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Post Info TOPIC: Woolston Eyes


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RE: Woolston Eyes


Great to see the Black-necked Grebes doing so well at this excellent site yesterday.At least ten adult birds and eight juveniles ( at various stages of development ) seen, including two broods of three young! Also Pochard with brood of seven ducklings, and Tufted Duck with brood of five. Plenty of Whitethroats and Blackcaps around.

Cheers Chris

Wobbly but cute video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBQV9slM_wo



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2 Avocets from Morgan Hide 7-15 till departed WNW at 8-40. Redshank, Hepatic female Cuckoo, Common Tern, 9 pairs of Black Necked Grebes with total of 17 juvs of various sizes.

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2 Avocets from Morgan Hide 7-15 till departed WNW at 8-40. Redshank Hepatic female Cuckoo Common Tern 9 pairs of Black Necked Grebes with total of 17 juvs of various sizes.

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The Lesser Whitethroat is still singing along the canal path, just after the entrance to the No.4 bed. On the No.3 bed, the drake Garganey did a fly-by past the John Morgan Hide with a flock of Gadwall, and another was seen arriving on the loop of the No.4 bed. Best of all was a Spotted Flycatcher caught and ringed.

-- Edited by Daniel Owen on Saturday 12th of May 2018 10:24:13 PM

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Garganey 1 male.
Black-necked Grebes
Lesser Whitethroat 1 singing.
Swifts
House Martins
Sparrowhawk 1
Kestrel 1 female.
Reed Warblers
Whitethroats
Chiffchaffs
Blackcaps
Shelducks
Gadwalls
Pochards
Shoveler 1 male.
etc.etc.etc.

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Phil Greenwood


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Drake Common Scoter present all day at Woolston Weir

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AM Morgan Hide
30 plus Brambling with finch flock on feeders. Greenfinch Chaffinch and at least 1 Bullfinch also

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09.30-13.30

Woolston Weir Pool Area & Old River: 56 Tufted Ducks, 1 Shelduck, 2 Grey Herons, 3 Little Grebes, 1 Buzzard and 3 Bullfinches,

No. 3 Bed : 1f Sparrowhawk, 2 Bramblings, 1 Willow Tit, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Grey Herons and 12 Shelducks.

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John Williams


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10.00-13.00

River Mersey above Woolston Weir :

4m Goldeneye, 58 Tufted Ducks, 4 Little Grebes and 2 Great Crested Grebes.

Old River : 3 Little Grebes and 3 Cormorants.

No3 Bed : 3 Bramblings amongst the finches around the feeders, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Shelducks, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and 6 Goldcrests.

50 Lapwings flew over heading West. 30+ Redwings rested along the edge of the bed.

At one point 21 Greenfinches clung to a single feeder.

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John Williams


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11.30-14.00

1 Kingfisher and 1 Little Grebe were on the old river.

No 3 Bed

Still a large flock of Lapwings around.

Also there were 14 Black Tailed Godwits, 3 Snipe, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Buzzards, 1 Goldcrest, 3 Little Grebes and 4 Grey Herons.

Shoveler numbers appear to have increased a lot over the last couple of days, as have the Chaffinches around the sunflower patch.

The only hirundines seen though were a couple of Swallows that passed through.

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John Williams


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11.00-14.00

Woolston Weir Pool : 30 Tufted Duck and 1 Little Grebe.

No3 Bed

260 Lapwings, 26 Black Tailed Godwits, 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Buzzards, 8 Jays (They appear far more abundant at this time of year),

2 Willow Tits, 3 Grey Herons and 1 Cormorant. Numbers of Shoveler, Gadwall and Teal are noticeably building up again.

A steady trickle of Swallows and House Martins drifted through whilst I was there, mostly heading West.


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John Williams


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11.00-13.00

Woolston Weir Pool : 39 Tufted Ducks and 4 Little Grebes

No 3 Bed : 1 Redshank, 11 Black tailed Godwits, 172 Lapwings, 4 Snipe, 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Grey Herons, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Little Grebe and 3 Jays.

Small numbers of House Martins and Swallows were over the pool throughout.

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John Williams


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1st September

Swift 1 (viewed from the bank of no2 bed)

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14.30-17.30

No.3 Bed

1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Buzzards, 2 Cormorants, 1 Sedge Warbler (From F.Linley Hide), 6 Black Necked Grebes, 4 Great Crested Grebes and 3 Little Grebes.

Lots of moulting duck, mainly Mallard and Gadwall, but also a few Shoveler, a couple of Pochard, 3 Shelduck and a single drake Teal.

Not all Pochard are entering moult though yet, 4 smart looking drakes tried to woo a female, whilst another female had a brood of just 1 small duckling, signalling heavy predation.

I could'nt find any broods of Shelduck, so perhaps they were lost to predators too.

A single Buzzard risked flying across the bed, but made a quick exit with dozens of Black Headed and a few Lesser Black Backed Gulls in pursuit.

The Black Heads were not fooled though by the false chivalry of their larger cousins, once the Buzzard was gone, the Lesser Black Backs were attacked too.

The Black Headed Gulls also kept massing over the reedbed in the NE corner, which a couple of decades ago signalled the presence of Mink, but they have now largely been controlled.

As Otters have been glimpsed along the nearby Mersey in recent years, every time the gulls massed, I scanned the edge of the reeds, expecting a predatory mammal to swim out.

At one point lots of duck and Coots erupted from the reeds, so I did think an Otter might appear, but then focus of the gulls wrath emerged into open water.

A Mute Swan in threat mode appeared with a mass of gulls trying to pack its head. The swan and it's mate chased off 3 interlopers, then calmed down.

I can't recall seeing Black Headed Gulls react to swans like this before.

Around 28 young Black Headed Gulls were visible, most now full grown. 1 half grown youngster was attacked and almost drowned by a couple of adults, but then the chicks

parents came to it's rescue and vicious fight broke out. A single tiny Lapwing chick was on the scrape, and often strayed well away it's single parent, it will be a miracle if this little fellow

survives. Small numbers of Sand Martins and Swifts were over the bed throughout.

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John Williams


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Drake Garganey in front of first screen, now 6 broods of Pochard, 5 Black Necked Grebes, Cetti's Warbler singing on east bank of No3.

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15.00-18.30

No3 Bed

4 Black Necked Grebes, including 1 with a single small youngster, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Buzzards and 6 Lesser Black Backed Gulls.

8 drake Pochards plus a female with 6 small ducklings. 2 Lapwings. 6 Cormorants flew over. 6 adult Canada Geese managed a creche of 31 pigeon sized goslings.

The Lesser Black Backed Gulls are not particularly loved both by the resident Black Headed Gulls or WECG, but trying to gain a more favourable reception 3 of

them joined the Black Heads in chasing off a Buzzard. The big gulls made this look easy, although the Buzzard looked completely shocked.

A few Greenfinches are still visiting the feeders together with a male Bullfinch.

A family party of Greenfinches were by the copse on No2 Bed, as was a gnat catching Willow Warbler that frequently hovered.

6 Shelduck. 2 Great Crested Grebes and 10 Tufted Ducks were on the nearby Mersey.

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John Williams


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9:20-11:30 No.3 Bed:
I counted 12 singing Chiffchaffs, 9 Blackcap and 2 Willow Warbler down the canal path and around the No.3 bed. 4 Whitethroat were singing from the meadows and 2 Sedge and 4+ Reed Warblers were singing in the reedbed. I heard a Cuckoo calling near North Meadow around 10am but couldn't locate it. I had just 2 Sand Martin over the bed, but no other hirundines. I counted 2 Little and 7 Great Crested Grebes, but just 4 Black-necked Grebes (hopefully more on nests?). The male Lapwing is still displaying infront of the John Morgan Hide, and at least another two were on the bed.



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09.30-13.00

No3 Bed

1 Garden Warbler, 7 Black necked Grebes, 6 Little Grebes, 5 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Buzzards, 1f Kestrel and 1m Bullfinch.

Small groups of House Martins, with a few Swallows and a single Sand Martin passed through.



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John Williams


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8:00-12:30
1 Swallow flew North by the footbridge. Between 9:00-12:00 I counted 507 Sand Martin and 5 House Martins moving north from the John Morgan Hide with the pair of adult Mediterranean Gulls and a pair of displaying Kestrels also from here. 3 Buzzard and 1 Sparrowhawk were present on site, and 1 Kingfisher flew through. 9 Black-necked Grebes were also noted around the hides, and I counted 23 Chiffchaff, 10 Willow Warbler and 10 Blackcap from the canal path and the No.3 bed. 53 species were seen in the 4 hours I spent on site.

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5 Black Necked Grebes from hides

2 Sand Martin

Numerous Blackcap



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8:25-13:00
36 Chiffchaff and 4 Willow Warbler heard singing along the canal path and around No.3 bed. Just the 2 Sand Martin moved through No.3 bed, where there were 6 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Common Gulls and a pair of summer plumaged adult Mediterranean Gull. One of the Mediterranean Gulls was seen moving around some of the shells from the island, and this gull also had a small metal ring on its right leg above the ankle but I wasn't able to read it. A flock of 11 Lapwing flew through and another remained on the scrape, with 1 Oystercatcher. Other highlights were 1 Cetti's Warbler singing on the east bank, 2 Sparrowhawks and 6 Buzzards rising on the thermals, 9 Pochard and 6 Shelduck.

-- Edited by Daniel Owen on Sunday 2nd of April 2017 04:01:56 PM

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Fascinating Rob thanks, I'll watch other dabblers too in case I witness this behaviour from them.
Other Shovelers nearby were doing their rotational feeding routine, behaving like big Whirligig beetles, with the males head displaying too.
Perhaps a male that dives impresses the females just a little more.

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John Williams


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Hi John,
maybe of interest to you that I've just read an online reference piece on Shoveler's that mentions their highly specialised tongues used for filter feeding and the fact that they often dive for food if the water is deep enough.
Cheers

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08.00-11.00

No 3 Bed

7 Black Necked Grebes (1 still in winter plumage), 25 Pochard, 1f Kestrel, 1 Buzzard, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 7 Little Grebes and 2 Oystercatchers.

Amongst the many Shoveler, was a drake that dived like a diving duck.He disappeared completely, then popped up again seconds later, Aythya style.

I have never seen this behaviour before, and can only assume he was trying rid himself of parasites.

Black Headed Gulls are back en-masse, and amongst them a single adult Common Gull.

Several Lesser Black Backed and a couple of Herring Gulls were also on the bed, testing the wrath of the Black Heads in the run up to breeding.

A couple of resplendent male Bullfinches visited the feeders, but overall the number of finches visiting seems down here, perhaps many have now dispersed.

Old River Bed & Weir Pool

5 Great Crested Grebes, 5 Pochard and 12 Tufted Ducks.

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John Williams


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The first spring migrants were seen on Saturday (11th) with one Sand Martin flying through and several Chiffchaffs singing. 3 Black-necked Grebes were seen today, with a one in winter plumage and 2 summer plumage birds. c6 Sand Martins also passed through today.



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Weir Pool & River :

77 Tufted Ducks, 1m Goldeneye, 2f Pochard, 1 Little Grebe, 4 Cormorants and 1 Shelduck.

2 foxes were near the weir on No 2 bed, the larger one, which looked like the dark alpha male on Winterwatch, had a really nasty wound on one of it's hind legs.

No 3 Bed :

34 Shelducks, 35 Shovelers, 1 (ad) Lesser Black Backed Gull. 5 Greylag Geese, 12 Tufted Ducks, 10 Wigeon, 1 Buzzard and 1 Willow Tit.

Teal in abundance.






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John Williams


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The No.3 bed was largely frozen, with a small pocket of water in front of John Morgan Hide kept by the flock of Teal, which numbered 768. Also present were 10 Wigeon, 8 Shoveler, 7 Mallard and 5 Shelduck. 2 Sparrowhawks, 1 Buzzard and 1 Kestrel were also present at the bed, and bullfinches and siskin joined the regular finch flocks.

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1 male green-winged teal still present from John Morgan hide although distant. He spent the morning displaying to nearby female teals. I counted 440 teal but suspect a lot more were hidden by the reeds so probably closer to 500 present at the moment, along with 6 wigeon and numerous mallard, shoveler, gadwall and 3 tufted duck. A juvenile male pintail also made a brief visit before flying off north.
Also present were redwings, siskins, 1 kestrel, 1 sparrowhawk and numerous finches.

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A 1st winter Hen Harrier with rings and satellite / Radio transmitter showed well this afternoon on number 3 bed :)



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09.30-13.00

Weir Pool & Old River

20 Gadwall, 34 Tufted Duck and 1 Grey Wagtail.

11 Cormorants sat in a single tree.

No 3 Bed

1 Green Sandpiper, 6 Black Tailed Godwits, 308 Lapwings, 16 Snipe, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Water Rail, 4 Linnets,1m Bullfinch and 7 Redwings.

The John Morgan hide is currently closed for maintenance.

Also, recorded warbler song is currently being played on the reserve, to attract migrants. Don't be fooled by a singing Blackcap, it's only a tape,

or you may end up on "You've Been Framed".

If you park on Weir Lane, please be aware that as there is maintenance work being done on the river bank, and so lots of HGV's are using the narrow lane.

-- Edited by John Williams on Saturday 8th of October 2016 02:43:09 PM

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John Williams


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11:20 - 14:00

1 grey wagtail showed well on the scrape in front of the John Morgan Hide, where plenty of shoveler and teal were present. Also here were 5 black-tailed godwit and a reasonably large flock of lapwing. 4 buzzard were circling distantly above the tree line above no.2 bed. A little grebe and 1 tufted duck were seen from the rotary hide.
There was a very light passage of meadow pipits (5+) and skylark (2+) over the reserve

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PM
Green Sandpiper-1
Black Tailed Godwit -14
Common Snipe-26
Buzzard-2

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Black Tailed Godwit- 60
Green Sandpiper- 3
Sparrowhawk -1
Wood Sandpiper - 1 -nice to find a crackin' Wood Sandpiper at the front of the main hide at 2.15pm ,it walked left past the hide and on towards the next hide.Unfortunately at the moment there are so many areas with mud at Woolston around all the reeds,that its easy to lose a decent wader like a wood sand and it didn't return by the time I left at 3.30


-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Sunday 28th of August 2016 07:14:13 PM

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pm

Black Tailed Godwit -107(nice to see so many juveniles has well)
Green Sandpiper-3
Common Sandpiper-1
Lapwing-180
Common Buzzard-1
Snipe-12
Black Necked Grebe-1 Juvenile
Chiffchaff-3
Willow Warbler-2
Swift-100+>s
Swallow-40+
:)



-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Sunday 21st of August 2016 08:37:25 AM

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Black-tailed Godwit 72
Snipe 7
Green Sandpiper 3
Common Sandpiper 1
Black-necked Grebe 1 juv.
Willow Tit 2
Little Grebe 3 adults 2 juv.
Great Crested Grebe 1

etc.etc.etc.

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Wednesday 17th of August 2016 07:37:50 PM

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Phil Greenwood


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10:00-2:00

It was a good day for autumn wader passage today with 248 lapwings, 6 black-tailed godwits, 2 green sandpipers, 1 common sandpiper on the No.3 bed. One of the green sandpipers had an orange ring but was covered in mud at times and too far to read when it was clean. Also present were: 1 water rail, 1 female sparrowhawk, teals, shovelers and some of the tufted ducks still had some young following them. A juvenile black-necked grebe also showed from the Rotary Hide.

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5.30-7.15pm

Old River

3 Grey Herons

No3 Bed

2 families of Great Crested Grebes, 1 with 1 full grown youngster, the other with 2 slightly smaller young. 1 family of Little Grebe with 3 small young and 1 family of Black Necked Grebes

with 1 near full grown youngster. In addition there were 2 adult Great Crested Grebes, 3 adult Little Grebes and 1 adult Black Necked Grebe. A family of Gadwall with 9 small ducklings.

It appears to be quite a good year for the Black Headed Gulls too, I counted 35 young, ranging in size from half grown to fully fledged, despite heavy predation. One plucky half grown

young gull on the scrape, was chasing of adults, and even adult Coots. The black backed gulls appear to have moved on, or this little fellow would be pushing its luck. A single Buzzard

flew above though, mewing loudly, despite having several adult gulls mobbing it. 3 Cormorants flew over. 5 Stock Doves fed below the feeders, around which I counted

7 male and 2 female Bullfinches at one point. 4 Magpies and a single Jay clung to the feeders at one point. 7 drake Pochards rested on the scrape and were starting to moult, a single drake

was with them. 4 more male Pochards were on the water, as was a female with a single duckling. 3 Shelduck. The only birds in song were a couple of Reed Buntings and a single Blackcap.

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John Williams


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No sign of the red-necked phalaropes today, but:
1 pochard brood(3 ducklings) which are diving and becoming a bit more independent, 2 black-necked grebe broods (2 chicks and 1 chick) and plenty of coot and mallard broods about. Reed and sedge warblers were showy in front of the Rotary Hide again, with one sedge warbler singing in south meadow too. 3 male teals and reed buntings were in front of Tower Hide.


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2 red necked phalarope a pair Still present but distant no 3 bed at 8.30pm when I was the last to leave the site ,so hopefully they will still be there in the morning. :)





-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Saturday 11th of June 2016 07:15:43 PM

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10.00-12.30

No 3 Bed

The birding doldrums of June appear to have started, with moulting Mallard and Gadwall resting on the scrapes.

5 adult Black Necked Grebes were seen, all appearing to stay noticeably close to the reeds, also 1 family of Great Crested Grebes with 1 youngster that often strays well away from

it's parents, yet appears still small enough to make a nice meal for the local Lesser Black Backed gulls. There were 5 Lesser Black Back gulls around, including the near resident

adult pair, one of which has a silver BTO ring on it's leg. The Great Black Backed gull that had been terrorising the main scrape during the week as gone, even so the pair of Canada Geese

with 2 well grown goslings looked very anxious and kept their young hidden in the vegetation. Last year the Canada and Greylag Geese were confidently strolling along the reserve paths

with lots of goslings in tow, and expecting visiting birders to get out of their way, although they did make a real mess. Things appear to be very different this year.

A female Pochard has 3 small young, and there are still 7 surprisingly smart drakes around. 6 Shoveler were seen, with 2 out of 3 drakes now starting to look scruffy.

A Wren was making long display flights from a willow near the Tower Hide, flying right out above the reedbed. Just when I'm thinking this tiny fellow is foolhardy, I noticed another

miniature bird perched on top of the reeds towards the centre of the bed, it was a juvenile Wren looking very bemused.

Reed Warblers are not just showing well from the Tower Hide, but also as they forage amongst the oaks on the South bank too.

Also seen were 24 Lapwings, 1m Great Spotted Woodpecker and 4 Bullfinches. A Chiffchaff was still in full song on the South bank.





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17.30-19.30

No 3 Bed

Despite many drake Mallard and Gadwall now looking a little shabby, lethargic and ready for their summer moult, the 6 drake Pochards seen still look resplendent.

6 Shelducks were around the scrape, where a pair of coot sized Canada goslings turned out to be the only young geese seen throughout the bed.

The sub-adult Great Black Backed Gull is still hanging around, it is frequently mobbed by the Black Headed Gulls, but it largely ignores them.

2 almost full grown Black Headed Gulls young were seen, with a parent keeping a close guard. 4 Lesser Black Backed and a single adult Herring Gull were also around.

No sign of any Black Necked Grebes, but 4 Great Crested Grebes, with 1 appearing to be carrying young on it's back, and a single Little Grebe were seen.

A flock of 12 Greenfinches were on the feeders, as were a male Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Bullfinches and a Jay.

Throughout there were around a 12+ Swifts flying over the bed. A Garden Warbler was singing by the F. Linley hide. 2 Buzzards were around the edge of the bed.



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Despite the light drizzle, we managed to get some decent sightings this morning. They included 10 adult Black-necked Grebes with 3, possibly 4 broods, 4 broods of Pochard, a calling Cetti's Warbler, 9 Little Grebes, 2 broods of Great Crested Grebe and a Willow Tit on the Morgan Hide feeders.

Cheers David Bowman (with Alan Warford, David Spencer and John Ireland)

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09.00-11.30

2 Great Black Backed Gulls, with an adult bird dominating the area in front of the Morgan Hide, it chased off several Lesser Black Backs, the bird was a real character, it terrorised a

pair of Moorhens who appeared to have young safely tucked away in the reeds. Another pair of Moorhens fed 2 small young only 20ft away from the predator, but if this is the same

family I seen there on Wednesday evening, they had 4 youngsters back then. The big gull may have been the reason the Canada Geese were not showing off their "Jay" sized goslings,

I only seen 2 youngsters, and one of those was with it's parents on the old river. The Canada family on the scrape a few days ago had around 7 youngsters that appeared too big to be

threatened by Lesser Black Backed Gulls, but their bigger cousin may not be deterred. The other Great Black Back Gull was an immature bird in flight over the weir.

Just when I was thinking the Great Black Backed Gulls were gluttons, a Buzzard plunged around 100ft, in a dive that would put a Peregrine to shame, and snatched a Black Headed

Gull chick before it's parents had time to react. Incredible wildlife drama. What I'm sure was the same Buzzard was hovering above the North bank of No. 3 bed shortly afterwards, above the

exact spot where it had grabbed the chick. Another Buzzard was above No.2 bed. Also on No.3 bed were 2 Little Grebes.

10 Tufted Ducks were on the weir pool with a single Great Crested Grebe. A pair of Greylag Geese and a pair of Shelduck were on the old river.



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Nice variety on No.3 this morning. Kieran Foster had an early Ringed Plover on the Morgan Hide scrape before we arrived at 6.30 am. Then a Common Tern and Oystercatcher went through, while the Cuckoo which called sporadically around the bed was probably the bird which arrived yesterday. Over the east bank a Hobby showed well among the 100 or so Swifts and dozens of hirundines, before stooping away over No.2 bed. A systematic count of Black-necked Grebes turned up a minimum of 11 adults (max 13) plus at least two broods, each of two young. We were uncertain whether the adults with two young in the north-east corner were birds'd already counted which had moved. Meanwhile it was nice to see a male Lesser Whitethroat in breeding condition, caught by Kieran and his ringing team.

Cheers David Bowman (with David Spencer, Alan Warford, Helen Allan, George Dunbar and Brian Martin)

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17.05.2016

17.45-19.45

No3 Bed

4 Black Necked Grebes, 1m Mandarin, 1 Ringed Plover, 3 Cormorants, 18 Pochard, 12 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Lesser Black Backed Gulls, 1 Shoveler,

2m Teal and 1m Bullfinch.

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2 garden warblers on no.4 bed by the sandpit pond
Osprey, with fish, was being mobbed by a buzzard in front of the John Morgan Hide at 10:40
Cetti's warbler singing by Woolston weir

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Osprey flew in to dead trees at 12.20pm seen from the Morgan Hide

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A visit this morning provided views of 5+ Buzzards, 60+ Gadwall, 2 Little grebes and the highlight of the day was a group of 3 black necked grebes of which one was carrying a chick on its back. No sign of the Osprey this morning.

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This morning turned up another surprise bird. We started off by having breakfast in the Morgan Hide, while scanning for the Osprey, without any luck. The surprise bird, though, was a large, immature female Goshawk on No.1 bed ,which hurtled after three Feral Pigeons and was last seen slaloming under Thelwall Viaduct at breakneck speed. It wasn't wearing jesses, so presumed to be a wandering non-breeder. Back on No.3 bed, just in time to see the Osprey drop in with a half-eaten fish. It tried to land in its usual dead tree but was mobbed away by the gulls. It reappeared a couple of hours later soaring away to the west.

Cheers David Bowman (with Alan Warford, Dave Steel, and Kelly Ainsworth)


-- Edited by DavidBowman on Sunday 15th of May 2016 01:02:10 PM

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The Osprey flew in to No3 at 9-15 with a fish, it tried to land in bare tree but was harassed by the Black Headed Gulls and headed off towards No4. Also a Goshawk was seen over No1 earlier.

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