18.04.21. Birdlog.

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We took our walk along Moorditch Lane and out to the ‘phalarope pool’ on No.3 tank.

A look across No.6 tank had a full assignment of Common Shelduck and an assortment of other duck species. The summer plumaged Black-necked Grebe was again in attendance with the Tufted Duck and after a brief period of feeding, it resumed its usual sleepy head behaviour. A couple of Western Marsh Harrier were in the area and several Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk were aloft.

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A big flock of Black-tailed Godwit had with them some Ruff, a Common Sandpiper, Common Redshank and a Common Ringed Plover.

The mitigation pools were busy, because the cattle were elsewhere with 4 Ruff, 4 Pied Avocet, numerous Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Little Ringed Plover.

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The ‘phalarope pool’ attracted cattle to cool off and wade through the water. This put paid to the nesting and potential nesting of Northern Lapwing, Little Ringed Plover & Common Redshank. The mitigation that promised much and delivered very little for declining waders and nesting Eurasian Skylark is littered with these beasts wandering freely and treading underfoot anything that attempts to nest. Yes, I am aware of their habitat creation potential, but not in the breeding season. At least the “rare breed cattle” and local community funding money should appease.

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Observers: JS & WSM (images).

A Peregrine shot through over No.6 tank – per G Powell.

17.04.21. Birdlog.

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Early to rise to see the sunrise over Frodsham Marsh from Ince.

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Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Eurasian Teal were on the Manchester Ship Canal with many Canada Goose, Common Shelduck and Eurasian Coots being seen. The salt marshes was devoid of any Pink-footed Goose the first time in a while.The first of many Cetti’s Warbler was heard near Ince Berth and a Northern Wheatear could be seen on the far bank with Eurasian Curlew calling in the background.

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A Red Fox watched me as I made my way along the path and slipped into the reed bed by No.4 tank, it or another was seen on the path later.

The ‘phalarope pool’ held 15 Black-tailed Godwit, a Ruff and a couple of Common Snipe and the usual ducks. A female Sparrowhawk flew right past me as I stood watching the Western Marsh Harrier. More Cetti’s Warbler were blasting out their song from the reed bed and I watched as one burst into song then move to another perch and sing again, before moving on to its next perch. Common Reed Bunting were numerous and a pair of European Stonechat were noted.

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Back at Ince and two more Cetti’s Warbler were heard and were joined by a Blackcap and Sedge Warbler. On the pools the Garganey pair were feeding amongst the Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Tufted Duck and Mute Swan pair.     

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-4).

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An early start and a walk around No.6 tank again in glorious spring sunshine. The summer Black-necked Grebe made a brief appearance with the numerous Tufted Duck present. A smallish flock of Black-tailed Godwit contained 8 Ruff, 2 Pied Avocet and 4 common Redhank. One or two Sedge Warbler and Western Reed Warbler were also singing.

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The mitigation pools had Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, 3 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Common Snipe, 1 Ruff and a couple of Common Redshank.

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The Western Marsh Harrier were about the area, several Common Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk.

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A dead Common Buzzard was an obvious victim of the wind turbines with one on the path below one on No.4 tank and seen from the entrance gate. There were 3 Common Grasshopper Warbler singing from the bramble patches with one particular bird sat out in the open (no tape luring was involved with my views – just old fashioned and unfashionable fieldcraft). Likewise a Cetti’s Warbler.

Chiffchaff singing.
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May be an image of wading bird and nature
May be an image of wading bird and nature

Continuing my walk along Lordship Lane produced a pair of Western Yellow Wagtail in the pipit field. Both Blackcap and Common Whitethroat singing along the way.

Observer: WSM (images 5-13 and video).

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There were 4 Northern Wheatear on the pipes on No.1 tank with 2 summer plumaged European Golden Plover. The Weaver Sluices had 40 Pied Avocet.

Observer: Frank Duff.

16.04.21. Birdlog.

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Our walk took us along Cowhay Lane by Rocksavage to the Weaver Navigation, a look over the swing bridge pool and then onto Bridge Lane and through to the Weaver Bend, then onto Brook Furlong Lane – Moorditch Lane and a look over No.6 tank and back covering 18.44 km and 24018 steps.

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A great morning walking in the lovely Spring sunshine with a hint of freshness coming through from the south east. A pair of Common Raven, 2 Common Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk riding a thermal over the Rocksavage power plant drew my attention to another bird joining them. It was immediately obvious what it was, a White Stork (no obvious sign of any leg rings) which spun out of the thermal and flipped over to the Weaver Bend. It regain its position and sailed to the east appearing to lose altitude towards Dutton Flashes, approximately 2 miles upriver.

With all that excitment under the belt a look over to the Weston Marsh lagoon revealed a flock of c75 Pied Avocet, 30 Common Redshank and a Common Ringed Plover. The ‘bend’ itself had 26 Tufted Duck and an assortment of other waterfowl.

A dark morph Common Buzzard was circling overhead and Cetti’s Warbler serenaded us on our way. The ‘Lum’ looks really good at the moment with a shallow area of wet meadow which had a Little Egret prowling its edges, several Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Northern Lapwing, a Common Snipe, a Ruff and a single Green Sandpiper.

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A quick look over the pipes on No.1 tank were pretty birdless, so a walk down Brook Furlong Lane revealed the mixed songster Willow Warbler from earlier in the month, and again the second bird at either end of the lane. A pair of Eurasian Greenfinch, Common Bullfinch and several Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap singing added to the music.

No.6 tank still had one or two (asleep) Black-necked Grebe with the Tufted Duck flock, several hundred Common Shelduck and Northern Shoveler, a Western Marsh Harrier and c350 Black-tailed Godwit.

Walking back was uneventful with more of the same.

Mixed songster Willow Warbler with extracts of Chiffchaff.

Observers: JS & WSM (image 2 & video). Also images 1 & 3 by Phil Barker.

A Western Reed Warbler and a Sedge Warbler were present in the reeds along the north track of No.6 tank per Colin Butler.

15.04.21. Birdlog.

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We took a walk along Moorditch Lane and along the north banks of No.6 tank. There was just a single Black-necked Grebe present and presumably the unattached bird from the three. It was hanging out wtha pair of Tufted Duck and was mostly sleeping in the heat of the day. We left it to its slumber and concentrated on the flock of c350 Black-tailed Godwit that were dozing along the margin of waters edge. A couple of Ruff were busily feeding within the line of godwits.

Ducks were present with the majority being Common Shelduck, Northern Shoveler and Tufted Duck. A couple of Western Marsh Harrier flew over and departed elsewhere.

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A look out towards the edge of the River Mersey produced a couple of Little Egret and 276 Pink-footed Goose. nother two Western Marsh Harrier were encountered en route back.

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The pools of the mitigation had more Black-tailed Godwit 3 Ruff, 4 Little Ringed Plover, mating Common Redshank and 2 Pied Avocet.

Observers: JS & WSM (images).

Also seen were Common Whitethroat and 3 Northern Wheatear.

13.04.21. Birdlog.

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The highlight was a female Northern Goshawk that I picked-up out of the corner of my eye early afternoon at the bottom of Brook Furlong Lane. It came from towards Frodsham town then gained height over the shooters’ fields before drifting towards Runcorn. Rather ironically I drew a blank in Wales yesterday at a handful of regular sites I visit!!

Also No.1 tank hosted a flock of 153 Golden Plover. a female Northern Wheatear and a Red Fox. A handful of Common Sandpiper and 2 Ruff were on the Weaver Bend.

Observer: Paul Shenton.

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I spent the majority of the afternoon wandering round No.6 tank where the 3 Black-necked Grebe were showing well. Also 9 Ruff and a couple of Western Marsh Harrier over in the distance.

No.3 tank had 8 Little Ringed Plover (a pair displaying and copulating at ‘phalarope pool’ and 6 at the mitigation pools). There were generally loads of Cetti’s Warbelr and Common Chiffchaff. A handful of Sand Martin appeared from nowhere and pleasurable birding time was had!

Along Brook Furlong Lane last year’s Willow Warbler mixed singers were back between the old log and the older log at the south east corner of No.1 tank.

Observer: Mark (Whipper) Gibson.

Images by WSM.

12.04.21. Birdlog.

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An hour along the River Weaver late this afternoon with 2 Willow Warbler singing along Brook Furlong Lane. There is a big reduction in Sand Martin on the river, c300 European Golden Plover on the far bank. A single Common Sandpiper along the river path with 2 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Common Snipe at the shooters’ pool.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images).

Also reported were the 2 Black-necked Grebe on No.6 tank and a Water Pipit along Lordship Lane.

11.04.21. Birdlog.

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My WeBs count today at Ince marsh fields started with the sunrise and a flock of godwit heading into the river.

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There where 8 Eurasian Teal, 22 Mallard, 9 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck, 8 Common Shelduck, 11 Common Moorhen,9 Eurasian Coot, 4 Mute Swan, 2 Greylag Goose, 1 Little Grebe, 3 Little Egret.

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The Garganey were pair were back on the pools but moving from one pool to the next. Eight Eurasian Curlew were foraging in a field near to the Ince Berth. There were 7 Northern Lapwing were territorial over the stubble field where a female Northern Wheatear was present. Several Eurasian Sylark were noted with two singing from on high. A male European Stonechat was on the bank on No.4 tank and 2 more Northern Wheatear were seen on the pathway. Three Western Marsh Harrier were in the area.

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On the ‘phalarope pool’ were 15 Black-tailed Godwit and a single Ruff were amongst the Eurasian Teal, Mallard and Gadwall on the shallow water.

The stubble field that keeps on giving has been ploughed over and forced the pipits and wagtails to forage in the next field.

Out on the south Mersey salt marshes were c900 Pink-footed Goose could be seen out near to the river. A couple of Common Kestrel were hunting along the Manchester Ship Canal bank.

Back at Ince and 7 Common Buzzard were displaying over the pig farm on Kinsey Lane.

Observer: Paul Ralston (image 1-5 by Paul & image 6 by Phil Barker).

A late afternoon walk along Moorditch Lane and a look over No.6 tank. A lot of birder activity today, so at least they went away with some good sightings. The two summer Black-necked Grebe were at the eastern end of the water with c400 Black-tailed Godwit and a Ruff walking the watery margins with a couple of Common Redshank.

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No.3 tank had 3 more Ruff, 3 Little Ringed Plover and a scattered group of Black-tailed Godwit.

The ploughed field was where the Water Pipit had resided had been ploughed over, but the adjacent field is still waterlogged and could still keep this famous visitor for a week or two longer. A Western Yellow Wagtail and a few Meadow Pipit were the only birds of note when we were there.

Observer: JS & WSM.

10.04.21. Birdlog (WeBS Count).

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A frosty and early start to the day and a walk along Lordship Lane where the Water Pipit didn’t materialise during the time I was there, and apart from a Peregrine perched on a distant pylon there was little else to keep me lingering.

The Western Marsh Harrier were moving about the area and atussle with both a Common Buzzard and a Peregrine showed tempers were frayed.

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The ‘phalarope pool’ had a couple of Little Ringed Plover with a single Ruff and a few dozing Eurasian Teal.

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Further out on the mitigation pools were 4 more Ruff, another Little Ringed Plover, 2 (feral) Barnacle Goose, 47 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Common Snipe. A flock of c300 sparkling summer plumaged European Golden Plover ( per Tim) were also present earlier.

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A look across No.6 tank and a flock of c400 Black-tailed Godwit were hundled together for comfort and warth while a small number of Common Redshank were much hardier. Ducks were in good numbers with 134 Northern Shoveler, 148 Common Sheldick, 7 Gadwall, 4 Northern Pintail, 45 Eurasian Teal, 43 Tufted Duck, 31 Mallard, 4 Little and only the two Black-necked Grebe.

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Observers: WSM (images 1-6).

There were 5 Northern Wheatear on the pipes that run through No.1 tank and the same observer was like a siren calling in a Grey Seal from the murky waters of the Mersey to land on the shores of Frodsham Score ;O)

Observer: Frank Duff.

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The now famous former flooded field where a Lapland Bunting, 2 Water Pipit, a buttery yellow Wagtail and a potential Eastern Yellow Wgtail lived for various time periods over the last month is pictured. Also an image of a Butterbur.

Images 7-8 by Roger Wilkinson.

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Sunrise over the River Mersey with Black-tailed Godwit and Common Redshank flying to their breakfast feeding grounds on the lovely life giving mud.

Image 9 by Paul Ralston.

A returned to university via Frodsham Marsh and its highlights which included: my 1st ever summer plumage Black-necked Grebe (2), Water pipit, Western Yellow Wagtail, 4 Ruff, 3 Little Ringed Plover, 4 Cetti’s Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Barnacle Goose, 2 Northern Wheatear, 2+ Western Marsh Harrier and c250 Black-tailed Godwit.

Observer: Ed Betteridge.

09.04.21. Birdlog.

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A Western Osprey over the Weaver Bend late morning per Will Sixsmith (images 1-3 by David Eardley).

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May be an image of hawk and nature

We took a drive out to Tatton Park where it was a Sand Martin spectacle with c800-1000 birds hawking over Tatton Mere. A few Common Goldeneye were lingering with many drakes head tossing. A very oblging Green Woodpecker tried its best to conceal itself on the truck of an Oak tree, and when it thought it was being seen, it started to yaffle to another across the woodlands.

On our way home it was deemed necessary to take a hike around No.6 tank where we met another birder called Greg who use to work with an old birding buddy of mine, namely Ted Abraham…whatever happened to him?

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Image 4 by Steve Thonlison.

Anyway, we walked up to the damp stubble field and after a wait of 20 minutes the Water Pipit appeared and looked splendid in the evening sunshine. Several Pied Wagtail and a few Meadow Pipit were also present. Walking further around (clockwise) the ‘phalarope pool’ had 2 Ruff and a single Little Ringed Plover, several Black-tailed Godwit, numerous Eurasian Teal, a pair of Tufted Duck and some Mallard. The scrapes on No.3 tank had more Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Little Ringed Plover and 3 Ruff and after a tip off from Paul R there munching the grass were a pair of Barnacle Goose.

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No.6 tank is always worth a punt and a look over the watery margins produced another Ruff and much reduced numbers of Black-tailed Godwit. The usual Northern Shoveler, Tufted Duck, 2 pairs of Northern Pintail and loads of Common Shelduck were present. A fter a short wait the 3 Black-necked Grebe were found and to busy preening to take any notice of me, some excellent views were obtained in the glorious evening sunlight.

A Peregrine was sat on top of the blue chimney way over at Weston Point and a pale morph Common Buzzard drew the attention of numerous Lesser Black-backed Gull. Also a small skein of Pink-footed Goose high over the marsh.

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Walking back along Moorditch Lane and a nice Lesser Redpoll was feeding on a willowherb seed head inside the ditch by the road.

Observers: JS & WSM (image 5-6 & video).

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Instead of looking for the grebes on No.6 tank we decided today to take up the tip from your website that there are Northern Wheatear on the pipes near Marsh Farm.  We arrived, saw none and continued up to the farm seeing starlings en route. On our way back we found the attached Northern Wheatear so we returned happy!

Observer: David Eisner (image 7).

I had a quick visit to Ince this afternoon to look over the ponds and again no sign of the Garganey pair, but they may of been present and out of sight. Ducks present were Gadwall, Eurasian Teal and Mallard with 4 Mute Swan, one wearing a yellow darvic ring.

Onward to Frodsham Marsh and a walk around No.6 tank where there were good numbers of the usual wildfowl on the water with c200 Black-tailed Godwit and a Ruff.

The mitigation pools held more Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Little Ringed Plover and another Ruff. There 2 Barnacle Goose grazing with a flock of Canada Goose and several Greylag  on the short grass. Numerous Barn Swallow were hawking overhead.

The ‘phalarope pool’ held another Ruff, 2 Common Snipe and a single Little Ringed Pover

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A look over the stubble field and the Water Pipit dropped in with a group of Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit and Common Reed Bunting, it gave a brief view before it was bullied by a Meadow Pipit and disappeared in the furrows.

Walking along Lordship Lane more Barn Swallow were hawking over the bank and a female Western Marsh Harrier flew over. 

Observer: Paul Ralston (image 8).  

08.04.21. Birdlog.

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Our walk took us along Moorditch Lane and then onto the north side of No.6 tank. A busy day with birders enjoying the benefits that the marsh has to offer.

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The 3 Black-necked Grebe were still sheltering from the blustery westerly below the bank with c150 Northern Shoveler really into their territorial drake posturings.

No photo description available.
No photo description available.

A flock of c600 Black-tailed Godwit were along the edge of the watery margins of the flooded tank. A single Ruff worked its way along the shore line.

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Western Marsh Harrier were present in the area and Common Buzzard were drifting on the edge of the Manchester Ship Canal. Small skeins were moving about and resettling out by the river.

Observer: Roger Wilkinson.

Images 3-4 by David Eisner.

Black-necked Grebes on a blustery No.6 tank.

Observers: JS & WSM (images 1-2 & 5 & videos).

Elsewhere the Water Pipit and the Western Yellow Wagtail were again in fields alongside Lordship Lane, but ploughing of these fields is underway and it’s a matter of time before the these birds are forced away from this spot.

All three Black-necked Grebes.
Drake Shovelers prancing about the water.

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