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17 & 18.06.19. Birdlog.

17th June 2019.

The Long-tailed Duck was still in situ on the ‘phalarope pool’ at the west end of No.3 tank.

Observer and image: Keith G.

18th June 2019.

An after work walk along the track that separates No.5,No.6 and No.3 tank.

The duck numbers are stable at the moment with c50 Tufted Duck, a drake Common Pochard, 21 Gadwall, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler with 6 Little Grebe and 2 Mute Swan.

The Avocet parents were very agitated whenever a gull flew over and they even had a go at me for pausing too long on the track. The reason for their anxiety was a couple of their chicks wading and swimming through and on the shallow pool.

The ‘phalarope pool’ lacked its recent star and presumably it’s heading to the frozen north?

Common Buzzard hovering over Hale lighthouse from my patch poach yesterday.

Observer: WSM (video).

16.06.19. Birdlog (WeBS Count).

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I started my walk and subsequently my monthly WeBS count for the BTO at Ince this morning and then for the high tide period. The pools at Ince are overgrown making it difficult to assess an accurate count, but 18 Mallard, 6 Common Shelduck, 2 Tufted Duck, 3 Little Grebe and 2 Oystercatcher were viewable.

Walking alongside the Manchester Ship Canal there were more Mallard and Tufted Duck with the addition of a single Great Crested Grebe being on the water. Passerines featured Common Whitethroat and Chiffchaff which were busy feeding their young by the canal path.

The Long-tailed Duck was again on the ‘phalarope pool’ with several Eurasian Teal and a single Black-tailed Godwit for company. Further along the track were many Common Swift hawking at head height with both House and Sand Martin present.

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Back near Ince Berth a pair of very agitated Little Ringed Plover were trying to draw me away from their territory by faking a broken wing display, and did likewise when a Brown Hare approached them to close.

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Observer and images (1-6): Paul Ralston.

While Paul was doing his part of his count, I was making my count on No.6 and No.3 tanks and around Lordship Marsh.

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A single drake Common Pochard was with 32 Tufted Duck, 17 Common Shelduck, 19 Mallard, 16 Eurasian Teal, 10 Northern Shoveler, 21 Gadwall, 53 Eurasian Coot and 2 pairs of Little Grebe. The Black-tailed Godwit flock consisted of c500 birds feeding in the vegetation at the edge of the water and a Common Redshank was with them.

The Marsh Harrier was quartering the area (for a change) and kettles of Common Buzzard were riding the thermal updrafts. There were plenty of hirundine activity alongside Common Swift (as PR mentioned earlier).

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The Long-tailed Duck obviously made it on the WeBS count, so fame was secured. The pools didn’t have much apart from a couple each of Common Shelduck and Eurasian Teal during my visit, but the ‘Splashing Pool’ conjured up 4 Tufted Duck.

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The ‘phalarope pool’ at the west end of No.3 tank.

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Image may contain: cloud, sky, grass, outdoor, nature and water

Along Lordship Lane the Reed Bunting, Reed and Sedge Warbler were still vocal but not as enthusiastic as before. The fields adjacent to the lane were flooded and if the Lapwing pairs breeding here had it bad when their nests were ploughed over by the farmer, they also had the indignity of having their second clutch waterlogged. The same fate befell a pair of Oystercarcher which abandoned their nest as well.

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Some images of the flooded No.6 tank.

Observers: JS & WSM (video & images 7-14).

15.06.19. Birdlog.

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I was out this morning along the River Weaver and around No.6 tank.

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A Common Whitethroat, Blackcap and Willow Warbler were all seen and heard along Brook Furlong Lane and both Reed and Sedge Warbler were active throughout my walk.

Along the River Weaver and duck numbers were low with just a few Common Shelduck and one pair with a brood. The Tufted Duck, Mallard and Gadwall were present in small numbers, but nothing to ignite the passion. A pair of Avocet were showing aggression to anything or anyone that invaded their territory as were several Oystercatcher.

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Out on Frodsham Score salt marsh and c1000 Canada Goose were marching out over the mudflats in long columns and c30 Greylag Goose were on the Manchester Ship Canal with several goslings.

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Onto the Canal Pools and a pair of Mute Swan were on the pool that they bred on last year, but haven’t attempted to breed this year?  More Avocet could be heard calling on a hidden scrape but were out of sight due to the overgrown vegetation.

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The Long-tailed Duck was back on the ‘phalarope pool’ with a few Eurasian Teal for company. It was nodding off when the sun shone, but the constant harassment by both Common Shelduck and juvenile Eurasian Coot made its attempts at sleeping difficult.

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A flock of 150 Black-tailed Godwit dropped in for a while.

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The waterlogged fields along Lordship Lane held a few Common Shelduck, Oystercatcher and a single Black-tailed Godwit.

Looking over No.6 tank and c400 Black-tailed Godwit fed in the shallow waters with c230 Black-headed Gull. The gulls took to the air when a Common Buzzard passed over leaving the godwits unconcerned. The ducks included: 32 Common Shelduck, 36 Tufted Duck, 21 Mallard and 14 Gadwall, 17 Northern Shoveler, 15 Eurasian Teal, 4 Little Grebe, 56 Eurasian Coot all a countered for. The first Green Sandpiper of the summer was present briefly (per Phil Oddy).

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A Marsh Harrier was about the reed beds.

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Paul stopped off at the Gowy meadows on the way home and the river has burst its banks and flooded the meadows making many hardships for ground nesting birds in the area.

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A Painted Lady fluttered by on the track before the rain came down.

Observers: Paul Ralston (images 1 & 3-4 & 10 & 13), WSM (images 2 & 5-9 & 11-12 & 14).

13.06.19. Birdlog.

 

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An after work visit to the marsh to view the Long-tailed Duck which is still present on the ‘phalarope pool’ resting amongst c250 Black-tailed Godwit, several Eurasian Teal, Mallard and Common Shelduck. A pair of Northern Shoveler were also on the pool the male has started its summer moult and does not look so pristine now.

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On No.6 tank were just c60 other godwits with the mass of Eurasian Coot and gulls, Common Shelduck, Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Tufted Duck, Northern Shoveler and Gadwall all feeding in the shallow waters.

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Both Reed and Sedge Warbler are still vocal on the marsh, while a Cetti’s Warbler was seen carrying a fecal sac across across one of the lanes on the marsh.

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Several Common Shelduck were busy feeding in a waterlogged field alongside an Oystercatcher and another Brown Hare was spotted. I

bumped into Arthur Harrison who had taken advantage of a break in the rain to catch a look at sea duck on the scrape.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

12.06.19. Birdlog.

An after work jaunt along the track that separates No.6-No.5 & No.3 tanks.

Looking out over No.6 tank and c400 Black-tailed Godwit were hundled close to my viewing point but soon after a passing Common Buzzard flushed the entire flock with half of them in panic heading off to the north. The remaining birds wheeled around and resettled. The usual ducks were about with 6 Eurasian Teal joining the big numbers of Gadwall and Coot. The first juvenile of the nesting flock was still about and a couple of Yellow Wagtail could be heard. A couple of Avocet were feeding on the far edge of the tank.

A flock of c300 Common Swift were over the east bank while at least 3 Cetti’s Warbler were busy calling.

The usual female Marsh Harrier was sat on her regular perch.

Walking out to the far end of No.3 tank to the ‘phalarope pool’ where I was hoping the other Black-tailed Godwit may have resettled. I could hear the birds long before I saw the flock and on arrival there was c600 birds. No sooner had I set up my scope, than I found a drake (moulting into summer plumage and tailless) Long-tailed Duck doing its best to dive and attempt to find food in the shallow pool. It was still there when I left and a good little pool that’s attracting at least two good birds so far.

Observer: WSM (images, video).

09.06.19. Birdlog.

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I was out early doors this morning and a change in the weather made all the difference with Chiffchaff, Wren, Reed and Sedge Warbler all in good voice, and their young making an appearance.

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A pair of Brown Hare were eyed along the lane and a Common Buzzard lingered whilst hunting the meadows and flushed several of the released hunting stock.

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Out on the River Weaver were Common Shelduck, Mallard, Gadwall and Canada Goose each enjoying the morning sunshine like myself.

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A female Northern Shoveler hid her ducklings in the reeds for safety from prying eyes.

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A couple of Northern Lapwing chicks have managed successfully to avoid the gull and crow patrols. The youngsters are growing well and were joined by a galoshes wearing Avocet chick for moral support.

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The Avocet parents were busy driving away Lesser Black-backed Gull and Common Buzzard away from the area.

c300 Common Swift were hawking low over the bank whizzing past at head height putting on a great display.

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The ‘phalarope pool’ was again quiet with just the one Black-tailed Godwit present. Yet more Reed and Sedge Warbler were along Lordship Lane with some busy feeding their young.

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A trespassing Common Buzzard ran the gauntlet of a very aggressive Avocet father or mother.

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On No.6 tank were 27 Tufted Duck, 20 Mallard, 60 Common Shelduck and several Gadwall have been joined by a few Eurasian Teal which took to the air as a Peregrine passed over. The Black-tailed Godwit flock from yesterday were still present with c350 birds.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-7 & 12), JS & WSM (image 8-11 & 13-17).

08.06.19. Birdlog.

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I was out on this wet miserable morning along Brook Furlong Lane and then around No.6 tank. The bird song was subdued by the but both Reed and Sedge Warbler still made their presence known. Reed Bunting were seen feeding young as were Common Whitethroat.

A Barn Owl was seen to disappear over the bank near to the pony paddock followed hotly by several Jackdaw.

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Onto No.6 tank and the duck numbers were low but still held Common Shelduck, Mallard, Gadwall and Tufted Duck, plus many Coot and a single Mute Swan. A flock of c300 Black-tailed Godwit were feeding in the shallow waters and a Marsh Harrier hunted the reed bed.

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A spot of nest robbery by either a corvid or gull on a Coot nest resulted in a broken egg on the path.

The ‘phalarope pool’ was devoid of any waders apart from the Lapwing family, but held the same species of wildfowl as on No.6 except for a pair of Eurasian Teal.

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Forward onward to Lordship Lane where the Oystercatcher is still sitting tight and a couple of Ring Plover where in the vicinity. Common Swift were in numbering c300 and hawked over the bank on No.6, ignoring a Kestrel hovering within their flight line.

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A couple of Brown Hare were again noted on my walk and I spent a couple of hours one night in the week in better weather watching a group of them feeding and chasing one another.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-6).

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I took on the next session with a walk along No.6 tank. The flock of Black-tailed Godwit that Paul had seen earlier were still in situ with an additional 75 birds. There were 3 Dunlin leaving it late before heading north.

A count of the ducks for the WeBS featured 71 Common Shelduck, 7 Northern Shoveler, 27 Tufted Duck, 16 Gadwall, 23 Mallard, 4 Little Grebe, 83 Eurasian Coot, 274 Black-headed and a single Lesser Black-backed Gull.

A pair of Yellow Wagtail have been here all summer but don’t appear to have had fledged young.

Observer: WSM (images 7-9).