Mersey WeBS Count Images

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“You should see the other guy”.

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Redshank flock sheltering from the tide on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal and a couple of Little Stint hiding (top left and bottom right).

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Ravens are ever popular on the marshes cleaning up the dead mutton carcasses.

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Frodsham Score and Ince Marshes produce some excellent Stock Dove, shorebird and wildfowl counts.

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Sods of salt marsh kicked up by an advancing tide and wind and then deposited on the marsh to dissolve and be washed away with the next high tide.

All images from previous BTO counts by regular WeBS counter Shaun Hickey.

Photo’s from the Score

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The Holpool Gutter as it emerges from beneath the Manchester Ship Canal at Stanlow to re-enter the south Mersey salt marsh. 

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Looking back (west) to Stanlow oil refinery and the hidden delights of the Mersey marshes.

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A panorama view across Frodsham Score.

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The after effects of the tide punching chunks of marsh back onto the salt marsh. It shows the power of these high tides on this fragile ecosystem.

A big thanks to Shaun Hickey for his mobile phone images (he forgot his camera yesterday ;O) .

If you want to get involved with https://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/webs contact these people or drop me a line and I’ll forward your interest to Dermot Smith the Mersey co-ordinator.

15.05.18. Birdlog.

There is a flooded field adjacent to Frodsham Swing Bridge that is attracting quite a few birds this summer. I stopped en route to the marsh to have a look over and although not overly stocked it did have a few interesting species. A breeding pair of Coot have a family brood which they are busy tending to at the moment with a brood of Mallard ducklings also present. It was a surprise to see a pair of Shoveler and two pairs of Gadwall looking settled. Previously Garganey, Little Egret and Avocet have frequented this spot so it’s worth keeping an eye on it, if you are passing.

Contractors were busy reinstalling some meccano pieces to the tall beacon light on No.5 tank and nerves of steel for the two guys who were perched atop of the mast.

No.6 tank was again quiet but the brisk north-westerly wind and bright sunny skies did little for the late Spring migrant rush. A flock of c300 Black-tailed Godwit were lazy out the hot weather in the cooling shallow waters. A small group of Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Mallard and paired up Common Shelduck were also present.

A male and female Marsh Harrier drifted over No.3 tank where a small flock of Black-tailed Godwit lingered for a short while. The presumed two AWOL Barnacle Goose were still hanging out by the shallow pools.

A singing Chaffinch along Moorditch Lane.

Frodsham Hill looking east along Lordship Lane.

Helsby Hill looking south from Lordship Lane.

Mersey Marshes #2

A selection of images from the Mersey Marshes today.

An injured or exhausted Guillemot came in with the tide today, a species normally expected to be found off the Wirral coast but rarely encountered off Frodsham Score/the upper reaches of the Mersey estuary.

There’s usually a larger gull, gull roost at the weekends on the south Mersey salt marshes and monthly WeBS counters get to count them.

Big numbers of Canada Goose are a common feature in the Autumn and Winter months.

Mute Swans fly in from Frodsham Marshes.

Raven need little introduction with numbers high throughout the year. These birds are riding the tide out on the banks of Frodsham Score. The Allan Wilson WW2 gun defence turret is situated at the top left hand corner (with an elder tree growing out of its base).

Images by Shaun Hickey.

Marsh

february-2017-waders-and-hale-lighthouse-shaun-hickeyA few gloomy wind-swept images taken by Shaun Hickey from the WeBS count on Sunday last. The above picture is of Dunlin flying out to the Hale side of the River Mersey.

february-2017-swans-and-turbines-on-no-4-tank-from-frodsham-score-shaun-hickeyA flock of swans head out to the marsh from Frodsham Score.

february-2017-lapwingsfrom-frodsham-score-shaun-hickeyLapwings disturbed from their resting grounds rise up over the fields of Stanlow.

february-2017-ince-berth-shaun-hickeyThe turbines with Ince Berth alongside the Manchester Ship Canal.

february-2017-pink-footed-geese-from-frodsham-score-shaun-hickeyA skein of Pink-footed Geese string along the sky above the Mersey Marshes.

All images by Shaun Hickey.

Winter Solstice Edition

02-10-16-weaver-estuary-frodsham-marsh-bill-morton-9Now that we’ve finally reached the shortest day and what is effectively the true celebration of this season. I have collected a few images from the last week or so to illustrate the marsh in just a few of its mid winter moods.

Above the power station at Rocksavage is mirrored in the still waters of the River Weaver.

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The second image shows the change in weather systems from a cool clear day to the brief period when the Weaver valley and the marsh are shrouded in morning fog. The image above has a curious disruption through the clouds which could be caused by an aircraft flying through the canopy?

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Looking west from the banks of No.5 tank across the mitigation area of No.3 tank fields to the turbines on No.4.

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No.3 tank and the mitigation area . Unfortunately much was expected from this site but as yet it has reaped very little for the time and effort afforded to it.

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Looking east along the ancient road that is Lordship Lane looking to Frodsham Marsh from Ince Marsh fields. The old Kamira woods lay to the right of the image.

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The flooded fields of Lordship Marsh and Frodsham Hill beyond. Whooper Swans occasionally use the fields to graze when there is little disturbance.

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No.5 tank looking east to the turbine substation and the old fence line where hopefully we’ll being seeing Short-eared Owls if the weather turns colder.

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No.2 tank just south of Marsh Farm an excellent site for Curlew, Lapwing and Golden Plover.

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The steaming plumes of vapour emitting from Fiddlers Ferry Power Station in the distance and the incinerator plant beyond the blue-topped (ex) power station chimney at Weston Point.

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A flock of Lapwings in flight and behind the Mersey estuary and the gantry wall that shields the Manchester Ship Canal from Christchurch at Weston Point.

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Finally, the omnipresent wind turbines caught in the ebbing sunset over No.6 tank. One of my favourite pictures from the marsh this month is this Tolkienesque image of the dark watch tower of Barad-dûr laying across the (literally) dead marshes.

Images: 1-2 & 11 by WSM and images 3-10 by Tony Broome.