08.04.20. Birdlog.

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After I finished work at Stanlow I walked out to Ince marsh fields for my daily constitutional where I was greeted by Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Gadwall, Little Grebe, Eurasian Coot and Common Moorhen on the pools in reduced numbers. A single Little Egret was foraging at the edge of one pool and another passed overhead.

There were four Sand Martin hawking over the pools and a Green Woodpecker was calling from the woods near to the pig farm entrance.

The Barn Owl was again seen at the entrance to its shelter.

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A Common Snipe rose from the ditch near by Ince berth and c700 Pink-footed Goose were gathered together on the Frodsham Score salt marsh preparing for the push north.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

Yesterday after work I put up a bird box on a tree outside my house, this morning before I went to work a Blue Tit was prospecting the box, and again when I return home…result. Built it and they will come.

WSM

07.04.20. Birdlog.

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A walk along the River Weaver after work for my permitted daily exercise in fine evening sunshine with very few people about and none close enough for contact or conversion.

The sounds of Pied Avocet hiding away on Weston Marsh went unseen, likewise a couple of singing Cetti’s Warbler. A Common Snipe rose from the margins of the river and further down stream were 76 Tufted Duck, 13 Common Goldeneye, Gadwall, 54 Common Shelduck and surprisenly the female Long-tailed Duck had relocated to the river after spending weeks on No.6 tank.

A small group of Common Redshank, 2 Common Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper.

The walk along Brook Furlong Lane was deafening with the singing tip tap song of Chiffchaff.

Observer: WSM (image from archieve).

05.04.20. Birdlog.

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I exercised my right to exercise in complete isolation, so after 7 days in work I cycled down to the marsh and celebrated the female Long-tailed Duck 100th day staycation with a ride around No.6 tank.  Ducks were present with c300 Common Shelduck, a small number of Common Goldeneye, c200 Northern Shoveler, 40 Eurasian Teal, 145 Tufted Duck and 4 Common Pochard.

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The ‘phalarope pool’ had 7 Black-tailed Godwit, numerous Eurasian Teal, Gadwall and Mallard.The Whooper Swan herd may have flown to the icy far north, but a Little Ringed Plover was fresh in and a couple of Western Marsh Harrier were about.  Further on the pools on No.3 tank had 40 Black-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, Common Shelduck and Black-tailed Godwit.

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Image may contain: bird, outdoor and water

Observer: WSM (all images).

02.04.20. Birdlog.

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I walked down to No.6 tank as part as my daily excercise regime after work today. A look over the tank was reward for my efforts with c110 Northern Shoveler, 45 Eurasian Teal, Mallard, 123 Tufted Duck a few lingering Common Goldeneye including an immature male.

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Image may contain: bird, outdoor and water

Image may contain: bird, outdoor and water

Image may contain: bird, outdoor, water and nature

The female Long-tailed Duck continues her staycation with 97 days under her wing. Let’s hope she makes the big 100.

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A Western Marsh Harrier was floating again over the reed beds and numerous Common Raven were about.

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Observer: WSM and images.

28.03.20. Birdlog.

I took my excercised and walked to the marsh and then circumnavigated No.6 tank. A look over the water produced 121 Tufted Duck, c100 Common Shelduck (many in display and territorial disputes), Gadwall, Mallard, 9 Common Goldeneye, c100 Eurasian Teal, 65 Northern Shoveler and the long staying female Long-tailed Duck. A Western Marsh Harrier was floating over the distant reed beds before settling in a tree for a rest.

The only summer migrants heard or seen on my excercise walk were Cetti’s Warbler, Common Chiffchaff and a singing Blackcap.

Observer: WSM (image from archieve).

23.03.20. Birdlog.

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A walk across the marshes today was relativly person free with Jacqui and Idris pausing for a distant exchange of pleasantries.

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Walking along Moorditch Lane and the tunes of singing Common Chiffchaff and the shrill tones of a Goldcrest. Continuing onto Lordship Lane and a couple of Cetti’s Warbler made its presence known.

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Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, grass, outdoor and nature

I eventually reached my goal and the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal and a scan across the mighty south Mersey marshes. A gathering of c800 Pink-footed Goose were spooked by a passing ship en route to Salford docks.

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There was little else except for several Little and a Great Egret loitering about the place. Numerous Common Raven were seeking out the dead sheep out on the marshes and Common Buzzard were mewing high in the sky.

The walk back to No.6 tank saw Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Teal, Common Shelduck and Gadwall on all of the scrapes and a small party of Pied Avocet were noisily about the site with 3 Black-tailed Godwit.

No.6 tank had its usual species of duck and their numbers hadn’t change since yesterday. The female Long-tailed Duck was again diving in the centre of the flooded tank.

Observer and images: JS & WSM.

While I was self isolating at the extreme ends of the marshes Dave the fungal punk @FungalpunkOMD was busy doing his spot of distance birding and botany observing close to Marsh Farm. He said; I saw 57 bird species – didn’t do full loop and left scope at home so no Long-tailed Duck but Northern Wheatear, 2 Sand Martin (first of the year) and a few flowers in bloom.

 

22.03.20. Birdlog.

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I watched the sunrise this morning while watching a Black Grouse lek on a moor in North Wales before making my way to the south Mersey marshes. Starting and walking around No.6 and No.4 tanks a pair of Common Buzzard were challenged by a Western Marsh Harrier over the reed beds.

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The mitigation pools held more Eurasian Teal, Common Shelduck and Mallard with 15 Black-tailed Godwit feeding amongst them. The first of several Common Chiffchaff was seen on the bank of No.6 and 3 Cetti’s Warbler were heard on No.4 tank.

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My first Northern Wheatear of the year was seen on the Manchester Ship Canal path and 2 Small Tortoiseshell butterflies were on the wing on this fine Spring day. There were hundreds of Pink-footed Goose out on Frodsham Score saltmarsh with Canada Goose and Common Shelduck, 4 Little Egret were feeding in the tidal channels.

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I went back to Ince this afternoon where c80 Black-tailed Godwit were feeding in the flooded shallows with only 5 Little Egret noted, possibly due to off road bikes in the area and the fact that no pigs were out in the fields.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-6).

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I’ve always taken the opportunity for social distancing particularly in the birding community and today was a beautiful day to practise it once again. A walk around No.6 tank was pretty uneventful with numbers of singing Common Chiffchaff and a couple of Cetti’s Warbler. Common Buzzard were utilising the warm current termals to circle over head and to spar with Common Raven.

No photo description available.

The herd of 21 Whooper Swan were still in the field by Hillview Farm on Lordship Marsh and for the time being looked settled for a week or two.

No photo description available.

No photo description available.

We reached the track that looks over No.6 tank and scoured the ducks on the water. A small flock of 6 Northern Pintail, 54 Northern Shoveler, 200 Eurasian Teal, 57 Tufted Duck, 6 Common Pochard, 7 Gadwall, 10 Common Goldeneye, c100 Common Shelduck and the hide and seek female Long-tailed Duck that was very difficult to locate moving across the flooded water with remarkable ease.

No photo description available.

We did have some social interaction (at the required 2 metres) with Jacqui & Idris Roberts who had seen Northern Wheatear along the pipes on No.1 tank by Marsh Farm, when we arrived there were five birds. The first birds of the year for us and in addition to the bird Paul had seen earlier.

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Sunset over the Mersey Estuary as seen from Weston Village.

Observer: JS & WSM (images 7-12).