30.05.16. Birdlog

17.03.16. Mediterreanean Gulls, Blakemere, Delamere Forest. Bill Morton (33)All the action was again on No.6 tank today when a Peregrine hurtled through the 393 Black-tailed Godwit flock and hidden in their midst was a lone Bar-tailed Godwit (SO). Yesterday’s two 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull were again present with 130 Black-headed and a 2nd summer Common. The Common Teal numbers increased by two to four birds. Likewise, the Common Pochard doubled to two drakes. There were 5 Avocet but the Curlew Sandpipers couldn’t be relocated. A vocal Willow Warbler sang out from the hedgerow.

Observers: Tony Broome, Sean O’Hara.

Image by WSM.

29.05.16. Birdlog

29.05.16. Tufted Ducks, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Alyn Chambers

29.05.16. Mediterreanean Gulls, Frodsham Marsh. Alyn ChambersTwo 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull were on No.6 tank this morning and two Curlew Sandpiper were also present, before retreating into the vegetation, along with 2 Redshank, 1 Ringed Plover and around 350 Black-tailed Godwit. Two Yellow Wagtail and a Jay were over the tank later in the day.

29.05.16. Reed Bunting, Frodsham Marsh. Alyn Chambers

A Lesser Whitethroat was along Brook Furlong Lane by the ramp up to No.1 tank and a Willow Warbler was singing on the south bank of No.4 tank.

Observer: Alyn Chambers (images 1-3).

We took a hike around No.6 this afternoon after a tip-off from Alyn who had seen Curlew Sandpiper and Mediterranean Gull on the tank earlier. By the time we arrived it appeared that they had departed the area so after a quick glimpse over the water which had more or less the same ducks from yesterday we continued our walk and stopped off overlooking the mitigation area on No.3 tank. Apart from a few Avocet and Gadwall it was obvious that the walk would be just that, a walk.

29.05.16. Avocet and Coots, No.3 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

The warm muggy sunshine is always accentuated on the marshes with the fields trapping the heat of the day. The fields harness the heat and it gets like a cauldron sometimes. Due to this there was a slight mirage to the horizon so didn’t stay for long in any one spot.

29.05.16. No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

29.05.16. Mediterrean Gull, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonWalking along Lordship Lane the only birds of note were the usual singing Sedge’s and a showy Reed Warbler with a flyover Yellow Wagtail.

At the junction of Lordship and Hare and Moorditch Lanes I scrambled up the steep banks to view No.6 from its south side. There were a few gulls lingering on the edge of the water and the c350 summering Black-tailed Godwit were encamped on the north side of the shallow waters. On closer inspection the gulls included  Alyn’s two 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull roosting with the Black-heads.

29.05.16. Mediterrean Gull, Moorditch Lane, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton29.05.16. Small Skipper, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonAfter clambering down the bank we continued our walk and then an adult Med Gull (pictured above) flew overhead. We managed to relocate this bird with the gulls following the muck spreader that was working a field alongside the M56 off Moorditch. It was soon followed by a third 2nd summer bird. A nice tally of four Med’s for the day.

There was a slight diversion when a small number of Blue Lacewings were noted and the first Large Skipper Butterfly of the year was spotted.

29.05.16. Blue Lacewing, No.6 tank, frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Observers: Sparky, WSM (images 3-9).

Frodsham Marsh Wind Farm in Photos #8

21.05.16. Turbines, Lordship Marsh, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)21.05.16. Turbines, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (3)

A few additional images. The above from 21st where a segment of the fourth tower turbine is lifted into position…

21.05.16. Turbines, Lordship Marsh, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1)…and viewed from the north banks of No.6 tank.

23.05.16. Wind Turbines from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (3)The rotor hub is lifted into position.

26.05.16. Still skyline from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (6)

A flock of Black-tailed Godwits wheeled around after being disturbed by a passing raptor with the turbines situated on Lordship Marsh and the Growhow Works beyond.

28.05.16. 5th turbine on Lordship Marsh from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (1) 28.05.16. 5th turbine on Lordship Marsh from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (4)

The third turbine erected with the rotor hub being fastened into position.

28.05.16. 5th turbine on Lordship Marsh from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (5)

The hub being hoisted.

28.05.16. 5th turbine on Lordship Marsh from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (6)

A closer view…

28.05.16. 5th turbine on Lordship Marsh from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (9)

…and an even closer view.

28.05.16. Turbines, No.1 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

The finished product, one of two presently on No.1 (Cell 1) tank.

28.05.16. Turbine and the Weaver Estuary, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

The Weaver Estuary and one of the turbines towering over it.

29.05.16. Turbines from No.4 tank, Lordship Marsh, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

Some images added on and taken 29.05.16.

29.05.16. Turbines, Lordship Marsh, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

The above (three) images are of the turbines situated on Lordship Marsh.

29.05.16. Turbines, Lordship Marsh, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

All images by WSM.

28.05.16. Birdlog

28.05.16. Canada Goose family, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston (2)

28.05.16. Avocet, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)Out this morning from Ince Berth and around tanks 4 and 6. Now that the breeding season is in full swing with flocks of juvenile Starling begging for food off their parents on the fresh-cut silage. Likewise, the young Carrion Crow youngsters were crash landing in to the hawthorn bushes nearby. A pair of Great Tit were feeding their young in a nest on the pipe bridge crossing the Holpool Gutter.

Out on the Frodsham Score a ewe was trapped, flipped on her back and was still alive when a pair of corvids attacked her eyes (such is the fate of some of these animals when left to roam free). On the Manchester Ship Canal were Mallard, Gadwall, Common Shelduck and Tufted Duck which were joined by several Canada Goose and Mute Swan with Oystercatcher calling in alarm on the canal bank. On the Canal Pools a pair of Canada Goose had over 20 goslings with them.

28.05.16. Ewe and Crows, Frodsham Score, Frodsham Marsh. Paul Ralston (2)

28.05.16. Avocet and Black-tailed Godwits, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (4)Skylark were numerous and singing loud as were Sedge Warbler and smaller numbers of Reed seen and heard on my walk. there were 11 Avocet noted on the scrapes on No.3 tank with a couple of Ringed Plover and breeding Lapwing.

I met a birder who mentioned he had seen a couple Brown Hare earlier this morning so that would have been notable if they crossed my path today. Back along the Holpool Gutter there were more Skylark and 2 pair of Yellow Wagtail were in a crop field.

Observer: Paul Ralston (images 1 & 3).

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28.05.16. female Mallard on branch, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (5)

A fine summer day to be out and about on the marshes today. Starting from No.6 tank  which held a 387 strong summering flock of Black-tailed Godwit including a colour-ringed bird  (pictured below) and ringed as a chick  (colour combination Green/White-Orange/Black) on 10.07.15 at Kaldaðarnes, Árnessýsla, South Iceland.

A lone Avocet was moon walking as it feed in the shallow waters and was presumably back tracking after stirring up food from the muddy bottom. Generally the variety of shorebirds were notably poor with 12 Lapwing and a handful of Redshank. No.6 tank is perhaps more renowned of late for its ducks and as expected the volume of species was again high with Common Shelduck being the most evident with 200 birds. A video of the Avocet here: https://vimeo.com/168516505

28.05.16. Little Grebe, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

28.05.16. Colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwit, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)Also with the Shelduck were 120 Tufted Duck, 3 Common Teal, Gadwall, a drake Pochard and Mallard making up the rest. 3 pairs of Little Grebe were winnowing away in the reedy areas.

A 1st summer Marsh Harrier flew to the east and the same bird was over Marsh Farm a few hours later.

The Weaver Estuary also had 100 Tufted Duck with scattered groups of Gadwall, Mallard and Common Shelduck. Other birds of interest included 7 Great Crested Grebe and a Oystercatcher.

28.05.16. Fox, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton

A scabby looking Fox was out on the marsh today.

28.05.16. Oystercatcher, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

Observers: Tony Broome (images 10-14), WSM (images 2 & 4-9).

28.05.16. Reed Bunting, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (1)

28.05.16. Sedge Warbler, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome.28.05.16. Reed Warbler, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (1)28.05.16. Linnet, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome27.05.16. Red Kite, Lordship Lane, Frodsham Marsh. Dan (1)A Red Kite was observed heading NNW over Lordship Lane at 0515 on 27th. Observer Dan (image 15).

26.05.16. Birdlog

26.05.16. Pheasant, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (8) - CopyA walk up and down the track on No.5 tank taking in the birds present on No.6 tank this evening. It was a still evening with the steam, smoke and whatever pollutants that are emitted into the local atmosphere could clearly be seen from the local industry surrounding the marshes.

26.05.16. Still skyline from No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (12)

26.05.16. Pheasant, No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (19) - CopyA flock of 200 Black-tailed Godwit were  nervous and flighty tonight, although I didn’t notice the cause of their concern. A smaller wader was present along with 3 Ringed Plover with the godwit flock which flew straight out to the Mersey Estuary.

There was a build up of Common Shelduck with 216 either paired up or loitering about with 67 Tufted Duck and an assortment of Mallard, Gadwall and a pair of Common Teal. Also present were 16 Coot, 2 Little Grebe, 4 Grey Heron and 30 Common Swift.

All in all not much to add to the last few days but the water level is low on No.6 and looks really good to entice a flyby shorebird (here’s hoping).

Observer and images: WSM.

23.05.16. Birdlog

23.05.16. Marsh Harrier and Wind Turbines from No.5 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (5)

A couple of hours post work birding on and from No.5 tank. I met Arthur along the track on Moorditch Lane and we birded together looking over No.6 tank.

22.05.16. Curlew Sandpiper, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (13)

22.05.16. Curlew Sandpiper, NoThe usual suspects were on offer including a smart gathering of Tufted Duck and territorial Common Shelduck. The Black-tailed Godwit flock were busy feeding in the centre of the water with the occasional Redshank. A short distance away on the drier bed were 4 Ringed Plover along with the three-footed combo Curlew Sandpipers. Presumably the bird with its left foot missing is the same bird which was at Seaforth on 17th May 2016 this month and previously at the same site on 30th July 2013?

21.05.16. Shelduck fighting No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh

A Common Buzzard was hovering over the banks while a female Marsh Harrier (pictured at the top of the page) headed through from the east.

22.05.16. Swift, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (2)

A couple of Yellow Wagtail and the ubiquitous Common Swift zipped over the banks and one almost gave Arthur’s barnet a side parting…it was that close!

Observers: Arthur Harrison, WSM (and images).

22.05.16. Birdlog

22.05.16. drake Garganey, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome

22.05.16. Wren, No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Tony BroomeAn early start saw me arrive on Moorditch Lane before eight o’clock. I headed for the south bank of No.6 tank and parked up for a quick look over the bank. Of course there was a latte to polish off and boots to put on before any birding was done. However, I’d only been stood  there for a couple of minutes when a Short-eared Owl floated past me following the line of the ditch westwards. I didn’t even need to put my bins up it was so close and it looked at me with bright yellow eyes which met my baby blues, before it carried on and crossed the road and went up and over the bank of six. A magical moment. I climbed the bank and stealthily looked out across the tank. One of the first birds was the male Garganey, feeding just below me. I stood still, partially concealed by the nettles and oilseed rape.

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22.05.16. Wren, No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Tony BroomeNothing moved and all the birds carried on feeding. 334 Black-tailed Godwit were spread out across the tank but few other waders. Parties of Swift flew low and skimmed my head as they fed. A second summer Common Gull preened in amongst the Black-headed. There was also 4 Little Grebe, 14 Coot, over 60 Gadwall, a single drake Shoveler and 3 Common Teal. Time to move on and I drove around to park up for a walk out to the north-east corner of No.4 tank. It was a lovely morning, very warm, calm and muggy. It felt more like a July day rather than mid May. As I walked out along the path to watch over Frodsham Score, I looked at the wildflowers in bloom. Carpets of sky-blue forget-me-nots and pink stork’s bills and crane’s bills, white stitchworts, deep yellow Common Bird’s-foot Trefoil and pale yellow Mouse-ear Hawkweed.

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Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Sedge and Reed Warbler all competed for song-time, interspersed by the local Wren and flocks of Goldfinch. Common Buzzard displayed overhead, mewing as they dived from way up in the clouds.

22.05.16. Reed Bunting, No.4 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome22.05.16. Swift, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (10)Raven flew inland carrying food for their hungry chicks and a leggy Fox was mobbed by some Carrion Crow as it made its way along the Score bank. I wandered around looking at anything remotely interesting before moving on to No.3 and 6 tanks for high tide. Avocet were on both tanks and I parked up overlooking No.6 from the north side. The sky behind me was black and rain blotted out the distance. As it came closer, hirundines dropped into feed over the water.  30 House Martin, 40 Sand Martin, 20 Swallow and a couple of hundred Swift. Waders began to drop in and with the 80 or so Dunlin were 3 Oystercatcher, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, one in full summer plumage, and 2 Sanderling, one similarly striking, being bright orange and white in its breeding plumage. Redshank numbers were low with around 10, there was a single Whimbrel and about 30 Ringed Plover.

22.05.16. Curlew Sandpipers, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Tony Broome (2)

22.05.16. Curlew Sandpiper, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonA female Marsh Harrier drifted past, ignored by the feeding waders. A male and female Yellow Wagtail fed in among the waders and there were 6 Pied Wagtail on the far side. The rain arrived and it was time to retire to the car for lunch. It was so heavy that having a window open even a little bit resulted in the car getting wet inside, so I sat it out until the sun reappeared about an hour later and the wind dropped and warmth returned.

22.05.16. No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Mortone

I had another final look but didn’t see anything fresh and drove around to Brook Furlong Lane and eventually Marsh farm where a pair of Wheatear perched on fence posts, occasionally dropping down to take insect prey. A Greenland form was along Lordship Lane (MG). I finished the day stood in the warm sunshine, sipping what was left of the coffee and scanning the sky for high-flying goodies. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, at least not today.

Written by Tony Broome (images 1-6 & 8)

Contributions by: Frank Duff, Findlay and Heather Wilde, Mark (Whipper) Gibson.

22.05.16. Curlew Sandpiper, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill MortonI spent a couple of hours birding from the banks overlooking No.6 tank with the evening sunlight illuminating the shallow waters below. It was ideal conditions to reveal some birds that perhaps Tony et al may have missed earlier.

A small bunch of Ringed Plover hiding in the daisy stubble on the margins of the water included the two (one partial and one full summer plumage) Curlew Sandpiper that had been seen in the afternoon. The full summer plumaged bird was behaving a bit oddly, at first I thought it was watching the sky above whilst feeding in a crouched posture. On closer inspection it was evident the bird was missing its left foot. I didn’t notice this behaviour yesterday or certainly it wasn’t obvious. Anyway, they are both splendid birds to watch especially in the light of the setting sun. A Little Ringed Plover joined the birds for a brief period on the mud.

22.05.16. Swift, No.6 tank, Frodsham Marsh. Bill Morton (4)A 1st summer Marsh Harrier flew over carrying a fledgling and disappeared beyond the horizon. In the distance a Cuckoo was singing from the area bordering the shooters fields off Brook Furlong Lane. The evening skies were once again filled with feeding Swift over the embankments including this (no Photoshop or enhancement) headless bird.

Observer: WSM (images 7 & 9-12).