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Post Info TOPIC: Silver Lane Pools, Risley


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RE: Silver Lane Pools, Risley


6.30-8.00am (with Matt Pitt)

Not many migrants - 4-5 Chiffchaffs and a lone Sand martin. Five Curlew flew over and a Woodcock flushed from the edge of Motorway Wood.

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Two brilliant birds this morning - Long-eared owl and Green woodpecker - just about annual at the pools. Great crested grebe on Top Pool, along with four Little grebes. A Corn bunting flew over Top Pool too, I've not seen one in this area for several years. Didn't have time to cover the other pools due to annoying BST! Little ringed plover near work this morning too.

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Highlights from PM visit, with twin brother Jamie who also endured a wait for Cetti's at the Flash!


Two Sand Martin
2 Oystercatchers, 1 Little Grebe and 1 M Pochard (Largest pool)
Tufted Ducks, Gadwalls

Buzzards around, Reed Buntings seen and heard, Chiffchaff (1) singing

Total mudbath, specially around the largest pool.



-- Edited by John Doherty on Friday 28th of March 2014 07:22:46 PM

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Three Sand Martins hawking over Top Pool this morning.

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6.15-7.30am

First two Chiffchaffs of the year were the only sign of migration apart from a decent passage of Meadow Pipits overhead. 100+ Fieldfare feeding on a recentlly-drilled field to the east of the landfill, this field has also attracted a small flock of 7 Corn Buntings this week. Three pairs of Grey Partridge was a decent count these days. 21 Gadwall on Bottom Pool, three Little Grebes on Top Pool. Usual Tufted Duck, Coot, etc.

Checked a spot near work looking for Little Ringed Plover (there's been a pair of Ringed Plover there since early March). No sign of the LRP's but found a female Wheatear.

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Managed my first complete walk around the pools this year this morning. Of note were four Pochard on Top Pool and a staggering 33 Gadwall on Bottom Pool. A Yellowhammer was singing from the bottom hedge and a Willow Tit was on the landfill by the Motorway Wood. Plenty of small passerines around in general.

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Cuckoo flying low over landfill. 9.00am

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Long-tailed Duck still present. A Cuckoo on the landfill.

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Long-tailed duck still present.

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Long-tailed duck still present. A Curlew was on Middle Pool.

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I managed to get the Long Tailed Duck after a long pilgrimage - worth it because it was a lifer. Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler could be heard but better still, a CUCKOO flew right down the pools and sang briefly (unseen) from the far side from the tip.
A Jay, 2 Reed Buntings several Lapwings and 3 Buzzards were in the vicinity.


-- Edited by John Doherty on Tuesday 14th of May 2013 08:24:37 PM

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Long-tailed Duck still present on Top Pool. A Grasshopper Warbler was reeling amongst the saplings to the right of the Top Pool gate. There are now three Reed and two Sedge Warblers singing from the postage-stamp-sized Phragmites bed on Hidden Pool.

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Female Long-tailed duck still present.

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Hope it stays for a few days. Anyone kind enough to PM exact directions as I've never been, cheers in advance.

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8.30 am this morning Long Tailed duck showing very well.

Thanks for reporting this Johnathan, much appreciated.

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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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