30.07.15. Birdlog

30.07.15. Birdlog

30.07.15. female Garganey, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

30.07.15. View from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)I sat on the banks of No.6 tank with a cooling breeze and the sun sliding slowly over to the west. The light was providing an excellent side lighting to the assembled horde of birds spread out on the tank below. The only interruption to this idyllic scene was the construction traffic for the wind farm thundering past and occasionally shaking the ground beneath my tripod.

30.07.15. Dunlin, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

30.07.15. View from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

The Black-tailed Godwit flock consisted of 200 birds and these didn’t linger when a passing raptor put everything up into the air. Most of the other birds resettled but the majority of the godwits headed back out to the River Mersey with 50 birds remaining.

On first inspection it didn’t seem to be much of a variety of species present but, during the course of my watch of three hours I did manage a respectable list of goodies. The Dunlin flock from last evening remained and 4-500 birds gave some really close views. The Ruff continued to be seen and the 3 birds present hung around with a flock of 67 Redshank.

30.07.15. Whimbrel and Curlew, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

A flock of 54 Curlew dropped in for a pre-roost bathe and preen and with them came a Whimbrel.

30.07.15. Avocet, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

30.07.15. Avocet, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)A family party of Avocet (2 adults, 2 juveniles) also had an additional adult to keep them company. It is possible these are the birds from the Weaver Bend area but not the chicks observed at the weekend. Lapwing numbers are increasing and when the wader flock got spooked earlier they rose from the tall vegetation and I estimated there were 200 birds.

Duck species were in very low numbers, 3 Shoveler, 7 Tufted Duck (excluding 2 family parties containing 12 tuflings), a handful of Shelduck, Mallard and Gadwall were not what I was expecting. However, a small flock of 8 Common Teal brought with them a female Garganey.

30.07.15. male Blackbird, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

There were several hundred Sand Martin feeding low and high above No.6 tank and 200 Common Swift were doing likewise.

Observer and images: WSM

28.07.15. Birdlog

28.07.15. Birdlog

28.07.15. Black-tailed Godwits, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

28.07.15. Black-tailed Godwits, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)A brief visit after work and with the tide low on the river the expectations were not high and that was reflected in a limited selection of birds present out on No.6 tank.

However, you’ve got to be out there whenever the opportunity arises.

A couple of juvenile Marsh Harrier were again over No.4 tank.

A smaller than usual flock of 540 Black-tailed Godwit are always a welcome diversion especially when they are still sporting their finest summer plumage. There were also small numbers of Redshank and Lapwing but the six Ruff continue to be found feeding along the edge of the vegetation.

A passage of Sand Martins included a couple of hundred birds.

Observers: Sparky, WSM (and images).

26.07.15. Birdlog

26.07.15. Birdlog

26.07.15. juvenile Marsh Harrier, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (3)

A couple of hours birding in the morning and before the forecasted rain began to appear saw very little left from last night. There was no sign of either the Black-necked Grebe, Garganey or Green Woodpecker so normal service has resumed.

26.07.15. Black-tailed Godwit flock, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton.

A sizable flock of Black-tailed Godwits began to increase during the watch and 900 birds were still present when we left with birds still coming in from the direction of the Weaver Bend along with small groups of Redshank accompanying them.

26.07.15. Dunlin flock, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Dunlin were mostly concealed by the tall vegetation but when all of the waders took to the air from an unseen threat (by us) they revealed a flock of 150 birds.

26.07.15.Eclipse drake Wigeon, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

An eclipse drake Wigeon was tucked into the banks and emerged with several Gadwall, Mallard and a crèche of 24 Shelducklings.

26.07.15. male Marsh Harrier, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

There were three Kestrel hunting the tanks and a male Marsh Harrier was soon followed by a very photogenic juvenile bird.

26.07.15. juvenile Marsh Harrier, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

26.07.15. juvenile Marsh Harrier, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

This juvenile Marsh Harrier had a metal leg ring on closer inspection.

Observers: Arthur Harrison, WSM (and images 1-7 & 9-11)

26.07.15, Marsh Harrier (male food passing to juvenile), No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston

A short walk around No.4 tank in the rain this afternoon. A young Common Buzzard calling constantly in the wood near the Growhow works and a Peregrine overhead which put a large flock of Rook and Carrion Crow into the air from the corn fields. Several young Pied Wagtail feeding on the road alongside a small flock of Linnet. Coot, Moorhen, Tufted Duck and Mallard were all on the Holpool Gutter with Swallows snatching insects just above the water. Two juvenile Marsh Harrier sat in the reed bed and flew up to meet the male as he made a food pass to them.

Observer: Paul Ralston (image 8).

During the course of the evening: 2 Ruff, 30 Dunlin, 2 Curlew, 60 Black-tailed godwit, 20 Redshank and new in a Spotted Redshank!

A male and female Marsh Harrier were seen together.

Observer: Sean O’Hara.

26.07.15. Honey comb clouds formed just before the rain came, No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

26.07.15. Honey comb clouds formed just before the rain came, No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

26.07.15. Honey comb clouds formed just before the rain came, No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonThese honeycomb clouds formed in the morning just before the rain came.

25.07.15. Birdlog

25.07.15. Birdlog

25.07.15. juvenile Black-necked Grebe, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Alyn Chambers (1)

25.07.15. juvenile Black-necked Grebe, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Alyn ChambersA juvenile Black-necked Grebe, Garganey and the male Marsh Harrier flew through disturbing the wader roost which contained 6 Ruff, 170 Dunlin and several hundred Black-tailed Godwit all from No.6 tank.

The Weaver Bend was alive with birds including: 60 Tufted Duck, 240 Black-tailed Godwit, 80 Redshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 2 adult, 2 very young juv Avocet and a Little Gull with the Black-headed Gulls (SO).

25.07.15. juvenile Black-necked Grebe with Black-headed Gull and juvenile Shelduck, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Alyn Chambers (2)A Green Woodpecker flew from No.5 tank into the trees by the ramp to No.6 tank.

A male Yellow Wagtail and a juvenile Stonechat were on No.1 tank.

Observers: Alyn Chambers (image 2) and Sean O’Hara.

The woodpecker failed to materialise at dusk but the grebe and the ruffs were still present.

Two juvenile Marsh Harrier were over No.4 tank and a Grasshopper Warbler was in song in the scrubby bushes alongside the track on No.5 tank. A couple of Sparrowhawk were hunting the banks of the tank at dusk disturbing some of the birds further out on the water margins.

Observer and images 1 & 3): WSM

23.07.15. Birdlog

23.07.15. Birdlog

23.07.15. Greenshank and Black-tailed Godwits, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

I managed a pleasant three hours of birding overlooking No.6 tank after work. Watching from a position on the banks with excellent views to watch the action unfold.23.07.15. Greenshank and Black-tailed Godwits, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

23.07.15. Greenshank and Black-tailed Godwits, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (5)The Black-tailed Godwit numbers were nearing the big 1000 mark and there were plenty of the gaudy summer plumaged birds still present. With all these godwits it was no surprise to find other species encouraged to drop in, These included:

.

23.07.15. Little Stint and Dunlins, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton 200 summer Dunlin (2 juveniles), an adult summer Little Stint, a summer Greenshank, 6 Ruff, 34 Redshank, 2 Curlew and numerous Lapwing. Gulls were in low numbers but included 6 Common Gulls. 67 Tufted Duck and family parties of Common Shelduck were present on the open water.

23.07.15. Garganey (juvenile), No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

A Little Egret flew in to spruce up before dusk and with the 14 Common Teal was a Garganey (I did say it looked good for one).

23.07.15. Ruff, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

23.07.15. juvenile Sparrowhawk, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)Over on No.4 tank was a male Marsh Harrier with 2 juvenile birds. A Common Buzzard kept a watchful eye on the waders on the tank. While sat on the blue-topped chimney was an adult Peregrine and sat on a post out on No.5 tank was a juvenile Sparrowhawk.

23.07.15. Common Buzzard, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

23.07.15. Dunlin, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton23.07.15. Peregrine, Blue-topped Chimney, Weston Point, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonObserver and images: WSM

21.07.15. Birdlog

21.07.15. Birdlog

21.07.15. Green Sandpiper, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (3)

21.07.15. Swifts over No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonA little blustery this evening but the low cloud and wind combined to bring the Common Swifts to feed low over the banks of No.6 tank.

My heart missed a beat when a square tailed bird flew low overhead and disappeared out into a mass of 700 other swifts…A moment to reflect and process what I’d just seen…realisation dawned…reflect, take note…yes it had a square ended tail! Moments later it reappeared and gave some excellent views above the track…A Common Swift without outer tail feathers…Phew!! It can happen just like that. Maybe one day?

21.07.15. Black-tailed Godwit, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)

800 Black-tailed Godwit were back on the tank for the duration of the tide before peeling off in loose flocks out to the River Mersey as the tide turned and ebbed. Dunlin numbers have been increasing over the last week and 174 birds included a couple of juvenile birds.

21.07.15. Green Sandpiper, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (5)

A Green Sandpiper was confidingly perched on a plant base above the flood water and a link to a video of the sandpiper here: https://vimeo.com/134143558.

There were numerous Redshank and they contained several juvenile birds. A couple of Ringed Plover joined the crowd and Lapwing flocks are also beginning to increase.

The male Marsh Harrier flew through and with five hungry beaks to feed he was kept busy. The Peregrine was sat on top of the blue-topped chimney at Ineos Chlor at Weston Point.

Observers: Sparky, WSM (and images).