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Post Info TOPIC: Silver Lane Pools, Risley


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RE: Silver Lane Pools, Risley


Long-tailed duck still present.

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Female Long-tailed Duck on Top Pool at 6.30am, presumably the Woolston bird?

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5.30-7.15am

A Cuckoo and a Grasshopper Warbler were of note this morning. Two Reed Warblers and a Sedge Warbler at the Hidden Pool. An unseen Roe Deer barked at me from the edge of the wood only feet away as I was leaning against the gate at Top Pool, shortening my life by around five years. As I was walking along Silver Lane by the motorway, I spotted a Fox on the landfill. I leaned against a concrete gate post and called. The Fox came racing down the hill, through the fence and stood with it's front paws on a lump of concrete, the width of the lane away, before realising something was wrong and loping off back through the fence!

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6.00-7.15am

Two Common Sandpipers, two Grasshopper Warblers (one flushed from the path!), an unseen Yellow Wagtail calling from the vicinity of Middle Pool and an overflying Tree Pipit this morning. At least one Sedge Warbler has joined the Reed Warbler at Hidden Pool. Last night a Cuckoo was on the old railway lines.

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6.30-7.30am

A fine male Whinchat, seven Wheatear and a Common Sandpiper around the pools this morning. A Reed Warbler was singing from the Hidden Pool.

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6.30-7.30am

A bleak hour around the pools this morning - freezing easterly, snow flurries and no sun. Bird song was notable only by it's absence. The Great Crested Grebes have gone but two new Little Grebes have arrived, as have four Pochard. Otherwise it was:

35 Tufted Duck
38 Mallard
11 Coot
2 Wigeon
1 Goldeneye
3 Snipe

At least seven Teal were present on Hidden Pool, most I've seen here for some time.

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A pair of Great Crested Grebes on Top Pool were new in, though the Little Grebes have disappeared. The Goldeneye drake remains, as do the Shelduck and Wigeon pairs. Two male Yellowhammers were singing along the landfill entrance road at the east end of the site, first I've seen in this particular spot for several years.

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6.30-7.30am

Usual wildfowl on the pools this morning. The drake Goldeneye remains on Top Pool and three Little Grebes were new. Bottom Pool held only a few duck but quite a variety with six Mallard, a pair of Gadwall, a pair of Wigeon, a pair of Shelduck and a pair of Coot!

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12th March - 6.30-7.30am

First pre-work amble of the year around the pools. Nothing out of the ordinary - a drake Goldeneye on the Top Pool was unusual and a count of 78 Mallard was high for this time of year, possibly a result of the cold weather freezing local ponds. Two Yellowhammers and eight Redpoll over, and several Siskins calling around the site. A Fox was mouching around the shore of Middle Pool too.

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1.30-2.45pm

Pools were quiet - 34 Mallard, 23 Tufted Duck, 3 Pochard and just 8 Coot - but a pair of Shelduck on Hidden Pool was unusual. 400 Fieldfare, 50 Redwing and 100 Starlings were feeding on stubble at the back of the prison. Several Siskins knocking about, including a pair feeding on Alder just above my head along First Footpath. Three Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk soaring in the sunshine above Motorway Wood.

-- Edited by Jonathan Platt on Friday 8th of February 2013 07:31:42 PM

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2.30-3.30pm

Not a great deal about, partially due to the rain perhaps. The pools were quiet but there was a pair of Gadwall on Middle Pool. I did however find a female Stonechat. This is the first Stonechat I've seen here since the first cold winter in 2009/10. Prior to then up to three wintered around the pools annually.

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Hi Greg, would be good to catch up - still down there every Saturday plus several times in the week. Let me know when would suit.

Cheers David

-- Edited by DavidBowman on Monday 21st of January 2013 08:19:28 AM

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Good idea. Will be in touch as would be good to see new developments.

Catch up soon.

Greg

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Well hello Mr Baker! Still struggling with raptor ID, I see One of these days I'll take you to my Goshawk study sites in Wales and help you to get your eye in. Any chance of getting you down to Woolston for a refresher any time soon?

Cheers David

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DavidBowman wrote:

Time for another BTO Thrush Survey, on a grey morning with light drizzle Along with the thrushes were 75 Goldfinches, 1 Goldcrest, 9 Pied Wagtails, 16 Pochard, 29 Tufted Ducks, 18 Coot, 220 Black-headed Gulls and 2 little Grebes. Thrush numbers (mainly feeding on the stubbles adjacent to the pools) were: 12 Blackbirds, 124 Redwings, 217 Fieldfare, 1 Song Thrush and 10 Mistle Thrushes.

Cheers David






Wot no Goshawks ...

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Time for another BTO Thrush Survey, on a grey morning with light drizzle Along with the thrushes were 75 Goldfinches, 1 Goldcrest, 9 Pied Wagtails, 16 Pochard, 29 Tufted Ducks, 18 Coot, 220 Black-headed Gulls and 2 little Grebes. Thrush numbers (mainly feeding on the stubbles adjacent to the pools) were: 12 Blackbirds, 124 Redwings, 217 Fieldfare, 1 Song Thrush and 10 Mistle Thrushes.

Cheers David

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A rewarding couple of hours, doing my BTO Thrush Survey in the area round the pools. Best bird was a female Merlin, my first local one of the winter, which chased a Meadow Pipit along the side of the Tip. The pools themselves were mainly frozen, the open water holding 48 Mallards, 19 Coot, 60 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Herring Gulls, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull and 1 Common Gull. The thrush totals were: Blackbird 44, Fieldfare 231, Redwing 11 and Mistle Thrush 5.

Cheers David

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Went for a quick walk round the pools. Wildfowl numbers were similar to the other day but on the fields 8 Mistle Thrushes, 41 Stock Doves, c.270 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Buzzards and 2 Kestrels were noted.

Cheers David

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Started my second BTO Winter Thrush Survey this morning. I've been lucky with this square as it contains these pools, which I'd heard of but never got round to visiting. Birds seen included:

Linnet 5
Sparrowhawk 1
Buzzard 6
Kestrel 2
Starling 6
Cormorant 5
Canada Goose 273
Tufted Duck 51
Pochard 45
Coot 21
Teal 2
Little Grebe 3
Common Gull 8
Wigeon 5
Mallard 5
Goldfinch 8
Pied Wagtail 1

Cheers David


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A juvenile Peregrine, carrying what looked like a pigeon, was chased across the fields behind Risley HMP by a Buzzard as we walked down to the pools.

Top Pool:
38 Coot
6 Little Grebes
5 Mallard
2 Pochard
68 Tufted Duck
127 Canada Geese

Middle Pool:
1 Coot
2 Mallard
3 Tufted Duck
4 Pinkfeet (looked like a pair with two juvs)

Bottom Pool:
Nothing!

Hidden Pool:
70+ Mallard
2 Shovelor

Also around were 7 Buzzards, 2 Kestrels, 2 Jays, and a dozen Linnets. A dozen House Martins and a single Sand Martin were hawking insects over over Top Pool.


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Two great-crested grebes on Top Pool this morning was unusual, as were two common terns fishing on Middle Pool before flying off to the east. A yellow wagtail was calling from the arable east of the landfill.

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A fabulous four cuckoos at the Pools this morning - three perched on a fence line between Top and Middle pools whilst a fourth bird was singing from the direction of New Hall Farm. Also present were at least seven wheatear, two yellowhammers singing from the Lower Hedge and a corn bunting singing from the arable to the east of the landfill. There were roe deer slots by the old sheds on the east side too.

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The pools were dead this morning with only a few coot and mallard showing. However, on the fence surrounding the sapplings between Middle and Bottom Pool were five wheatear, a whinchat and two cuckoos! As I watched them a yellow wagtail flew over and a couple of yellowhammers sang from the Lower Hedge.

At the Hidden Pool single reed and sedge warblers were singing. Another sedge was singing from the trees and ditch along the nearby footpath. A reed warbler was also singing from here, I tried to find this bird as it seemed an odd place for a reed warbler when there was a small phragmites bed within 30yds. It sang sporadically for five minutes but I only had brief views before it disappeared.

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A fairly uninspiring wander around the pools with Bob Potts this evening was enlivened by my first cuckoo of the year, perched on the landfill fence above Bottom Pool. My first cuckoo at Silver Lane last year was four days earlier, on the 12th.

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Black-necked grebe present on Top Pool this morning. Also a male goldeneye has been present for a few weeks, a scarce bird on the pools.

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Two great crested grebes on Top Pool this morning, generally scarce birds here. Otherwise:

Top Pool: 30 tufted duck, 22 coot, 2 gadwall, 10+ mallard, 3 little grebes. Calling golden plover over as I was counting.

Middle Pool: 11 tufties, 6 coot, 2 pochard, 15+ mallard, 2 oystercatchers. Curlew flushed from the fields behind the pool.

Bottom Pool: 4 coot, 5 pairs gadwall, 2 mallard. A little grebe was calling from either here or Hidden Pool - didn't have time to check. Yellowhammer singing from Big Hedge behind pool.

Another curlew flew over as I walked along Top Footpath and 30+ fieldfare were quietly, beautifully communally singing from an oak tree behind HMP Risley.

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Two dead mute swans in the fenced-off rough at the back of Middle Pool at dawn this morning, a fox was dining on one of them. I noticed a live swan in there yesterday, I wonder if they had problems taking off (because of the fence) and the fox had killed them both last night?

Otherwise, there were 14 pochard, 14 tufted duck, c70 mallard and 42 coot on Top Pool, the other two pools were frozen. Yesterday a woodcock flushed from the wood behind Risley HMP and there was a covey of a dozen grey partridge on the path above Top Pool, the largest covey I've seen here for several years.

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A pinkfoot in with eight Canada geese on Middle Pool, otherwise usual stuff. A dog fox following a vixen up by Top Pool came within five yards of me.

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A merlin flew over the east end of Bottom Pool this afternoon.

Top Pool: 52 coot, 15 pochard, 16 tufted duck, 3 gadwall, 1 teal.

Middle Pool: 7 tufties, 31 mallard, 30+ Canada geese.

Plenty of redwing along the top footpath, a fox wandered across Silver Lane and into Motorway Wood.

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Had a wonder this afternoon. Fairly quiet, the usual tufted ducks, mallards, coots, moorhens and swans. There where 3 little grebes and also half a dozen wigeon all on the top pool with 3 pochard. Walking back got good views of a buzzard perched on a post and also 3 redwing and 1 fieldfare in the trees.

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Lots of redwing (800+) and fieldfare (200-300) over this morning as I walked back to my car (8.00-8.20am), all heading south-west. They were still flighting over as I pulled into the car park at work in Risley.

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Several redwing over this morning, and a few more in the hedgerows. Also heard my first fieldfare of the autumn flying over, unfortunately I was under trees at the time so failed to see how many there were. Seven wigeon on Top Pool, a couple of pochard, tufties, coot and seven little grebes, five more wigeon flew in as I watched. Siskin, redpoll, a few meadow pipits, pied wagtails and a lone grey wagtail also over. Four yellowhammers flew over Top Pool, then another single as I walked back to my car - a large quantity of grain has been tipped/spilled by the footpath that leads up to Bates Farm, I suspect they were heading for there.

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Little on the pools due to on-going pigeon shooting on adjacent fields, however there were seven tufted duck and five little grebes on Top Pool, and a teal with 20+ mallard on Middle Pool. Amazingly, a barn owl flew out of an oak along the eastern footpath by the landfill - first barn owl I've seen here for several years.

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A new species for my patch list this morning in the shape of a long-overdue goosander, well, two juveniles to be precise. Flushed from Middle Pool, fortunately they landed again on Bottom Pool. Otherwise, there were 17 tufted duck (including the brood of eight juvs), 28 coot, 11 little grebes and a cormorant on Top Pool, the usual moulting mallard on Middle Pool, and a little grebe on Bottom Pool (though I couldn't scan half the pool in case I flushed the goosanders).

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Three black-necked and twelve little grebes on Top Pool this morning, plus singles of gadwall and pochard mixed in with the mallard and tufted duck flocks. A brood of eight half-grown tufties on Top Pool too, and a pair of little grebes with three youngsters on Bottom Pool.

-- Edited by Jonathan Platt on Friday 12th of August 2011 10:40:57 AM

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No sign of the little egret this morning but three black-necked and nine little grebes on Top Pool, along with twelve tufted duck and twenty-three coot. Very little, apart from moulting mallard, on the other two pools. A yellowhammer is still singing from the bottom hedge and two yellow wagtails flew over.

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Excellent Damian! I've certainly never seen little egret at any of the pools. I was there early yesterday morning and didn't see it, so it's either flown in during the day or was under the nearside bank (part of which is difficult to view) . . . wish I'd not overslept this morning or I might have seen it myself!

Cheers
Jonathan

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My first visit to Silver Lane today - there was a little egret on the middle lake. Has this been seen there before?

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Four black-necked and eleven little grebes on Top Pool this morning. A whimbrel and a ringed plover flew over.

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Three black-necked grebes (Top Pool) and ten little grebes (9 Top Pool, 1 Bottom Pool) this morning. Reed warblers appear to have bred successfully on Hidden Pool this year, the only tiny patch of Phragmites around the pools - there were at least four birds present last week.

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Hi Frank,

The black-necked grebes have been present since at least last Tuesday. If they follow their appearances in spring, and at HG Flash in autumn, then numbers will vary from day to day. On Tuesday, for instance, there were three birds, this morning there were five! Obviously, you weren't to know, but I hadn't mentioned them on the forum for fear of disturbance - not the black-necked grebes particularly, but other birds utilizing the Top Pool for breeding. I was probably being over-cautious!

Today was a red-letter day for me at the pools - I saw my first kingfisher of the year! Can't believe I've got to July without seeing one! The last two harish-ish winters must have greatly affected numbers. Other than that there were four adult and one juv. little grebes on Top Pool, plus another on Bottom Pool. Two juvenile yellow wagtails were perched on the landfill perimeter fence, along with several meadow pipits and a skylark. Two yellowhammers were singing from the bottom hedge, last Tuesday a corn bunting was singing from the same area - first one I've heard at the Pools this year I think.

A large long-tailed tit flock along Top Footpath was interesting. As usual at this time of year it was carrying several fledged warblers, including whitethroat, willow warbler and a blackcap.

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Originally posted by Frank Huband this morning:

Two Black-necked Grebes, showing well

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A cuckoo flew into the trees to the west of Top Pool 7.00am this morning.

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Black-necked grebe present again this morning on Top Pool.

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Black-necked grebe on Top Pool this morning, also 10 little grebes.

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24/2/11

Took up Jonathan Platt`s kind invitation of a guided tour round his local patch:

1 Brambling
1 Green Woodpecker
2 Grey Partridge
2 Oystercatcher
1 Kestrel
3+ Buzzard
3 Little Grebe
10 Gadwall
4 Siskin
2 Greylag Goose
Pochards, Tufted Ducks, Fieldfares, Redwings, Lapwings, Goldfinches etc

Wellington Boots recommended....

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23 February 2011

Top Pool: 11 tufted duck, 2 pochard, 8 coot, 4 mallard, 4 little grebes.

Middle Pool: 2 tufted duck, 10 pochard, 9 coot, 16 mallard, 17 Canada geese.

Two yellowhammers were singing from the bottom hedge - the first I've heard this year; a pair of grey partridges flushed from the rough above Middle Pool; at least two meadow pipits and four skylarks also mouching around the rough.

Dave Beetham saw a female goldeneye on Top Pool last Friday - unusual here these days.

I spoke to one of the guys who works on the landfill yesterday, he'd seen a long-eared owl roosting on-site last week, apparently it was there for two days in a spot I've seen them before.

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My first, brief pre-work wander around the pools this year.

Top Pool: 3 little grebes - my first here since November last year.
25 mallard, 2 gadwall, 13 tufted duck, 2 pochard, 5 coot.

Middle Pool: 21 mallard, 6 tufties, 3 pochard, 8 coot, 1 cormorant.

Bottom Pool: 2 tufties.

Three grey partridge flushed above Middle Pool; a common buzzard flew across Top Pool; 50+ lapwings in fields below the pools; several small flocks of siskins and redpolls buzzing around (five lesser redpoll feeding on birches along Top Path as I walked back to my car).

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First chance I've had to walk around the pools for a fortnight. All pools are completely frozen over, apart from Top Pool which had a small ice-hole containing 53 mallard and 14 coot. A woodcock flushed from Top Footpath and promptly flew into a sheep fence! Four common and one jack snipe were seen, the jack was in the ditch beside Silver Lane, by Motorway Wood. Three curlew flew over the field to the east of the landfill. Large numbers of gulls on the landfill this week (though fewer this afternoon than Tues & Wed), up to 1500-2000. They've been gathering on the fields to the east, which is handy as they're very difficult to view on the landfill. Also 1000+ starlings there too.

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20th October 7.30-8.30am

Bottom Pool: 2 mute swans, 2 herons. Six grey partridge flew off the landfill and at least one unseen siskin flew over. 15-20 meadow pipits on landfill.

Middle Pool: 6 coot, 3 mallard, 1 cormorant. 400+ pinkfeet (heading east) flew over in five skeins, a grey wagtail flew over and I heard a kingfisher piping - only the second sighting of one this year I think?

Top Pool: 8 coot, 14 tufted duck, 6 mallard, 10 little grebes, 1 great crested grebe (unusual here). Siskins calling from Triangle Wood (mainly alder) above the pool and two foxes were on the footpath to the west of the wood.

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