22.10.16. Birdlog


22-10-16-raven-frodsham-marsh-bill-morton-3Out this morning from Ince along the Manchester Ship Canal path heading east and around No.6 tank.  A flock of Long-tailed Tit had a couple of Goldcrest with them as they made their way along the hedgerow.

The new pools at Ince Marsh fields were quiet with only a single Grey Heron and a few Moorhen occupying them. Reed Bunting were gathering in good numbers as was the Robin with several territorial disputes going on between established birds and migrants. Flocks of Redwing were passing through heading west followed in hot pursuit by a Sparrowhawk hoping to pick off a tired bird.

22-10-16-reed-bunting-frodsham-marsh-bill-morton-2Out on the Frodsham Score salt marsh were 5 Little Egret scattered about and a large flock of Common Teal and Wigeon which exploded into the air when 5 wildfowlers made their way out on to the marsh. A Great Crested Grebe was amongst the Coot and Tufted Duck on the ship canal. Meanwhile, the Raven gathered alongside Great Black-backed Gull numbers feeding on the ever-present free mutton liberally scattered about the area. Waiting for thirds were the omnipresent Common Buzzard.


Three Stonechat were along the path by the northern ramp onto No.6 and a male Kestrel sat on a fence post nearby. A Great Spotted Woodpecker left a stand of dead trees near the Growhow works compound and alongside No.4 a Grey Wagtail with a flock of alba wags near the Holpool Gutter. The fields alongside the gutter held a few hundred Lapwing with several Golden Plover with them.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images1-3).


22-10-16-view-from-plane-looking-down-on-frodsham-marsh-bill-morton-322-10-16-view-from-plane-looking-down-on-frodsham-marsh-bill-morton-5A big thanks to Chris Done who took these aerial shots looking down over Frodsham Marsh yesterday from a flight out of New York JFK. Chris was a young Elton birder who could be found birding the marsh in his younger days. He scored many fine finds including a singing Nightingale along Lordship Lane a few years back.

Image 4 by WSM and images 5-7 by Chris Done.

The Marshes c1900

the-weaver-estuary-frodsham-marsh-c1900-2I have been looking a long time for images of Frodsham Marsh shortly after the Manchester Ship Canal was completed and today I have been successful. The first image shows the Weaver estuary (inner top left) with its marshland edges and the cultivated fields stretching inland to the village of Frodsham. At the far right hand side is the Weaver Bend with the small island visible and Weston Marsh which today is under a disused sludge tank.






The second photograph shows the flooded No.1 sludge tank occupying the river marshland area.The container walls are excavated soil taken from the interior of the sludge bed and are no higher than a couple of metres.   It is only speculation what this tank situated a stone’s throw from the River Mersey would have attracted all those years ago. There were no ornithologists/bird watchers in the area to catalogue the huge flocks of waders, not to mention the numerous Nearctic shorebirds that surely must have appeared each autumn. I’ll have to get me one of those time travelling machines when they get invented.

On both images it is interesting to note the lack of development in Runcorn and across the Liverpool skyline.


Views on and from No.6 tank


23.04.16. Views off and from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (17) - Copyselection of images from today at No.6 tank of views that would be unfamiliar to regular visitors and taken on a fine summer’s day. 

23.04.16. Views off and from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (7) - CopyHelsby Hill is a dominant feature to the south-west of the marshes and the open water in front was once open farmland and part of the vast Lordship Marsh.

23.04.16. Views off and from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (4)

A remnant and solitary hawthorn tree is one of the last dead hedgerows that once formed the field boundaries on Lordship Marsh.

23.04.16. Views off and from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (11) - Copy

Today this area occupies No.6 deposit sludge tank that contains the sludge and silt from the nearby Manchester Ship Canal.

23.04.16. Views off and from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (24) - Copy

The Growhow works is part of an encroaching industrial sprawl from west of the Holpool Gutter at the former Ince Marshes.

23.04.16. Ramp track off Moorditch Lane, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

The ramp track to No.5 tank off Moorditch Lane.

23.04.16. Old drainage shaft tower, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

An old drainage tower on No.5 tank which is slowly falling into disrepair.

All images by WSM.

Recent Short Films

Youtube videos

A short video of the Great White Egret on Frodsham Score.

A 2.45 minute video of part of the Starling roost and their entrance into the Canal Pool roost.

A female Merlin.

The Cattle Egret at the Canal Pools.

Above videos by Paul Ralston and taken over the last week from the marsh.


Sunsetting over Frodsham Marsh by WSM.


Frodsham Flicks

A Post with short video footage of some of Frodsham’s birds and occasionally films from other local sites/birds/wildlife. All videos by WSM unless otherwise stated. If you have a short film and you want to share it with the World send me an email with the embedded code (YouTube).

A big thanks to Greg Baker for having the equipment and the foresight to record some of the archive material contained below.

Paul Shenton sent me this link to his blog which shows video footage of the Pickerings Pasture Golden Plover. http://birding4fun.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/golden-delights.html

A video of a Ross’s Goose at Marsh Farm. Taken by Greg Baker, 24th April 2004.

An adult of unknown origin but unringed

A Video of a Grey Phalarope on No 5 tank, 5th October 2001. Taken by Greg Baker.

An immature in first winter plumage spinning and foraging on a flooded field

Video footage of a leucistic Cormorant on No 6 tank, 22 September 2007. Taken by Greg Baker.


Video footage of an immature female Merlin at Marsh Farm. Taken by Greg Baker.


Peregrine sparring with Raven over Frodsham Score by Paul Crawley.


Water Rail chicks at Frodsham Marsh by WSM.


Ruddy Shelducks, No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh by WSM.


Buff-breasted (Suits you Sir?) Sandpiper, No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh, July 2012 by WSM.


Channel Wagtail, Lordship Marsh, Frodsham Marsh, Cheshire by WSM.


Short-eared Owl on No 5 tank,  Frodsham Marsh by WSM.


Marsh Harrier on No 6 tank from by WSM.


Marsh Harrier (1st cy male) on a hunting foray by David Wilson.


Garganey (drake), No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh by WSM.


Ring-necked Duck on No 6 tank, Frodsham Marsh by WSM.



Whimbrel (part of a record flock of 44), No 6 tank by WSM.


Black-headed Gull (lucistic bird) on No 6 tank by WSM.


Grasshopper Warbler at Frodsham Marsh by David Wilson


Green-winged Teal, No 6 tank by WSM.


Ring-necked Duck at Wigg Island LNR, Runcorn by WSM.


Great Northern Diver at Wigg Island by WSM.


Overton Hill views (some of the marsh) by Frodsham Pictures