31.07.21. Birdlog.

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An early morning walk along the Weaver Bend where numerous Barn Swallow, Sand Martin and Common Swift hawking over river. A Peregrine with small morsel for breakfast and a Western Marsh Harrier over Redwall reed bed.

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There were 6 Common Ringed Plover, 2 Common Sandpiper, several Common Redshank, Eurasian Oystercatcher and a single Ruff.

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Also seen along the river was a partial leucistic European Goldfinch in a mixed flockof Linnet and Common Greenfinch.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-4).

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A stroll along Moorditch Lane where the gathering flocks of European Goldfinch are joining up with Linnet. A Cetti’s Warbler was calling while a couple of Western Reed Warbler were still in full voice.

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Sitting on the banks of No.6 tank watching the shorebirds gathering on the muddy margins with the tide out on the Mersey Estuary pushing more and more my way. The suuden rush of wings like arrows over the spindle bushes where I was sitting tight heralded the arrival of a flock of c300 Black-tailed Godwit, they soon joined up with the rest of the flock of 3,000 birds knee deep on the margins of the mud.

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Over time my eye was in with the waders and as I scanned their numbers I managed to eek out 3 then 4 Red Knot, c320 Dunlin with a few fresh juvenile birds, c550 Common Redshank, a single Ruff, 6 juvenile Little Ringed Plover and 10 Common Ringed Plover. The Black-tailed Godwit flock reached a healthy total of c3000 birds and included 3 colour – ringed birds. A juvenile Peregrine flew in and startled the Dunlin which wheeled around until it left, but the godwits weren’t even bothered and just continued to feed while all the action went on above their heads. A juvenile Common Kestrel was trying its best to surpise the Dunlin and a Grey Wagtail on the edge of the reeds, but it wasn’t taken seriously.

A scattered group of Mallard and 12 Eurasian Teal had with them a Garganey which moved around a lot. In the distance a juvenile Western Marsh Harrier was quatering the reed beds.

Observer: WSM (images 1 & 5-7).

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A young Northern Whearear was on the track by No1 tank – per Oli Bailey (image 8).

30.07.21. Birdlog.

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My morning walk around No.6 tank taking in the Canal Pools. There were reduced numbers of waders on No.6 with most birds out on Mersey Estuary with c150 Black-tailed Godwit, c200 Common Redshank, 1 Pied Avocet not looking to healthy, 3 Common Snipe on ‘phalarope pool’.

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A juvenile Great Crested Grebe and several broods of Tufted Duck on Canal Pools and 3 male Western Marsh Harrier being noted. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was on the fence on No.4 tank.

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Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

29.07.21. Birdlog.

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I finally connected with the River Weaver Western Osprey this morning as it sat amongst the Canada Goose flock and sheep on No.1 tank where it started to hunt along the river. I also watched as it plunged from 100 foot into the river, but missed its target and it later plunged but this time in to the Manchester Ship Canal, but missed again. A Common Kestrel sat on a hay bale and flew at the Osprey calling in alarm, but soon gave up.

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There were hundreds of Common Swift hawking over the river, hay fields and also rushing past me at waist height. A Common Sandpiper and several Common Redshank were on the river bank with Tufted Duck, Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Gadwall and Common Shelduck were all on the river in moderation. A Green Sandpiper was seen on the shooters’ pool and a Western Marsh Harrier was noted hunting over Redwall reed bed flushing a covey of released Red-legged Partridge as it went.

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Later in the day I walked around No.6 tank and much the same as waders as yesterday with c2000 Black-tailed Godwit and hundreds of Common Redshank and Dunlin, 6 Common Ringed Plover, 1 Common Sandpiper and a single Pied Avocet. A Ruff was foraging on the ‘phalarope pool’ with 10 Black-tailed Godwit and c60 Northern Lapwing. The ‘splashing pool’ held c100 Tufted Duck and smaller numbers of Eurasian Teal and Mallard.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

28.07.21. Birdlog.

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1560 Black-tailed Godwit, 695 Dunlin, a Whimbrel, a Spotted Redshank, 704 Common Redshank, 1 Ruff, 85 Northern Lapwing, 5 Common Ringed Plover, 30 Eurasian Teal and 135 Mallard. Three Western Marsh Harrier and 2 Grasshopper Warbler on No.4 tank.

Observer: Mark (Whipper) Gibson.

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An after work walk around No.6 tank where c2000 Black-tailed Godwit, hundreds of Common Redshank, c300 Dunlin, a couple of Red Knot, single Common Sandpiper, a single Pied Avocet, Common Shelduck and Tufted Duck with tuflings, 12 Little Grebe and a single Little Egret all on No.6.

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Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

25.07.21. Birdlog.

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I started my day at the Weaver Bend early in morning hoping to connect with the recent lingering Western Osprey, but failed there. However, there were plenty of wildlife to keep me occupied while walking the river path. There were juvenile warblers being plentiful alongside many European Goldfinch, Linnet and 2 European Stonechat that must of fledged nearby. A Weasel the first of three seen during my walk was in a elderberry bush trying to take any unwary bird, but they all knew it was there and kept their distanc. A Peregrine sat on a pylon watching over the river and a Common Buzzard flew over the water clutching a young Common Moorhen which it took to a great height and circled around before drifting south with its prize.

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Black tailed Godwit and Common Redshank were on the sandbank on the Weaver Bend in small numbers and 5 Pied Avocet were on the far bank. Two Common Tern (one ringed) flew in to join the Black-headed Gull flock, but were made to feel unwelcome and left. 

I made my way to Ince for the BTO WeBs count, but with the ponds at Ince alongside the Goldfinch Meadows LNR overgrown and there was very little to be seen. The second Weasel of the day was seen as it crossed the path. Along the Manchester Ship Canal path were more juvenile warblers and finches being numerous. Also hundreds of Canada Goose on the water with a few Greylag Goose and 2 hybrid geese, many more Canada’s were out on the Frodsham Score salt marsh with a couple of Little Egret noted. A Western Marsh Harrier flew from No.4 tank over to the score and was hunting the tidal channels as the tide came in.

The ‘phalarope pool’ was devoid of life, not even the resident Northern Lapwing were present. No.6 tank held over a thousand Black-tailed Godwit, hundreds of Dunlin and Common Redshank, a juvenile Little Ringed Plover and a Ruff  were amongst them.

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Walking back to Ince and the 3rd Weasel of the day crossed my path in front of me. Another Peregrine was seen watching over the marsh from its tower on the fertilizer plant.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.    

24.07.21. Birdlog.

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I was out early this morning and a walk around No.4 and No.6 tanks. Sedge Warbler, Common Whitethroat and Common Reed Bunting were numerous during my walk. There was still a singing Sedge in song.

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A Western Marsh Harrier drifted over No.4 and on to No.6. A flock of c150 Northern Lapwing, 15 Black-tailed Godwit and a single Common Snipe were on the ‘phalarope pool’ with large flocks of European Starling foraging on No.3 tank. Small groups of godwits were passing overhead making their way to the estuary while on 6 Common Redshank outnumbered the godwits with at least 300 Common Redshank feeding in the shallow water A Ruff, Dunlin, Common Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper were also noted. 

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A Hobby flew over the tank, but didnt cause any disturbance as it was challenged by a Common Kestrel and left the area immediately. There were two (ringed) juvenile Common Kestrel dropped on to No.6 and were joined by the adult female while the male hunted overhead.         

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

24.07.21. Birdlog.

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I was out early morning and a walk alongside No.4 and No.6 tanks. We still have Sedge Warbler, Common Whitethroat and Common Reed Bunting were numerous during my walk, and one of the Sedge was still in song.

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A Western Marsh Harrier drifted over No.4 and on to No.6. A flock of c150 Northern Lapwing, 5 Black-tailed Godwit and a single Common Snipe were on the ‘phalarope pool’. There were large flocks of Eurasian Starling which were foraging on No.3 tank. Small groups of godwits were passing overhead making their way to the Mersey Estuary while on No.6 Common Redshank outnumbered the godwits with at least 300 Common Redshank feeding in the shallow water. A Ruff, Dunlin, Common Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper were also noted. 

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A Hobby flew over the tank, but didnt  cause any disturbance and when it was challenged by a Common Kestrel it left the area. Two juvenile Common Kestrel dropped on to No.6 and were joined by the adult female while the male hunted overhead.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-3).

While Paul was out to the west both Mark and Will Sixsmith indepenently spotted the Western Osprey flying along the River Weaver before heading back to its unknown santuary to the east.

The Weaver Bend had a flock of 1093 Black-tailed Godwit with 31 Common Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper and a Common Snipe. There were still small numbers of juvenile Black-headed Gull annoying the adults loafing around. A few Common Gull were also present. A Red Kite (WSM) was seen high over No.5 tank drifting slowly out over Marsh Farm and onward to Frodsham Score.

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A couple of Peregrine were about the area with a Sparrowhawk hunting the starling flocks and c10 Common Buzzard perched on the various pylons.

Mark took up position looking across No.6 tank during the rising tide and managed to spot c2555 Black-tailed Godwit, c600 Common Redshank, 600 Dunlin, Spotted Redshank, 2 Ruff, 2 adult with 4 juvenile Little Ringed Plover, 1 Red Knot, a Wood Sandpiper dropped in calling, 2 juv/female Garganey joined the ducks present and also 2 male Western Marsh Harrier.

Observer: Mark (Whipper) Gibson (video), Will Sixsmith & WSM (image 4).

22.07.21. Birdlog.

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An evening walk alongside the River Weaver where I countered 52 Eurasian Coot on the water. A flock of c200 Black-tailed Godwit were busy feeding on the banks.

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The freshly out of the nest juvenile warblers joined the young bunting and European Stonechat on the banks where the path held various butterfly and dragonfly species, including Ringlet. Eurasian Jay are moving about and one flew over the river from I.C.I tank.

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Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

The Western Osprey was alledgdly seen this morning, but without a source it’s difficult to make a judgement on its whereabouts – eds.

21.07.21. Birdlog.

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Juvenile Western Reed Warbler

I made a dawn raid to the marsh this morning, but the lingering misty vale hung around for a couple of hours, so after drying off from the dripping reed frones I listened out to the tunes from beyond the fog.

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A couple of Grasshopper Warbler were busy singing from the depths while one of the mixed singing Willow Warbler (Chillow) was giving out brief snatches of the ‘mix’. A couple of Common Sandpiper were calling from the bank nearby and a dueting pair of Eurasian Bullfinch added to the variety. After the mist eventually lifted it didn’t take long for the hot morning sun to evaporate both the fog and the heavy morning dew.

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Redwall reed bed was alive with small groups of juvenile Western Reed and Sedge Warbler chasing each other through the scrub and bushes, with young Common Reed Bunting taking up their chase.

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The highlight was a Whinchat on the fence line that surrounds the reed bed and further out into the field was a fine male European Stonechat.

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A Common Kingfisher flashed by and after doing a curcuit of the river bank it landed on a post to preen. The Weaver Estuary had presumably the same two Common Sandpiper, a flock of 34 Black-tailed Godwit and several Eurasian Oystercatcher were present.

Walking back and a released Grey Partridge hunkered down when a Common Buzzard flew overhead on No.1 tank. In the distance the rising tide sent up a Little Egret over Marsh Farm.

Observer: WSM (images).

The Western Osprey reappeared over the Weaver Bend at midday for its third day – per Will Sixsmith.

19 & 20.07.21. Birdlog.

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19.07.21. Birdlog.

An after work visit to the River Weaver to catch up on the 1st summer drake Common Scoter which was still insitu opposite Redwall reed bed. It spent most of its time preening and was even curious enough to drift close to my position on the bank alongside the Redwall reed bed.

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A couple of Common Tern were being harassed by a juvenile Black-headed Gull (of which there were many) from their perch on a sunken tree.

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A flock of 400 Black-tailed Godwit were soon joined by 200 more birds and they fed on the centre of the Weaver Bend. A couple of Common Sandpiper were busy feeding along the margins of the river.

The commoner summer butterflies were plentiful with the addition of several county scarse Ringlet busy chasing each other through the tall grass on the banks.

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Paul Ralston (images 1 & 6-7) had a similar idea and saw a set of similar birds on his walk to the river after work with the exception of 2 Little Egret on the ‘bend’..

Observer: WSM (images 2-5 & 8-9 & video).

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May be an image of bird and nature

The female Whooper Swan was again on the Sankey Canal at Spike Island, Westbank, Widnes – per WSM.

20.07.21. Birdlog.

8:00 a.m. at Weaver Bend: Western Osprey flew over high downriver, no sign of the Common Scoter but six warbler species heard singing/reeling: Common Grasshopper (2), Western Reed, Sedge, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, 1 Green Sandpiper flew up from ‘The Lum’.

Observer: Andy J.