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Post Info TOPIC: Ashton Moss


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RE: Ashton Moss


Late post for this morning 9.00 - 10.20 Similar to Simon's sightings but in addition: Kestrel 1 Snipe flushed by dog walker. Great to see so many Skylark singing βΊ After 2 circuits of the mound looking for the short-eared owls 1 appeared as I got back to my car at the side of the tram stop.

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13.00 - 15.00

A joyous visit today in beautiful sunshine, with a constant soundtrack of singing Skylarks and a full hour from about 13.30 of both Short-eared Owls showing well. The smaller bird spent the most time in the air, with its bigger friend content to sit tight initially, but then both were up together and the bigger one spent a while gliding around. It also perched up 3 or 4 times allowing lovely views as it glared around. Interesting on this visit was the behaviour of the numerous Magpies, which were agitated by the owls at times, unlike on my previous trips. Also one great moment when the smaller bird buzzed the bigger one on the ground and then sped away as if fearing the consequences!

Also seen, male Reed Bunting, a couple of Meadow Pipit and as noted, 10+ Skylark, including at least 4 singers. Also one brief view of a female Stonechat. Finally, it was great to meet Andrea, who was delighted with her first ever Shortie. It really was a great way to see the species for the first time, hunting in perfect light at pretty close range for 10 minutes. They won't all be like that, trust me...





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Between 3pm and 4.15pm 2 Short-eared Owls on the mound. At least 1 bird in view most of the time. Called to each other on one occasion.

Couldn't get any decent photos but probably due to my lack of photographic skill as I always seemed to have the wrong setting when they were near.

Just to rub it in, as I put my camera away 1 bird perched on the ground near by and regurgitated 3 pellets!

2 male Reed Buntings and 10+ Skylarks with several of the larks singing.



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Sunday 6th March. 16.30 - 17.45 hrs.

12 Golden Plover.

Flew in at 17.00 hrs and landed in a field at the back of Moss Farm (Littlemoss) ..... still there when I left.

Roger.

-- Edited by Roger Baker 3 on Sunday 6th of March 2016 07:14:37 PM

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8.40_8.45 2 short eared owls hunting from tram stop car park. 5 Skylark 3 Meadow pipit

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A Short-eared Owl was quartering the mound just behind the tram stop car park at 0725 am.

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23/2/16

1 Short-eared Owl was hunting on the mound from about 16:45 until 17:30, made several attempts to catch prey and appeared to be successful twice, staying down for a few minutes before proceeding to hunt again.
Also
3 Reed Bunting, 1 singing.
Perhaps 10 Skylark zipping about with a bit of singing.
2 Stonechat
2 Grey Heron
4 Mute Swan, 2 on Sheldon pond, 2 on one of the back ponds.

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21/02/16 11.00-11.10am
WEBS count
2 mute swans
5 mallard
6 coot
1 moorhen
10 black headed gulls

not counted on WEBS: 22 lapwings flew over to carphone warehouse disturbed from the Moss (technically over pond but not using it grrr)


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18/2/16

2 Short-eared Owls were over the mound between 16:30 and 17:00 this afternoon, they were mainly keeping to the Moss Lane end of the site.


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First visit getting the team out which was very easy

Short-eared Owl showed twice over the mound about 4pm
3-4 Stonechat (2 male 1 possibly 2 female)
10+ Skylark
7 Meadow Pipit
3 Reed Bunting

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8-9.45 a.m. 5th visit to finally get a brief view of a Short-eared Owl, also at least 13 Skylark (I don't think I've ever seen so many in one place in Manchester before), 1 Kestrel, 4 Meadow Pipit and 1 Stonechat.
Cheers Ian

-- Edited by Ian Campbell on Friday 12th of February 2016 03:42:27 PM

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11/2/2016

2 Short-eared Owls were hunting on the mound at around 4pm today.
Also seen
1 Stonechat, male
1 Reed Bunting
5 Skylark

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Yes it was me! Nice to meet you βΊ In addition at 3:55 today: 1 Stonechat

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Return visit 15.50 - 16.30

Short-eared Owl still present (thanks to the lady who asked if I had seen it - was that you, Vicky?)

Pair of Mute Swans back, along with a pair of Tufted Duck. Smart-looking male Lesser Redpoll in the reedbed.

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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10.00 - 10.30

at least one Short-eared Owl (maybe two?) seen from Moss Lane (much easier than squelching across the mound) and at least 4 singing Skylarks.

As I turned off the A635 at the Snipe I was greeting by the rather disturbing site of two Mute Swans heading directly for me at little more than car roof height (certainly lower than tram cable or double-decker bus!)

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Mid-afternoon visit after work today.

Short-eared Owl 1,
Wasn't raining when I arrived but got well and truly soaked through whilst up on the mound, and for only 2 brief sightings of the Owl for approx 45 seconds, and then again for less than 30 seconds.

Other birds...
Kestrel 1
Jackdaw 16
Skylark 5
Robin 1
Grey Heron 1



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4.40 today

Short eared owl seen from the tram stop car park.

Also:

Kestrel and Heron flyovers.


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1130 - 1300
Single Short-eared Owl seen eventually at the Moss Lane end - it was presumably settled in the long grass on the mound, when 2 Carrion Crows gave it some grief and it flew off out of view in deteriorating weather.
1 Kestrel
4/5 Skylarks
2 Jays
4 (2m, 2f) Bullfinch - v close until a Weasel fancied one for its lunch. The birds prevailed....
6 Greenfinch
4 Goldfinch
Plus 2prs Tufted Duck, Coots, Moorhens, 3 Mute Swans and Black-headed Gulls on the pond.


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Stuart Rothery


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Good views of male & female Short-eared Owls between 14:30 & 16:00. Nice to meet Gordon Yates - hope he was pleased with his shots.



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Tues 2nd Feb. 15.00 - 16.30 hrs.

Third time lucky, thought I would give it another crack for the owls as the wind seemed to have dropped a little.

15 minute wait then was treated some great close up views of a female Short-eared Owl for best part of an hour ... occasionally joined by a male at around 16.00 hrs.

Some brilliant interaction .. he only seemed to be about 2/3rds her size, also had a more streaked breast giving him an overall darker appearance.

Roger.



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2/2/2016

1 Short-eared Owl was visible briefly from the tram stop car park at 1355.
5 Goosander flew over probably heading for the Audenshaw Reservoir roost.

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Glad you managed to spot them both Chris. smile

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Thanks Vicky (?) for pointing me SW from the tram stop carpark to the path up to the top.

Stunning views down on the short eared owl quartering up and down Moss Lane ~3.15-3.45, initially in beautiful light.

That went on until a second owl came in hard from ~Ikea and tussled briefly with the first, which headed off towards Littlemoss. The new owl took up quartering a bit further NE of Moss Lane, seeming more nervous than the first and disappeared entirely when someone popped up near the dilapidated garage where it had just been hunting (the first bird had seemed largely oblivious to two dogs off the lead and their owner on the lane).

Other birds as others have reported (albeit with a higher skylark:meadow pipit ratio)



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A break in the blizzard conditions at 2:50 produced:

Short eared owl seen flying in the distance looking out towards the pylons to the left of Ikea. It flew into the long grass to the right of the main path.
Also:
1 Stonechat
7 Meadow Pipit
1 Kestrel
1 Skylark

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0845-1005

At least one Short-eared Owl on the mound this morning. First seen just before 9am against the backdrop of IKEA, it dropped in the grass. About ten minutes later, the same or another bird put on a short display giving overhead views before disappearing towards Littlemoss.

Also on the mound at least one male Stonechat, female Reed Bunting, c12 Skylark and a small number of Meadow Pipit.

Sheldon Pool

3 Tufted Duck
2 Mute Swan

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29/1/2016 from 2:15 till 3:15 on the mound

Dropped extremely lucky this afternoon. 2 Short-eared Owls were hunting the whole area whilst I was there. Sometimes probably even visible from Sheldon Way, ranging across the main traverse path towards the horse field and also getting across Moss Lane and on to Littlemoss farm land at the other end of the site. Would have provided a great garden tick for the houses that back onto the area if anybody had been looking. At one point a mobbing Carrion Crow caused one of the birds to go very high over towards the town centre but it eventually returned. Both birds were still visible as I left at 3:15. Occasionally giving some stunning close views.

Also seen
2 Male Stonechat
6 or 7 Skylark, some singing up high briefly.
1 Reed Bunting
a few Meadow Pipit

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Some great, if distant, sightings of the short eared owl quatering the mound between 2 and 2:30 this afternoon. Also skylarks and magpies in attendance. 3 herons on the riding stables land and a further heron stood in the middle of a field on Littlemosss. Nothing on the pools at the "back"of the mound. Good to meet David (surname unknown) with whom I shared the owl sights.

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Sunday 24th January 2016, 8.30 - 10.00am

Following yesterday's brief sighting in the company of Simon Gough, plus the fact that I have three dogs to walk, I decided to walk along Moss Lane, rather than trudge across the bog that is "the mound", as it was towards this direction that the Short-eared Owl appeared yesterday. The only birds flying over the mound were Skylarks, but I managed to pick up the owl roosting between tussocks of rough grass, less than 100 yards away, on the other side of the perimeter fence. It sat blinking at me for half an hour, not even flinching when some numpty on a motorbike tore across the mound, within 50 yards of the bird. It began preening itself, and finally took to the air at 9.30, being instantly mobbed by three Carrion Crows, after which it started quartering the area. It disappeared when a dogwalker appeared at the top of the mound at 9.45. Fantastic views of a stunning bird - well done Mr Suttill.

Also seen:

c 20 Skylarks, many singing and displaying this morning. Simon and I weren't sure whether or not it was our presence causing them to sing briefly yesterday, but the males seemed to be singing against one another, and for longer, today.
c 20 Meadow Pipits, moving around as a group
1 Lesser Redpoll over
Plenty of Great and Blue Tits, Robins, and singing Wrens in the brambles

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I managed to catch up with a Short-eared Owl this afternoon, seen over 10 minutes or so at about 14.30. Good views initially but then a couple of dogs being walked seemed to keep it on the ground after that, or maybe it was full up, the place must be crawling with rodents. What a great winter it has been for them, this is the 2nd within the M60 that I've seen. I met David Walsh a bit later and we had one very brief view of the bird at about 4pm as it came up off the ground and then disappeared again. Nice to meet you mate!

It was noticeable that this bird wasn't being mobbed at all, unlike the one at Chorlton. Maybe the bigger area means the owl and the Magpies can co-exist more happily.

Also seen were a male Stonechat, hunting Kestrel, around 5 or 6 Skylarks and a dozen or so Meadow Pipits. There were also a lot of gulls passing over, I did notice a few Common Gulls amongst the Black-headeds. A couple of the Skylarks started singing as they flew up, but soon stopped again. I had some nice close views of them flying around. Finally, there were indeed some Lapwings on the roof of Car People, just like Steve said! I could see double figures when I arrived.

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9.15-10.00 this morning

No sign of any short-eared owls

Kestrel f
3 Skylark
5 Meadow Pipit

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Thanks Steven. I will try and get down again next week. I'll certainly be looking out for lapwing too.

Thanks again

Vicky

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11.00am 2 mute swans (unringed) back on Sheldon pond now the ice has gone. They were using the old pair's nest site so fingers crossed for Spring. No owls in sight.


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2 hours this afternoon leaving at 3.30. No sign of Short-eared Owl, did see male Stonechat, female Reed Bunting, 2 Linnet and good to meet one Roger Bakersmile.
Cheers Ian

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Sheldon pond is on your left as you walk from the Metrolink car park towards Mockridge nurseries. The mound is on your right. Car People is on the other side of the main road and tramtracks - look out for the Lapwings on the roof.

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Steve Suttill wrote:

Hi Vicky

If you park in the Metrolink (tram) car park (for tram users only!) the "mound" is the raised area in front of you if you stand with your back to the tram tracks. I'm sure there must be a better way of putting this, but it should be obvious when you are there!

The "mound" is fenced off with very few gaps in the fence. It's an overgrown tip and could be dangerous, but all the local dogwalkers seem to use it. If you want to get to the top of the mound for a better view, there is a public footpath between two fences on your right as you walk down the lane past the big pool towards Mockridge nurseries.

Good luck!





Cheers, I was going to ask the same question! I work in Ashton and so might pop there after work tomorrow to see if I can spot a Short-eared Owl. Where's the Sheldon pond in relation to the mound?

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Hi Vicky

If you park in the Metrolink (tram) car park (for tram users only!) the "mound" is the raised area in front of you if you stand with your back to the tram tracks. I'm sure there must be a better way of putting this, but it should be obvious when you are there!

The "mound" is fenced off with very few gaps in the fence. It's an overgrown tip and could be dangerous, but all the local dogwalkers seem to use it. If you want to get to the top of the mound for a better view, there is a public footpath between two fences on your right as you walk down the lane past the big pool towards Mockridge nurseries.

Good luck!

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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I pass Ashton Moss daily on my way to work. I'm planning on stopping off to try to see the short-eared owl. Could somebody tell me where the mound is please.

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Bad luck Roger. Looks like you are also suffering from Irritable Owl Syndrome biggrin

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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That has cheered me up no end ! furious
I must have just missed you Vic.
Pulled off the car park at 14.20 having done a two hour stint without a sniff of the Short-eared Owls and not a lot else.

Stonechat. (M)
Mistle Thrush.

A lady dog-walker told me that the owls were right up to the fence around 10.00 hrs yesterday morning.

Roger.

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2 Short-eared Owls still present between 2.30pm and 3.10pm.

A single bird hunting over the mound for much of the time - mostly distant but one excellent close range view. It was joined briefly by a second bird on 2 occasions.

3 Common Snipe overhead.



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WEBs count from Sunday 17/1/16 10.45am
Sheldon pool
Pond 90% ice
8 canada geese,
7 mallard,
7 coot,
1 moorhen,
19 black headed gulls

and i would have love to have seen a short eared owl think i need a trip around the mound


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19/1/15.Late morning on the mound

Good,long views of a short eared owl and two seen together briefly.Also a male stonechat,a flock of about 30 meadow pipits,a collared
dove and two great tits.Also a female reed bunting by the pond near Mockridge nursery ,a wren and the usuals.


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B Beckwith


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19/1/2016 early afternoon on the mound

Short-eared Owl was flushed by a couple of lost walkers but quickly went to ground, it reappeared about 45mins later and started to hunt. Been half hoping one of these would be seen on here since the influx of autumn. Excellent find Steve, thanks for putting the news out.
Also around
1 Stonechat male
Skylark
2 Reed Buntings
Few Meadow Pipit
1 Goldcrest

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Full circuit of the mound - 13.15 - 14.30

SHORT-EARED OWL quartering the Moss was a most pleasant surprise smile

also: Kestrel hunting, 3 Skylarks, flock of 25 Meadow Pipits, 1 Snipe flushed...

usuals on Sheldon pool and just 4 Lapwing on Car People.

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Pond near Mockridge Nursery Pair mute swan Several coot 5 mallard 2 tufted duck ( m and f) Moorhen c20 Black-headed gull 8 canada geese Sheldon Pool Pair mute swan 8 canada geese (these could have moved from the other pool) Kingfisher 3 mallard (2m 1f)

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Sunday 3rd of January 2016 02:13:08 PM

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Late morning visit

Sheldon Pool

2 Tufted Duck (pair)
2 Mute Swan
8 Coot
3 Moorhen
5 Mallard

2 male Stonechat on the mound
Meadow Pipit
Kestrel hunting

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Afternoon visit

Sheldon Pool

Female Tufted Duck
6 Coot
Moorhen
Two adult Mute Swans flew in while I was there
15 Canada Geese
6 Mallard
24 Black-headed Gulls

Mound

Kestrel
Male Stonechat

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Tuesday 29th December 2015, 1.50 - 2.40pm

2 Grey Heron
4 Skylark
1 Meadow Pipit
1 Fieldfare
2 Mistle Thrush
3 Lesser Redpoll
c25 Goldfinch
c40 Starlings
2 Reed Bunting

On the pool

1 drake Tufted Duck
2 Mute Swans
7 Coot

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A late afternoon visit, too late to see anything on the mound.

Sheldon Pool

2 Mute Swan
Drake Tufted Duck
8 Coot
3 Moorhen
5 Mallard

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Wednesday 23rd December 2015, 1.30 - 2.10pm

A forty minute lunchtime escape from the gathering festive madness of work.
From Moss Lane, north across the railway line towards Littlemoss

1 female Kestrel over Moss Lane
1 Grey Heron in the fields towards Jaum Farm
At least 2 Skylark calling north of the railway line
Several Reed Bunting calling around Moss Side Farm, and another north of the railway
Magpies everywhere

It would be good to have more time, and do a full count of the area



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