After work and a Friday evening visit to the marsh and a hike around No. 6 tank until dark. A summer adult Mediterranean Gull was in the roost with both Common and Black-headed Gulls. 30 Shoveler, 2 Pintail, 60 Common Shelduck and 200 Common Teal were settled in for the evening. 10 Tufted Duck were located at the Pumping Station Pool. We could find only two Whooper Swan this evening although the others could have been concealed by the hedgerow.
8 Redshank and the solitary Avocet were frequenting the same area of flooded tank as the gulls
The Raven count was lower than usual with 10 birds noted including some flying off to roost on Frodsham Hill. Over 100 Jackdaw were also roosting up by Frodsham Station. A couple of Chiffchaff saw one on No. 5 tank and another calling from No.4 tank.
Observers: Sparky, WSM (and images).
Marsh Farm Edition
A few weeks ago Farmer Chris from Marsh Farm ask if I would put some images of his livestock on the blog. So, to celebrate the next few weeks of Spring I have picked some pictures from the marsh taken by myself and Stuart Maddocks.
Chris and his late father have worked and at times endured the harsh environment that a small farm perched on the edge of the Mersey Estuary can experience. The farm is often in the firing line of howling gales, snow storms, drought and is at the brunt of the seemingly ever-present rain that appears horizontal at times there. Farming life is a difficult job at the best of times so please follow the country code when visiting the marsh particularly during the lambing season.
I took this image last Spring of a cute lamb “smiling”.
The Black Sheep from Ince Marsh by Stuart Maddocks
A Bull from Ince Marsh by Stuart Maddocks
A wallowing pig at Holme Farm, Ince Marsh a good area for Black-tailed Godwit and Little Egret.
The Panda Cow was a calf last summer but is full sized now.
I couldn’t really leave all this without mentioning birds that have frequented Marsh Farm over the years and have included, One of Cheshire’s earliest ever Ospreys spotted by Martin Gilbert heading north over the farm on the last day of March’93. Some much sought after Frodder’s ticks like Pomarine Skua, Bittern, Ross’s, Brent, Barnacle and White-fronted Goose, Corncrake, Dotterel, a Bishop spp which caused quite a stir for a while, Black Redstart (the only marsh record) and more recently a juvenile Red-backed Shrike that pulled in birders.
Red-backed Shrike image by Colin Davis.
The Whooper Swan flock increased to 15 birds in fields by the motorway (SH) and would have got the morning off to a good start as Shaun drove to work. 100 Black-tailed Godwit in a field near to Holme Farm (pig farm) and a similar number of Curlew in an adjacent field. There were 3 Little Egret with Mute Swans by the Holpool gutter.
A Great White Egret was out on Frodsham Score during high tide. Also present were large numbers of Lapwing and Golden Plover on No.6 tank along with Common Snipe, 6 Pintail amongst the Tufted Duck, Common Teal and Mallard flocks. A single Chiffchaff was also calling along the bank of that tank. A quiet day for raptors with only Common Buzzard being seen.
Observers: Paul Ralston, Shaun Hickey
Observations from 3.00 – 6.00 pm.
A walk round No.6 tank and I spotted a female Marsh Harrier hunting over reed beds, c500 Golden Plover roosting, 30 Curlew dropped in later, 2 Chiffchaff either side of path between No.4 tank and No.6 tank. The 5 Whooper Swan were still out in the field near to the motorway. Over I00 Fieldfare in corner of No.5 tank with over 30 Pied Wagtail. 2 Little Grebe on the Pumping Station/Splashing Pool. 3 Buzzard in bushes nearby plus several Raven.
Then a quick walk out to the Weaver Bend and 9 Goldeneye on the river, 24 Redshank in the pools on the Lum, plus Common Snipe.
Other birds included 4 Greylag Goose with the Canada Geese. Also a Sparrowhawk hunting along hedgerow again as I got back to car.
Observer: Sean O’Hara.
Also reported a Short-eared Owl along the banks of No.6 tank. Eds
200 Common Teal, 2 Pintail, 30 Common Shelduck, 46 Mallard and 8 Tufted Duck were present on No.6 tank along with 15 Cormorant and yesterday’s Avocet still in residence.
A Woodcock was watched flying from No.5 tank before it crash landed on inner banks of No. 6 tank. A pair of Common Buzzard displaying over the marsh, a flyby Merlin and 2 Kestrel were about.
A Hen Harrier over No.3 tank made light work of the buffeting wind before it glided out of sight on the tank fields.
Observers: David Saunders, Sparky, WSM (and images).
A Marsh Harrier hunting over No.6 tank this afternoon, and the first Avocet of the Spring was feeding in deep water with 230 Common Teal and the usual assortment of Athya ducks here. 300 Golden Plover were spooked along with 400 Lapwing from the tank.
3 Little Egret were roosting by a flooded field close to Spring Farm.
5 Whooper Swan were in a field on Lordship Marsh and viewable from the M56 motorway if you knew where to look as you drove by.
100 Fieldfare on No.5 tank with a Starling flock, also Sparrowhawk hunting along hedgerow there. The gathering of Raven along the banks of No.6 and No.5 tanks numbered 13 birds.
Observers Sean O’Hara, Sparky, WSM (and images)
Nice and busy down at the Weaver Bend this morning (9:45-11 am). 40 Teal, 30 Redshank, 2 Oystercatcher, at least 15 Goldeneye, 2 Tufted Duck, 1 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 4 Common Shelduck, a very vocal Curlew, the usual female Stonechat around ‘The Lum’, 500 Lapwing that were constantly up in the air which I presumed was the 2 Buzzard circling overhead, 2 Skylark gave me a really close view of their full display, singing from ground and up to about 60 ft, pausing, then sailing back down.
One rather decapitated rabbit on Weaver Lane heading back to Ship Street, presumably lunch for stoat or weasel that I probably disturbed as I walked past. Waited around to see if it returned but had to leave before the culprit came back for its lunch.
Observer: Michael Giverin.
A Kingfisher in the ditch along Moorditch Lane was a welcome surprise for Arthur Harrison.