06.11.19. Birdlog.

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A  short walk along the River Weaver and Manchester Ship Canal today. A Sparrowhawk was hunting the Redwing and Blackbird flock along Brook Furlong Lane.

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Raven and Common Buzzard were numerous during my walk where I also saw four pairs of Stonechat were noted along the lane and river banks.

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A flock of c500 Northern Lapwing and several Eurasian Curlew were in the field next to Marsh Farm.

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The river and canal were quiet with a small amount of Eurasian Teal, Mallard and 8 Common Goldeneye being on the river.

Meadow Pipit and Reed Bunting were active on the river bank and a flock of c30 Black-tailed Godwit passed over my head.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-4).

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A few additional birds were reported on the #darkside of the river Mersey at Victoria Park, Widnes with a Barnacle Goose hanging out with the monterous Greylag x Canada Goose hybrid.

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…and the Norwegian ringed Black-headed Gull (LC was back at Spike Island.

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Also Grey Wagtail, Kingfisher and 3 Cetti’s Warbler along the TPT at Widnes Warth Marsh.

Images 5 & 10-11 by WSM and images 6-9 by Vic Dennet.

03.11.19. Birdlog.

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I was out this morning starting at Brook Furlong Lane where Redwing, Blackbird, Song Thrush and a few Fieldfare were feasting on the hawthorn berries. Several Raven were resting on the pylons alongside a flock of Eurasian Starling and a Cetti’s Warbler was heard near the old bird log.

Several skeins of Pink-footed Goose passed overhead on their way to the Mersey estuary with one skein turned-tail due to shooting in the area.

A pair of Stonechat were near Marsh Farm and 6 Great Crested Grebe were on the Manchester Ship Canal as were 4 Little Grebe. A Raven was feeding on a sheep carcass which had fallen into the water and was watched over by 2 Great Black-backed Gull (nothing is wasted in nature).

The  Canal Pools held the usual ducks with Eurasian Coot, a single Great Crested Grebe and a pair of Little Grebe, c30 Common snipe were moving between the pools and scrapes on No.3 tank.

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Another pair of Stonechat were near the ‘phalarope pool’ and a Marsh Harrier flew on to No.6 tank.

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Reed Bunting and Meadow Pipit were commonplace during my walk and a Little Egret was feeding in the stubble field along Lordship Lane.

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Further out on Lordship Marsh the Whooper Swan family were feeding close to the M56.

On my way past Stanlow a Peregrine was observed hunting the Feral Pigeon flocks.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-4).

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During the late morning and afternoon we walk the circumference of No.6 tank starting along Moorditch Lane which produced a Kingfisher flying along the main ditch. The flooded maize fields on Lordship Marsh were pretty devoid of life, but further out close to the motorway a flock of Eurasian Curlew were bubbling away and a large mixed flock of Carrion Cow and Rook were feasting on the insects that were in the water. A Migrant Hawker was a slight surprise along the lane.

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No.6 tank had a much reduced amount of duck with c400 Eurasian Teal, 43 Northern Shoveler and 8 Northern Pintail. Three Marsh Harrier were together over the reedbeds.

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During our trek we counted 5 Cetti’s Warbler at a variety of locations.

The Peregrine was back on the blue topped chimney at Weston Point and several Kestrel were being photogenic back towards our start.

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Observers: JS & WSM (my images made with a steady hand and a smart phone, 1 & 5-9).

02.11.19. Birdlog.

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My visit coincided with the first continuous daytime rain this week and it didn’t relent for the entire period of my observation. However, a fine selection of birds going about their daily routine despite the weather. I walked along Lordship Lane where a pair of Stonechat were working their way along the fence line. A very chatty Cetti’s Warbler gave brief views from a patch of Sea Buckthorn and both Dunnock and Reed Bunting kept themselves busy.

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Standing on the south-east corner of No.4 tank and looking south-west and through the curtain of rain I could make out 7 adult ad 3 juvenile Whooper Swan feeding in the flooded fields alongside the eastbound M56. Flocks of hundreds of Black-tailed Godwit were heading out to these field which already contained large flocks of Eurasian Curlew.

Turning my collar to the rain I continued my circular walk around No.6 tank and soon found 23 Northern Shoveler, 12 Eurasian Teal and 14 Mallard on the ‘Splashing Pool’.

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A further walk and I soon reached the viewing area looking across the vegetated and flooded basin of No.6 tank. A careful scan of the c750 Eurasian Teal revealed just the nominate form with 124 Northern Shoveler, 6 Northern Pintail, 23 Tufted Duck and a few Mallard. The rain seemed to encourage the Marsh Harrier out of their slumber and four birds were circling the tank together.

Shorebirds were obviously scarce considering the high water level on the tank, but a Green Sandpiper and c30 Common Snipe were a welcome respite from the ducks.

The hedgerows had bedraggled Redwing alongside the Blackbird and Song Thrush.

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Looking across the field on No.5 tank and a Common Buzzard edged in by a fence full of Raven and Jackdaw.

Observer: WSM (images).

01.11.19. Birdlog.

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A look over the Frodsham Score saltmarsh from Ince  Berth after work. There were plenty of Redwing and Blackbird were going to their roost in the bushes along the Manchester Ship Canal. At least 10 Little Egret out on the marsh and a mass of Northern Lapwing with a flock of c50 Golden Plover took to the air when a wildfowler made his way west along the canal bank. A flock of c4000 Eurasian Starling carpeted the short grass as they moved across the marsh.

A party of Long-tailed Tit had a Goldcrest fly catching with them along the tow path.

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Walking back to my car I watched hundreds of Rook, Western Jackdaw and Carrion Crow went to roost in the wood near the incinerator plant.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

29.10.19. Birdlog.

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A very quick dash down to the marsh after work and after such a glorious sunshine day it leached into the evening with a fiery sunset.

Looking over the pool on No.6 tank and most of the c750 ducks present were Eurasian Teal with much reduced numbers of Northern Pintail and Northern Shoveler.

A couple of Marsh Harrier were coming into their roost with the background chatter of a Cetti’s Warbler.

The evening concluded with a mesmerizing murmuration of 15,000 Common Starling into their roost site.

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Observer: WSM and images.

27.10.19. Birdlog.

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I was out around No.6 and 4 tanks this morning where I spotted c450 Black-tailed Godwit were resting in the shallow water of No.6 with Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Common Shelduck and Northern Pintail and a single Common Redshank being noted. Common Buzzard and Kestrel were numerous and a Sparrowhawk was hunting the finch flocks.

Further out on Frodsham Score saltmarsh were just a few thousand Canada Goose which took to the air as 2 wildfowlers made their way back from the river. Several Little Egret were dotted about the marsh and a large flock of Northern Lapwing and Eurasian Starling were on the alert as a Peregrine cruised by.

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A pair of Stonechat were on the Manchester Ship Canal path the male was sporting a metal ring. On the canal was a Great Crested Grebe out fishing.

The field alongside the Holpool Gutter held a large flock of Eurasian Curlew and Black-tailed Godwit feeding in the stubble and again were watched over by a Peregrine which was sat on its tower at the Growhow Works.

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Another pair of Stonechat were along Lordship Lane and were joined by Meadow Pipit and Reed Bunting one of which was also wearing a leg ring.

I called in to the pools at Ince on my way home which were quiet apart from a few Eurasian Teal and Little Egret but might have been due to disturbance from off road bikes in the area.

Two Skeins of Pink-footed Goose passed overhead and a leucistic Linnet was sat on top of a bush with several other Linnet. Five Collared Dove made a scarce appearance on to the edge of the marsh.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

23.10.19. Birdlog.

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This afternoon’s visit featured a few Stonechat to be see around No.6 tank, 2 Marsh Harrier,6 Mute Swan, 7 Common Snipe, c60 Eurasian Curlew in a field along Lordship Lane. A Cetti’s Warbler calling and Raven with  Common Buzzard everywhere.

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Observer: Keith G (images 2-7)

An after work walk at Ince and a look over the Mersey saltmarshes . The pools at Ince held a decent variety  of wildfowl with Eurasian Teal, Eurasian Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Little Grebe, Eurasian Coot and Moorhen with 12 Little Egret and a single Grey Heron. A skein of 20 Pink-footed Goose passed overhead on their way to the estuary where at least c 2000 Canada Goose were waiting their arrival.

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A flock of c500 Northern Lapwing were in the stubble field alongside the Holpool Gutter with several Eurasian Curlew and 6 Black-tailed Godwit. There were more Little Egret dotted about the saltmarsh and 30 Tufted Duck were on the Manchester Ship Canal.

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A single Fieldfare went to roost with several Redwing and Blackbird in the hawthorns by the canal path. An additional 6 more Little Egret were seen heading to roost in the trees near Ince berth.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1 & 8-9).

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Like Paul I too made the best of the evening sunshine and made my way to No.6 tank after work. On arrival a flock of 540 Black-tailed Godwit were close to the bank where I was watching from until a marauding Grey Heron upset their slumber and forced the entire flock to relocate some distance away.

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A couple of less nervous Green Sandpiper were chasing each other around the tank but soon settle close by with half a dozen Common Snipe.

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On the duck front there were 23 Northern Pintail, 2 Tufted Duck, 16 Common Shelduck, 543 Eurasian Teal, 151 Northern Shoveler and 43 Mallard

An immature Marsh Harrier floated in and soon settled down for the night in the reed bed.

The evening watch concluded with skeins of Pink-footed Goose heading in to the saltmarshes and a prolonged exodus from the marsh of 123 Raven heading to their Welsh roost site in Ruthin.

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Observer: WSM (images 10-13).