31.05.21. Birdlog.

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An early evening walk from Ince and by No.4 tank. A Peregrine was hunting over the Holpool gutter while 2 Red Foxe were hunting on the marsh.

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A male Western Marsh Harrier was carrying prey. A Eurasian Oystercatcher chick blending in with the background and a very late European Golden Plover on No.3 tank.

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Hundreds of Canada Goose were grazing on Frodsham Score with Common Shelduck, Mallard and Gadwall present. A Red Fox a different one from yesterday was walking the same track and another was seen back at Ince after a pheasant started alarm calling`

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

30.05.21. Birdlog.

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I was out early doors starting my walk at Ince. I watched a Stoat swimming the brook after a Water Vole which managed to evade capture while I was there. Several Eurasian Coot and Common Moorhen were busy with their young as were Western Reed and Sedge Warbler.

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The male Western Marsh Harrier was seen hunting over the area and a Red Fox tried its best to sneak up on a Brown Hare which had the itelligence to stand next to me and subsequently put the fox off its track.

One of several Cetti’s Warblers were seen singing from the scrub and also had a territorial dispute with another male.

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Not much on the ‘phalarope pool’ other than a few moulting Eurasian Teal , Mallard, 5 Common Shelduck and a pair of Tufted Duck.

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Both Northern Lapwing and Common Ringed Plover chicks were seen in a field on the marsh and a Western Yellow Wagtail was showing well.

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Skeins of Canada Goose were flying in from the south to join the hundreds already on the Frodsham Score.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images).

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Red Fox

We took a 17.24 km hike through the marsh and looped around Frodsham Hill for superb views of it and the Mersey Estuary. The secluded site for breeding Black-headed Gull and Pied Avocet had plenty on it with a flock of c300 Black-tailed Godwit. The Western Marsh Harrier was also spotted from the hill but much on the estuary was lost due to the heat haze.

Observers: JS & WSM.

29.05.21. Birdlog.

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A mid morning ramble along Brook Furlong Lane and a brief encounter with Mark (Whipper) Gibson who had walked down to the ‘bend’ and had heard a Lesser Whitethroat singing on the banks of the I.C.I tank.

I had one of two mixed singer Willow Warbler (‘Chillow’) into Chiffchaff tunes. A few Cetti’s Warbler were present with both Sedge and Western Reed Warbler.

The River Weaver was quiet with the only notable sightings included a few Pied Avocet and a pair of Great Black-backed Gull struggling to drag a dead Bream ashore. A Peregrine flew over folded its wings and dove into a flock of birds on the Weaver Bend.

Observer: WSM (video).

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An early evening walk along the River Weaver. Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Common Whitethroat and Cetti’s Warbler were all vocal along Brook Furlong.

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A female Peregrine caught a feral pigeon with a much smaller male waiting for a morsal, but the lady was not sharing.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images).

27 & 28.05.21. Birdlog.

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27.05.21. Birdlog.

A walk along Moorditch Lane to the ‘phalarope pool’ at the east end of No.3 tank and enroute I managed to see a much reduced amount of bird species with most migrants having moved on.

There were 42 Tufted Duck and a smattering of Eurasian Teal, Gadwall, Mallard and Common Shelduck. The seven Black-tailed Godwit increased to c200 on my return walk. A Common Cuckoo was calling from the scattered willows and Cetti’s Warbler singing.

The ‘phalarope pool’ had 162 Black-tailed Godwit in various degrees of plumage stages and a couple of Pied Avocet were feeding nearby.

Observer: WSM (images).

28.05.21. Birdlog.

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A walk along the north pathway of No.6 tank was again quiet with a fine male Western Marsh Harrier floating over and heading to the Canal Pools. The spread of he Spindle Ermine Moth caterpillars moving west along the track is looking both gothic and impressive.

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The ‘phalarope pool’ was devoid of any waders and contained two pairs of tufted Duck, a lone drake Northern Shoveler, a pair of Eurasian Teal and 6 Common Shelduck.

Back at No.6 tank and there were 52 Tufted Duck and a small amount of Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Common Shelduck and Gadwall.

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Our Blue Tit family have fledged their young overnight and the parents were busy feeding the youngsters who had moved out to the neighbouring gardens, under the watchful eyes of a local family of Magpie. Whatever the outcome is purely down to the guidenace of the parents. I took the opportunity to check the box and found a dead chick and an unhatched egg.

Observers: JS & WSM.

23.05.21. Birdlog.

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I walked from Ince to No.4 tank this morning where Western Reed, Sedge and Cetti’s Warbler were all numerous with Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff being noted.

A Eurasian Hobby in hunting mode and struck terror in to the many Barn Swallow and Common Swift hawking the area it was seen disappearing after a hirundine over the Manchester Ship Canal bank.

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There were at least 3 Water Vole seen crossing the ditch with one falling into the water with a loud plop! A family group of 5 Common Raven were on the prowl looking for unattended Northern Lapwing nests in the fields around the Holpool Gutter, but were buzzed by the parents and moved on. A Great Egret passed overhead and possibly dropped down on Lordship Marsh. Some Eurasian Coot are still incubating while others have good size young. A Mallard was seen with 8 ducklings in the gutter.

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At the ‘phalarope pool’ the Northern Lapwing is still trying to incubate in a damp nest with its eggs surrounded by water.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-4).

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We took a hike upto the ‘phalarope pool’ from Moorditch Lane with the tunes of the ubiquitous Cetti’s Warbler sounding out from the scrub and bushes.

No.6 tank was void of any shorebirds, so we didn’t linger and pressed back to the track to Lordship Lane and a look across the watery fields on Lordship Marsh which produced little. The Common Cuckoo was again calling hidden from view on the bank.

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The ‘phalarope pool’ was much better with 162 Black-tailed Godwit in very playful flighty moods with birds chasing each other across the water.  

Not a lot of species about today but the windy and occasional et weather didn’t help.

Observers: JS & WSM (images 5-6).

22.05.21. Birdlog.

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An early start at Brook Furlong Lane where the first of several Cetti’s Warbler rang out loud and proud and not to be out done both Willow Warbler and Common Chiffchaff joined in the chorus. Along the River Weaver there were hundreds of Common Swift were hawking over the river, some passing within a few feet of where I was stood. Sedge and Western Reed Warbler were vocal along the river path, while a pair of Great Crested Grebe were dozing on the water and another grebe was fishing close by.

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I moved over to No.6 tank where c100 Black-tailed Godwit were resting at the waters edge. A Common Cuckoo was heard then seen flying along the bank and later it settled for a while in trees alongside the ‘splashing pool’ on No.3 tank.

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The male Western Marsh Harrier was busy hunting in several places with Sparrowhawk, Common Kestrel and Common Buzzard were also active. there was 16 Black-tailed Godwit on the ‘phalarope pool’ with a couple of pairs of Northern Lapwing, a drake Northern Shoveler, a pair of Gadwall, several Mallard and a drake Eurasian Teal.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-4).

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Surprisingly had a new bird for me for the area and in a hedgerow between Spring Farm and No.4 tank had a family of Treecreeper, at least 3 young. 3 Mediterranean Gull, an adult and 2 1st summer by Hare’s Lane.

There were 6 Little Ringed Plover on the marshes today. A Common Cuckoo was on No.4

ank. A female Western Marsh Harrier was hunting over fields and 200 Common Swift over were low on No.6 tank.

Observer: Mark (Whipper) Gibson.

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I walked along Moorditch Lane with the shouty Cetti’s Warbler were singing. A female House Sparrow had a beak full of black caterpillars with her hungry youngster nearby.

When I got to the top of the ramp overlooking No.6 tank there were numerous Common Swift zipping past and a group of birders who I found out later were from Liverpool RSPB (hiya everyone). A flock of c180 Black-tailed Godwit were bunched up close to the vegetation and slightly encroaching onto their nesting territory of a very upset Eurasian Coot pair. A Common Cuckoo was very loud calling from a tree overlooking the reed bed and the cauious Western Reed Warbler pairs were singing with an eye cocked on the cuckoo.

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I walked up to the river but apart from a few Little Egret it was quite sparse for birds. Returning back and a Barnacle Goose was on the scrapes with a Canada Goose pair. A male Western Marsh Harrier flew out to hunt Frodsham Score salt marshes.

No.6 tank deserved a second look and immediately a Great Egret popped out of the reeds and settled out into the open. The Black-tailed Godwit flock were still there and c25 Tufted Duck and numerous Common Shelduck padded out the water. A pair of Western Yellow Wagtail dropped in for a drink.

Observer: WSM (images 5-7 & video).

21.05.21. Birdlog.

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An early morning walk from Ince to the Holpool Gutter this morning. A pair of Greylag Goose with a single gosling were on the Manchester Ship Canal alongside a pair of Mute Swan, several Gadwall, Mallard and Tufted Duck.

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Not a great deal on the pools but a Little Ringed Plover was noted at the edge of one of them. Common Whitethroat were the most vocal on my walk with the odd Cetti’s Warbler and Common Wren heard.  A Great Egret was seen to drop down to a ditch bordering the gutter as was a single Little Egret and more were out on the Frodsham Score. The Arklow Rival ship made its way east along the canal and a pair of Great Crested Grebe chose to dive rather than fly out of its path, both birds popped back up as it past by.

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Several Eurasian Coot and their chicks were on the gutter and a scruffy looking Gadwall going through its moult swam past. 

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A Common Buzzard was noted sitting on its nest which looked small to hold its clutch once they hatch, and grow larger It’s possible a first attempt at rearing young for the bird.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

19.05.21. Birdlog.

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A walk by No.6 and No.4 tank this morning where Barn Swallow and Common Swift were hawking over the skies. A total of 150 Black-tailed Godwit were resting in the shallows while further away male Western Marsh Harrier was hunting over reed beds. The songs of Cetti’s, Sedge and Western Reed Warbler were heard. A Northern Lapwing was sat on its nest surrounded by water.

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Elsewhere a couple of Brown Hare were spotted.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

A Common Cuckoo and 2 Lesser Whitethroat also reported.

18.05.21. Birdlog.

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A Great Egret was in the flooded ara by the ‘phalarope pool’ and a reeling Grasshopper Warbler made its presence known.

Observer: John Gilbody (images 1-2).

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An after work visit to the River Weaver drew a blank on Common Redstart and Whinchat reported, but several Western Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Chiffchaff were quite vocal. The two mixed songset Willow Warbler with a flurry of Chiffchaff (known to us by the name ‘Chillow’ and thanks to Jimmy Mancini for that) were present along Brook Furlong Lane.

A Peregrine was on the blue topped chimney at Weston Point and closer to home on No.6 tank were 86 Black-tailed Godwit and 46 Tufted Duck. The pumping of sludge into the south west corner is increasing the water level and reducing the numbers of birds using the tank.

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Spindle Ermine Moth Caterpillars
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…and finally, Ironman drops in to save the day.

Observers: Kevin Brown, WSM (images 3-4).

17.05.21. Birdlog.

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I finished the morning off with a visit to the Weaver Bend where the 1st summer Little Gull was showing well hawking over the river amongst the many Common Swift, Barn Swallow

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Canada Goose creche.

and Sand Martin, and then held its own against a Black-headed Gull that tried to bully it.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1 – 4).

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Also images 5-6 by Nigel Case.