05.06.19. Birdlog.

An after work ramble down to the far end of No.3 tank and back. There c500 Common Swift hawking low over the bushes that edge the embankment between No.6 & No.5 tank this evening.

Many of these birds flying so close they nearly took my breath away. Nothing on earth can make a flock of Swift disperse more quickly than a Hobby in stealth mode, and one duly applied the pressure hunting down one from the throng.

Ducks were busy doing what ducks do at this time of year and there were more Mallard and Gadwall than at any other period this year.

A walk further on produced several Avocet, an Oystercatcher, a few Black-tailed Godwit and a pair of ‘Lover (Little Ringed) Plover’ in the act of amore.

A couple of Cetti’s Warbler sounded out across the marsh, while a Marsh Harrier did its patrols.

One of the Brown Hare was not being so photogenic as of late.



Observer, videos and images: WSM

02.06.19. Birdlog.

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I was out this morning around the River Weaver. Again Blackcap were the most vocal warblers along Brook Furlong Lane, but were drowned out by a very loud Cetti’s Warbler. A family party of Long-tailed Tit made their way along the hedgerow while a Kestrel took an interest in there number.

Image may contain: grass, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: grass and outdoor

A couple of Brown Hare and their leveret were noted during my walk.

On the river path both Reed and Sedge Warbler were commonplace and several Reed Bunting were on territory one of which was wearing a ring. A clutch of recently fledged Wren exploded from the vegetation as I walked by and the parent bird scolded me from the reed bed.

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A male Stonechat sat along a fence and the first I have seen on the marsh for a while. A Common Snipe was flushed from the ‘shooters’ pool’ by a Canada Goose and its brood of goslings and a couple of Lapwing flew over my head calling loudly as their chicks hid in the reeds.

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There were c30 Avocet were on the far river bank with several sitting tight. A pair of Common Shelduck with a single shelduckling were on the river the chick was being stalked by a Lesser Black-backed Gull and had to constantly dive to avoid becoming the next meal and no doubt happened to the rest of the brood.

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Two Greenfinch were amongst a mixed flock of Goldfinch and Linnet.

Finally five additional Brown Hare were together in a field.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

01.06.19. Birdlog.

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An early start this morning around the River Weaver and No.6 tank.

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Image may contain: grass, outdoor and nature

A Fox vixen made her way along the pony paddock and slipped away in to the vegetation when it got wind of me.

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There were Blackcap being the most vocal bird along the lane and were joined by Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat, Sedge and Reed Warbler.

Another highlight of the morning were four Brown Hare and it seems to be a good year for them on the marsh.

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On the river the usual ducks were present and a pair of Great Crested Grebe look to have failed breeding as yet and 6 Mute Swan made their way to the Manchester Ship Canal.

A Common Buzzard was chased away from the river by a posse of noisy Oystercatcher and several Avocet.

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Onto No.6 tank the Black-tailed Godwit numbers reached 590 were spread out over the shallow water with several 15 Ringed Plover (one of which had a retarded 1st winter plumage?) and 5 Dunlin being noted. Gadwall numbers have increased with 91 birds present. Tufted Duck reached 12 birds while Common Shelduck were much reduced and presumably busy elsewhere bring up their new families.

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Image may contain: bird, sky and outdoor

100’s Common Swift dropped down with the drizzle but some moved on .

The ‘phalarope pool’ had a dozen Black-tailed Godwit, a couple of Avocet and a pair of Lapwing with 2 chicks and the Eurasian Coot family. A pair of Gadwall, a Mallard and its brood and a Mute Swan.

Lordship Lane held more Reed and Sedge Warbler with Reed Bunting feeding young and the Oystercatcher still sitting tight.There were numerous singing Cetti’s  Warbler rang out all over the place.

Observers: Paul Ralston (images 1-6), WSM (7-8).

31.06.19. Birdlog.

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I walked from Ince and then around No.4 tank this afternoon where the pools were quiet with just a few Mallard, Gadwall, single Common Shelduck, a pair of Mute Swan and a pair of Little Grebe.A  Coot and Moorhen were noted with their broods feeding in the ditch along the track.

On to the Manchester Ship Canal path and Canada Goose numbers are building up on the salt marshes with several hundred seen. A single Great Crested Grebe several Tufted Duck and Gadwall were on the ship canal. An Oystercatcher wearing a metal ring sat on the pipe bridge near to the berth.

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Image may contain: plant, outdoor and nature

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Damselflies, butterflies and a single dragonfly were making the most of the warm weather and were active throughout my walk.

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The ‘phalarope  pool’ held c200 Black-tailed Godwit, a pair of Little Ringed Plover, a Mute Swan, 2 Avocet, one of which left and made its way over to another scrape on No.3 tank.

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Image may contain: grass, outdoor and nature

A Brown Hare crossed the path and fed nearby not taking a great deal of notice of me as I passed close by. Both Kestrel and Common Buzzard were the only raptors noted today.

Observer and images: Paul Ralston.

28.05.19. Birdlog.

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An after work visit to No.6 tank where I bumped into Arthur Harrison. We both watched over the gathering of Black-tailed Godwit which attracted in 30 Ringed Plover, 29 Dunlin and a summer Sanderling. A Marsh Harrier flew in to quarter the reed beds and hundreds of Common Swift, House & Sand Martin and Swallow were all hawking insects over the water.

Observer & image: WSM.

27.05.19. Birdlog.

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The last day of the long Bank Holiday week and another walk around the perimiter of No.6 tank, but not before a short chat with Mr & Mrs Idris Roberts.

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The Common Swift were still hawking insects low over the eastern banks of No.6 tank. A couple of Cetti’s Warbler were again sounding out while numerous Reed Warbler popped up and down the reed stems.

The Spindle bushes along Lordship Lane is now devoid of leaf cover and covered in Spindle Ermine Moth caterpillars and more are along the north track by No.6 tank.

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Image may contain: tree, sky, outdoor, nature and water

The area of No.6 tank was devoid of its usual Black-tailed Godwit flock with only a couple of Avocet present.

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No.6 tank is always the number one spot to look across and today the entire flock of c600 Black-tailed Godwit were huddled in various groups with just 18 summer Dunlin with them. The usual Little Ringed Plover was noted as were c40 Eurasian Coot, 20 Gadwall and 130 Black-headed Gull. The non-breeding plumage adult with is sufusion of pale pink to its underparts was again present.

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A Wolf Spider crossing the track with her sac of eggs tucked under her bottom was interesting.

Observers: JS & WSM (images).