31.03.21. Birdlog.

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Cracking views of the ringtail Hen Harrier over No.6 tank at 11.15am, also Western Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk and 4 Common Buzzard per Paul Brewster.

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Some feedback of the silver collared Pink-footed Goose with the code VNU I saw on 27.03.21 and its current wanderings are below (WSM (images 2-3).

Image 1 by Duncan Cowley.

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May be an image of bird and nature
May be an image of bird and nature

Thanks to Davis Eisner for his collection of images (4-7) from the marsh today in glorious sunshine.

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A little further west for comfort but these birds originated from Frodsham Marsh and an enjoyable early evening mooch along the Gowy Meadows.

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There were 5 Northern Wheatear, a ringtail Hen Harrier and a Western Marsh Harrier both unting the same area at different times. There were Otter tracks and spraint along the river bank while Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Gadwall, a Common snipe and nesting Mute Swan.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 8-11).

30.03.21. Birdlog.

May be an image of hawk and nature

There were 4 Northen Wheatear on No. tank this afternoon – one on the pipes, plus three near to the farm flycatching from a pile of rubble near the small reedbed. Also 36 European Golden Plover circling overhead.

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Observer: Paul Shenton.

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Also present was a Western Marsh Harrier and Common Buzzard. All images by Phil Barker.

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The long staying ringtail Hen Harrier was seen again this evening. All images by Duncan Cowley.

29.03.21. Birdlog.

May be an image of bird and nature

An adult male Peregrine dozing in the middle of No.3 tank with a herd of 115 Pink-footed Geese. An adult female Western Marsh Harrier over No.6 tank reedbed with 7 Little Grebe on the water plus a handful of Sand Martin zipping around overhead.

Also a Stoat shot across Lordship Lane.

Jacqui & Idris Roberts reported the mass departure of our Pink-footed Goose…bon voyage.

Observer: Paul Shenton.

Many butterflies emerged into the warm sunshine with a tatty Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and a Brimstone (WSM).

Image by Phil Barker.

28.03.21. Birdlog.

May be an image of hawk and nature

My walk started from Ince and along the Manchester Ship Canal and by Ince marsh fields then onto Lordship Lane. The 3 Western Cattle Egret were foraging in the fields near to the pools, which were quiet with just a few Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, a pair of Little Grebe and a pair of Mute Swan present. A Western Marsh Harrier drifted over the pools then turned towards the salt marsh.

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Out on the salt marsh were thousands of Pink-footed Goose still building up to their move north. The geese moved close to the ship canal as the water rose, but were disturbed by the sound of trial bikes tearing up and down the stubble fields alongside the Holpool Gutter. There were 14 Whooper Swan which drifted along with the tide with many Common Shelducks joining them. Also seen were Eurasian Curlew were noted feeding at the waters edge and surprisingly no egrets were seen foraging in the tidal channels, it’s usually an egret fest with herons joining in. Several ewes were caught out by the rising tide and were struggling to get their lambs on to dry land.

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Along Lordship Lane I bumped into Frank Duff looking over the stubble field and he spotted a summer plumaged Water Pipit (another was at the same site) dropping in amongst the many Pied Wagtail present.

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Back at Ince and just a single Little Egret was with the pigs at Kinsey Lane, Ince.  

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-5).

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We took a shorter walk today along the north track of No.6 tank and looking over the open water where c450 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Ruff and a variety of ducks again. A fine Western Marsh Harrier drifted over and moved south while the ringtail Hen Harrier was buffted by the blustery south westerly. A flock of c300 European Golden Plover heading to the estuary.

Skeins of restless Pink-footed Geese drifted over aimlessy wandering in flight. Eurasian Wigeon and Eurasian Teal were on and over No.3 tank.

Observers: JS & WSM.

A male Northern Wheatear was still along the pipes on No.1 tank.

Observers: Jacqui & Idris Roberts.

Image 1 by David Eisner.

27.03.21. Birdlog.

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I started my walk at Brook Furlong Lane this morning where Common Chiffchaff were vocal all along the lane. The first male Northern Wheatear of the spring was foraging along the pipe track on and c150 European Golden Plover were on also on No.1 tank.

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On to the River Weaver where 15 Common Goldeneye were still amongst the usual Tufted Duck, Common Shelduck, Mallard, Eurasian Teal and Gadwall. On the far bank something disturbed the Pied Avocet and a flock of c30 flew about calling loudly followed by c200 European Golden Plover. A look over No.6 tank and the ringtail Hen Harrier was hunting over the reedbed and got in to a tussle with a Western Marsh Harrier, the ringtail left the area.  A Skein of c250 Pink-footed Goose flew low over No.6 and out to the Frodsham Score.

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Walking back along Lordship Lane a Sparrowhawk was hunting the bank and then a Merlin passed overhead near to the model flying field and over No.6.

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I stopped at Ince on my way home 2 Western Cattle Egret were amongst the pigs and several Little and a single Great Egret were out on Ince marsh with 2 Whooper Swan for company, all in all a enjoyable morning on the marsh. 

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-5).

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An early start and a walk along the north side of No.6 tank and a quick scan over the tank. A flock of c300 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Common Snipe, 4 Common Redshank and 7 Ruff were feeding along the margins of the shallow water. On the main body of water were c80 Northern Shover, 2 pairs of Northern Pintail, c350 Eurasian Teal, c200 Common Shelduck, 23 Tufted Duck, Gadwall and a Little Egret. A fine male Western Marsh Harrier drifted over followed later by a 2cy female.

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A look over Lordship Marsh and 17 Whooper Swan were back in their winter home (and the leftovers from a recent split of the herd). A call from Paul and we met up for a chat overlooking the stubble field by Lordship Lane.

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The wild and windy south Mersey salt marshes were gain heaving with Pink-footed Goose and amidst their throng (including a neck collared bird) were 6 Barnacle and a Russian White-fronted Goose. Also a Great and a small group of Little Egret and two Whooper Swan.

Observer: WSM (6-9 images & video).

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Common Buzzard by Duncan Cowley.

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May be an image of bird and nature

Black-tailed Godwit and Linnet by David Eisner.

26.03.21. Birdlog.

May be an image of bird and nature

A walk along Moorditch and Lordship Lanes and beyond. The flooded field was rather quiet with a single White Wagtail in with c30 Pied Wagtail, a single Lesser Redpoll was on the thistle heads close to the track.

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The usual Common Reed Bunting and Meadow Pipit. The wind was brisk with a slight chill attached so we moved on looking across Lordship Marsh just in case the Whooper Swan herd had got missed.

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There were big numbers of Pink-footed Goose and 5 Barnacle Goose out on the south Mersey marshes. Several Little and a Great Egret were also present.

The ‘phalarope pool saw a tweetering Barn Swallow flew overhead. Four Sand Martin and another Barn Swallow made short work of the buffetting wind coming from the south west. Ducks here were a few Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, c120 Eurasian Teal, c200 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Common Redshank and 2 Ruff. There were c32 Tufted Duck and c100 Common Shelduck. The Western Marsh Harrier was over the reed beds and the ringtail Hen Harrier was also seen (per P Shenton).

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

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A Cettis Warbler was seen near the old log birdlog on Brook Furlong Lane, while a Western Marsh Harrier flew over Redwall reed bed.

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On the River Weaver were Sand Martinand c300 European Golden Plover picked a living from the short grass on No.1 tank close to Marsh Farm.

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Also on the river were Tufted Duck, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Gadwall and 10 Mute Swan. A party of Pied Avocet were heading out to the Mersey Estuary to feed this afternoon.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 4-6).

25.03.21. Birdlog.

May be an image of wading bird and nature

The ringtail Hen Harrier was spotted again this afternoon on No.6 tank. Alos nearby was a Common Redshank.

Image by David Eisner.

A local Robin sings a little tune.

Robin video by WSM

24.03.21. Birdlog.

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I took an early start and walked along Moorditch Lane where both Common Chiffchaff and Cetti’s Warbler were busy proclaiming their potential territories.

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The partial flooded stubble fields alonside Lordship Lane was agian busy with Common Reed Bunting, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit and again the Water Pipit and flava Wagtail giving good views close to the broken gate.

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A look over Lordship Marsh from the ramp track did not reveal the Whooper Swan herd and presumably they have finally departed to their summer home up north.

May be an image of hawk and nature
May be an image of hawk and nature

The ‘phalarope pool’ was busy with Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, Mallard and Gadwall. A few Black-tailed Godwit and a pair of Common Redshank were also feeding up, while a pair of Eurasian Oystercatcher made a noisey effort in the act of amore.

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A look across the salt marshes and 1000’s of Pink-footed Goose were again leaving it until a southerly tail wind would help them on their way with many more already on the way. A small herd of presumably feral Barnacle Goose. A couple of distant Whooper Swan were more likely migrants compared to the resident winter herd. Also several Little and 2 Great Egret were present.

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No.6 tank had a couple of Ruff, c200 Black-tailed Godwit, 32 Tufted Duck, 3 Common Pochard and Eurasian Teal and Common Shelduck in flocks of c200. A dark morph Common Buzzard was sat on top of a pylon off Moorditch Lane whilst I was walking back to my car.

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Observer: JS (image 9) & WSM (images 1-8).

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A walk at Ince after work this afternoon. A Great Spotted Woodpecker could be heard drumming along Kinseys Lane and a small flock of Fieldfare were sat on the tree tops chattering away. The 3 Western Cattle Egret and 7 Little Egret were in the pig field. Out on the salt marsh the geese were aboutwith Little Egret feeding in the tidal channels.

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Whooper Swan pair at Ince Marsh.
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Whooper Swan pair on Frodsham Score.

Four Whooper Swan were noted, 2 on Ince Marsh and 2 further out on the Frodsham Score. Carrion Crow are  becoming very territorial and ganging up on any passing Common Buzzard.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 10-12).

23.03.21. Birdlog.

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Walking along Brook Furlong Lane and a Sparrowhawk darted through the hedgerow. Two Common Buzzard were displaying over the Weaver Bend. As I was watching 6 Sand Martin flying between the Weaver Bend and Weston Marsh Lagoon, a Peregrine swooped over the lagoon putting up around 200 European Golden Plover, 160 Black-tailed Godwit and 60 Pied Avocet along with a Mediterranean Gull in a small gull flock and 13 Common Goldeneye are still on the River Weaver.


Further up at Marsh Farm a Merlin flew along Frodsham Score whilst a Western Marsh Harrier was hunting over the Weaver Point. On my way back a Common Kestrel was hunting along the track, then the bonus bird of the morning was a Barn Owl briefly seen before dropping into nearby cover along Brook Furlong Lane.

Observer: Paul Miller.

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The ringtail Hen Harrier was hunting over No.6 tank reedbed with 8 Sand Martin over the water. The harrier looked like a 2CY male to me even through my crap optics!!

Also, the Water Pipit was on the flooded field at the bottom of the ramp off Lordship Lane.

A Polecat also seen near where the old bird log used to be on Brook Furlong Lane.

Observer: Paul Shenton.

While the party was underway I did a goose count on Frodsham Score where 5 Barnacle Goose, c9000 Pink-footed Goose were still busy feeding up. A couple of Great and 6 Little Egret were also present. Out on the Mersey Estuary were c60 Eurasian Oystercatcher and c300 Eurasian Curlew.

The Whooper Swan herd was still mostly concealed by Hillview Farm and a Western Marsh Harrier headed over to the south west.

Observer: JS & WSM.

Image 1 by John Gilbody & image 2 by Duncan Cowley.

22.03.21. Birdlog.

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I managed some more photos of the flava wagtail today in the stubble fields alongside Lordship Lane and one image shows the short hind claw.

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Other highlights:

Pair of Eurasian Bullfinch on Moorditch Lane.
Merlin on No.5 tank.
5 Lesser Redpoll NW corner of No.6 tank.
A Water pipit off Lordship Lane.
Eight calling Cetti’s Warbler counted round No.6 tank and up to Redwall Wall reed bed.
Two Western Marsh Harrier No.6 tank.
The herd of Whooper Swan still present over by M56 motorway on Lordship Marsh.
A few Redwing moving through.

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Observer: Paul Miller (images 1-4).

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A Lesser Redpoll on No.6 tank by Duncan Cowley (image 5).

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While Paul M was clearing up on the marsh we took a 25.6 km walk around the Upper Mersey Estuary aka ‘the Mersey Rim walk’. I counted 121 Tufted Duck along the Manchester Ship Canal from Wigg Island to Moss side, Moore but didn’t call in there for a look. A pair of Common Goldeneye on the ship canal were an added bonus. Plenty of Common Buzzard actively pairing and Common Chiffchaff singing along the way. Crossing the River Mersey to Arpley domestic tip site we joined up with the Trans Pennine Trail and headed west to the Ferry Inn at Fidlers Ferry, but that particular hostelry wasn’t open for custom alas. It was interesting to see the old Arpley tip site covered in trees and no longer the hustle and bustle of gulls wheeling around and gorging on our waste.

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A selection of darvic colour rings on Mute Swans at Spike Island.

Our walk continued to Spike Island where a Little Egret flew upriver, and a drake Gadwall I saw in winter, a victim of a gun shot wound to its wing and rendered it unable to fly, was now eecking out a living with the Mute Swans at the mariner. Crossing the old Runcorn bridge and a noisey Peregrine shooed a Common Buzzard away and then she sat proudly on the top of the arch of the bridge.

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Not a lot of diversity in the birdlife but a great walk and with a south westerly it should be a lot more fun in the coming weeks. It goes to show how good Frodsham Marsh is at anytime of the year compared to some local sites.

Observers: JS & WSM (image 6-8).