19.04.22. Birdlog.

Grasshopper Warbler from archive – WSM.

An early walk down to the Weaver Bend, produced 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Cetti’s Warbler seen at least 15 heard, 2 Sedge Warbler. 10 Common Chiffchaff and 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 2 Western Grasshopper Warbler heard.

Observer: Gary Powell.

On arriving at the marsh I decided to walk along Brook Furlong Lane and as far as the farm hoping for wheatears, there were warblers in the hedgerow all the way along As the pipes came into view I scanned the fence posts, but nothing to see, I did sot a Brown Hare and then 2 (released) Grey Partridge in the same field. European Stonechat and Meadow Pipit for company until I got to the cattle grid. Looking along the pipes and I noticed a Northern Wheatear. A quick walk to the Weaver Bend for a chance of whinchat, then a Whooper Swan flew overhead and a Western Marsh Harrier out towards Weston Point and a Western Grasshopper Warbler reeling near to the shooters’ pool. I headed back towards the car where another ‘gropper’ and a few more Cetti’s Warbler. There were lots of Orange-tip butterflies to be seen, but no whinchats, oh well another day perhaps, so an end to a cracking morning.

Observer: Keith Gallie.

The female Whooper Swan is still present at Spike Island and will be for the foreseeable future – per WSM.

18.04.22. Birdlog.

Reed Warbler image from archive – WSM.

We walked along Hare’s Lane this morning stopping off to admire a couple of Northern Wheatear hiding in the recently ploughed field. Along Lordship Lane were Cetti’s Warbler, Common Chiffchaff and a Sedge Warbler singing from the thickets. Further along the lane and Common Whitethroat were busy tuning up on the embankment. The calling mews of a small flock of gulls high above us draw my attention to a pair of adult summer Mediterranean Gull with their Black-headed Gull companions.

The ‘phalarope pool’ promised little at first but on closer inspection a fine Little Ringed Plover was on the edge of one of the small islands with a pair of Eurasian Wigeon joining a collective of Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler and Gadwall. Further out on the mitigation pools were another pair of Little Ringed Plover and a single Ruff. The plaintive calls of a 250 European Golden Plover were over the Canal Pools. Also a couple of Western Marsh Harrier were good value nearby. Whilst watching the harriers another bird crossed their path but much higher in the sky and it quickly revealed itself to be a Red Kite heading north east.

The numbers of Black-tailed Godwit were highly impressive on No.6 tank with an underestimate of c2000 birds. Hiding typically within their throng was a Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Ruff and a reduced selection of ducks. Western Reed Warbler are setting up their territory in the reed beds of the tank. Three boxing Brown Hare were close by.

Observers: JS & WSM.

17.04.22. Birdlog.

Sedge Warbler from archive – Paul Ralston.

I started my walk off at Brook Furlong Lane this morning where for another year the mixed singer Willow Warbler was vocal near the old birdlog with more Willow Warbler and Common Chiffchaff further along the lane. Again Cetti’s Warbler were numerous during the morning with Blackcap and Common Whitethroats being were noted. A pair of (released) Grey Partridge were along the pipeline on No.1 tank where 3 Northern Wheatear were were seen along the fence line.

A Sedge Warbler burst into song along the River Weaver path and a drake Common Goldeneye was amongst the Common Shelduck, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Eurasian Teal on the water. Two Ruff and a single Black-tailed Godwit were on the shooters’ pool much to the annoyance of the resident Northern Lapwing, a female Northern Pintail was in the company of a pair of teal also on the pool. Also 3 Little Ringed Plover and 3 Common Sandpiper were showing well along the bank.

A handful of Pied Avocet were moving along the river with more seen foraging out on the Mersey Estuary. Sand Martin were hawking over the water and Eurasian Skylark were singing high above. A Canada Goose nest out in the open on the Manchester Ship Canal bank will be lucky to survive the many Common Raven, Red Fox and Badger in the vicinity.

A blast from the past made its way along the ship canal with the steam boat the Daniel Adamson on route from Ellesmere port to Acton bridge.

Observer: Paul Ralston.

Earlier in the day and looking across to Frodsham Marsh a Whooper Swan was on the salt marsh there with thousands of Black-tailed Godwit streaming out to Frodsham Marsh…where else.

Observer: WSM.     

A look out to birders a Short-eared Owl was this morning upriver near Dutton Locks.

Observer: Andy Jurgis.

16.04.22. Birdlog.

Whitethroat by Paul Ralston (from archive).

I had a walk around my BBS square on the marshes this morning and lots of new migrants in. Lots of Sedge Warbler, a Western Reed Warbler, several Common Whitethroat and Willow Warbler, Common Chiffchaff everywhere and a singing Western Grasshopper Warbler first thing on the SE ramp to No.6 tank. No.6 still had a Red Knot and half a dozen Ruff along with two displaying Little Ringed Plover and 147 Black-tailed Godwit. There were 6 Northern Wheatear along the pipeline on No.1 tank and a pair of (released) Grey Partridge, the first I have seen down there for many years.

Observer: Paul Miller.

I made my way to Frodsham Marsh where c200 Black-tailed Godwit were feeding in the shallows on No.6 tank along with 4 Ruff. Warblers featured Cetti’s, Common Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaff were vocal along the bank. Two Western Marsh Harrier were noted and Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Canada Goose Greylag, 1 Common Snipe, 1 Common Sandpiper were on the ‘phalarope pool’. A few Pink-footed Goose were on Frodsham Score.

Observer: Paul Ralston.

I made my BTO WeBs count today with a walk over to No.6 tank where c2000 Black-tailed Godwit (including 3-4 colour ringed birds) emerged on the rising tide along with 12 Ruff, 1 Red Knot, 38 summer plumaged Dunlin, displaying and mating and cuckooing Little Ringed Plover. A couple of Eurasian Whimbrel flew overhead. Also present were 24 Tufted Duck, 67 Northern Shoveler, 7 Northern Pintail, c217 Eurasian Teal, 9 Mallard, 45 Common Shelduck with 5 Mute Swan, 11 Little Grebe, 12 Eurasian Coot and 5 Common Moorhen. A Western Yellow Wagtail ‘schreeped’ over while Eurasian Skylark filled the air with summertime tunes. Also a Common Whitethroat and Willow Warbler were here today.

Lordship Marsh was quiet compared to elsewhere and the ‘phalarope pool’ had its usual ducks with a Common Sandpiper adding to the time.

A Little Ringed Plover was on the rapidly evaporating pools there.

Observer: WSM.

15.04.22. Birdlog.

Avocets – image from archive by WSM.

A look across the south Mersey marshes produced 3 Little Egret and a herd of Pink-footed Goose but the misty conditions made the count difficult. Several hundred Eurasian Curlew were scattered across the mudflats.

We undertook a 20 km hike down and around the marsh this morning to evening starting with a couple of Western Marsh Harrier at a new breeding site en route. Also spotted were 121 Pied Avocet and a pair of Eurasian Oystercatcher at a secured breeding area with numerous breeding Black-headed Gull. Numerous Willow Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Cetti’s Warbler were very vocal.

No.6 tank had 2000 Black-tailed Godwit (one of which was a colour ringed bird), 12 Ruff, 3 Red Knot, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 4 Pied Avocet.

A colour ringed Eurasian Coot was building a nest with its partner at Frodsham Bridge.

Observers: JS & WSM.

14.04.22. Birdlog.

Ospre image from archive – WSM.

A look over the south Mersey marshes on the rising tide produced several hundred (mostly summer plumaged) Dunlin, both European Golden and Grey Plover, thousands of Black-tailed Godwit and c50 Pied Avocet. Again the Pink-footed Goose were reluctant to leave with still c350 birds present. A couple of Great and some Little Egret were also still about. A male Western Marsh Harrier flew across Frodsham Score and headed out to the ‘darkside’.

A walk along Moorditch Lane had numerous Common Chiffchaff and Cetti’s Warbler singing and a Common Whitethroat (the first of the year) was by the ramp track to No.6 tank. A pair of courting Brown Hare were doing their thing in a nearby field.

Also present on No.6 tank were c1500 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Ruff, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Common Sandpiper and 4 Pied Avocet. Ducks were common with 24 Tufted Duck, both Northern Shoveler and Pintail with many Eurasian Teal, Common Shelduck and Gadwall. A fine male Western Marsh Harrier drifted over but didn’t unsettle the godwits, however the shooting over by the activity centre did.

The pools on the mitigation had a pair of Little Ringed Plover and numerous Black-tailed Godwit.

Observers: JS & WSM.

The Western Cattle Egret has vacated the area for now, with a bird present upriver by the Weaver locks north west of Frodsham. Also there was an Western Osprey – per Mark O’Sullivan.

13.04.22. Birdlog.

Martin Gilbert – image by Paul Darbyshire.

A Ring-necked Parakeet flew over Phoenix Park lake this morning while a air of Great Crested Grebe, 14 Tufted Duck and a pair of Gadwall were present. Blackcap and Willow Warbler didn’t waste anytime and have already set up territory.

A look across the south Mersey marshes this evening again produced c450 Pink-footed Goose with 56 Pied Avocet and much smaller numbers of both Black-tailed Godwit and Common Redshank of late.

Observer: WSM.

A link for one last time to an old birding friend Martin Gilbert who hung up his bins 12 years ago today: https://frodshammarshbirdblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/martin-gilly-gilbert/

11.04.22. Birdlog.

LRP from archive – Paul Ralston.

My midday walk was around No.6 tank where c700 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Pied Avocet, several Common Redshank, 1 Ruff, 6 Mute Swan and a reduced number of ducks on the water. The 5 Mute Swan are still on Lordship Marsh and nearby 2 Little Ringed Plover were on the mitigation pools. Also seen were 2 Western Marsh Harrier. Numerous Common Chiffchaffs and Cetti’s Warbler.

Observer: Paul Ralston.

An after work look across the south Mersey marshes produced a flock of 114 Pied Avocet, several hundred Black-tailed Godwit and Common Redshank. A few hundred Pink-footed Goose were on the rivers edge but the majority may have departed overnight?

The female Whooper Swan still resides at Spike Island.

Observer: WSM.

10.04.22. Birdlog.

Image from archive – WSM.

I moved onto Ince where c2000 Pink-footed Goose were getting restless on the salt marsh and the lonesome Whooper Swan still lingering on the marsh. The single Western Cattle Egret was again on No.3 tank and 2 Western Marsh Harrier being noted. A singing Willow Warbler, Common Chiffchaff and Cetti’s Warbler heard and seen.

Observer: Paul Ralston.

A watch over the south Mersey marshes this morning revealed the Western Cattle Egret hanging with the cows on No.3 tank and further out I managed a count of c1200 Pink-footed Goose but PR was in a much better position to get his count. A couple of Great Egret and small numbers of Little‘s were bobbing in and out of the tidal gutters. Also spotted were c100 Pied Avocet and c1000 Black-tailed Godwit.

A walk down to Frodsham swing bridge pool had a Western Marsh Harrier moving up the Weaver valley but little else of note. A look around the Weaver Bend and adjacent area produced 23 Pied Avocet, 153 European Golden Plover2 Ruff, 2 Common Ringed and 3 Little Ringed Plover.

Also got a Dark-edged Bee-Fly (Bombylius major) on Cowhay Lane, Weston.

Observers: JS and WSM.

09.04.22. Birdlog.

Water Pipit image from archive.

A cold morning on the marsh with Western Marsh Harrier over Redwall reed bed, also 2 Ruff, 2 Common Ringed Plover several Common Redshank and Oystercatcher. Along the River Weaver were Common Shelduck. Eurasian Teal, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Gadwall and 3 Great Crested Grebe on the water. Two more harrier over No.6 tank and c1500 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Ruff, 4 Common Snipe noted.

Observer: Paul Ralston.

A blustery sunny day with the wing coming from the north adding some blurry eye watering birds to view.

I walked along Moorditch Lane and stopped to look across No.6 tank where a few Tufted Duck were about with Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail and a few hundred Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Common Redshank and 4 Ruff.

No.3 tank was a little sparse with birds finding shelter from the wind elsewhere, but the Western Cattle Egret was still winding up the cows by the Canal Pools on the tank.

A look over to Frodsham Score produced hundreds of Pink-footed Goose being much hardier than the lily-livered ducks. A calling Common Sandpiper was ringing out from the Manchester Ship Canal.

A walk over to Lordship Marsh and the 6 Mute Swan were still in the fields. The Peregrine was briefly sat below the lip of the blue topped chimney. A pair of Western Marsh Harrier were noted. A dead Pink-footed Goose was laying in a field between two turbines – cause of death, unknown?

Another look over No.6 tank on the rising tide was much better with c3000 Black-tailed Godwit (including two colour-ringed birds, one of which is of Portuguese origin), 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Red (mostly grey) Knot and the Ruff from earlier.

Hare’s Lane again produced the resident Green Sandpiper hurtling off to the west after being spooked by a dog walker.

A nice day out in the field but missed the Barn Swallow picked up by the Stockport RSPB Group.

Observer: WSM.