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Post Info TOPIC: Cheshire River Mersey Sites


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RE: Cheshire River Mersey Sites


Norton Marsh
Osprey present 6.00ish last evening
F Marsh Harrier also

Yellowhammers and 1 Corn Bunting singing

Loads of butterflies out inc a Wall...not seen one for years

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Osprey showing well this morning for a couple of hours. Finally took to the air as we were leaving but didn't move too far and was still in view. Good views of yellowhammer and linnet also.

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Cheers Sid, yeh that flower meadow has been busy recently, Yellowhammer seem to like the area - and I've have a few Tree Sparrow sightings this year although their numbers have dropped in recent years. Your Corn Bunting may have come from the farmland just to the North - where there is no access, it's a good record (I'm going to try and catch up with it tomorrow).

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Finally caught up with the Osprey, sat in a tree opposite the UMS hide. Thanks to the eagle-eyed couple who pointed it out to me as it wasn't easy to see, being sat side on with very little white showing! Nice to see one relatively close and in Cheshire too! Other birds of note, at least 3 Yellowhammer, all male. 5 Mistle Thrush (at least 3 were juveniles), 3 Whitethroat, Buzzard, Kestrel, 2 Jay and what very much sounded like a Grasshopper Warbler reeling. Isn't this a bit too late? I guess it could have been an actual Grasshopper, as I didn't see the bird itself.

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Mike Mulholland wrote:

Sid whereabouts was the corn bunting? It's been several years since I had one on the patch..


Mike the Corn Bunting was on the overhead wire, on the road near the wooden bridge onto the flower meadow as I was arriving at 06.50.

PS Mike I have gone back through my records for the area for the last 10 years and although I am not as frequent a visitor as yourself I have not recorded seeing Corn Bunting there either. Could it be that the relatively new flower meadow has attracted the species especially with all of those tall grasses in there. Just a thought.





-- Edited by sid ashton on Monday 7th of July 2014 04:21:05 PM

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Sid whereabouts was the corn bunting? It's been several years since I had one on the patch..

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Watched the Osprey land on a log on the river bank at Norton Marsh at 08.20 this morning. It sat preening and wing stretching in the sunshine and was still there when I left about an hour later. At one point a fox walked close to the bird but didn't seem to bother it.

Other birds of note around the flower meadow:- Common Whitethroat, Bullfinch, Kestrel and Corn Bunting. Also lots of Martins (House and Sand) over the lagoons at the power station.

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Osprey still present today seen from the hide that overlooks Norton Marsh.

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4x Little Ringed Plover with a common sandpiper, Widnes warth today.

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Hot and sunny
Not much birdsong, Whitethroats still singing and 2 Blackcaps
2 Bullfinch seen in bushes at top of Bank
1 Grey Partridge

Most Marsh Orchids almost over-more Northern Marsh looking ones over completely Bee Orchids seemed to be over..Single Common Spotted Orchid out. Pyramidal Orchids c50 fully in flower.

2 Large Skipper

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Gatewarth yesterday 8.30am
2 Lesser Whitethroat still singing
1 Grasshopper warbler reeling from fiekd with Bee Orchids in. First I've heard here since April.

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Gatewarth
1 Lesser Whitethroat still singing-intermittently-from bushes near entrance to reserve/wooden bridge.

1 Grey Partridge.


7 Bee Orchid spikes- field sloping down to the Ferry pub. Well out


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Gatewarth
Damp and cold
1 Grey Partridge

Marsh Orchids well out... hybrid Southern x Northern I think

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Gatewarth
AM

2 Lesser Whitethroat Both singing continuously.
One, showing v well, nr entrance /wooden bridge, The other v mobile along bushes along river bank.This bird got as far as path down to Ferry as it moved around, quite close to the other LW, both could clearly be heard singing at once.

Lots of other warblers singing-Willow , Sedge, Reed, Chiffchaff,Whitethroat

Marsh Orchids well out more or less all over


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Gatewarth
1 Lesser Whitethroat singing continuously in hedges/trees near entrance to reserve, by wooden bridge. Mobile, singing all the time as it moved round. So close at one point, in hedge on main path, I couldn't focus the bins down !

3 Grey Partridge the first I've seen here this year.

Butterflies on wing inc Peacocks. Bit earlier at Oglett shore/Hale, loads of Green Veined Whites seen.

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Gatewarth
1 Lesser Whitethroat singing top of Bank.Flitting into hedge along main path and showing well.

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Grey Plover is a very good record Brian! I can only recall a couple of records over the last twenty years or so.
I noticed over the weekend there were more Dunlin around and heard Whimbrel, also had a stunning male Whinchat.

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Gatewarth

A stunning Grey Plover with 6 Dunlin in tow on the river mudbanks this evening after the gulls had gone to roost. Amazingly a fox ran close behind them as I was watching without disturbing them and I got great scope views.

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Gatewarth
2 Lesser Whitethroat singing on site today.
One from bramble choked hawthorns on top of the River Bank opposite Richmond Bank one from trees and hedges near wooden bridge at entrance to reserve.
Both skulking I did manage to see one pretty well.

Loads of Whitethroats.

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Gatewarth 6.30-7.30pm
I couldn't locate Cetti's this afternoon, didn't hear Lesser W.either tho lots of Common Whitethroat singing.
1 Grasshopper Warbler reeling from close to Wind Pump.

Two youths trying to kill a pair of Gadwall on the canal with a large log. Depressing.



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Gatewarth

A Lesser Whitethroat was singing/rattling from the top of a hawthorn bush, on south side of the hedge, and level with Richmond Bank this afternoon. A site tick for me.

Several Common Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs were also in full flow.

No sight or sound of the Cetti's, but I did not venture down the bank (and I had not seen John's previous post prior to my visit).

Up to three Common Sandpipers have been seen this past week.

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Gatewarth
7.30-8.30 pm
Dull, drizzly

Cetti's Warbler singing again. Only briefly and the bird was in deep cover (massive bramble patch on top of bank where River bends...almost as far as the Wind Pump) and not moving.

Just before this, from hedge bordering main path, a female Redstart flew out as I approached. Third site tick of the week ! Lots of Blackcaps feeding along this hedge too.

A least 4 prob 5 Grashopper Warblers reeling in Old Tip area. Numerous Warblers singing. Single Whitethroat. 2/3 Swallows.

M Kestrel hunting. Two Buzzards in air together, one calling repeatedly.

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Gatewarth
8-30 - 9-30pm
No sign of the Cetti's from yesterday but I was a bit later on site..

Grasshopper Warblers seem to have relocated a bit, all 5 heard reeling tonight spread out on the Old Tip area, none on the field where they've been singing from up to now.

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Gatewarth

Another site tick for me today when a Cetti's Warbler heard singing loudly and repeatedly from bushes on top of riverbank.
Very mobile, moving constantly along brambles and trees as it sang.
Skulking but after about 20 minutes I did get a pretty decent sight of it .
Maybe the same bird that was present a couple of years ago at Sankey Bridges?

Couple of swallows present.

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Gatewarth
At least 3 ,probably 5 , Grasshopper Warblers reeling in small area of brambles and reeds in field sloping down to the Ferry pub.
One glimpsed.

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Gatewarth

2 Common Sandpipers seen along Sankey Brook as it meanders around Phase1 this afternoon. Also Whitethroat, Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff all singing east of Whittle Brook.

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Gatewarth
Warblers reaching maximum species
1 Whitethroat
1 Reed Warbler
3 Blackcaps
heard and/or seen today along with Chifchaffs and Willow Warblers

More unexpectedly :
a site tick in the shape of a Ring Necked Parakeet. Loudly calling in trees near Wind Pump annoying the local Magpies. Flew off in direction of canal. An exotic splash of colour on a grey drizzly afternoon.

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Gatewarth
7.30-8.30pm
Willow Warblers outnumbering Chiffchaffs
Single Grasshopper Warbler reeling continuously from brambles/reeds in sloping field down to the Ferry.

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A patch first for me yesterday - caught up with Cheshire's roving Great White Egret. Early afternoon Andy Dutton and myself had walked to the Halfway House watchpoint mainly on the look out for Wheatears and any other migrants. It was relatively quiet (we didn't have any hirundines), spent an hour or so checking the Mersey for waders and really little of note, just about to go when the Egret dropped in to feed in the shallows adjacent to the southwest corner of Norton Marsh. In the ten minutes or so it was there it was feeding constantly and it then flew to Wigg Island.

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Gatewarth

Single Willow Warbler singing from willows in field sloping down to Ferry Pub

Numerous Chiffchaff

F Sparrowhawk hunting low over old tip then soaring high over River

Buzzard perched up on a fence

-- Edited by John O'Neill on Sunday 6th of April 2014 08:41:42 PM

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thanks Chris
"a few years"...how observant am I !!

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Hi john.i have been putting food there in the winter months for a few years now and despite the yellowhammers being in close proximity they haven't made their way over to the feeding station yet although most of the time this year I have spent having my dinner in the ferry car park due to the big van that parks on the other side of the road.how inconsiderate...

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Fiddlers Ferry

Station Rd just before Ferry Pub


Hats off to whoever has put up feeders in the hedges here. This afternoon they were full of House Sparrows.Other garden birds using them-Chaff-Green- and Goldfinch, Starlings, Wren,Robin.Blackbirds, Dunnocks,Blue and Great Tits.


Close by two male Yellowhammers feeding round a midden. Skylark more distantly singing.

-- Edited by John O'Neill on Tuesday 25th of March 2014 08:49:19 PM

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Gatewarth
7 Chiffchaffs singing round the site this morning.
Sparrowhawk and Kestrel both up hunting at the same time over the Old Tip area.
Also :Buzzard, Linnets, Jay. Skylark singing.


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Gatewarth
Chiffchaff singing from Willow on top of bank. Near wind pump.

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Gatewarth
Curlews flying up river
Single Redshank on sandbanks
2 Buzzards, one very rufous on head and breast
2 Kestrels

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Juvenile Iceland gull on mudflats west of Norton Marsh early afternoon, also 68 lapwing, 1 oystercatcher and 5 redshank.

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Fiddlers Ferry
2 Buzzards very vocal flying low over Ferry Pub

1 f Kestrel perched up on railway signal

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Gatewarth
9.30 am
M Stonechat showing well perched up on brambles round the pond on path down to Fiddlers Ferry.
A second bird skulking round in the bushes was poss a f Stonechat.

2 m Kestrels hunting ; one hovering low over old tip





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Gatewarth

Male Stonechat still present on old tip area today, and seven Curlew on the south bank of the river plus a pair of Kestrels hunting (one seen eating prey) and a Buzzard being chased off by a Crow were the highlights of a quick visit before lunch.

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Gatewarth

Pristine 2w Iceland Gull on River (close in to shore up as far as the wind pump)
3 Kestrels hunting separately
1 f Bullfinch in trees by canal
1 Pheasant on old tip

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Gatewarth

Two Goldcrests and a pair of Bullfinches actively feeding plus a male Sparrowhawk were the highlights of an hour here this afternoon before dusk.

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Gatewarth

2 Greylag over
2 Buzzards one hunting low over old tip. the other high over the river
Huge gull numbers on Richmond Bank. Vast majority were Herring Gulls. Several Herons, One Cormorant.

Felt almost Spring-like in the sun, Robins and a Song Thrush singing

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Fiddlers Ferry 3.30pm

4 Redshank on River

Steady stream of gulls heading downriver to roost, mainly Black Headed



-- Edited by John O'Neill on Sunday 29th of December 2013 12:30:34 AM

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Had a few hours down Wigg Island this afternoon not a lot about at all a few coots, 5 Shovelers, and 50 or so Teal on the lagoons no small birds of note,the but over salt marsh a local tick for me a female Marsh Harrier was nice to see
MIKE

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Sunday 22nd of December 2013 06:22:54 PM

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Gatewarth
early Am
Kestrel and Buzzard hunting over the old tip
Fields on opposite side of River flooded. Several Curlew here.
Single Great Crested Grebe and 3 Cormorant on River.

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Forgot to add: -

On Tuesday, 3rd December, a pair if Stonechat were around the area between the old tip and the pumping station at Gateworth, also briefly getting onto the tip itself.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Gatewarth

High Tide had driven majority of gulls off the River, sandbanks more or less covered. The gull flock hadn't gone too far, massed in fields on opposite side. Still big flocks over/on the Tip as usual.

Few Fieldfare in trees and bushes.

M. Kestrel mobbed repeatedly by Crows.

Two Linnets.

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Mid morning on Sunday had a brief but close view of a roe deer - it suddenly sprang out of a patch of reeds on the edge of the river just below our watchpoint in Owens Wood (south west of Norton Marsh)
Also had a couple of brief flight views (and heard a few calls) of what was either a Rock Pipit or a Water Pipit.

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Gatewarth
Wet.

Single Grey Wagtail near Railway Line.
Several Jays.
Good nos Long Tail Tits in hedges.

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