03.01.22. Birdlog.

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A walk along Hares Lane where a pair of European Stonechat were popping up on a bramble patch and a flock of 200 Fieldfare were along the hedgerows.

Looking across from Lordship Lane the Bewick’s Swan family of four were with the 21 Whooper Swan herd and a loose flock of Pink-footed Goose. All were seen again later from Plovers Lane, Helsby and a couple of the pinks had neck collars on.

Our walk continued to the ‘phalarope pool’ with a stop for lunch and a watch of the Eurasian Teal and Northern Shoveler were busy feeding. A 2 cy Western Marsh Harrier flew over and hunted the Canal Pools reed beds before flying off to Frodsham Score.

The blue topped power station chimney held two adult Peregrine while the feral pigeon flock were very much asbsent.

Observers: JS & WSM (images).

This morning the Weaver Estuary held 211 Tufted Duck, 34 Common Pochard, 9
Common Goldeneye and 10 Great Crested Grebe and there was a pair of European Stonechat at Marsh Farm. A further Common Goldeneye, 2 Common Pochard and 5 Tufted Duck were on No.6 tank, along with 9 Little Grebe and 6 Northern Pintail amongst larger
numbers of Eurasian Teal and Northern Shoveler.

Observer: Alyn Chambers.

02.01.22. Birdlog.

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Waders shifting their position on the incoming tide.

I was out this morning starting my walk at Brook Furlong Lane where a pair of Eurasian Bullfinch were in the trees along the lane and a Eurasian Sparrowhawk was hunting the finch flocks by Redwall Reed bed. A pair of European Stonechat were on the fence along Alder Lane with another female by Marsh Farm.

I made my way to Ince stopping at Plover Lane, Helsby to look over Lordship Marsh and the 21 Whooper Swan herd were grazing with several Pink-footed Goose and 6 Mute were present.

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Great Egrets.

At Marsh Lane, Ince there were 11 Little Egret were amongst the pigs with many Pied Wagtail and feeding alongside them. A single Western Cattle Egret was again in the flooded field at Goldfinch Meadows LNR, but left as I walked down the lane. Ducks included: Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler and Gadwall were on the pools, they were nervous and flushed as I walked by. 

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Stonechat.

A look over Ince salt marshes produced 4 Great Egret and thousands of Dunlin were moving along the rivers edge as the tide came in.

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Pinks with the Liverpool skyline.

A flock of c250 Stock Dove were feeding on the marsh and several hundred Pink-footed Goose kept an eye on 2 wildfowlers as they made their way across the marshes.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-4).

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May be an image of swan and nature

The Bewick’s Swan off Lordship Lane – images by Paul Miller.

Further upriver was the resident female Whooper Swan at Spike Island and across the river from there is a wintering Common Sandpiper at Wigg Island. Also a fine adult Peregrine was sat on on of the heraldic sheilds on Runcorn bridge at dusk – per WSM.

01.01.22. Birdlog.

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Just the one Bewick’s Swan left after the previous day.

I parked by the model flying field and walked along Lordship Lane where a Western Marsh Harrier was hunting over the bank on No.6 tank then moved on to No.4.

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Whooper Swans.

The Whooper Swan herd could be seen in the distance and I had a flock of Pink-footed Goose feeding with them closer to Lordship Lane. There were 5 Mute Swan grazing and several Common Raven were displaying over head.

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Green Sandpiper.

The fields alongside the Holpool Gutter held c2000 Northern Lapwing, c200 Eurasian Curlew and a large flock of Black-headed Gull.

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Pink-footed Geese.

Looking over the Frodsham Score as the tide came in forced flocks of waders murmurating out by Stanlow Island. A Peregrine picked a Dunlin out of a flock and made several stoops at the small wader while a harrier joined in trying to snatch the wader as it dodged the falcons stoop.

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Great Egret.May be an image of bird and nature

There were Great and Little Egret feeding on the rising tide alongside several Grey Heron.

May be an image of goose and nature

I made my way to Ince via Dunham Hill where a large flock of Greylag and Canada Goose were grazing along Hobs Lane. A flock of Eurasian Wigeon were on a nearby pond and c300 Pink-footed Goose were in a field along Cryers Lane.

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Little Egret.

At the pig fields along Marsh Lane Ince had10 Little Egret were amongst the pigs and a single Western Cattle Egret was in a flooded field at Goldfinch Meadows LNR.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-8).     

May be an image of swan and nature
May be an image of swan and nature

An early start and a look from the foorbridge over the M56 where the 21 Whooper Swan herd were still present but perhaps a causalty from the noisy New Years Eve celebrations finally gave the herd of Bewick’s Swan a fright and forced them away from Lordship Marsh. I met Steve Tomlinson and Iggy Iggeslden on the bridge and they had located just one adult bird in the distance by Lordship Lane.

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Two Green Sandpipers.

I walked in from Hares Lane where the two Green Sandpiper were again sharing the flooded field and two male European Stonechat by the M56. I continued along to Lordship Lane and bumped into Paul and he headed off for the sandpipers and I made my way to the field by the lane which had the remaining Bewick’s with 7 Mute Swan while a skein of Pink-footed Goose headed south.. I watched the bird for a hour before it lifted off the field calling and flew out towards the west.

A look over Frodsham Score only produced a Merlin chasing the Northern Lapwing flocks, the female Western Marsh Harrier and several Little Egret were chasing the ebbing tide.

Back by the ‘phalarope pool’ and most of the duck were snoozing in the warm sunshine.

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Kestrel.

Over at Weston Point blue topped power station chimney was a Peregrine chasing the feral pigeons that live there. After 30 minutes the falcon reappeared on the lip of the chimney plucking a prize.

Bewick’s Swan.

Observer: WSM (images 9-12 & video).

31.12.21. Birdlog.

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The ‘phalarope pool’ on No.3 tank and named after a Red-necked Phalarope that christened it.

A big contrast to the weather we had yesterday with warm spells of sunshine between the heavy clouds rolling in from the south-west.

We walked cockwise around No.6 tank stopping off along Hares Lane where a Green Sandpiper was feeding around the margins of the base of a pylon. A little further along the track and 30 Meadow Pipit rose from the field before alighting in a reedy section besides the track.

A look across from the south west corner of No.4 tank to where the winter swans were by the side of the M56 (Ron Brumby texted me to say he saw 25 swans as he was driving east along the motorway) and certainly the ones I saw were Whooper. Nearby a Common Chiffchaff was contact calling from the willows on No.4 tank.

The ‘phalarope pool’ had c78 Eurasian Teal with numerous Northern Shoveler.

A 1st winter Western Marsh Harrier came in towards dusk and (Alyn Chambers had seen two birds earlier). Ducks included 42 Common Pochard and the rest you can guess.

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As the curtains draw on the end of 2021 we wish all our followers and readers a cracking start to tomorrow.

Observers: JS & WSM (images).

30.12.21. Birdlog.

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Three of the Bewick’s (juv left and 2 adults either side of the Mute Swan).

A mid morning walk clockwise around No.6 tank in the pouring rain (it didn’t stop from start to finish).

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One of two Green Sandpipers in a flooded field by Hares Lane.

A couple of Green Sandpiper were busy feeding along the margins of the increasingly flloded fields adjacent to Hares Lane. There were numerous Chaffinch along Lordship Lane but stopping to look required numerous daps at soaking up the rain from my optics.

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May be an image of swan, body of water and nature

I looked across to the fields by the M56 and the 21 Whooper Swan had with them the family of four Bewick’s Swan, 2 Mute Swan and 35 Pink-footed Goose. A man walking along the edge of the field by the M56 got way to close to the swans and they all lifted from the grass and did a curcuit of the field before the Whooper herd headed out to No.6 tank while the Bewick’s headed straight for the south Mersey marshes.

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Flushed Bewick’s Swan family can’t take no more and head off to the salt marshes.

By the time I had reached the viewing area by No.6 tank the Whooper Swan herd of 21 birds were settled on the water and approached me whilst I was standing on the bank. There were hundreds of Eurasian Teal, c150 Northern Shoveler, 27 Northern Pintail, c70 Mallard, 21 Common Shelduck, 7 Tufted Duck and 24 Common Pochard.

Observer: WSM (images and video).

I met Mark (Whipper) Gibson along Moorditch Lane and he had been down by the river with his observations of 29 Common Pochard, 260 Tufted Duck, 70 European Golden Plover, a Water Rail,a Common Chiffchaff and a Barn Owl.

28.12.21. Birdlog.

May be an image of swan and nature

We took a clockwise walk around No.6 tank stopping off to look across Lordship Marsh towards the fields by the M56. The winter swans were present but no obvious signs of the family of Bewick’s Swan as off the last two days.

There was little of note on No.3 tank apart from some a Great Egret being the more noteworthy of my sightings along with Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Teal and a Western Marsh Harrier hunting the fields.

A Common Chiffchaff was contact calling from the banks while the roost of harriers numbered four birds.

There were plenty of ducks on No.6 tank with a slight reduction of Common Pochard down to 28 birds.

Observers: JS & WSM (image & video).

The four Bewick’s Swan were still present at dusk – per Steven Nelson.

27.12.21. Birdlog.

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The Bewick’s Swan family here for another day.

A morning walk around No.6 tank with the winter swans still in thier field on Lordship Marsh and nice to see a little extra birding activity with the family of Bewick’s Swan generating an interest.

There was little of interest on No.3 tank apart from 32 Eurasian Wigeon and some Eurasian Teal on one of the pools. A flock of several hundred European Golden Plover were moving about with shooters out and about the marsh and salt marshes.

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A wing tagged Marsh Harrier.

No.6 tank had c400 Eurasian Teal, 110 Northern Shoveler, 23 Northern Pintail, 32 Common Pochard, 12 Tufted Duck, 7 Common Shelduck, 76 Mallard and 14 Little Grebe. One of the two Western Marsh Harrier I saw today was the red/orange tagged bird from Broughton Fen in Norfolk. A skein of 23 Pink-footed Goose flew over to the north and several hundred Canada Goose were on No.3 tank.

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A soggy field on Lordship Marsh.

It was difficult to see the winter swans from the south west corner of No.4 tank so we headed off to Smithy Lane, Helsby and got decent views of both species (4 Bewick’s and 21 Whooper) with a couple of Mute Swan for good measure.

After that we drove over to Marsh Lane, Ince and saw 8 Little Egret but no Western Cattle Egret for a change.#

Observers: JS & WSM (images).

26.12.21. Birdlog.

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I took a walk around No.6 tank this morning where the usual ducks were on the water and a few hundred Northern Lapwing were gathered in the margins with a few Black-tailed Godwit.

There were more lapwing on the mitigation pool with just 2 more godwit. Eurasian Teal, Mallard and Northern Shoveler were also present on the pools on No.3 tank with several hundred Canada Goose grazing on the short grass alongside the pools. A couple of Western Marsh Harrier were in the air together over the reed bed on No.6. Also hunting in the area were Common Buzzard and Common Kestrel.

A look over Lordship Marsh and the Whooper Swan herd had grown to 25 birds! But on a closer inspection the 4 new birds were (2 adult and 2 juvenile) Bewick’s  Swan! Also nearby

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Bewick’s family.

were 5 Mute Swan were in the adjacent field.

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Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-4).

Winter swans.

This always happens when I mislay my mobile phone, so I didn’t get the nod from Paul until later in the afternoon. Anyway, alls well that ends well and a look from the footbridge that crosess the M56 at bottom of Smithy Lane, Helsby (park by the houses at the top to avoid conflict with the residents in the muddy lane) and the family of Bewick’s Swan were slightly detatched from the main body of 21 Whooper Swan herd. A look across the soggy fields revealed a flock of c50 Pied and 2 Grey Wagtail by a drinking trough. Also a pale Common Buzzard.

Observer: WSM (video).   

25.12.21 Birdlog (Christmas Day Edition).

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Cattle and Little Egrets at Ince.

A pre xmas dinner walk along the River Weaver produced a wintering Common Sandpiper, 4 Common Redshank, plenty of Tufted Duck, Canada Goose mallard, Eurasian Teal, c40 Common Pochard, with c150 Black-tailed Godwit heading to estuary.

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Little Egret and pig.

There were 17 Little Egret, 3 Western Cattle Egret were along Marsh Lane, Ince. I checked lanes for grey geese but no sign, only 4 Litlle Egret at Dunham Hill.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-2).

While Paul was walking off his Christmas Eve I was doing likewise along Moorditch Lane. The cold icy south easterly wind cut through the overcoat and turned fingers blue, but without anyone about it was worth the pre festive activities to get out and about this morning.

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One of three Marsh Harriers on No.6 tank.

A look over No.6 tank revealed c600 Eurasian Teal, c170 Northern Shoveler, 31 Northern Pintail, 7 Common Shelduck, 12 Tufted Duck, 1 female Common Goldeneye and 67 Mallard. There were three Western Marsh Harrier over the reed beds containing a golden female and two 1st winter birds. A 1st year male Common Kestrel was also obliging.

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Swimming godwits.
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Black-tailed Godwits looking for somewhere to settle.

A flock of c350 Black-tailed Godwit were looking for a firm area to land on No.6 tank but the place was flooeded so they reorted to swimming with the teal for 20 minutes!

Further along the track and the ‘splashing pool’ had more Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Teal.

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One of the 21 adult Whooper Swans close to the M56 motorway.

Lordship Marsh had the herd of 21 adult Whooper Swan, 3 Mute Swan and 34 Pink-footed Goose literally chilling out in the wind.

Merry Christmas and Good birding in 2022.

Observer: WSM (images 3-6 and videos).