I had a look today to see if the Common Ringed Plover were prospecting in field I visited previously. There was no sign but not surprising considering 3 Common Kestrel were standing on ledge of nestbox about 20 yards from the territory of the plovers!
A Lesser Whitethroat was singing and showed briefly in bush on the banks of No.6 tank, along Lordship Lane. At least 5 Western Marsh Harrier were in the area and several food passes was observed. A couple of well grown Northern Lapwing chicks with their parents on the ‘phalarope pool’.
Observer: Mark (Whipper) Gibson.
Image by David Eisner.
An update on the Whooper Swan from Spike Island from the BTO is here:
Ringing Scheme: London Ring Number: XY4488 Species of bird: Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus)
This bird was ringed by Christmas & Christmas as age at least 2 years, sex female on 28-Jun-2021 10:00:00 at Widnes, Halton, UKOS Map reference SJ58 accuracy -, Central co-ordinates 53deg 21min N -2deg -40min W accuracy -.
It was found on 29-Jun-2021 time unknown at Spike Island, Widnes, Halton, UKOS Map reference SJ58 accuracy -, Central co-ordinates 53deg 21min N -2deg -40min W accuracy -.
Finding condition: Sight record by non-ringerFinding circumstances: Metal Ring Read In Field.
A nice visit to the marsh and the summer Spotted Redshank was still with the shorebirds on No.6 tank. The pair of Eurasian Wigeon on the mitigation with a Great Spotted Woodpecker in thrown into the mix.
A further selection of warblers were present and still on their respective territories.
A brave Northern Lapwing took on a Common Buzzard that strayed into its territory.
I was out this morning along the River Weaver and then around No.6 tank. There are still
plenty of bird song along the lanes with Cetti’s Warbler seemingly all over the marsh and singing from several locations.
Tufted Duck and Common Shelduck were on the river with their broods being shadowed by the mighty Great Black-backed Gull pair. Again several hundred Canada Goose were grazing on No.1 tank then made their way to the river where a flock of c70 Greylag were bunched together. Pied Avocet were moving along the river and out to the Mersey Estuary with a handful of Black-tailed Godwit following with them. Three or four Common Sandpiper were noted on the river bank amongst several Northern Lapwing chicks and Eurasian Oystercatcher.
Onward to No.6 and c20 Common Redshank, c50 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Common Ringed Plover were at the edge of the water margins.
A pair of Eurasian Wigeon and a Green Sandpiper were on the mitigation pool and a fine male Western Yellow Wagtail sat on the fence behind the scrape. The ‘phalarope pool’ was devoid of birds apart from the resident Northern Lapwing as the cattle were wallowing in the mud. Linnet, European Goldfinch and Common Whitethroat were busy looking after their fledged young, a Common Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk had other ideas.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-4).
Later in the day we made on way to marsh but after having all four of our tyres punctured by some unseen scrote(s), and subsequently we won’t be parking there anytime soon (incident reported to police).
Anyway, walking along Moorditch Lane and the long drying grass with its parties of European Goldfinch and Linnet had a real sence of summer moving on. A look across No.6 tank revealed a bigger flock of (300) Black-tailed Godwit than Paul had encountered earlier, and hiding with the Common Redshank was the splendid summer Spotted Redshank, 2 Common and 2 Little Ringed Plover.
The Tufted Duck flock had increased from yesterday with 184 birds countered. Also present were 24 Eurasian Teal, 7 Common Pochard and presumably the same birds I saw on the River Weaver yesterday. Three Western Marsh Harrier drifted over and the female look beautiful against the fresh growth of verdant green emerging reeds frones.
The two Eurasian Wigeon were still on the mitigation and a couple of Tufted Duck, a Northern Shoveler and 3 Northern Lapwing were on the ‘phalarope pool’.
An early start from Ince and by No.4 tank this morning. There were Sedge, Western Reed Warbler and Common Whitethroat were busy feeding their broods during my walk. The vegetation has grown making viewing the ponds at Goldfinch Meadows difficult but a few broods of Mallard, Common Moorhen and Eurasian Coot were seen.
I was hoping to see the recent Barn Owl again, but was more surprised to come across a Short-eared Owl in the same area. There were hundreds of Common Swift hawking over the Manchester Ship Canal with several Barn Swallow joining in with them. Common Shelduck are still displaying on the canal alongside Tufted Duck and Gadwall.
A few thousand Canada Goose were out on the river and a single Eurasian Curlew was noted on Frodsham Score salt marsh. Both Western Marsh Harrier were in the air and a food pass was observed. A flock of c200 Sand Martins were feeding over the reeds on No.6 tank.
Walking back to Ince and a pair of Great Spotted Woodpecker were near to the fertiliser plant and a juvenile Water Vole crossed the ditch clutching a reed stem.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-3).
I walked along Brook Furlong Lane and was listening to both a Western Grasshopper Warbler and one of two mixed singing Willow Warbler when Alyn Chambers ambled by.
After a chat and catch up he mention he had seen one possibly two Ruddy Shelduck on both the Weaver and Mersey Estuaries. Than would have been enough considering the month of June but he had aslo spotted a drake Common Scoter on the River Weaver (and later he found a summer plumage Spotted Redshank).
So, armed with all these potential goodies I walk through the head height reeds and grass before I reached the River Weaver. It wasn’t long before the Common Scoter appeared and soon after the Ruddy Shelduck. A selection of Tufted Duck, Common Shelducklings avoiding the averace advances of a pair of Great Black-backed Gull, numerous Pied Avocet chicks/juveniles/adults and Common Swift hawking the banks. A tatty Western Marsh Harrier was patrolling the avocet juveniles on the Weaver Bend.
I retraced my steps and listened en route to No.6 tank to the tunes of Cetti’s, Western Reed, Sedge, Chiifchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap. On arrival the shimmering heat haze and close atmosphere made birding hot and sweaty, but again a couple of calling overhead Mediterreanean Gull heading to the River Mersey was cool.
The 250 strong flock of Black-tailed Godwit still had the handsome summer plumaged Spotted Redhank (it’s possible this bird was seen by Arthur yesterday), 24 Common Redshank 2 Pied Avocet, 2 Common Ringed Plover and several recently fledged Black-headed Gull, presumably from the Weston Marsh Lagoon breeding site. A flock of 124 Tufted Duck, 21 Eurasian Teal, 4 Northern Shoveler and many Mallard. I met up with Whipper (who earlier had seen a Green Sandpiper at the Lum) and Frank and a Hobby sped past towards No.5 tank and a Western Marsh Harrier was high over the marsh.
Observers: Alyn Chambers, Mark (Whipper) Gibson, Frank Duff, WSM (images 1 & 4-14).
A brief visit to Spike Island for the summer Whooper Swan and a very tame Grey Heron.
There was some good news about breeding Common Ringed Plover on territory in a field on the marsh today. I couldn’t see any young but adult constantly calling and trying to distract me. Hopefully they will be successful.
The Northern Lapwing chicks were absent today after being 10 or a dozen pairs 2 weeks ago? Sadly not one bird seen along there today. Four fields have been recently sown wouldn’t have helped matters! On my last visit along there, adult’s were constantly on the wing being aggressive to the crows.
There were 6 Pied Avocet on No.6 tank and a Eurasian Hobby flew briefly over my head.
Observer: Mark (Whipper) Gibson.
The weather picked up nicely, so did everything else at #Frodshammarsh. Lots of Small Tortoiseshell and Large Skipper. Also a volucella bombylans and a Pied Avocet on the ‘The Lum’.
Observer: Keith Gallie (images 1-7).
An uneventful walk from Brook Furlong Lane and across to the River Weaver until I made my way back.
A Tufted Duck with its brood kept close to the reeds and the Northen Lapwing chicks are now as big as their parents.
A Barn Owl was seen hunting back and fro at the pony stables then over the bank onto No.3 tank.
Oserver: Paul Ralston (images 8-10).
Also observations by David Eisner.
Along the River Mersey at Spike Island is a Whooper Swan for its third days and images by Victor Dennet.
A afternoon walk along the banks of the River Weaver was productive with a Western Marsh Harrier collecting one of the shelducklings or juvenile avocets from its over protective parents with Pied Avocet joining the melee. The first Ringlet butterfly of the summer was on the Weaver Bend.
Observer: Keith Gallie (images 1-2).
An early evening walk along Brook Furlong Lane and the River Weaver. The usual warblers are still singing along the lane and a female Sparrowhawk was hedgehopping hoping to catch one of them. The first Common Shelduck brood was at the junction of the Manchester Ship Canal and Weaver Estuary with the ever present Great Black-backed Gull pair taking an unhealthy interest in their welfare. A joint effort from the Common Shelduck parents and Pied Avocet drove them away.
A family party of 14 Greylag and white domestic geese were feeding on the canal bank and another 63 Greylag were on the River Mersey with many more Canada Goose and 6 Mute Swan.
There were 3 Common Ringed Plover, 6 Common Redshank and several Pied Avocet with young were noted on the river bank. Looking through the Tufted Duck, Mallard Gadwall and Common Shelduck on the River Mersey revealed a Ruddy Shelduck, it was seen in the distance as I moved away from the bank and made my way out of sight the few hundred yards to get a better view, but when I looked over the bank it had disappeared.
There were plenty of butterflies on the wing, mostly Small Tortoiseshell, but several Meadow Brown and a couple of Painted Lady’s.
An early morning start at Ince and around No.4 tank. Warblers were in full song this morning Common Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Cetti’s, Common Whitethroat, Western Reed and Sedge Warbler were all seen or heard and many some busy feeding their broods. A Great Spotted Woodpecker made its way along side the track and a Water Vole swam across the ditch.
A Barn Owl was hunting over the Goldfinch Meadows and a Little Egret foraged in one of the pools.
A look over the Frodsham Score more Little Egret were noted and several thousand Canada Goose were out by the River Mersey. A pair of European Stonechat were at the Manchester Ship Canal bank and took cover as a Sparrowhawk passed by.
Eurasian Skylark were numerous with several singing from high up and one singing from a post. A Great Crested Grebe with at least one chick was seen hiding in the reeds on one of the Canal Pools. A Common Ring Plover was seen on a scrape with a single Black-tailed Godwit for company. There were more godwit on the ‘phalarope pool’ but moved on to No.6 tank.
The Western Marsh Harrier were in the air together and a Peregrine was sat on a tower watching over the marsh.
An early evening walk along Lordship Lane and around No.4 tank. A air of European Stonechat were on No.4. Male and female Western Marsh Harrier active over the marsh. c120 Black-tailed Godwit dropped on to the ‘phalarope pool’ and 3 Northern Lapwing chicks were noted.
I started at Brook Furlong Lane this morning Common Chiffchaff, Cetti’s, Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Common Blackcap were all active along the lane with Western Reed and Sedge Warbler also seen and heard during my walk. European Goldfinch are numerous with many juvenile birds present some begging to be fed by the parent birds, a male European Stonechat was noted on the pipeline fence on No.1 tank. Common Swift and Sand Martin were hawking over the Manchester Ship Canal and River Weaver. Tufted Duck and Common Shelduck were on the water but no ducklings seen with them as yet.
A juvenile Pied Avocet entered the waters of the river picking flies off the surface while its parents kept the Great Black-backed Gull pair at bay. A couple of Common Redshank and singles of Common Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper were at the edge of the river and possibly early returning birds.
On to No.6 tank where c150 Black-tailed Godwit were resting while Common Shelduck, Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler and Mallard were present in small numbers.
Butterflies were enjoying the warm weather with plenty of Small Tortoiseshell and the first Painted Lady (several) seen on the path.
The ‘phalarope pool’ held another c50 Black-tailed Godwit and a pair of Common Redshank.
Walking back along Lordship Lane and Western Reed and Sedge Warbler were busy feeding their broods. Also noted were 2 juvenile Northern Lapwing were on the model flying field and a quiet morning for raptors with just a Common Buzzard seen.
A Hobby was over the Lum and circled for 5 minutes over the Weaver Bend. A couple of Western Grasshopper Warbler reeling along the east fields of Brook Furlong Lane. A flock of 35 Pied Avocet feeding on Mersey Estuary as viewed from Marsh Farm. A Little Ringed Plover on No.6 tank. There were 10 Great Crested Grebe along the River Weaver. 219 Tufted Duckwere also counted fromthe Weaver Bend and No.6 tank. 2 Northern Shoveler on the Lum and 88 Sand Martin by Marsh Farm, Mainly family parties.
A walk along the River Weaver to its ‘bend’ this morning. A Common Kingfisher sped past at the junction of Brook Furlong and Moorditch Lanes and the usual mixed songster Willow Warbler song trailling off with Common Chiffchaff notesnoted was in song alongside many other warblers.
A female Western Marsh Harrier flushed 2 released Red-legged Partridge from the pipeline on No.1 tank. Ten Pied Avocet were on River Mersey shore.