A long walk today on our allocated daily exercise regime produced: 27034 steps, 1775 kcals used up and 20km of footage. If only the birds were so productive, but any day out side beats any day inside.
A huge flock of Northern Lapwing were up and down like a yoyo from various locations on the marsh today and with them were hundreds of European Golden Plover. A herd of c200 Pink-footed Goose joined the Canada Goose herds on No.3 tank and a smaller assortment of Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Teal and Eurasian Wigeon on the flooded fields.
Work continues on the drainage platforms on No.6 tank and again the ducks don’t like sharing it, so they allocated to another area.
A Common Chiffchaff and several European Stonechat were alongside the lanes.
Observers: JS & WSM (images 1-4).
A walk at Ince after work today. The pools were very quiet with just a handful of Mallard and Eurasian Teal alongside the ever present Eurasian Coot and Common Moorhen. A single Little Egret was foraging amongst the pigs with c40 Eurasian Curlew also in the field.
A look over the salt marsh and a Great Egret and several Little Egret were noted. Geese were scarce until several hundred Pink-footed Goose appeared from the south to spend the night on the marsh. Hundreds of Rook and Carrion Crow were making the most of the longer daylight and feeding amongst the short grass. A mass of Common Starling left the marsh flying south to their roost and c2000 were noted on the pylons by the Gowy Meadows last night with many more carrying on south.
Thousands of Dunlin and other waders were gathering at the mouth of the River Gowy just off Stanlow Island as the light faded.
Our permitted daily form of exercise took us to Frodsham Marsh and a walk around the area.
Birds seen included: 23 Whooper & 13 Mute Swan, 3 Great & 2 Little Egret, 2000 Pink-footed & groups of 1,4 and 6 Barnacle Goose, 6 of the Barnacles was attached to the Pink-foot herd, 2 presumably a male & female were following a Pink-foot in a ritual follow my leader and 10 were with the Canada Goose herd.
A male & female Merlin were seen and the male was chasing 20,000 Common Starling in some spectaclur formations. The usual types of ducks were displaced from No.6 tank by contractors repairing the wooden slots on the drainage towers.
A couple of Cetti’s Warbler were calling and a male Sparrowhawk nearling took out a Blue Tit but its reactions were not fast enough.
Our walk today took us from Marsh Lane out to Ince along water filled pot holed pitted lanes in splendid isolation, but the heavy rain on the way back was expected.
A Peregrine was sat on a pylon out by the M56 motorway and a couple of Cetti’s Warbler scolded us from deep cover while a Jay flew across the fields.
The herd of 23 (3 juvenile) Whooper Swan were joined by 15 Mute Swan in fields adjacent to the lanes.
Pink-footed Goose were in good numbers with 10 Barnacle Goose in attendance and a big female Peregrine resting on a post while unterpurbed geese feed around just a metre away. Three Great Egret and just a solitary Little Egret were about and c70 Eurasian Coot feed on the embankments.
A walk along Moorditch Lane and out and about No.6 tank.
The morning was cold but bright with 70% of the water on No.6 tank being frozen this percentage reduce by te time we walked back. A mixed of c300 Eurasian Teal, c100 orthern Shoveler and both small numbers of Northern Pintail and Mallard.
A look across the salt marsh and c200 Eurasian Coot present across a wide area today. Also 3 Great Egret and the same amount of Little’s, 8 Barnacle Goose, c2000 Pink-fooed Goose, c3000 Canada Goose and 300 Eurasian Wigeon.A Western Marsh Harrier was disturbing the big flock of Common Starling out on the marshes.
No.5 tank had a few thousand Northern Lapwing and 1563 European Golden Plover.
A Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming at Kinseys Lane this morning and at least 3 Common Chiffchaff were along the hedgerow with Chaffinch, Western Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit and Grey Wagtail noted.
A look over Ince salt marsh looked quiet with just a few Pink-footed Goose, Canada Goose and Common Shelduck present with small skeins of Pinks dropping onto the marsh during my walk. A Great Egret sat out on Frodsham Score and another passed overhead and was seen to drop down near the flooded pools. A Peregrine struck fear into the Northern Lapwing and Common Starling flocks foraging on the marsh, but it only made a half hearted attempt to secure one before making its way to a perch on the fertiliser plant.
A herd of 21 Whooper Swan and 16 Mute Swan were grazing alongside the Holpool Gutter and 2 Common Snipe were flushed as I walked by.
Several Rook were checking nests at their rookery and a pair of Common Buzzard were displaying.
Three Great Egret were feeding together in a field near to the screen pool at Ince and on checking my pictures at home revealed it was the same colour ringed bird from a previous visit.
The egret flew overhead and appeared to drop down near to the pools A flock of c150 Eurasian Curlew were feeding alongside a flock of Black-headed Gull in a field alongside the service road to the Growhow Plant and a single Little Egret was in amongst the pigs at the farm.
Observer and images: Paul Ralston.
A pair of Common Goldeneye over the River Weaver by David Eisner.
A cold wet walk this morning started with a seeing Little Egret in the field adjacent to the pig fieldon Kinsey Lane, Ince and hundreds of Pink-footed Goose were heading south overhead. A further 3 Little Egret were foraging along a flooded pathway with Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler and Gadwall were present in decent numbers. A handful of Tufted Duck were on the pools with a pair of Mute Swan flew in to join them.
A look over the salt marsh produced a few hundred more Pink-footed Goose were grazing and more geese dropping in from the east.
There were 5 adult and a single juvenile Whooper Swan were amongst a dozen or so Mute Swan alongside the gutter, a further 15 Whooper Swan were grazing in a different part of the same field. A female European Stonechat was noted along the path aswell.
The flood on the Gowy Meadows had a flock of c150 Northern Pintail which dropped in to join the Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, Mallard and Eurian Wigeon on the water.
Our daily walk was along Moorditch Lane and a look over No.6 tank. A quick scan over the open water on the sludge tank revealed 6 Little Grebe, 7 Mute Swan, 207 Tufted Duck, 21 Common Pochard, c500 Eurasian Teal, 173 Northern Shoveler, 9 Northern Pintail and 2 female/immature Common Goldeneye. A couple of Cetti’s Warbler were calling from scrubs on the bank.
No.3 tank had c1000 Northern Lapwing with c400 European Golden Plover rising and falling with them.
Skein after skein of Pink-footed Goose winged in from the south west and yelped their way to Frodsham Score. I estimated that there were c5000 geese.
I’ve been nurturing a rowan sapling I got from Trees for Cities in Manchester a while back and I always intened to put it in place where my old friend Martin Garner’s ashes are scattered. Today I got the opportunity and planted it overlooking the Weaver Bend one of his most treasured places to bird.
We took our daily excursion to the marsh today with a walk along Hares Lane and Lordship Lane and at the end of the latter we found the 16 strong Whooper Swan herd in fields nearby. A dashing female Merlin took on a flock of Linnet and lost then headed off over No.4 tank. Also seen was a Lesser Redpoll.
A look over Frodsham Score and hundreds of Pink-footed Goose were sharing the salt marsh with hundreds of Canada Goose. A small cluster of 6 Barnacle Goose were almost lost within the numbers of the previous two species. There were three Great Egret and very low count of Little Egret. A Western Marsh Harrier was sat on the marsh tearing at its latest afternoon treat, and another was over No.4 tank. Upwards of 6 European Stonechat were busy feeding along the banks with the occasional burst of a Cetti’S Warbler tune ringing out.
The fields and scrapes of No.3 tank didn’t have the big numbers of Northern Lapwing of the previous weeks and duck numbers were low.
A look over No.6 tank produed 207 Tufted Duck, a drake Common Pochard, a imm/female Common Goldeneye, 100 Northern Shoveler and a small amount of Northern Pintail and Eurasian Teal. Presumably all of the ducks have returned to flooded fields, ponds and rivers nearby.
A Peregrine was feeding on its supper on top of the blue chimney at Weston Point.
Observers: JS & WSM (images 1-3).
Roger Wilkinson took a hike down to the River Weaver and saw 31 Common Goldeneye, 39 Common Pochard, 200 Tufted Duck, 9 Mute Swan, 6 Eurasian Wigeon, 20 Eurasian Teal, 3 Great Crested Grebe and 3 Great Cormorant (including a white headed bird). Also in the area were 3 Cetti’s Warbler.
Below are four links which are additional birding sites and include Frodsham Marsh and four sites within 5 miles of it.
I started my walk at Godscroft Lane this morning with large flocks of Linnet and European Goldfinch were feeding on the bank off No.6 tank with another flock of Chaffinch, Western Reed Bunting and Pied Wagtail feeding in the stubble field nearby.
A Common Kingfisher searching for open water along the tarack on Lordship Lane with the junction of No.4 andNo.6 tanks. A pair of Mute Swan were in the field alongside the Lower Rake Lane and were joined by 6 more as I walked by. Common Kestrel and Common Buzzard were noted sheltering from the snow showers in the trees and bushes during my walk.
Several skeins of Pink-footed Goose passed overhead on their way to their feeding grounds while a skein of Canada Goose made their way to the Frodsham Score.
As I neared the pools at Ince (which have merged into one pool) a Eurasian Woodcock flushed from the path and disappeared over the hedge and out of sight. Shoveler Eurasian Teal, Mallard, 2 Mute Swan, several Common Moorhen and Eurasian Coot were on the flood water and 2 of the coot were having a territorial dispute amongst the reeds. A Cetti’s Warbler was again singing from the reed bed.
On the Manchester Ship Canal and a raft of 55 Eurasian Coot with several more dotted about the cut and bank were noted with a few Mallard and Tufted Duck were on the water. A few hundred Pink-footed Goose were moving about on the Frodsham Score with many Canada Goose grazing on the short salt grass. A Great Egret and a Grey Heron stood close together the egret hunched up against the cold and snow. A male Peregrine sat on a piece of driftwood watching the Common Starling and plover flocks feeding close by.
Back alongside the gutter and a pair of European Stonechat have stayed put during the cold spell and were searching for grubs along the fence line. The herd of 16 Whooper Swan joined the Mute’s alongside the gutter.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1-6).
A later start to our walk this afternoon along Moorditch Lane to the ‘splashing pool’ and back. No.6 tank is starting to freeze over again and most of the ducks were hanging out on the western part of the open water. A male Merlin darted through No.3 tank where numerous Northern Lapwing and a few European Golden Plover sheltering there. A Western Marsh Harrier flew over to join another on No.6 tank.
A large female Peregrine was off the pumping station and another adult was sat on a plyon by the motorway bridge at Marsh/Moorditch Lane.
A shorter walk today and a visit to the River Weaver opposite Redwall reed bed and a fine flock of 26 Common Goldeneye.
Also present were 21 upending Common Shelduck and nearby were 426 Tufted Duck 68 Common Pochard and the immature drake Greater Scaup. A small flock of Common Redshank and a single Oystercatcher. The first summer plumaged Great Crested Grebe of theyear.
Observer: WSM (images1-3).
There were 3 Cetti’s Warbler along Brook Furlong Lane and a female European Stonechat by Redwall reed bed. There were 32 (including 4 drakes) Common Goldeneye on the river and c100 Eurasian Coot. A Water Rail was squelling behind the horse paddock.
The end of an era with the demise of the birdlog that hung on a telegraph pole for 32 years RIP.
Observer: Gary Worthington (image 4-5).
I had my walk along the Manchester Ship Canal at Ince this morning. There were 3 or 4 Common Chiffchaff again foraging along the hedgerow with many Pied Wagtail and a single Grey Wagtail feeding in the stubble fields.
Out on the saltmarsh a single Great Egret was feeding in the gutters alongside many Common Shelduck, Pink-footed Goose and Canada Goose. A flock of c100 Chaffinch passed overhead with a Sparrowhawk in close attendance.
A Common Kingfisher left its perch and sped along the canal stopping at Ince Berth and sat throughout the snow shower. A Peregrine terrorized the Northern Lapwing flock on the marsh then settled on a post to preen.
The flood water covers the fields where once the pools stood out and 3 Great Egret, 2 Little Egret several Grey Heron. The many Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Gadwall a few Tufted Duck and a single Common Shelduck took advantage of the situation. A Cetti’s Warbler was singing from the reed bed at the screen pool.