29.09.21. Birdlog.

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Freshly arrived Whooper Swans from Iceland.

An after work visit to No.6 tank and the bright blustery westerly and a rebite from the rain we have been experiencing recently. I settled on te north bank with the bushes providing shelter from the cold wind and set up my telescope and view the spectacular gathering of shorebirds below me.

A huge framented flock of c4,000 Black-tailed Godwit with c500 Northern Lapwing, c200 Common Redshank, 3 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 15 Ruff, 1 Dunlin, 1 Eurasian Curlew, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, some Common Snipe and a European Golden Plover.

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Curlew Sandpipers.

I got a text from Paul R who told me about a couple of Whooper Swan that had been seen earlier, so after a scan three swans were located, one was a Mute and the other two were asleep with their heads tooked into their wing feathers. It was obvious that even were their bills covered these were the two whoopers. A yelping of geese from the east soon materilised into a flock of 14 Pink-footed Goose heading west over my head.

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Curlew Sandpipers.
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Curlew Sandpipers.

Ducks were again numerous with c350 Northern Shoveler, 76 Northern Pintail, 16 Eurasian Wigeon and several hundred Eurasian Teal.

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Bar-tailed Godwit.
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Two Ruff with different postures.

The evening light was glowing in the west and if only I had more time, but my time was up and I left for home.

Observer and images (1-7): WSM.

No description available.
Barn Owl.

Barn Owl along the north track of No.6 tank at dusk. Image 8 by Duncan Cowley.

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Pig and egrets.

A look over Ince marsh and Goldfinch Meadows LNR this afternoon and 10 Little Egret, several Eurasian Curlew and Northern Lapwing were feeding amongst the pigs along Kinsey Lane, Ince with numerous Black-headed Gull and Western Jackdaw. Great Egret and more Little’s on salt marsh.

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Pools at Ince.

A Common Kingfisher and plenty of Mallard, Gadwall, Eurasian Coot, Commn Moorhen on pools. Also 6 Eurasian Jay moving about.

Observer: Paul Ralston: Images 9-10.

28.09.21. Birdlog.

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There was plenty of activity on No.6 tank this morning. Black-tailed Godwit in 3 groups and lots of duck spread about. After the rain stopped I managed to count from the south bank, 1500 godwits, about 80 Common Redshank, 18 Ruff, a Dunlin and 3 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper. Northern Shoveler numbered 343, approx 50 Northern Pintail, 14 Eurasian Wigeon, and hundreds of Mallard and EurasianTeal. A Water Rail was feeding along the southern bank and another was heard by the ‘phalarope pool’ where 5 Black-tailed Godwit mainly juveniles were on the pool.


A Western Marsh Harrier born this year,was seen, as was a male Common Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk.

Observer: Mark Gibson.

Image by WSM and his sightings of 2 Ruddy Shelduck from Wigg Island, Runcorn.

27.09.21. Birdlog.

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Female Whooper Swan.

The female Whooper Swan spending her summer and (maybe) autumn on the Sankey Canal at Spike Island was again mithering for food of the locals and 4 Ruddy Shelduck were also on the mudflats east of the Mersey Gateway bridge.

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A Bar-tailed snoozing with the other godwits on No,6 tank.

I made my way to No.6 tank on Frodsham Marsh on the incoming tide and again Black-tailed Godwit provided a couple of hours entertaining me whilst scanning their numbers c3,000).

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Curlew Sandpipers

A couple of Bar-tailed Godwit were present with 3 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper busy feeding feeding up and restoring their engery levels before the next stage of their journey. Northern Lapwing were separate from the godwits and reached a number of c270 birds. A flock of 22 Ruff and numerous Common Snipe were about the water margins.

Ducks re always a feature and Northern Shoveler and Pintail were the most domiant species with Eurasian Teal scattered widely with both Gadwall and Mallard making up the numbers.

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Spider wasp Auplopus carbonarius – thanks to @outwivcamera for the id.

Observer and images: WSM.

26.09.21. Birdlog.

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Pink-footed Geese fresh in from Iceland.

I Looking over the Mersey Estuary from the Manchester Ship Canal where hundreds of Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshanks and Eurasian Curlew could be seen foraging on the exposed mud with a flock of Pied Avocet were feeding close into the bank and out of view for most of the time I was watching there.

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A mixture of birds on No.6 tank.

On the River Weaver were c60 Northern Pintail were settled near to the Weaver Bend, but flushed and made their way out to the estuary where Mallard, Tufted Duck, Eurasian Teal and Gadwall were also present.

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The exposed mud on the Weaver Bend.

On the sand bank a collection of c1000 Common Redshank, c40 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Ruff and a single Curlew Sandpiper made the most of the low water. Canada Goose were numerous and the flock held a few Greylag with them.

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Pintails in flight.

Onward to No.6 tank which held a good variety of wildfowl with Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Gadwall, Northern Pintail and Eurasian Wigeon being noted.

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One of the Curlew Sandpipers.

The c2000 Black-tailed Godwit were resting or foraging in the shallow water with 14 Ruff, the 3 Curlew Sandpiper, several Common Snipe and a European Golden Plover.

Looking over Frodsham Score and 2 Great Egret were seen in the distance and Common Raven and Great Black-backed Gull were feasting on the sheep carcases and a Common Buzzard sat waiting for its turn.

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Mute Swan pair with their cygnets.

On the Holpool Gutter and a pair of Mute Swan and 4 cygnets were feeding on the vegetation.

Walking back past No.6 and a skein of c80 Pink-footed Goose dropped down onto the water but flushed moments later when spooked by the rapid gunfire from the activity centre.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

25.09.21. Birdlog.

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An early start along the Weaver Bend where c300 Common Redshank, single juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, a few Black-tailed Godwit, the first autums skiens of Pink-footed Goose heading south along the river. A Great Spotted Woodpecker also seen. The Mersey Estuary had plenty of godwits, Eurasian Curlew and a flock of Pied Avocets were noted. Another skein of Pink-footed Goose were over at Ince.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 6-8).

An early start for me too and a walk out to the north banks of No.6 tank and the avian show was already underway with two then three of the juvenile Curlew Sandpiper still providing a nice dinersion from looking through the godwit flock. Talking of which there were c1,500 birds in a fairly ordered flock, until something flushed them and the majority upped sticks and existed stage right to the Mersey Estuary. Small numbers of Common Redshank and Northern Lapwing had with them 15 Ruff and 3 European Golden Plover.

A small skein of 13 Pink-footed Goose flew around the tank and looked like they were going to settle on the water before turning tail and heading west. Ducks were again plentiful with 221 Northern Shoveler, 26 Tufted Duck, 26 Northern Pintail, 6 Eurasian Wigeon, 234 Eurasian Teal and several Mallard. I met Andy J from Northwich and we had a chat about birds and birding before he had to leave.

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Juvenile Curlew Sandpier one of four on the marsh today.

I walked along Moorditch Lane with Cetti’s Warbler providing the sound check and small bands of European Goldfinch were perched along the telegraph wires.

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I bumped into Simon from Manchester who I hadn’t seen for a couple of years and after exchanging our opinions we went our separate way, but not before a pair of European Stonechat were looking after recently fledged young.

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A Curlew Sandpiper with Redshanks on the Weaver Estuary.

Walking along the Weaver Causeway down to the Weaver Bend and a flock of 256 Common Redshank and the fourth juvenile Curlew Sandpiper still present (from PR’s earlier sighting) with a Green Sandpiper along the edge of the river. A motor boat sailing round the bend sent everything off the margins and nothing returned. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was a little out of its normal range with it flying along the banks. Three Little Egret, 3 Grey Heron and 17 Great Cormorant (imcluding the orange darvic 051 ringed bird from the dark side of the estuary).

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A Greenshank (marked) with some of the nearly 1000 Redshanks.

I carried on my walk and took up position looking up to the Weaver Estaury where the flushed Common Redshank had joined the others already there, now numbering 961 birds. The Curlew Sandpiper was with them and a Common Greenshank tried to melt away within the shank flock. Water birds were agin prominant with 157 Eurasian Teal, 67 Tufted Duck, 1 Common Pochard, 22 Great Crested Grebe and the relocated cormorants.

Out on No.1 tank were 5 Common Buzzard working the field for worms.

Observer: WSM (images 1-5 and video).

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The first Pink-footed Geese circling the marshes today.
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Pink-footed Geese.
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Common Buzzard.

24.09.21. Birdlog.

A watch of No.6 tankon the rising tide looking over No.6 tank was always going to be full of shorebirds and obviously Frodsham Marsh doesn’t disappoint on that front. What did disappoint was the choice of position looking directly into a shimmering haze of blurry bird figures. Anyway, c3000 Black-tailed Godwit again included their lonesome Bar-tailed Godwit. European Golden Plover are now increasing with 10 birds, but the flighty Northern Lapwing flock maybe responsible for alot more to have departed before my counting began. Also present were 9 Ruff, 24 Dunlin, 3 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, c35 Common Snipe and a handful of Common Redshank.

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Curlew Sandpipers bathing.

Ducks were many and varied and on this occasion I didn’t make a count. A Common Buzzard did several circuits of the area helping to unsettle the waders, as did a female Sparrowhawk. Cetti’s Warbler were vocal around several habits.

Observer: JS & WSM (images).

23.09.21. Birdlog.

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Curlew Sandpiper and a Black-tailed Godwit

We took a 21 km walk around the marsh today stopping off first on the banks of the Weaver Bend where the water level was at its lowest this year. Whenever this happens it’s like a honey pot for waders.

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A young male Kestrel

Today we had 6 Little Egret, c700 Common Redshank, singles of Common Greenshank and Green Sandpiper, 15 Ruff and 100 Black-tailed Godwit with 61 of them being in juvenile plumage.

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Darvic ringed Cormorant

Also a darvic ringed Great Cormorant was with 12 other birds resting up. Looking up to the Weaver Estuary and several hundred Tufted Duck and Eurasian Coot were bobbing about in the choppy waters.

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Green Sandpiper

We carried onto the north bank of No.6 tank with a couple of chatty Cetti’s Warbler along Moorditch Lane and a 1st winter male Common Kestrel. On the tank were c4,000 Black-tailed Godwit (71 juvenile birds) scattered widely across the water.

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Curlew Sandpiper
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Curlew Sandpiper and Black-tailed Godwit

Looking through the flock I managed to tweeze out a Bar-tailed Godwit, Red Knot, 60 Dunlin, 11 Ruff, 4 Common Redshank, 350 Northern Lapwing, a single European Golden Plover and 3 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper with one of them feeding with godwits on the edge of the mud below me.

A Common Kingfisher was along the Weaver Navigation.

Observer: JS & WSM (images & video).

22.09.21. Birdlog.

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An after work visit to No.6 tank where a gathering of 2500 Black-tailed Gowit all looked settled and at ease with themselves…that was until something disturbed them…a flock of c250 Northern Shoveler and 65 Northern Pintail all rose up from the water and sent the shorebirds up and around the tank. The godwits didn’t take to kindly to their resting site being disturbed and they all set sail to the Mersey Estaury.

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Curlew Sandpipers
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Curlew Sandpiper

A couple of juvenile Curlew Sandpier were still present with 6 Dunlin, 57 Common Redshank, 9 Ruff, c150 Northern Lapwing.

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A Garganey emerged from the melee and a small group of Eurasian Wigeon.

Walking back and the evening sunlight shone on a preening Peregrine high up on the blue topped chimney at Weston Point.

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Ruudy Shelducks

Earlier a couple of Ruddy Shelduck were present on the rising tide off Widnes Warth Marsh east of the new bridge.

Observer and images: WSM.

Earlier in the day a third (?) Curlew Sandpiper at the Weaver bend, this am, plus one on No.6 tank pm & a Grey Plover, 15 Ruff, 2 Greenshank per Pete Hines.

20.09.21. Birdlog.

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I started at Ince today and a look over the ponds at Goldfinch Meadows LNR and no sign of the two Garganey, but they may of been hidden in the reeds? A few more Eurasian Wigeon joined the Mallard, Gadwall and Eurasian Teal with 4 Little Grebe, 2 Mute Swan numerous Eurasian Coot and Common Moorhen, a few Barn Swallow were hawking over the ponds. I then moved on to No.6 tank where c2000 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Ruff, many Common Redshank and several Common Snipe were noted.

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I next move was the Weaver Bend where more Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Gadwall with a decent amount of Tufted Duck and Northern Pintail on the river with Little Grebe and Great Crested Grebe were competing with the Great Cormorant for fish in the river. On the sand bank were several hundred Common Redshank and Black-tailed Godwit were foraging in the shallow water with Common Snipe at the river edge. A small wader could be seen on the far bank darting back and forth which eventually turned out to be the first Curlew Sandpiper of the season. There were 3 Common Kestrel in the air together and a Common Buzzard sat on a post staring at the ground below ready to pounce on an unsuspecting vole.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

19.09.21. Birdlog.

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I started my walk at the Weaver Bend this morning. Small flocks of Common Redshank were moving up river to the sandbank on the bend and many more were out on the Weaver Estuary with numerous Black-tailed Godwit and Eurasian Curlew.

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Two flocks of Pied Avocet were feeding near to the Weaver sluices c130 in all, also 3 Great Egret and several Little Egret were fishing in the tidal channels. There were 8 Great Crested Grebe in the channel with another 8 along the Manchester Ship Canal and Weaver Eatuary. A few Barn Swallow were on the telegraph lines close to Marsh Farm where a Collared Dove, an infrequent visitor to this area of the marsh was sat on the barn roof.

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A flock of European Goldfinch harrassed a Eurasian Jay which then made its way along the canal. There were 9 Common Buzzard feeding on worms in the newly seeded field on No.1 tank. Onward to No.6 tank and c3000 Black-tailed Godwit, 18 Ruff, numerous Common Redshank and Northern Lapwing were in the shallow waters.

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A decent selection of ducks were present and a Brown Hare was seen during my walk.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-5). 

An early morning message from the ‘darkside’ had me setting my scope to stun as DC had a flock of 350 Barnacle Goose off Within Way, Hale. Unfortunately they had departed the area by then so a scan of Frodsham Score and the Mersey Estuary from the loafty heights of the opposite side of the river.

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A flock of 75 Eurasian Wigeon, 5 Great Egret, 12 Little Egret, 34 Eurasian Curlew, c1000 Common Shelduck and hundreds of Canada Goose. 

We took a walk out along Hare’s Lane, around No.6 tank, the ‘phalarope pool’ and a look over No.6 tank.

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There was little bird activity once the drizzle turn into a thorough soaking and when we got to the ‘splashing pool’ where 157 Mallard were trying not to get wet! The ‘phalarope pool’ had 4 Black-tailed Godwit and 12 Eurasian Teal. The weather improved by the time we got to No.6 tank, but the godwits that Paul had earlier countered had upped sticks and headed back out to the Mersey Estuary. A quick scan revealed 22 Ruff, 21 Common Redshank, 17 Common Snipe, 354 Northern Shoveler, 57 Northern Pintail, 6 Gadwall, 276 Eurasian Teal and a Garganey which didn’t linger before it too flew and headed out to No.3 tank.

Not a bad selection but obviously it would have been better with Dave’s record breaking Barnies.

Observers: JS & WSM (images 6-7).