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Post Info TOPIC: Cutacre Country Park; north of the railway


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Cutacre, Middle Hulton


Excellent morning in hazy conditions.

Highlight was finding 4 Tree Sparrow, which is the first ever record for the area.

On the pools, 3 Shelduck, 2 Redshank, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Oystercatcher, 3 Snipe and 2 Curlew flew over east.

Also 2 singing Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Tit, single Fieldfare, 38 Linnets, 20 Skylark, 1 Raven and 270 Meadow Pipits flew over north in small groups throughout the morning also 3 Sand Martin through.

-- Edited by Simon Warford on Sunday 30th of March 2014 05:02:41 PM

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Today, 3 Mandarin, 2 Oystercatcher, 1 Curlew, 6 Teal, 2 Willow Tit, 9 singing Skylark, 35 Fieldfare and an impressive flock of 400+ Redwings, with many singing their hearts out!

Works slowly continuing for the new giant Aldi, with loads of hedgerows now being ripped up.


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Very little of anything noteworthy recently, apart from the wintering flock of 40+ Skylarks still present this morning, also 26 Linnets, 5 Meadow Pipits, 6 Snipe and 9 Teal. 



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Huge Site Accessed it via Wharton Lane and concentrated on the area at the end that has changed considerably looks like a bomb has gone off with acres of bare grounds small pool and a few ditches and older mounds. Main sighting were skylark, lots of meadow pipit common sandpiper on the pool with 10 mallard and a few black headed gulls, Kestrel, Flocks of Goldfinches and a Bullfinch.

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This evening, single Wheatear, Little Grebe (a site first for me), 10 Teal, 100+ Meadow Pipits, 2 Little Owl, 25 Linnet, 85 Lapwings and only 65 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

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This evening, 5 Crossbill flew south-west and a single Green Sandpiper and Snipe were on the largest pool along with 6 Teal. Also 37 Linnets, 15 Skylark, 118 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 100+ Swallows & House Martins dropped in during tonights thunderstorm.

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Yesterday evening 7th Aug, a Peregrine was hunting over the site, harassing the usual gathering of gulls which totalled over 250 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Also 26 Skylarks, 135 Lapwing, 25 Swifts, 2 Little Owls & 2 Mandarin.

-- Edited by Simon Warford on Thursday 8th of August 2013 01:31:23 PM

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This morning, fairly quiet, though two site firsts for me were a female Tufted Duck and 5 Common Terns (2 adults & 3 Juvs) heading south at some speed, also 3 Curlews, 148 Lapwings, 273 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 5 Stock Doves, 13 Skylarks, 15 Swifts, 17 Whitethroats, 12 Willow Warblers, 2 blackcaps, 2 Willow Tits, 35 House Sparrows, 90 Goldfinches, 24 Linnets and 6 Bullfinches.

Butterflies included 5 Small Skippers, 6 Peacocks, 2 Red Admirals, 7 Small Coppers, 20+ Meadow Brown, 10 Large Whites and 15+ Gatekeepers.

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Early morning 4.30am - 10.30am, it's turning out to be a very good breeding season indeed. I have never seen so many juvenile Greenfinches, in excess of 35 around the site this morning, also no shortage of Goldfinches, well over 95 of which most we're also juveniles. Also last week at least 600 juvenile Starlings feeding in the fields by the A6. Also today 27 House Sparrows including fledged juvs, 22 Skylark, 235 Woodpigeons including many juveniles, 27 Whitethroat, 1 singing Grasshopper Warbler, 1 singing Sedge Warbler, still 14 Chiffchaff singing, some also feeding young, also Willow Warblers feeding young, several juvenile Pied Wagtails. 119 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, they seem to be an increasingly common sight around Cutacre. 3 Herring Gulls and and a fairly early returning Snipe on one of the pools. Also plenty of fledged Blue and Great Tits around compared to none seen last year.

Also 3 Southern Hawkers, but not many butterflies, just a few Meadow Browns.



-- Edited by Simon Warford on Sunday 7th of July 2013 07:15:51 PM

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Yesterday early morning,

1 Grasshopper Warbler singing
1 Garden Warbler singing
1 Sedge Warbler singing
26 Whitethroat
21 Reed Bunting including a nest with 5 chicks in
4 Willow Warbler
4 Chiffchaff
1 Willow Tit
14 Skylark singing
7 Bullfinch
15 Linnet
Little Owl (first sighting since 1st April 2012 when all the old barns got demolished)
female Mandarin with 6 ducklings

Some news regarding the development of the site following a Public Consultation last week, Aldi hope to start construction of their 50,000 square metre regional distribution centre in early 2014 followed by the construction (subject to planning application) of a 5,000 square metre office complex, car park for 500 spaces, access roads, loading bays and several massive warehouses on the old Cutacre tip. Interesting that Bolton Council initially indicated 15,000 jobs would be created but now thats been revised to c2,000 despite the size of the industrial estate actually increasing since the initial proposals. On the plus side (if indeed there is one!?) work will commence shortly on the brand new Cutacre Country Park which will surround the development and provide 558 acres of landscapes which will include nature reserves, as well as nature trails, viewpoints etc. How all this will shape up is anybodys guess at the moment and whether this will improve the biodiversity of the area remains to be seen. Anybody interested can see the emerging master plan here:-

http://www.logisticsnorth.co.uk/country-park/

There is a form to make your views known, it was good to see quite a large turnout at the Public Consultation and many locals actually voted in favour of more birdwatching areas. One thing a few suggested was larger pools and reedbeds which I understand will be considered with some kind of reedbed looking likely. One thing is for sure sacred sites never seem to last forever.


-- Edited by Simon Warford on Sunday 9th of June 2013 10:00:30 PM

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Late post for yesterday pm, not exactly Cutacre, but walk along edges of Hulton Park.

Lesser Whitethroat 2
Common Whitethroat 2
Sparrowhawk (f)
Mistle thrush
Blackcap 3
Willow Warbler 4
Carrion Crow 30+
Goldfinch 2
Greenfinch 2
Swallow 1
Swift 4
Great Spotted Woodpecker



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2 Wheatear still present! Also 65 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

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Early morning today, 7 Wheatear (incl. 2 males) still in the southern section of the site also 16 Whitethroat, 3 Shelduck and a single Dunlin on one of the pools.

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Whilst walking over Shorelark Summit this morning at approx. 6.20am I accidently flushed a male Hen Harrier, it slowly flew off north-west chased by several Lapwings until it was lost to view heading towards Winter Hill. An amazing record for this site which is mostly a barren landscape now. Also of note today single Whinchat, 2 female Wheatear and 2 singing Grasshopper Warblers.

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Singing Grasshopper Warbler, 2 female Wheatear, 4 Ringed Plover & 3 male Mandarin.

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Six Wheatear (all females) this evening on fields between Cutacre and the A6, also 2 Dunlin & 2 Shelduck present.

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Yesterday 13 April 2013, fine sunny conditions, highlights,

3 male Wheatear
3 male Mandarin
5 Shelduck
2 Snipe
2 Oystercatcher
1 Redshank
1 Curlew
6 Golden Plover
26 Lapwing
26 Reed Bunting
16 Skylark
39 Meadow Pipit
1 Swallow
1 Willow Warbler
13 Chiffchaff
1 male Blackcap singing
1 Willow Tit
120 Redwing, many in full song
214 Woodpigeon
9 Stock Dove
3 Buzzard
6 Linnet
14 Fieldfare all flying east


-- Edited by Simon Warford on Sunday 14th of April 2013 09:59:33 PM

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2 male Wheatears present today and 60 Redwing. Also unfortunately, some nice people have set fire to a large area of grassland on the site and loads of willow scrub, the fire brigade arrived quite quick to put it out though, nice one Ian.

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Brief visit this morning:
60 Fieldfare over NW
10 meadow pipit
4 skylark
reed bunting
5 snipe
3 common gull
willow tit

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09/01/13 - A flock of 60 Redwing were in the Cutacre area this pm

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A Woodcock flew over me as I left the old Exide Batteries site today at 5pm

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1300 in Cutacre area today;
1 Buzzard
12 Long Tailed Tit
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
55 Lapwing
3 Jay
9 Skylark


-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 23rd of October 2012 10:15:35 PM

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A pair of Raven over the old Exide Batteries plant at midday today.

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Surprised to see a Whinchat early this morning, only seems like five minutes ago when I saw two on spring migration on the 6th May and todays bird was more or less in the same spot as one was in spring. Further evidence that autumn migration is well under way was a fresh juvenile Wheatear hopping around the edges of the main UK Coal car park.

Its not all been doom and gloom for breeding birds, lots of juvenile Starlings feeding on the site along with freshly fledged Chiffchaffs, Whitethroats and Reed Buntings being fed by adults. There are more Whitethroats this year compared to 2011 and Reed Buntings are also up on last year with 14 singing males this summer. On the downside hardly any Grasshopper Warblers(unless my hearings going!) and Willow Warblers are also down on last year with only 3 singing birds this summer. Linnets are definitely up with 23 seen today including young birds. Also today 62 Lapwing, 70 (20+ juvs) Goldfinch, 7 Grey Partridge, 16 Skylark, 250 Woodpigeon, 4 Stock Dove and the Swift migration is in full flow with 150+ moving south in 3 hours.

One evening in the middle of last week at least 450 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were present with them all flying off north-west just before dusk.


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Look around this a.m., heard Grasshopper Warbler, lots of Linnet, Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting, had a really enjoyable walk.
Cheers Ian

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Sunday 24th of June 2012 04:24:54 PM

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Great weather for my second Breeding Birding Survey this morning and the place was alive with birds. As soon as I parked up by the main buildings at 6.45am the first of two Whinchats was perched up on tall grasses. Numbers of Lapwings and Skylarks are down though as a result of large areas of bare earth which has replaced last years grassland. No sign of any Little Owls on the site now with no birds present where they were last year. On the plus side a Cuckoo was singing in the same area where one was seen last year. Whitethroats widely scattered with 17 singing males along with six Willow Warblers, six Chiffchaffs, four Blackcaps and a single Garden Warbler but no Grasshopper Warblers on site yet. Other birds included 15 Reed Buntings, four Grey Partridge, three Stock Dove, three Oystercatchers, single male Wheatear, 120 Woodpigeon, six Sand Martin, two Swift, 25 Swallow, single Buzzard, Bullfinch, five Linnets and a Shelduck was a surprise on a small bit of floodwater on the old tip.

49 species recorded in total.


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Full mornings survey in great weather this morning produced the following-

6 Snipe, 2 Mandarin, 1 Wheatear, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 21 Skylark, 4 Grey Partridge, 15 House Sparrow, 9 Reed Bunting, 2 Jay, 2 Little Owl, 5 Stock Dove, 4 Buzzard, 11 Linnet, 4 Kestrel, 4 Bullfinch, 10 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 4 Long-tailed Tit, 17 Lapwing, 12 Meadow Pipit, 2 Fieldfare, 6 Song Thrush and 15 Golden Plover with a further 23 Golden Plover on nearby Plodder Lane fields.

Also a Stoat was busy running up and down a ditch near one of the farms, it didnt see me as I watched from behind a mound. It certainly attracted the attention of a Pied Wagtail, Wren and Reed Bunting which were all taking it in turns mobbing it!

As part of the ongoing restoration of the whole site a large lake has been created which might prove interesting in the coming months.


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Female Merlin (south) this morning and Raven (north) this afternoon over the old Exide Batteries factory.

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Apparently I have spent 8.30 to 9.30 this am on the South side of Cutacre.
My error however the following seen:

Several small flocks of Redwing /Fieldfare in the Hawthorn.
Song Thrush : 1 superb view.
Kestrel 1
Grey Heron: 1 on Earth mound.
Carrion Crow 10
Pheasant 1
Goldfinch 5 on seed.
A large bird on a distant pylon ... Buzzard I think.
I will try for the Owl again!


-- Edited by keith mills on Thursday 3rd of November 2011 10:39:19 AM

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Rumworth List 2018, species to date: 92 Latest: Spotted Redshank, Yellow Wagtail, Dunlin, Kingfisher, Redstart, Little Egret.



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At 8.00am this morning a Short-eared Owl was hunting over the spoil heap on the west side of Cutacre. Viewed from the public footpath that runs round that side. Also a Brambling and 5 Partridge.

Info thanks to Andy Makin.

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Moulting adult male peregrine landed on pylon at S of Cutacre site at 1900hrs Sunday 24th July.

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Cheers Simon


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Jason, the only option really is to walk the public footpaths around the west and south side, you can park at the A6 and take Rosemary Lane and walk south or Breeze Hill Road, near Hulton park entrance and walk either north or south from there. Alot of Cutacre is just bare land now, with the coal excavation nearly finished the landscape changes every week.

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Simon..... Could you tell me how to get to the site and where is best for parking, is the main entrance just off the A6 near the old Norweb Depot?


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Cuckoo still present today(also seen yesterday), viewable on and off from the public footpath that runs around the south western perimeter of Cutacre, just as noteworthy were 7 Dunlin feeding on a small pool again on the western side.

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First survey of the summer today produced 6 singing Grasshopper Warblers, 17 singing Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, 6 Grey Partridge, 2 Raven, 2 Buzzard, Little Owl and 70 Sand Martin.

The pools where I had a Little Egret last year have now been replaced by a 100 foot deep quarry!

Still 9 Golden Plover on Plodder Lane.

Unfortunately a dead Barn Owl was picked up on the A6 this week. cry.gif

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Thanks Ian,

I knew if anyone was aware of latest ID developments it would be you smile.gif

Steve

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Steve Suttill wrote:

Thanks guys

I know the site well as my late father-in-law lived nearby and I used to go to see the GP and Lapwing flocks there whenever I dropped him at the hospital.

I'm sure Ian McK will correct me, but I believe the strength of the white line from the head down to the flank is a better indication of race than the blackness of the "face" and breast. Will look carefully at Dennis' photos.

Cheers, Steve






I haven't studied these for a few years now, not since the nice annual early spring flocks disappeared from the Moss Lane area in Astley. It is thought that birds attaining such full and distinct breeding plumage (i.e. extensive black on the underparts) are from the northern race 'altifrons' and perhaps their annual early gathering also hint at a more northerly breeding destination anyway. Trouble is that there is much variation between the two races (northern and our UK breeding race) plus again between the sexes which clouds the situation somewhat and has lead to some believing there are no distinct races within Golden Plover. I'm not sure what if any, work has been done on this (and if so I've missed it!) but I did hear a couple of years ago murmurings that such plumage variation was dependant on breeding habitat selection and that apparent 'northerns' often attain a much drabber plumage depending on where they are nesting . Frankly I've lost track of it all

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Thanks guys

I know the site well as my late father-in-law lived nearby and I used to go to see the GP and Lapwing flocks there whenever I dropped him at the hospital.

I'm sure Ian McK will correct me, but I believe the strength of the white line from the head down to the flank is a better indication of race than the blackness of the "face" and breast. Will look carefully at Dennis' photos.

Cheers, Steve

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The 5 Golden Plover that I saw were viewed feeding among short green shoots.
They were all 'side on' and disappeared sometimes in the furrow.
However I noted that no black marking could be seen, just the whitish line on the head and neck. Although lower parts of the bird were hidden, the birds that I saw were not in striking plumage.
It may well be that Dennis Atherton, who first found these birds, has Photographs.
I had considered the anomaly with the site name thread. As Plodder Lane is over 2.5 miles long ,I thought Watergate Lane ,which passes through the fields to be a better guide. The OS map shows the name ''Edge Fold'' at the Lane's Junction.
By the way I learnt that an underground canal runs under these fields.


Hope this helps ,Steve.

-- Edited by keith mills on Tuesday 12th of April 2011 07:10:43 AM

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Yes there a few smart northern birds amongst them Steve, also many still in winter plumage. Viewing can be awkward as many of the birds are down below a ridge in the field.

Also I should point out that these birds are not actually at Cutacre, but in the large ploughed field on the other side of the motorway along Plodder Lane.

There are also 15+ Linnets in the field.

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As the Golden Plovers already seem to be paired up and settled into their breeding territories on our local moorlands, are these ones at Cutacre migrants heading for proper arctic tundra? Are they showing plumage characteristics of the northern race?
I'd be interested in local observers' opinions.

Cheers, Steve

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45 Golden Plover present in the ploughed field off Plodder Lane 6.30pm.

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At least 39 Golden Plover still in ploughed field off Plodder Lane 6pm, some in lovely breeding plumage, seen on way back from the Reebok. smile.gif

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still 8 golden plovers on plowed field if any one still wants them for there bolton/manchester lists
graeme

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There is nowt worse than posting a sighting on the infomation super highway that is Gmbirding only to read that birders turned up on your tip off and the birds were not there anymore, Gutted, i now feel redeemed smile.gif

i had a very nice 50 ish on tuesday, but only 7 tonight, so i am very happy to see Alan also got a large flock too, briilliant smile.gif

Great to see Keith also got them after a few attempts, sorry i dragged you away from your Ouzel search, hopefully you will get that one tommorow, smile.gifbiggrin.gif



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7-45 pm

Quick visit tonight to Plodder Lane fields as I need Golden Plover for my Bolton list.

I had 54+ Golden Plover Adjacent to Water Gate Lane and Plodder Lane, in ploughed field.

They seemed settled as though they were going to roost. Most were lying down.

Quite difficult to see and count as they are camaflaged in ploughed field.

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Watergate the truth!
Thanks to Dennis the Golden Plover located tonight at 6.45 pm:smile.gif
In ''green shoot'' field next to the ploughed Watergate Lane fields(nearer to Farnworth)
When I arrived 5 Showing quite close to the road down from Plodder Lane to the Cattery.
Dennis just leaving had seen 7.
Thanks again Dennis for your perserverance here and the phone call.




-- Edited by keith mills on Friday 8th of April 2011 09:26:11 PM

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Rumworth List 2018, species to date: 92 Latest: Spotted Redshank, Yellow Wagtail, Dunlin, Kingfisher, Redstart, Little Egret.



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No Problem Dennis. I spoke to a local lady who calls them the Lapwing fields. There was about 20 Lapwing present at Luchtime when I went back. But thats all.
Had a ride on my bike aroud Cutacre on the Tracks . Found a nice Graveyard with a Chiffchaff for company.

-- Edited by keith mills on Wednesday 6th of April 2011 10:00:45 PM

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Rumworth List 2018, species to date: 92 Latest: Spotted Redshank, Yellow Wagtail, Dunlin, Kingfisher, Redstart, Little Egret.



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Sorry Keith, me neither, two hours hunt tonight from 6-8pm this time with camera, covered all the adjacent fields, both sides of motorway and also all the hills around cutacre, cry.gif

no sign at all, gutted disbelief.gifno.gif never seen one locally cry.gif

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