30.01.22. Birdlog.

Male Stonechat (9 birds present today).

Out this morning around No.4 tank where  c3000 Northern Lapwing, c80 Eurasian Curlew and 2 Great Egret were in the stubble field alongside the Hollpool Gutter. The wildfowlers were out on the salt marsh keeping the Pink-footed Goose and Canada’s on the move.  A decent selection of ducks on the ‘phalarope pool’ mostly all sleeping Eurasian Teal, Mallard Northern Shoveler, Gadwall and a single drake Northern Pintail were noted.

The Whooper Swan herd could be seen in the distance on Lordship Marsh and a mixed flock of winter thrushes were ground feeding amongst the sheep.

A female European Stonechat sat on the bank on No.4 and took to cover when a Common Kestrel showed an interest in it, nearby European Goldfinch flock I could hear the clay shoot at Ince was in full swing so stayed away from that area.

Observer: Paul Ralston.

Raven pair.

We walked out to look across the Mersey marshes where distant flocks of Pink-footed Goose were grass munching. A flock of several hundred Eurasian Wigeon were at the waters edge while flocks of shimmering Dunlin flighted back and to. A small number of Little Egret were in and out of the tidal gutters.

The Whooper Swan herd were out by the M56 with numerous Pink-footed Goose.

The ‘phalarope pool’ had numerous ducks and 82 Common Coot were by the Canal Pools.

Nearby had 25 Common Pochard, 17 Tufted Duck, Northern Shoveler, Common Shelduck and Northern Pintail.

Observers: JS & WSM videos).

29.01.22. Birdlog.

zIt was a blustery day with Storm Malik pushing its way through the marshes. In bright sunshine I headed to the River Weaver where a small flock of Tufted Duck were seeking shelter from the choppy waters. The flock of 22 Common Goldeneye were made of Sturmer stuff and appeared to enjoy riding the waves. Also present were 34 Gadwall, a drake Common Goosander, 12 Mute Swan and 4 Great Crested Grebe.

My walk continued to the Weaver Bend at dusk but a couple of wildfowlers put paid to any owl watching. A small skeins of ,,14 Pink-footed Goose flew over looking for somewhere to settle.

Observer: WSM. (Images).

A brief visit to the pig farm at Ince produced c18 Little and a single Western Cattle Egret but shooting nearby sent everything over to Goldfinch Meadows LNR where a loud dog walker helped them on their way further.

Observer: Paul Ralston.

28.01.22. Birdlog.

Drake Pintail.

Our walk this late morning into evening started at Hare’s Lane where two Green Sandpiper were back after the dog walkers had left running their dogs in these wildlife rich fields.

The herd of 26 adult Whooper Swan had regathered in their fields by Hill View Farm with numerous Eurasian Curlew, 16 Black-tailed Godwit and hundreds of both Redwing and Fieldfare close by.

The ‘phalarope pool’ was busy with c30 Eurasian Teal, 2 drake Northern Pintail, 2 pairs of Gadwall and 15 Northern Shoveler. Further out by the Canal Pools had 78 Eurasian Coot, more Eurasian Curlew and a skein of 16 Pink-footed Goose overhead.

Drake Pintail.

No.6 tank had 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 24 Common Pochard, 79 Tufted Duck, 34 Common Shelduck, c300 Eurasian Teal and 8 Northern Pintail.

Over on a strut below the lip of the blue topped chimney at Weston Point was the big female Peregrine.

Observers: JS & WSM (video and images).

27.01.22. Birdlog.

Drake Goosander.

We took a late afternoon stroll along Brook Furlong Lane with a stop off at Redwall reed bed to look up the river to the jetty. A herd of 10 Mute Swan were busy dabbling while the main source of ducks namely Common Goldeneye and Tufted Duck were sheltering from the biting wind beneath the Weaver Sluices.

We were met by a pair of Common Goosander asleep on the small island on the Weaver Bend but they soon arose and swam into the middle of the water. A Cetti’s Warbler was scolding us from deep in the reed bed and flocks of winter Wood Pigeon were moving about. A Little Egret flew into the Lum in glorious evening sunshine.


At dusk a Short-eared Owl became active and provided some clear but distant views about the area.

Obsservers: JS & WSM (videos).

24 & 26.01.22. Birdlog.

24.01.22. Birdlog.

Spike Island’s very own resident Whooper Swan still dominates along the canal. She’s got a habit of submerging her bill below the water and blowing bubbles.

Whooper Swan.

Observer: WSM (image).

26.01.22. Birdlog.

There were 3 Ring-necked Parakeet, c50 Lesser Redpoll, a summer plumaged Great Crested Grebe and a drake Northern Shoveler, a pair of Gadwall and 11Tufted Duck around or on the lake at Phoenix Park, Runcorn while over at the boating lake in Heath Park was a colour marked (283A) Black-headed Gull ringed at the same site in Nov’21 – per Emily Traynor.

A couple of Short-eared Owl tussled with a couple of Western Marsh Harrier on Frodsham Marsh this evening.- per Gary Powell.

23.01.22. Birdlog.

I undertook my Ince WeBs count this afternoonwhere I found the missing Western Cattle Egret flock which were hiding at the back of the pig farm along the Manchester Ship Canal, 3 birds in total. There were 15 Little Egret noted and 2 Great Egret were seen, 1 dropped down on to the construction site and a 3rd bird was seen on Ince salt marsh. A mass of Northen Lapwings c3500 were on the stubble alongside the Holpool Gutter, but no sign of the European Golden Plover flock from yesterday. Canada Goose were in good numbers on the salt marsh with smaller numbers of Pink-footed Goose, an odd looking hybrid Canada X Greylag was amongst the herd.I checked the Gowy Meadows on my way home where both Greylag and Canada Goose were in one flock, while the next field held a flock of Pink-footed Goose, one bird wearing a neck collar (VOA), details to follow…

Observer: Paul Ralston.

We took a walk along Hare’s Lane this morning where the Green Sandpiper were not to be found in any of their usual haunts. The fields on Lordship Marsh just below the south east corner of No.4 tank harboured 24 Whooper Swan, however the family of Bewick’s Swan here yesterday went AWOL.

Wigeon and Curlew feeding side by side.

The area of migration had 32 Eurasian Wigeon, several Gadwall, numerous Eurasian Teal and Northern Shoveler. About 45 Eurasian Curlew were busy probing the soggy fields for worms while masses of Northern Lapwing were whirling about the area. Small skeins of Pink-footed Goose were flying over.

No.6 tank had 11 Common Pochard, several Tufted Duck, 12 Northern Pintail, c300 Eurasian Teal and 51 Common Shelduck.

A lone Black-tailed Godwit joined the 16 Common Moorhen in the flood fields off Moorditch Lane.

Observers: JS & WSM (videos).

22.01.22. Birdlog.

A collective assesment from Frodsham Marsh today incorporating my WeBs count for the marsh is included. The herd of Whooper Swan have increased by five adults to 26 birds out by the westbound carriageway of the M56 on Lordship Marsh (PR). Along Lordship Lane the family of 4 Bewick’s Swan had returned in fields below the south east corner of No.4 tank (WSM).

Frodsham Score had 3 Great Egret and a handful of Littles with small numbers of Pink-footed Goose moving about (there were two dead on No.6 tank presumably under suspicious circumstances).

No.6 tank had a female Common Goldeneye with 12 Tufted Duck, 11 Common Pochard, 6 Northern Pintail, 31 Northern Shoveler, 25 Common Shelduck, 430 Eurasian Teal and 34 Mallard. Also present were 112 Black-tailed Godwit.

No.3 tank including the mitigation pools, Canal Pools, ‘phalarope pool’ and the ‘splashing pool’ had 65 Eurasian Teal with 21 Northern Shoveler, 98 Eurasian Coot and c340 Canada Goose. Twenty Common Raven made short work of a dead sheep abandoned there. Another Raven lay dead in the field…makes you wonder?

A flock of c2000 European Golden Plover were on Ince Marsh Fields with in excess of 3000 Northern Lapwing in the area. A flock of 34 Black-tailed Godwit flew over.

Hare’s Lane again produced the wintering 3 Green Sandpiper in a much smaller pool than their previous one which is drying out fast.

The fields were buzzing with both Fieldfare and Redwing taking advantage of the flooded fields bringing up the worms. At Marsh Farm an adult Mediterranean Gull flew over (MG).

At dusk a watch from and along the Weaver Bend saw 3 Short-eared Owl quartering the wooded former I.C.I sludge tank. The Weaver Estuary had 10 Mute Swan, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 140 Tufted Duck, 26 Common Goldeneye, 300 Canada Goose and 16 Gadwall.

Observers: Paul Ralston, Mark Gibson, and WSM (videos).

17.01.22. Birdlog.

Four Short-eared Owl hunting the area by the Weaver Bend.

Observer: Gary Powell.

20.01.22. Birdlog.

A look from the bottom of Smithy Lane across Lordship Marsh where 257 Pink-footed Goose were gathered to feed with c67 Eurasian Curlew. Further out by Hill view Farm were the herd of Whooper Swan.

We took a hike along Moorditch Lane out to he ‘phalarope pool’ with a small mixture of Eurasian Teal and Northern Shoveler. Two of the three Green Sandpiper were again by Hare’s Lane.

No.6 tank was rather low key but a flock of 135 Black-tailed Godwit were the largest flock of the year on this sludge tank.

A look over the horse paddock and tens of Redwing feeding on the frosty grass. Continuing along Brook Furlong Lane we looked across to the Weaver Bend and the Lum where a Little Egret was still present. The surprise of the evening was a Long-eared Owl perched out on the edge of a thicket.

Observers:JS & WSM.

A Short-eared and a Barn Owl hunting the fields by the Ship Street entrance to the marsh at dusk.

Observer: Gary Powell.

19.01.22. Birdlog.

No.6 tank.

A Brambling with 30 on Lordship Lane. Also 2 Green Sandpiper along Hare’s Lane. Large numbers of Pink-footed Goose heading overhead.

Observer: Nicholas Turner.

An evening visit in the failing light after work produced skeins of Pink-footed Goose with vast numbers of gulls heading to the Mersey Estuary too. A Little Egret was feeding at the Lum with several Eurasian Teal.

Earlier the resident Whooper Swan is still present at Spike Island, Widnes with 18 Tufted Duck on the Wet Dock on site. Close by was Common Chiffchaff and a report of a Firecrest from 15.01.22.

The first daffodils and snowdrops were emerging today.

Observer: WSM.

16.01.22. Birdlog.

Green Sandpiper one of three birds.

We wandered out onto the marsh with a brief stop on Hare’s Lane where again the three Green Sandpiper were still feeding happily together on a different pool than yesterday. A male European Stonechat was perched close by.

The herd of Whooper Swan were back by the M56 on Lordship Marsh and five Mute Swan were in their usual place.

The ‘phalarope pool’ had Eurasian Teal and Northern Shoveler with 84 Eurasian Coot on the banks of the Canal Pools.

Again No.6 tank had much reduced numbers of ducks with the highlight again a Common Pochard numbering 78 birds.

A pair of Peregrines.

A pair of Peregrine were dining out on the lip of the blue topped chimney at Weston Point.

Observers: JS & WSM (video).

A walk to the Weaver Bend this morning where 5 European Stonechat, numerous Common Raven, 16 Mute Swan, 150 Common Redshank and 200 Northern Lapwing.

Observer: Paul Ralston.

A couple of Short-eared Owl were at the Weaver Bend.

Observer: Gary Powell.