04 & 05. 08 .20. Birdlg.

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04.08.20. Birdlog.

A brief visit after work was well after the ebbed tide, so it was no great surprise to see little of note on No.6 tank. A small flock of Black-tailed Godwit were on the far side of the water with small numbers of Dunlin and Redshank.

A look over the Merset Estuary produced c500 Common Shelduck, hundreds of Canada Goose and a flock of 45 Common Raven.

05.08.20. Birdlog.

One of Poynton’s finest paid a visit to the marsh this evening seeing 4 Green Sandpiper on the ‘phalarope pool’, while a juvenile Common Cuckoo flushed a flock of 170 Black-tailed Godwit.

On the River Weaver were 6 Common and 2 additional Green Sandpiper. A flock of 80 Common Swift were overhead.

Observer: Mark (whipper) Gibson.

I took up position looking across the Weaver Sluices and the highlight was c300 Common Redshank, c400 Common Shelduck, 16 Common Raven, 2 Little and a Great Egret.

Observer: WSM (image).

03.08.20. Birdlog.

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After work today I paid a visit to No.6 tank to look through the Black-tailed Godwit and sat in my usual spot with the godwit flock below me.

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After 30 minutes of scanning the birds suddenly and without warning then rose in the air and wheeled around in an attempt to evade the clutches of on this occasion an unseen predator. The majority of c1000 birds couldn’t cope with all the anxiety and departed to the Mersey Estuary. The remainder resettled and continued to commece feeding joined by c100 Dunlin and a juvenile Little Ringed Plover.

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The female Tufted Duck with her brood had six left from my previous observation and was very intolerent to any other ducks that ventured near to her tuftlings.

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Observer: WSM (images 1-7).

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Small Copper Butterfly.

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Male Tetragnatha (spider) species and the curl leaf retreat will be either a Clubiona species or Cheiracanthium species

Additional pictures (8-15) by Keith Gallie.

02.08.20. Birdlog.

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A walk along the Manchester Ship Canal and around No.4 tank this morning. There were thousands of Canada Goose on the Frodsham Score salt marsh and the ship canal when something disturbed them out by the river and they took off on mass.

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Their noise moving in flight was impressive and caused the sheep to panic and run. A Great Egret and several Little Egret were feeding in the tidal channels while Common Raven, Carrion Crow and Lesser Black-backed Gull were scavenging on the dead sheep on the marsh. A look over the ‘phalarope pool’ on No.3 tank was unproductive as the cattle were wandering through it. Arthur Harrison had seen 4 Common Snipe on the pool earlier. A Western Marsh Harrier was hunting over No.4 tank and a Weasel crossed the path in front of me. Butterflies were numerous with Speckled Wood and Common Blue amongst the usual species seen.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-4).

A look over Frodsham Score on the rising tide saw 14 Pied Avocet, c500 Common Shelduck and a flock of 54 Common Raven.

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Our walk took us to watch over No.6 tank during the period of high tide. An impressive gathering of 2254 Black-tailed Godwit was by far the highest flock of the year. Hiding in their throng were several juveniles and a colour ringed bird. The whole flock rose into the air when a juvenile Peregrine sliced through the flying birds like a knife through butter. A flock of 153 Dunlin made the price and one caught a hit.

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A single juvenile Ruff, 43 Common Ringed Plover, 43 Common Redshank and 3 Green Sandpiper. The gulls gathered were many and an adult Yellow-legged Gull the first of the year dropped in and fell asleep in the grass for a half hour.

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A few hirundines were still about and like wise several Common Swift.

Observer: JS & WSM (images 1 & 5-9).

01.08.20. Birdlog.

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An early morning walk around the marsh starting off at Brook Furlong Lane. Common Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaffs and Sedge Warbler were all seen but now not heard along the lane. A pair of European Stonechat were on the fence along Alder Lane and c300 Canada Goose were in the adjacent field.

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A Western Marsh Harrier was hunting over the fields and took an interest in the geese, which unnerved the herd and caused them to take flight. Plenty more Canada Goose with several Greylag Goose were out on Frodsham Score salt marsh and River Mersey.

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A juvenile Peregrine sat on the bank watching the waders in the tidal channel.

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Several hundred Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank and a few Eurasian Curlew were feeding also in the channel with Common Shelduck, Mallard and Great Crested Grebe on the river. Flocks of Common Redshank moved along the River Weaver some settled and joined a small number of godwits and 2 Common Sandpiper feeding at the rivers edge.

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A pair of Common Pochard were with the Tufted Duck and Mallard on the water and a pair of Mute Swan with 3 large cygnets on the Weaver Bend.

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On the ‘phalarope pool’ on No.3 tank were c30 Canada Goose, the Gadwall family, several Eurasian Teal, 6 godwit, several Northern Lapwing, 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Dunlin were present.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-6).

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I was in work today so it wasn’t until later that I got the opportunity to pay a visit to No.6 tank. A flock of 874 Black-tailed Godwit were busy feeding in the shallow water with the first juvenile Ruff of the summer, 2 Common Snipe, 37 Dunlin, 21 Common Redshank and 214 Northern Lapwing.

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Gulls were taking time to preen and rest up with 12 Common, 1 adult Lesser Black-backed and 211 Black-headed Gull which included the leucistic adult I saw at Blakemere seen earlier in the summer there. A drone flying over from the model aircrat field spooked the flock and the leucistic bird relocated to a stubble field on Moorditch Lane.

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Scanning the reedy fringes of the tank revealed a fluffy black Water Rail chick which ventured out from its shady lair, and numerous Little Grebe were on the water. A cluster of Tufted Duck, Northern Shoveler and c200 Mallard were about right for the ducks this evening.

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The big female Peregrine was again sat on her lookout on the blue topped chimney at Weston Point.

Observer: WSM (image 7-11).

30.07.20. Birdlog.

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A camera shy juvenile Common Cuckoo on No.1 tank today.

A walk around the River Weaver and MAnchester Ship Canal again this evening. Befre all of that a start along Brook Furlong Lane where three Bullfinch were moving along the hedgerow with many European Goldfinch feeding on the downy seed heads in the adjacent fields.

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male European Stonechat was on the fence along Alder Lane and the lingering juvenile Common Cuckoo is content to remain in the area around Marsh Farm.

Looking over the Mersey Estuary and Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Eurasian Curlew and Northern Lapwing which were resting alongside many Great Cormorant and several Grey Heron.

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On the Weaver Estuary were more Common Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, several Eurasian Oystercatcher and 4 Common Sandpiper were on the river bank. 

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Flocks of European Starling and Black-headed Gull were feeding on a hatch of flying ants and surprisingly very few Common Swift were seen tonight.

Observer: Paul Ralston (all images).

29.07.20. Birdlog.

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I had a fleeting glimpse of Hobby near the old horse paddock by Moorditch Lane. Further out by the River Weaver was a Small Copper butterfly.

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Parent Wren feeding fledge chicks.
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The juvenile Common Cuckoo was still present.

Observer: Keith Gallie (all images).

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An adult Mediterreanean Gull spent the early evening in the stubble field alongside Moorditch Lane.

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A Green Sandpiper was at the Weaver Bend and another was on the ‘phalarope pool’ with a Common Snipe. Also a juvenile Western Yellow Wagtail.

Observer: Roger Wikinson.

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A watch on the incoming tide this evening presented a scattered gathering of c500 Common Shelduck, 250 Black-tailed Godwit, c200 Common Redshank, 12 Eurasian Oystercatcher, Great Egret and a Peregrine.

Observer: WSM.

28.07.20. Birdlog.

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A walk along Brook Furlong Lane and along the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Weaver after work this afternoon.

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A distant juvenile Common Cuckoo was seen on the brick drainage structure near to Marsh Farm but it didn’t hang around for long. Onto the ship canal and a raft of 57 Eurasian Coot on the far bank and drifted down to the junction where another raft of c40 joined them and more were noted on the Weaver Estuary. Looking over the Frodsham Score salt marsh and several hundred gulls mostly Lesser Black-backed, Black-headed and Common Gull were joined by a flock of Black-tailed Godwit and Common Redshank they all took to the air but soon resettled. Hundreds of Common Swift, Barn Swallow, House and Sand Martin were feeding just above the surface of the water.

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A mixed flock of Common Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, several Eurasian Oystercatcher and at least 5 Common Sandpiper were feeding along the river bank.

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A Western Reed Warbler was still in song along the river path.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-4).

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‘Alas, poor Yorick! I know him’. Earlier in the day along the Sankey Canal at Widnes Warth Marsh and a discarded Giant Puffball floating in the canal drew my attention to a cluster of others including a football sized specimen which similarly was ripped from its footing (by a fungal heretic) from beneath a hedge-layed hawthorn. A young toadlet was again helped on its way across the canal yoe path to a much safer environment.   

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There were 6 Little Egret on the edge of the marsh bordering Spike Island.     

Observer: WSM (images 5-6).

26.07.20. Birdlog.

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An early morning walk with a start at Ince. There were 15 Gadwall, 6 Mallard, 4 Little Grebe and a single Mute Swan were on the pools alongside the track. Also noted were Eurasian Coot and Common Moorhen were numerous along the ditch and on the pools. Western Reed Warbler were contact calling as they moved along the ditchside.

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More Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler were all noted feeding in the hedgerow along the Manchester Ship Canal path. Looking over Frodsham Score produced 3 Barnacle Goose dropped in to join the hundreds of Canada Goose grazing on the short grass, a single Little Egret fed alongside them.

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More Gadwall and Mallard were on the ship canal with numerous Eurasian Coot and a single Great Crested Grebe. Three Western Marsh Harrier were in the air together over No.6 tank and a large charm of European Goldfinch were feeding on the thistle heads. A brief glimpse of a Stoat was watched as it crossed the path and disappeared into the vegetation.

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After crossing the Holpool Gutter near to the Growhow Works and a Little Grebe with a single chick fed amongst the Common Moorhen and Eurasian Coot. Back at my starting point and a large flock of Rook and Western Jackdaw were feeding on a recently cut field.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images).

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We took a stride along Moorditch Lane and then onto Lordship Lane where a couple of Western Yellow Wagtail and small numbers of Common Swift were about. The juvenile warblers were being very tame and were often perched up on the fence wires.

The ‘phalarope poll’ was pretty devoid of birdlife with the exception of the 6 (now juvenile) Gadwall that have been here since their duckling days. A female Eurasian Teal and a couple of Stock Dove were their only companions. We carried on and settled on the bank overlooking No.6 tank (thanks to Idris and Jaquci for their home grown tomatos). The Black-tailed Godwit flock had risen in number from yesterday with c1400 birds present. Likewise, Common Redshank were knocking on the 350 door and Dunlin were again in triple figures.

Observers: JS & WSM.

25.07.20. Birdlog.

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I started my birding walk at Brook Furlong Lane this morning where a juvenile Eurasian Bullfinch flew cross my path as I made my way to the riverm. It was the first time in a while that I haven’t been serenaded by Common Chiffchaff and the other warblers that spend the summer along the lane I have previously walked along. On the River Weaver and a flock of c40 Common Redshank and a similar number of Black-tailed Godwit were resting at the river edge.

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There were 7 Common Sandpiper were noted along the river and Manchester Ship Canal while out on Frodsham Score salt marsh more Common Redshank, 100’s Black-tailed Godwit and Euraian Curlew feeding on the mudflats.

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The Mute Swan pair on the canal pools have lost 2 of their cygnets and were keeping a close eye on the remaining two. A juvenile Great Crested Grebe was close by.

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There were 2 Green Sandpiper on the ‘phalarope pool’ alongside several Mallard, 4 Canada Goose and a Tufted Duck with her brood.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-5).

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While Paul was out by the river I took up position looking across No.6 tank and watched a flock of 378 Black-tailed Godwit, c200 Common Redshank, c100 Dunlin, c210 Northern Lapwing, a Common and a single Green Sandpiper.

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A flock of 50 Common Gull had joined up with the usual loafing Black-headed Gull. Ducks were thin on the water with 3 Common Pochard, 23 Tufted Duck (excluding a mother with her 8 tuftlings), some Gadwall, 11 Northern Shoveler and c120 Mallard.

A few Common Swift were much reduced in numbers and Sand Martin were flying low over the water. A couple of Western Yellow Wagtail and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were noted. A male Western Marsh Harrier was over briefly.

Observer: WSM (images 6-7).

22.07.20. Birdlog.

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An after work stroll along the track that separates No.5 from No.6 tank. I met Jaquci and Idris Roberts for a chat and we were interupted by a sickly looking Brown Rat on the path ahead.

No photo description available.

Shortly after SO’H was along the bank watching c500 Black-tailed Godwit which included 2 colour ringed birds. A small flock of 20 Dunlin and several Northern Lapwing. Ducks were few but did include 21 Tufted Duck, 3 Common Pochard, c100 Mallard, 8 Eurasian Teal and an assortment of other species. A Western Marsh Harrier dislodged the shorebirds but they soon resettled.

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A few hundred Common Swift were low over the banks of No.6 and c1000 Common Starling were mostly moulting juvenile birds.

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A young Brown Toad was making its way across the track on no.5 tank to the damp ditches.

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In the far distance the adult female Peregrine was sat on the blue topped chimney over at Weston Point.

Two adult and 2 juvenile Little Ringed Plover (SO’H) were on the drying out mitigation pools.

Obsevers: Sean O’Hara and WSM (images).