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Post Info TOPIC: Woolston Eyes


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RE: Woolston Eyes


My intended quick visit to see the Ring Neck Duck did not quite work out as planned.
I found it easy enough on the Weir Pool about 11.00am and it was still there when I left to walk home about 12.30.

As I had to pass the gate to No 3 bed I decided to have a quick look at the birds on the bed but finished up helping finish off fitting a new door to one of the hides! Then I met a friend as I was leaving so I took him to the Weir pool arriving about 3pm to find a group of dissapointed birders as the bird had not been seen for about an hour. I did however manage to re locate it on No 3 bed smile.gif were it was staying very close to a group of Pochard. It was still there when we left at 5.15. It was at the back of the centre pool off to the left and it would disapear into the reeds with the Pochard for a while.

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Alan patterson


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Alan

The RND was on the weir pool early am doing what this species seems to do best - sleeping!

Mike




Thanks for that Mike, I am glad its just a 6 mile treck, did not fancy trecking up towards the viaduct looking for it after failing to find it last night.

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Alan patterson


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alan patterson wrote:

The Ring neck Duck has been reported on a web site this morning as being on the River Mersey at Woolston Weir. I have no more information as to its exact poistion, it could be on the Weir Pool or a little higher up the Mersey towards the Thelwall Viaduct, I doubt if it was below the weir.

The bird must have been reported from the public footpath at the wier and so a permit would not be needed so long as the bird does not get disturbed and flew onto No 3 bed.






Alan

The RND was on the weir pool early am doing what this species seems to do best - sleeping!

Mike

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RE: Ring neck Duck, Woolston Eyes


The Ring neck Duck has been reported on a web site this morning as being on the River Mersey at Woolston Weir. I have no more information as to its exact poistion, it could be on the Weir Pool or a little higher up the Mersey towards the Thelwall Viaduct, I doubt if it was below the weir.

The bird must have been reported from the public footpath at the wier and so a permit would not be needed so long as the bird does not get disturbed and flew onto No 3 bed.

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Alan patterson


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RE: Woolston Eyes


I arrived at the weir about 6.30pm and found 14 Tufted Duck on the weir pool. I spent 45 min scanning the pool but had no signs of the Ring Neck Duck. However as I arrived I got a brief view of a small group of Tufted Ducks dropping onto No 3 bed, so its possible it may have dropped onto No 3 bed ( No 3 bed is Permit only)

I decided not to stop and have a look on No 3 bed on my way home as I was a bit shattered having been tramping round Leasowe all day and I was not relishing my 3 mile walk to get home.



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Alan patterson


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Just got back from the Wirral and there was a message left on my answer machine at 2pm to say a Ring Neck Duck smile.gifhad been confirmed at Woolston.

The bird is with a group of Tufted Duck on the Weir Pool

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Alan patterson


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No 3 bed was surprisingly busy today the new hide was full up. There was 2 Dunlin on the scape in front of the Centre Hide which is not a common sight even close enough to get a photo of them with my new Cannon SX30 bridge camera. A Marsh Harrier spent quite a time on the bed getting mobbbed by 2 Buzzards as well as the hundreds of Black Headed Gulls. However I never managed to get a shot of the Harrier I will blame it on the camera!

Saw a couple of Snipe flying about and 8BNG was the besst count for the day. Lots of Warblers, all Willow W, Chiffchaff or Blackcap.

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Alan patterson


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Lots of Chiffchaff, Willow Warblers and Blackcap on the reserve, several Reed Warblers reeling in front of the Tower Hide but not seen. I did however find 2 adult Med Gulls that I pointed out to a photographer who even managed a flight shot of 1 bird as they flew off. I had no luck with Grasshopper Warblers but one was reported on No 3 bed yesterday.

All 3 species of Grebes were seen at the same time with good numbers of Great Crested Grebe.



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Alan patterson


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Saturday 9th April 6.00-9.00am

Fantastic morning in the sun and met some lovely other birders to boot.
Highlight for me was seeing my first Snipe, swiftly followed by a second flying through.(kindly pointed out by Dave Bowman and his companion)
3 BNG
3 Grey Heron
1 GSW
1 Reed Bunting
1 Greenfinch
4 Shellduck
5 Cormorant
2 Pheasant
Lots of the usual stuff but lots of Chiffchaff and Blackcaps

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BNG numbers are quite variable at the moment as at this time of year they do tend to move around the area, only 8 reported yesterday. Warbler numbers are building up with a total of 91 Chiffcahaff, 14 Willow Warblers and 10 Blackcaps reported by one warden.

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Alan patterson


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Hi Jason, I missed the Med Gulls having left the other wardens as I went to go and look for the Winter plummge BNG. I know they were picked up in flight and dont think they landed on the bed. Kieran picked up a Nuthatch on No 3 bed which caused great excitemnt as it is quite scarce at Woolston! I have had a Med Gull this year but that was on the beach at Hartlepool. Judes dad lives in Durham so go to Hartlepool when I get the chance. Its starting to look like a good year for the Grebes with birds on several sites, I had one on Wigan Flashes this morning and at least 4 at Houghton green. Dont think I will be down on No 3 bed at 5.45 in the morning and will most likely not get down at all so will miss you.

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Alan patterson


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Hi Alan, As i was otherwise engaged this weekend on other ringing duties i was in contact with Kieran to see what i was missing. Other than the birds you have posted he also had 2 Med Gulls (not caught i must add), not sure if they were on the bed or over. Have you seen any? Will catch up with you down there at some point, probably a 5.45 start on Saturday sleepy.gif but will be around until at least 1pm. cheers jason

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Hi Nick, The Ringers on No 3 bed had 2 Blackcap, 1 Willow Warbler and several Brambing this morning. I met a couple of newbie birders and they had realy enjoyed watching these birds being ringed. The ringers on No 3 bed are more than happy to let you watch you need to be a bit of an early bird though. The net runs on No 3 bed tend to be starting close to the circular path on the bed so they tend to pull in the same birds you get from any of the hides. They start at dawn and down every Saturday so they do stand the best chance of picking up the rarites and in my time the only one I can think of on No 3 bed were a Nightingale, Firecrest and a Serin, and they have to be released fairly quickly by law. However it was not a ringer who picked out the 4 Whiskered Terns a few years backsmile.gif Sadly its not possible to watch the ringers on No 2 or 3 bed but that realy is out of our hands as its one of Peel Holdings conditions. Re No 3 bed , we have had an influx of new BNG over night as I had 12 today and I missed the winter plummage bird. We have a few newly aquired nesting platforms that you may have noticed. They are not for Terns but for Black Headed Gulls, we were concerned about the low No of Gulls last year and BNG tend to like good Gull colonays. It will be interesting to see how they work out.

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Alan patterson


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alan patterson wrote:

Hi Nick, Saturday mornings can be interesting as the ringing team are out and they can pull in a few interesting birds, though photos of birds in the hand are not the most desireable photo.


I know what you mean there Alan. The ringers do seem to find some really good birds but then again, they do have access to areas that us watchers don't!!

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Hi Nick, The BNG are still moving about from site to site , Brian could only find 4 today including one pale bird but not the Winter plummage bird. It will be interesting to see where it finishes up at. I am down in the morning to meet up with some of the other wardens and will see how many I can find. Saturday mornings can be interesting as the ringing team are out and they can pull in a few interesting birds, though photos of birds in the hand are not the most desireable photo.

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Alan patterson


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alan patterson wrote:

Nick Isherwood wrote:

A pleasant couple of hours down here today. Highlights were: 5 BNG (3 Frank Linley hide, 1 Tower Hide, 1 John Morgan hide). 2 House Martin high over tower hide. 1 Water Rail (heard only) from tower hide. 4 Chiffchaff Also really good views of a heron fishing and coming out with a small perch every go. Managed to get some good photo's of it.


Hi Nick, Glad you had a good day, one of the Wardens had 8 BNG, did you see one bird that was still in winter plummage which was seen the other day? This bird was seen by one of the founders of the WECG and it was the first bird he had seen in over 25 years in winter plummage!

Hi Alan, All the BNG I saw were in summer plumage.

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Nick Isherwood wrote:

A pleasant couple of hours down here today. Highlights were: 5 BNG (3 Frank Linley hide, 1 Tower Hide, 1 John Morgan hide). 2 House Martin high over tower hide. 1 Water Rail (heard only) from tower hide. 4 Chiffchaff Also really good views of a heron fishing and coming out with a small perch every go. Managed to get some good photo's of it.


Hi Nick, Glad you had a good day, one of the Wardens had 8 BNG, did you see one bird that was still in winter plummage which was seen the other day? This bird was seen by one of the founders of the WECG and it was the first bird he had seen in over 25 years in winter plummage!

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Alan patterson


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A pleasant couple of hours down here today. Highlights were: 5 BNG (3 Frank Linley hide, 1 Tower Hide, 1 John Morgan hide). 2 House Martin high over tower hide. 1 Water Rail (heard only) from tower hide. 4 Chiffchaff Also really good views of a heron fishing and coming out with a small perch every go. Managed to get some good photo's of it.

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A nice couple of hours here this afternoon. Highlights were 4 pintail from john morgan hide along with 4 wigeon. Also 2 snipe from frank linley hide. Also a redwing seen near the canal that looked quite different at first due to the light. Had me flapping for a minute or two. No sign of the bittern.

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Hi Rob,

Yes!

I dont know if anyone saw it yesterday, on Sunday it was seen flying from the right of the centre hide and flew in front of the hide and eventualy droped into the reeds. Dont know more than that.



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Alan patterson


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Was it the Bittern?

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Rob


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I am down in Dorset and I have just looked at the WECG web site, and found a very interesting record for Sunday. If any members are planning a visit in the next few days its worth checking the WECG web site to see what it wassmile.gif

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Alan patterson


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Hi Pete,

You are correct about this time of year being good forsightings of Scaup and as you say that is the best spot for them. We did not have any when we did the jan WEBS count it will be interesting to see if we get them in the Feb WEBS count, not sure if its this Sunday or next Sunday. I usualy help with the count on No 3 bed and some one else does the Weir and follows the river bank path up beyond the Viaduct as you can get a lot of Tufted Duck up in that area. I have not done that walk for ages I think it ends opposite the old tip on No 1 bed, think that may be where Butchers Field is.

Alan

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Alan patterson


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Just reading my log book last night. Have seen scaup for the last few years always about this time of the year and always above the weir either up or below the footbridge. Always worth a close scan there.

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Julie Unwin wrote:

Hi Alan I was there on Sunday with Ian and we saw 5 bramblings together at one point and 2 different willow tits (different rings).






Hi Julie, Thanks , I will add them to my list to update.

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Alan patterson


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Hi Alan I was there on Sunday with Ian and we saw 5 bramblings together at one point and 2 different willow tits (different rings).

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Pete Astles wrote:

Alan no sorry I did.nt. I did not count but there was a lot of siskins maybe 10 / 15. I only saw maybe 2 /3 Brambling and the 1 Willow Tit. I will use the book next time.






Hi Pete, Thanks for the numbers of Siskin and Brambling, I will add your records to our computer records. I have the task of entering all the log book records onto the "RECORD" web site so we dont want to miss records such as your Scaup sighting. Some of the common birds tend to get overlooked and we would like to see more records of the common birds if seen in significant nos of say 10+. We often see lists of birds seen that have no numbers attached. So it would help us greatly if any one visiting could add records to the log book even though it makes more work for me to enter them onto Record web sitesmile.gif

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Alan patterson


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Alan no sorry I did.nt. I did not count but there was a lot of siskins maybe 10 / 15. I only saw maybe 2 /3 Brambling and the 1 Willow Tit. I will use the book next time.

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Pete Astles wrote:

John Morgan Brambling, Siskin, Reed Bunting, Willow Tit. Weir Goldeneye, Dabchick and three scaup including a lovely drake on the river just above the bridge by the cottages. On bridge to reserve about 70 redwings on the trees. Lovely atmospheric day particularly late on.






Hi Pete, Did you put any of the sightings in the log book in the first hide? If not if you let me know the numbers of Brambling and Siskin ect I will enter them myself as they are good records for next years annual report. I think the Scaup are the first of the year.

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Alan patterson


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John Morgan Brambling, Siskin, Reed Bunting, Willow Tit. Weir Goldeneye, Dabchick and three scaup including a lovely drake on the river just above the bridge by the cottages. On bridge to reserve about 70 redwings on the trees. Lovely atmospheric day particularly late on.

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I spent a very cold morning at No 3 bed with one of the founders of the group, the pools were mainly frozen over. 200+ teal were tucked in along the far banks along with a few Pochard and Shoveler.

Originally posted by Alan Patterson today:

The feeders at the centre pool were very active and at one point 11 Barmbling were on view, 3 at LH Feeder and 8 at the RH feeder. There were quite a few Long Tail Tits and a Willow Tit was also feeding with up to 10 Bullfinch. One member arrived to say he had seen a nice flock of c12 Siskin and he had taken some nice photos of them near the Old Tower Hide.

The ringers have ringed a lot of new Brambling this year and a flock of 40+ has been seen. On the way out a nice flock of 24 Redwigs flew through near the Sybil Hogg Hide.

A lot of work has been done on No 3 bed recently, and areas have been cleared in front of the Old Tower Hide, the Centre Hide and the Linley Hide. The work done at the Old Tower Hide will hopefully give the same good views of Water Rail as it did last year and with luck a few BNGrebes may even swim in to give closer views. The work at the Linley hide we hope will provide a loafing area for duck as well as open up the view of the pool to give better views of the BNG. I hope that the work we have done recently will give photographers the chance to get the shots they want from the hides provided. I would like to say we have not had reports of Photographers disturbing the birds to get better shots which sadly happens more than it should at other sites!

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Went down this afternoon great views of a Buzzard by the bridge entrance about thirty feet away looking at me. Seemed almost tame I thought it might be a falconers bird. Otherwise not much about.

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RE: Woolston Eyes 2011


The highlight of this New Year has to be the record count of over 2,600 Tufted Duck recorded on the reserve on Jan 5th 1011. There were over 1200 of them packed into the Weir Basin which must have been an amazing sight.

I have just finished entering the log book records onto the computer to help with our Annual Report and an interesting record for 10th Dec was a female Mandarin at the Weir. There have been quite a few sightings of Brambling and also several records of Woodcock, a bird I failed to get for my own year list, you need a bit of luck with them.

I am down on Sunday morning for the WEBS count and hopefully we should have another good count of Tifties!



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Alan patterson


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Woolston Eyes 2010


15.00 - 17.30 Heavy showers

First visit to the new hide, very nice too on a wet afternoon - well done to those responsible. All of the usual suspects including Pochard, Gadwall, Great Crested Grebe, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Cormorant, Shoveler, 1 Snipe, 1 Wigeon and 4 Black-necked Grebe. There were plenty of Swallows, Sand and House Martins plus at one stage 20 or so Swifts. Without a doubt however my afternoon was made by the bird I went to try to find, as reported by David Spencer, really excellent views of the Whinchat in the reeds to the right of the hide - cheers David.

-- Edited by sid ashton on Saturday 1st of May 2010 10:36:05 AM

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I had a Spotted Flycatcher from the scaffold hide this evening. The first I have seen on the reserve.

Other birds reported over the last couple of days have included Whinchat, Marsh Harrier and Common Tern.

David

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I was down at the 1st barrier to the reserve about 9am and heard a Grasshopper Warbler reeling in the fenced in area on the left of the track. I managed to get good views of it as I cut through to the sand pit ponds. I had my first ever Partridge ( a Red Leg) at Woolston in the large area that has been recently cleared for dredgings. I had a second gropper on No 4 past the alcan plant. There were Whitethroats all over the place but did I not pick up a single blackcap.

A few of the wardens took a group of 47 birders around No 3 bed later. The group from the midlands were delighted with their vist, and all heard a Gropper and a lucky few managed to spot one by the North meadow. Every one got to see a variety of Grebes but suprisingly no hirundines were seen, a Water rail was seen form the hide that replaced the old scaffold hide and this was also the best hide to see Reed Warblers.

Our new Lottery funded loo seemed to be popular with the ladies and a few said how they thought it was excellent use of lottery funds.

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Alan patterson


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8 bng on reserve board today I managed to see only one.

Good close views of a blackcap at Frank Linley hide. Lots of blackcaps and willow warbers calling. Chiffchaffs every few yards.

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1 Black-necked Grebe from the Rotary hide today (3 reported yesterday from the tower hide). Also 2 Swallow, 1 Kingfisher and Willow Warbler heard briefly.

David

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Alan

No that wasn't me. I left no. 3 bed at about 10:00 am. I saw Brian as I was leaving the bed. Pity I missed the Fox.


David

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Hi David, Brian M told me you had reported seing them, did you see Brian there before lunchtime today, if so it might have been you I spoke to as I was coming on.

Brian M told me he saw a Fox on No 3 bed with its nose inside a jam jar of Pea Nut Butter, he said it moved up the bank and then sat down waiting for him to pass before it went back to finish it off. Dont ask what the jar of Peanut Butter was for!

-- Edited by alan patterson on Friday 2nd of April 2010 10:29:14 PM

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Alan patterson


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Alan

I reported the BNGs on the 28th. There were two birds (looked like a pair) straight out from the John Morgan hide and were showing very well at circa 8:00. After looking through the gulls I lost track of the grebes and couldn't refind them despite staying in the hide for another 45 minutes and then going to the Frank Linlay and the Rotary hides. Strange! I was down there today too and likewise no sign of any.

David

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Hi Pete,

Odd that there are no BNG about, I was down today and saw none, 2 were reported briefly on the 28th but not seen since, just seen a record of BNG at Houghton Green today but no idea of numbers. Usually by end of the first week in April we should be into double figures! best I had today was 30+ Redpoll by Sandpit Pond and a smaller very vocal and mobile group on No 3 bed. Loads of Chiff Chaff about, one record of 28 the other day!

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Alan patterson


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10 Chiffchaff locations. Funny how they come to the same spot almost to the branch every year.
1 Mink on Mersey
3 Buzzard
2 Pair Gadwall
1 Cock Pheasant
1 Dabchick
5 Linnets Frank Linley Hide
1 Reed Bunting


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visit today with bolton rspb group, site 3
lots to see from the new hide, ruddy duck, brambling on the feeders, kingfisher, swallows, also lots of linnet around in a nice flock, buzzards and kestrel, also lots of really nice looking pochards smile.gif

-- Edited by Dennis atherton on Saturday 27th of March 2010 08:24:34 PM

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Redpoll and linnet flocks in scrub areas
1 Jay
2 Bullfinches
8 Gadwall (4 pair)
3 Pair Great Crested Grebe
1 Pair Dabchick
1 water rail good views for a minute or two at Frank Linley
1 Snipe feeding in open at John Morgan.


-- Edited by Pete Astles on Saturday 20th of March 2010 06:34:38 PM

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Did a web count this morning not a lot of birds about, No 3 bed was largely frozen with a few Teal to be seen. Did not stop long but Willow Tit was a regular visitor at the new feeding station and a male Brambling has been seen a few times.

There are large Nos of Tufted at the Weir, a recent count of 1173 for the whole reserve was a record. A few Goldeneye are usualy seen at the Weir.

Should not be long till the BNGrebes return c20 March something to look forward to while wandering around in the cold counting duck. Hope to have a good year for the BNG if we can keep control of the mink that are numerous on the River.

Cheers Alan

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Alan patterson


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Pete Astles wrote:

I go to Woolston Eyes its a great place especially for those who like solitude.

However worth pointing out for those who don't know it you need a permit and a key to access the place. Its an island in the old mersey bed and you won't get near it without a key. I have been a couple of times when disappointed birders have turned up when alerted on pagers. One couple from Birmingham once.

Its also perhaps not a place you can just turn up at you need to put the hours in.

I understand its ones of the best north west sites for firecrest but I have never seen one yet but I live in hope.






Hi Pete, As Woolston is permit only, and as you say you need a key to get on to No 3 bed, it is not possible for non permit holders to get on to that bed unless they are lucky enought to bump into a warden. I know some web sites do mention that it is permit only when they put a sighting out. There are good reasons for No 3 bed being permit only and the main one is to do with security and the land owners insistance that the gate to No 3 is locked .

We do however take visiting groups on to the reserve, however these do need to be booked in advance as we are only a small group of wardens and not always available. There is a charge for groups and the details of them and how to bookare on our web site. Large group were always a problem in the past as it was not always possible to find enough wardens to take a group around the reserve. However the new Morgan hide should reduce the demand onwardens as a whole group will now fit into the one hide and means we no longer need to split large groups up.

Cheers Alan

-- Edited by alanp on Monday 25th of January 2010 01:14:54 PM

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Alan patterson


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Pete Astles wrote:



I understand its ones of the best north west sites for firecrest but I have never seen one yet but I live in hope.






Delamere forest scoring better this year with three Firecrest together...

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Rob


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I go to Woolston Eyes its a great place especially for those who like solitude.

However worth pointing out for those who don't know it you need a permit and a key to access the place. Its an island in the old mersey bed and you won't get near it without a key. I have been a couple of times when disappointed birders have turned up when alerted on pagers. One couple from Birmingham once.

Its also perhaps not a place you can just turn up at you need to put the hours in.

I understand its ones of the best north west sites for firecrest but I have never seen one yet but I live in hope.

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Woolston Eyes


On saturday lunch time all the pools on No3 bed were free from ice and a lot of duck were present including 200+ Tufted Duck and 151 Pochard, also present was a male SCAUPsmile.gif all viewed from the new John Morgan Hide. There is a new feeding station at this hide and there were a variety af birds feeding including 2 Willow Tits. A wide section of reed has been cleared in front of the Old Scafold Hide and I had great view of a WATER RAIL there

No 3 bed is permit only and any one who has not been for some time will see a few big changes. Our new Elevated John Morgan Hide replaces the old metal centre hide and it is superb and will seet 30 easily, I was lost there all on my own. Another first for the reserve is our new "self composting toilet" clever thing and will be popular with our older female visitors.

Cheers Alan

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Wednesday 12th of January 2011 08:46:53 PM

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