circled around looking for somewhere to roost for the night.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

19.02.21. Birdlog.

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My routine walk this morning was down by the river where it was sheltered from the southerly blow and the temperatures compared to this time last week are unbelievably milder.

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A flock of 21 Common Goldeneye including a drake performing its head shaking courtship toss before…well, you know what happens next.

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May be an image of bird and nature

A raft of 107 Tufted Duck, 71 Common Pochard, 4 Gadwall and the wintering Greater Scaup showing signs of maturity with just a few smudges of brown on the flanks.

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Two quarrelling pairs of Common Ringed Plover and a small number of Common Redshank were on the shoreline.There are 8 Great Cormorant on the jetty with 4 of the race sinensis.

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Walking along Brook Furlong Lane and a Goldcrest did well to hide in a sparse bush while a Cetti’s Warbler blurted out its tune from the reed bed.

Observers: WSM (images 1-8).

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A short but productive walk to Ince this afternoon where a Western Cattle Egret was foraging amongst the pigs alongside dozens of Pied Wagtail, Western Jackdaw and Carrion Crow.

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Another Western Cattle Egret was noted close to the Goldfinch Meadows nature reserve pools with numerous Eurasian Coot and a few Common Moorhen feeding in the fields alongside.

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Ducks were scarce on the water with just a handful of Eurasian Teal, Mallard, a single drake Eurasian Wigeon and a single drake Tufted Duck, a pair of Little Grebe have returned to a pool they raised young on last summer. A group of 7 Mute Swan were also noted.

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There were 2 Common Chiffchaff were fly-catching from an ivy covered tree near to the berth, and 3 Little Egret were dotted about the fields.

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The colour-ringed Great Egret was again in the field adjacent to the Holpool Gutter and I’m sure in time we’ll get the darvic code.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 9-14). 

18.02.21. Birdlog.

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We walked along the lanes of the marsh taking in the herd of 25 Whooper Swan settled in the fields adjacent to the ramp track to No.4 & 6 tanks. A look across the marshes produced c2000 Pink-footed, c3000 Canada and a small herd of 8 Barnacle Goose. A smattering of Little and 6 Great Egret were waiting for the tide to fill the gutters.

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The open waters were ice free and numerous Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler and Mallard were taking advantage of the fact. There were 2 Western Marsh Harrier over the reed beds while 100’s of both Northern Lapwing and European Golden Plover were making panic flights from No.3 & 2 tanks. Also present were 78 Eurasian Coot on the banks of the Canal Pools.

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No.6 tank had c300 Eurasian Teal, c100 Common Shelduck and 40 Common Gull.

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The Peregrine was sat on her perch holding sway over the wild mersey marshes.

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Observers: JS & WSM (images).

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A colour-ringed J7C Eurasian Coot I saw at Widnes Warth Marsh a couple of days ago was ringed at Pennington Flash near Leigh, Greater Manchester on 09.12.20.