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Post Info TOPIC: Ashton Moss


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RE: Ashton Moss


11/6/2018 mid afternoon

Sheldon Swans still have all 8 cygnets, another pair of Mute Swans nested on the back pools and they have now hatched 2 young.
Coot with a small chick on the back pools as well as a couple of well grown juvenile Moorhen.
Also around the mound
A few Skylarks
Couple of Whitethroat
3 Reed Bunting
A Willow Warbler gave a short burst of song
2 House Martin
4 Swallow
2 Swift high over
1 Kestrel
fly over Linnets
3 broods of calling Great Tit spread out around the perimeter
and thought I heard a Meadow Pipit flight call.



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A Canada Goose family living dangerously on Bank Holiday Sunday! Luckily, no trams were imminent, and the drivers on the relatively quiet dual carriageway were vigilant, and they were able to cross safely. They seemed to be heading for the grass verge by the car park at Office Depot or Screwfix... As if there wasn't plenty of grass at their own side of the road!




-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Wednesday 30th of May 2018 01:53:12 PM

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All 8 cygnets were still present yesterday (with parents)

Also a pair of Coot with young, although these were concealed and a Swallow was frequently drinking

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It was lovely to see 8 cygnets this morning, you beat me to posting

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24/5/18 7am to 8am

The Swans on Sheldon Pool have hatched 8 cygnets.

On and around the mound
5 Whitethroat
6 Blackcap
4 Willow Warbler
1 Chiffchaff
2 Reed Bunting
10+ Skylark
c30 Starling collecting food

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19/4/18 from 7 to 8am,

1 Wheatear
2 Grasshopper Warbler, heard only.
1 Whitethroat singing,
2 Blackcap singing
6 Willow Warbler singing
6 Reed Bunting
10+ Skylark
2 Linnet
2 Meadow Pipit heard
Long-tailed Tit collecting nest material
1 Song Thrush
1 Kestrel
1 Lapwing

2 drilling rigs on the mound are possibly a sign that this interesting site is on borrowed time.

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Moorhen , on Lord Sheldon Way .



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Steve has ringed the cygnets on Fri 6/3/18
male 4CYS
female 4CYT
female 4CYU

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Sightings from Sheldon Pool yesterday

6 Tufted Duck (4 drake)
5 Mute Swan
8 Canada Geese
2 Moorhen
2 Coot
4 Mallard (3 drakes)

Kestrel hunting over the mound

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Late listing again from WEBS count 17/2/18 10am
Sheldon Pool
5 mute swans
4 mallard
5 tufted ducks
4 coot
2 moorhen
6 canada geese
51 black headed gulls



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22/2/18 late morning.

2 Stonechat, fairly elusive in the middle of the mound,
5 Skylark, some fitful singing,
1 Meadow Pipit,
3 Kestrel, 2 of them slightly off site calling over towards the leisure park,
Pair of Teal on the flooded horse field,
Not seen any Snipe on here since 21st November, probably due to regular weekend disturbance by off road bikes and the ever increasing off lead dog walking activity.

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As I passed on the tram late this afternoon, there were at least 8 Tufted Duck (5 drake) on Sheldon Pool. The five Mute Swans were also present

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Afternoon visit

5 Mute Swan, 5 Tufted Duck (3 drake) and 10 Canada Geese on Sheldon Pool

Male Stonechat and a single Meadow Pipit were the only noteworthy birds on the mound

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Sorry, late post but did do WEBS count 20/1/18
10 canada geese
2 coot
3 tufted ducks
2 moorhen
5 mute swans
12 black headed gulls

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Short visit, late afternoon

4 Tufted Duck (2 pairs) and 5 Mute Swan on Sheldon Pool
6 Lapwing and Grey Heron on horse field
Song Thrush singing in trees by Mockridge Garden Centre
5 Moorhen on Mockridge Pool

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26/1/2018 afternoon visit

5 Mute Swan and 2 Tufted Duck on Sheldon Pool,
At least 4 Teal in the rushes on Mockridge Pool,
8 Lapwing in flooded horse field,
2 Heron,
3 Stonechat,
2 Kestrel,
Meadow Pipit and Skylark heard.

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On Sheldon Pool

Moorhen
2 Coot
5 Mute Swan
10 Canada Geese
Pair of Tufted Duck

Then rain stopped play

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WEBS count, Sheldon Pool
]5 mute swans
18 canada geese
2 moorhen
1 tufted duck
4 mallard
4 coot
2 teal (pair)- good spot for the WEBS count, 1st ones I've recorded. Hiding in reeds at back of pond (tram side)
78 black headed gulls

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12/11/17 early morning until 10am

5 Mute Swans all still on Sheldon Pool
1 Grey Heron
2 Kestrel
1 Sparrowhawk
At least 17 Collared Dove, all at the western end of the site
2 Stonechat
10-15 Meadow Pipit spread out around the mound
1 Skylark
Linnet heard overflying a couple of times
2 Reed Bunting
2 Mallard and 2 Coot on the back pools


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6th Oct 17 10.00am Webs Count
Sheldon Pool
5 mute swans
16 mallard
2 canada geese
5 coot
5 moorhen
1 grey heron
1 black headed gull



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14/10/2017 Late morning up to midday.

The Mute Swan family is still on Sheldon Pool, all had a brief flight from one end to the other. Also 2 Mute Swans on Moss Lane pool, one darvic ringed 4CLA the other just metal ringed.

On or around the mound
1 Buzzard, again hovering over the mound then later presumably the same bird seen in a tree on Moss Lane.
2 Stonechat, male and fem.
3 Skylark
3 Common Snipe
5 or 6 Meadow Pipit
1 Chiffchaff
Lots of Long-tailed Tits heard all around the edges of the mound.
Linnet heard
Overhead, a skein of Pink-footed Geese were heading north west at about 11am. Notably the last 2 birds in the flock were probably about 25% larger than the others but I couldn't make out any other differences at that distance.

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17/9/2017 around midday

1 Buzzard was hovering low over the mound for a while, hopefully a sign of decent rodent numbers, if so perhaps a chance of Short-eared Owl again if there is a sizeable influx.
2 Buzzards later soaring together.
1 Kestrel
1 Skylark
c10 Meadow Pipit dotted around
1 Chiffchaff singing
Small number of Swallow, some coming to drink from the back pool
1 Little Grebe
1 Grey Heron.

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This afternoon

Mute Swan family still present on Sheldon Pool along with Grey Heron and two Coot

Mound area

40+ Swallow became one less after one was taken by a Sparrowhawk
10+ House Martin
1 Sand Martin
1 Swift drank briefly at back pool before flying off again
3 Coot including a small chick
2 Moorhen
1 Buzzard


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13/8/17 late morning

2 adult and 3 juvenile Mute Swan and a juvenile Grey Heron on Sheldon Pool,
On or around the mound
2 Kestrel,
1 Buzzard
20+ each of House Martin and Swallow
c10 Sand Martin
2 Swift
2 Reed Bunting
Mixed flock of mainly Willow Warbler perhaps 10+, with Whitethroat, Long-tailed Tit and Great Tit.
On the back pool a Kingfisher was perched on one of the larger grey overflow pipes for a while
Also on here 2 Little Grebe, 2 Coot and a Moorhen.

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Yesterday morning:

The pools at the back contained Grey Heron, 6 adult Coot (one still sitting), Moorhen with one well-grown juvenile, 2 Little Grebe.

Also plenty of insect life attracting Swifts, Swallows, House and Sand Martins.

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The Mute Swan pair with their three cygnets are still present on Sheldon Pool
Also pair of Coot
Moorhen
Grey Heron
2 House Martins arrived to drink
Willow Warbler singing in the area

On the mound

Common Whitethroat singing
3 Reed Bunting also singing

The pools at the back contained Grey Heron, 2 adult Coot and 3 younger birds of various sizes and a pair of Canada Geese with 2 goslings

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Yesterday (7th June) - skylark singing over the land behind the Metrolink Park and Ride.

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Mute Swan: pair with 3 cygnets
Moorhen: could only see one with a smallish chick
Coot: just the one
Heron: one
House Sparrow: 3 males
Willow Warbler: still singing

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Pair of Mute Swan with three cygnets on Sheldon Pool
Pair of Moorhen with a brood of six
Pair of Coot

Pair of Canada Geese leading six goslings across Lord Sheldon Way this afternoon

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25/4/2017 early morning visit

8 Willow Warbler
10+ Skylark
5+ Reed Bunting
1 Swallow
6 Goldfinch
2 Bullfinch
Singles of Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Whitethroat heard singing,
Also heard calling were a Meadow Pipit and a couple of Linnet
A Grasshopper Warbler was reeling from the centre of the mound just after 7am. Seems to be quite an influx locally of this species at the moment, I have only heard 2 birds in Tameside in the last 10 years, this bird is the 4th in 5 days.

A Wheatear and 6 Linnet were seen during my last visit.



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WEBS count 11/3/17
7 canada geese
2 mute swans
3 mallard
1 coot
2 black headed gulls

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A bit of info on the Sheldon Mute Swans thanks to Steve Christmas.

The male was originally ringed as a cygnet at Ashton Moss on 25/08/2014, Darvic 4ANJ. The female has also been ringed now.

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A quick look on Sheldon Pool on my way home from work tonight

No sign of Teal reported earlier. This had been replaced by a female Goldeneye, a surprise bird given the depth of Sheldon Pool!

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Thursday 16th March 2017, 12.15pm

Sheldon Pool, a quick stop on the way home from the vet

1 pair of Tufted Duck
1 drake Teal
3 Coot
2 Moorhen
c 12 Canada Geese
Good numbers of Skylark singing over the mound.

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11/3/17 mid morning

I had thought the swans on Sheldon Pool had only 1 metal ring between them but now one of them at least has a blue davic, unfortunately only able to read 4M the rest of the ring was buried in the feathers. Maybe a different pair or perhaps they have been ringed over the winter.
On the back pools
4 Coot
2 Tufted Duck
1 Canada Goose
2 Mallard
1 Little Grebe
Lots of singing from Skylarks, well into double figures
At least 6 singing Reed Buntings
C10 Meadow Pipit

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3 Tufted Duck (2 drake) on Sheldon Pool this evening.

7 Canada Geese and Mute Swan pair also present.

1 Moorhen on bank

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20/2/2017 brief visit mid morning.

Still fairly quiet but nice to hear some sustained singing from Skylarks, over 10 birds present, not all singing.
2 Stonechat, both males, previous sightings this winter have always included 1 female.
1 or 2 Meadow Pipit,
2 Reed Bunting
Lots of Carrion Crows and Magpies
On the back pools
A pair of Tufted Duck
3 Mallard
4 Coot
1 Moorhen
Just off site 2 Kestrels were interacting high over the Leisure Park

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A Kestrel was hovering over the mound this morning

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Drake Tufted Duck present on Sheldon pool this afternoon

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WEBS count 11/2/17 2.40-2.50pm
1 mute swan (other not in sight)
5 mallard
4 coot
1 moorhen
2 canada geese
4 black headed gulls

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A quick look on the way home in the gloom

Female Wigeon associating with five drake Mallard on Sheldon Pool
4 Coot
Mute Swan pair
Grey Heron

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simon ghilks wrote:


Of interest looking across to Littlemoss 2 Pink-footed Geese were seen feeding alone in one of the horse fields. One of them being very dark, possibly melanistic or hybrid.
Couple of distant photos hopefully attached.





The darker Pink-footed Goose looks like the bird which was also seen at Audenshaw Reservoirs a few days ago.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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01/02/2017 late morning walk around the mound

2 Stonechat,
1 Reed Bunting
7 Meadow Pipit
1 Goldcrest
1 Sparrowhawk
6 Heron and 9 Lapwing in the Horse field near Mockridge Pool

Of interest looking across to Littlemoss 2 Pink-footed Geese were seen feeding alone in one of the horse fields. One of them being very dark, possibly melanistic or hybrid.
Couple of distant photos hopefully attached.

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18/1/2017 Late afternoon visit.

1 Skylark
1 Meadow Pipit
2 Stonechat, first sighting for a couple of months, possibly new birds.
6 Snipe of which one was probably a Jack as it flushed from close quarters, flew silently low and straight and looked to have a shorter bill.

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WEBS count 14/1/17 11.10-11.20am
2 mute swans
9 canada geese
5 coot
11 mallard
1 tufted duck
28 black headed gulls
2 lesser black backed gulls


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WEBS count 18/12/16, 13.40-13.40

9 canada geese
2 mute swans
10 mallard
5 moorhen
3 coot
40 black headed gulls

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WEBs count 13/11/16, 11.10-11.20am
2 mute swans
5 mallard
3 coot
4 moorhen
1 tufted duck
9 black headed gulls

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25/10/2016 early morning

2 possibly 3 Stonechat, fairly mobile on the mound.
20+ Meadow Pipit
1 Skylark
3 Reed Bunting
1 Fieldfare flew over
10 Collared Dove
15+ Wren
1 Redpoll
1 Goldcrest
15+ Long-tailed Tit in 2 flocks
4 Little Grebe (back pool)
4 Mallard, 3 drake (back pool)
Seemed to be lots of Redwing and Blackbirds in the fields and hedges over towards Littlemoss

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WEBs count for Sheldon pool
16/10/16 11.50-12.00
5 coot
2 mute swans
3 moorhen
16 canada geese
2 black headed gulls

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Hello Rachael

The Kingfisher was on one of the far pools near Moss Side Farm. Can't recall ever seeing one on Sheldon Pool but no reason why they wouldn't get on there occasionally, though I suppose it gets a lot more disturbance than the far pools.

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