Met Kane Brides down at Spike Island who was catching and ringing Black-headed Gulls for their #NWBHGs project. After a brief chat Kane mentioned that they had caught the long-staying Norwegian bird (J2LC) who has been visiting Spike Island since the winter of 2012 and he very kindly donated its old white leg ring to me. There will be a few additonal colour rings to spot over the coming winter.
A decent selection of ducks on No.6 tank this morning with Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Shelduck and Common Pochard all noted with c300 Black-tailed Godwit in shallows.
The herd of Whooper Swan have increased by one to twenty birds and nearby 3 Mute Swan Lordship Marsh.
There were numerous Redwing. Fieldfare, Common Blackbird and Song Thrush and Chaffinch, European Goldfinch, Linnet and Common Reed Bunting along Lordship Lane.
I stopped at the pig farm in Ince on my way home where 2 Western Cattle Egret, 10 Little Egret and numerous Pied Wagtail.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 3-8).
A JCB digger was working in the centre of the reeds on No.6 tank today?
An early morning walk along Brook Furlong Lane where Redwing. Fieldfares and Common Blackbird were plentiful feeding on the hawthorn berries eside the lane. Also 5 Eurasian Greenfinch were also present, and then 2 pairs of European Stonechat being noted along Alder Lane. A flock of c1500 Northern Lapwingwere with c200 European Golden Plover and smaller numbers of Eurasian Curlew and Black-tailed Godwit were foraging in the fields close to Marsh Farm.
A large flock of Northern Pintail made their way out to the Mersey Estuary and there looking regal were 4 Great Egret out on the mudbanks with several Little Egret. A herd of 23 Mute Swan held 7 juveniles and more pintail were on the river with Eurasian Teal, Mallard and Common Shelduck. Four Common Snipe dropped down in to Redwall Reedbed and a Eurasian Sparrowhawk was hedge-hoping in an attempt to ambush the thrushes. Also seen were Common Kestrel and Common Buzzard were also active in the area. T
At Ince the clay shoot was in full swing and no egrets were present, but the ducks on the pools at Goldfinch Meadows LNR were also on high alert and easily flushed as I walked past, The usual species being present and again 3 Mute Swan flew in to settle on one of the ponds. More winter thrushes were stripping the berries off the canal side hawthorn bushes and closeby a raft of c60 Eurasian Coot were flushed by a passing ship as were 2 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Little Grebe and several Tufted Duck, Gadwall and Eurasian Teal.
A Western Marsh Harrier flew from Frodsham Score and onto No.4 tank while a male Peregrine checked out the plovers on the stubble field before settling on the fertiliser plant.
Back at Ince the clay shoot was over and 2 Little Egret joined the pigs but did’nt look happy in the snow.
Observer: Paul Ralston (image 1-4).
There were two Great Spotted Woodpecker chasing each other along Moorditch Lane this morning. Amonst the finches, thrushes, buntings, wagtails, skylarks and pipits feeding by the model flying field on Lordship Marsh were a Tree Sparrow and a Brambling. A Peregrine launched an attack over the mostly frozen No.6 Tank, flushing at least 10 Common Snipe.
Further out were 46 Common Pochard with the Tufted Duck on the Weaver Estuary along with 12 Common Goldeneye.
Observer: Alyn Chambers.
We took a walk along Lordship Lane where the 19 Whooper Swan looked the part as the snow began to fall in small flakes before drifting down in thick and fast. The maize fields were mostly frozen and the damper patches held a few Pied Wagtail, Eurasian Skylark and Linnet flocks.
The ‘splashing pool’ held several Eurasian Teal and Northern Shoveler with the only bird on the ice of the ‘phlarope pool’ being a lonely Black-tailed Godwit.
No.6 tank had its share of Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Wigeon and Eurasian Teal but not in any great numbers and all tucked into the think vegetation on the margins of the ice.
The snow began to fall thicker and the light was fading fast so we headed home.
We independently took a windy walk around No.6 tank this morning. A small number of Northern Shoveler were viewable with the rest sheltering in the vegetation, again foraging Eurasian Teal were difficult to count but c400 would be about right, Mallard, 20 Common Shelduck, c150 Eurasian Wigeon and 2 Mute Swan were all sheltering from the Storm Arwen on the tank. A Western Marsh Harrier was hunting at the edge of the reed bed and spooked the Northern Lapwing there, 3 Ruff and c450 Black-tailed Godwit feeding in the shallows.
More Northern Lapwing were joined by a flock of c160 European Golden Plover on No.3 and a small lighter coloured wader was seen speeding over towards the Canal Pools. Chaffinch, European Goldfinch, a Common Chiffchaff, Eurasian Skylark, Common Reed Bunting and Meadow Pipit were abundant during our repective walks and were feeding in the stubble fields and hedgerows.
The herd of 19 Whooper and 4 Mute Swan were close to the path on Lordship Marsh, 4 other Icelandic swans flew overhead but ignored the herd below.
Flocks of Redwing and Fieldfare were feeding on the berries of hawthorn on the banks with many continental Blackbird amongst them.
Observers: Paul Ralston (images), WSM.
I stopped at Ince on my way home where several trees had been toppled by the storm one blocking the path to Goldfinch Meadows LNR. There were 18 Little Egret and 2 Western Cattle Egret were foraging amongst the pigs and a single Mistle Thrush joined them.
I spent the day walking around No.6 tank and ended up walking back in the dim wet half light. Lordship Marsh was again productive with the herd of Whooper Swan (now numbering 19 adults, and still no juveniles) and quite close to the westbound carriageway of the M56.
A flock of c150 Linnet, 30 Chaffinch, Redwing and Fieldfare included a locally rare Tree Sparrow feeding with them in the maize stubble field close to the track of Lordship Lane. A Grey Wagtail added to the picture.
A Cetti’s Warbler was proclaiming its existence to others of its kind from a bramble patch on the edge of No.4 tank.
The ‘splashing & Phalarope pools’ on No.3 tank have a nice selection of ducks with a tame drake Northern Pintail alongside c54 Northern Shoveler, 114 Eurasian Teal, 12 Mallard and several Eurasian Coot. Further along the track and the Weasel was seen again hunting along the grassy margins. A skein of 50 Pink-footed Goose were feeding on the mitigation of No.3 tank and several hundred Northern Lapwing were moving about the area with European Golden Plover.
A quick look across No.6 tank in the steady drizzle produced 28 Common Pochard, numerous shoveler, pintail and teal.
Went on a 18 km ramble around the marsh with a stop off at Rocksavage where a young Peregrine was keeping tabs on the goings on at the Weaver Bend (that’s when it could stay awake long enough). Goldcrest were roving along the hedgerows without any urgency and a Common Kingfisher was fliting across the Weaver Navigation.
Arriving at No.6 tank and a flock of c600 Black-tailed Godwit were busy feeding through the buttonweed beds whilst the water was alive with c140 Northern Shoveler, 61 Northern Pintail, c300 Eurasian Teal, 87 Eurasian Wigeon, 4 Gadwall, 34 Mallard, 4 Tufted Duck and 27 Common Pochard.
A Western Marsh Harrier was drifting over the reed beds. A Common Chiffchaff was calling from the reeds while more bloisterous were the Cetti’s Warbler at variuos localities.
Further out off Frodsham Score were 6 Great Egret.
Today was cold but beautifully sunny. As we walked down Lordship Lane, we saw lots of Fieldfare, Chaffinch and European Goldfinch. Walking up the slope to the tank we saw 6 pairs of Eurasian Teal and 4 pairs of Northern Shoveller on the ‘splashing pool’ next to the ‘phalarope pool’. The pool had one Northern Pintail, a couple of Black-tailed Godwit and several Northern Lapwing.
Continuing on, we saw a pair of European Stonechat.
Observer and images: David Eisner.
A quick after work visit to Kinsey’s/Marsh Lanes, Ince. Two Western Cattle Egret, 8 Little Egret close to the pig farm. Also nearby were Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Coot, Common Moorhen and a pair of Mute Swan at Goldfinch Meadows LNR. Three Little Egret went to roost in the trees near to the screen pond. There were 3 egrets still foraging in the dark then flew to join the others in their roost .
A late morning walk from Ince to the Holpool gutter and the semi resident Western Cattle Egret numbered three birds. Also 16 Little Egret were again at the pig farm with c100 Eurasian Curlew choosing the stubble fields with a few Black-tailed Godwit by the Holpool gutter.
A Peregrine was hunting the plovers on Frodsham Score while 2 Great Egret were noted and c150 Stock Dove were foraging on salt marsh.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-3).
A trip out to Spike Island and the very tame female Whooper Swan enjoying her time out inthe late autumn sunshine. Also seen was ‘Norby’ the Norwegian colour ringed Black-headed Gull, plus a blue colour ringed bird which evaded me reading the sequence.
An intriguing ‘pale’ Stonechat on Frodsham Marsh needs more detection per WSM (image 4).
Given the weather (sunny; 8.5oC) could not resist another trip to Frodsham Marsh today. Here is a brief report. Attached are some photos.
17 Whooper Swan on fields next to Lordship Lane
3 Large skeins of Pink-footed Goose flying North
Large numbers of Black-tailed Godwit on No.6 tank.
European Stonechat, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, European Goldfinch, Sock Dove, Eurasian Curlew, Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, Cetti’s Warbler, male Pheasant, Northern Lapwing, Fieldfare, Redwing, Long-tailed Tit and Common Raven.
At Ince Marshes I found 2 Western Cattle Egret in amongst the Little Egret.
I was out at first light and around No.6 and No.4 tanks. Again there was a decent selection of wildfowl on No.6 with Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Eurasian Wigeon, Tufted Duck and Common Shelduck all present in numbers. A flock of c40 Black-tailed Godwit flew in circles before settling amongst the teal on the water. Ten additional godwit were with c50 Northern Lapwings on the ‘phalarope pool’.
The stubble field alongside the Holpool gutter held more godwit and c60 Eurasian Curlews. A Peregrine scattered the feral pigeons feeding on the stubble on Lordship Marsh and a Sparrowhawk snatched a Redwing from its perch in the hawthorns, 15 Whooper Swan, 2 Mute Swan and 61 Pink-footed Goose were gathered together on marsh there with a further 3 Mute were in another field nearby.
I stopped off at Ince on my way home where 7 Western Cattle Egret and 15 Little Egret were amongst the pigs. Out on the salt marshes were numerous egrets 2 of which were Great Egret. A mass of European Golden Plover took to the air spooked by an unseen predator and more winter thrushes were passing overhead.
On route to a day in Chester we managed to see the herd of 15 mixed swans on Lordship Marsh, most of which were Whooper Swan.
n our way home we dropped into Kinsey’s and Marsh Lanes at Ince where we had 5 Western Cattle Egret, 10 Little Egret and 2 Grey Heron. Out off the Ince salt marshes were 5 Great and c10 Little Egret were joining the Black-headed Gull flocks feeding on what the recceding tide conjured up.