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Post Info TOPIC: River Weaver


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River Weaver


Walked this morning from the bridge at Acton Bridge (roughly half way between Northwich and Frodsham) to a quarter of a mile beyond Dutton Locks and back.

Good numbers of Swallow and House Martin around with plenty of young Swallow. Also pleased with the number of both Reed Bunting and Reed Warbler, approx a dozen of each. Also seen were Sedge Warbler, Yellowhammer, Skylark, Mute Swan, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and Greenfinch amongst others.

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Wednesday 27th of June 2018 03:13:22 PM

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Walk this morning from Hartford Bridge to Eaton Bank Pool and back. Fine weather, coldish, around three degrees.

A couple of Kingfishers seen, one on the old river by Vale Royal Locks, the other flew across the river down by EBP. Fourteen Gadwall on the Pool, together with several Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, two Little Grebe and a single Great crested Grebe. A dozen or so Cormorant in their usual roost, plenty of common woodland species seen including Bullfinch and Jay.

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Walk this morning from Hartford Bridge, south to New Bridge and back. Cool, windy and intermittent rain. Amongst others :

Wigeon (c.12)
Gadwall (c.10)
Coot (c.75)
Moorhen (c.10)
Little Grebe (10)
Cormorant (9)
Buzzard (1)

Nothing of any real note in the woodland sections of the walk. The first five entries above were at Eaton Bank Pool adjacent to the river.

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River Weaver near Frodsham
10.00-13.00

1 Common Sandpiper
1 Raven over
4 Buzzard
3 Grey Heron
2 Cormorant

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Bradford Mill Bridge to Vale Royal Locks, plus part of the old river. 13.00-16.00

2 Buzzards,1 Sparrowhawk and 4 Grey Herons. Also a Wren was seen carrying a large green caterpillar.

Coots and Moorhens still seen with tiny youngsters at various points. There were several broods of Mallard, with a female on the old river having 5 half grown ducklings.

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Walk this morning from Anderton Boat Lift via the Trent & Mersey Canal to the River Weaver at Saltersford Locks, then followed the river as far as the end of Bradleymeadow Wood. Returned to the Boat Lift via the river. Weather warmish and pleasant, out for three hours from 10.30. Amongst others :-

Cormorant (c.25)
Grey Heron
Mute Swan (1)
Sparrowhawk (1)
Buzzard (2)
Lapwing (1)
Great spotted Woodpecker (1)
Pied Wagtail
Cetti's Warbler (1)
Chiffchaff (33)
Long tailed Tit
Nuthatch
Jay (pr)
Linnet

Didn't see the Cetti's Warbler but heard a burst of song from sedge by the other side of the river at Saltersford Locks.

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Cetti's Warbler heard 400 yards downstream of Cardens Ferry Bridge this morning, far side of river in last reedbed.

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Pleasant walk this morning, south from Hartford Bridge down the east side of the river as far as Big Pool. Back up to Vale Royal Locks and from there, crossed over to the west side and back to Hartford Bridge via Vale Royal Woods. Amongst others :-

Cormorant (15 min)
Canada Goose (c.25)
Mute Swan (2)
Little Grebe (2)
Great crested Grebe (2)
Kingfisher (2)
Siskin (c.6)
Long tailed Tit
Nuthatch
Reed Bunting
Buzzard (6)
Sparrowhawk (1)


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Had a text today to say that there is a Little Egret at Eaton Bank Pool, which is the pool by the R.Weaver between New Bridge & Vale Royal Locks, also known as Big Pond/Pool in the past (per Peter Shaw, thanks).



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As I was crossing New Bridge just down from Moulton Village today one of the drake Wood Ducks was showing well all day. Also in the same flock of Mallards was a pristine drake Pintail, I suspect this too had swum down the stream onto the river from the nearby garden collection.



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Followed the canal this morning from the Boat Lift to Saltersford Locks and back by the River Weaver. Lovely, warm and pleasant weather. Green Woodpecker and Kingfisher noted along with eight species of butterfly.

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As I passed over New Bridge today the two drake Wood Ducks were basking in the sun, it may be a 'plastic' species not on the British List, but very smart looking all the same smile



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Tuesday 19th of April 2016 10:39:15 PM

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A Kingfisher showed well near the stream mouth near New Bridge, Moulton (location as mentioned in Wood Duck posts below) this afternoon, with a pair of Great Crested Grebes in the same area. Over 20 Herons were flying about near our local heronry.

Just an addendum to the Wood Ducks. I decided to have a scout around and by following the stream up away from the R.Weaver I found a wildfowl collection that contains Wood Ducks, Ruddy Shelduck and Red-breasted Geese amongst others. Not more than 300m from the R.Weaver I guess we know where the Wood Ducks came from now biggrin



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Walked down to New Bridge from Hartford Bridge and then back. The 2 drake Wood Duck were seen where the small stream flows into the river as mentioned by Doc on 1st November. Very confiding and gave some great views.

Also around were c.25 Siskin, 15 Cormorant roosting in the large trees south of Vale Royal Locks, c.4 Buzzard, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch plus the usuals.

Nice perched and flying views of a Kingfisher on the canal just up from the river by Winnington Bridge on Sunday.

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Had a report today that as well as the 2 drake Wood Duck there was a female Mandarin now on this stretch of the R.Weaver and its adjacent ponds smile



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A search of the small stream near New Bridge from the road between Meadowbank & Whitegate located the two drake Wood Ducks at last. They were lurking up the stream but as the fog cleared they emerged onto the R.Weaver and had a brief mooch before heading purposefully off downriver (towards Vale Royal Locks). We followed them down and they stopped near the Vale Royal Cut/old R.Weaver split where they fed in the river margins. A flock of 60 Siskins was a nice distraction as they flew noisily from the far side of the river to our side & landed to feed in the riverside alders - I never knew Siskins could make so much noise, but 60 of them sure did! We left the Wood Ducks feeding in the margins and headed off home to Moulton, just 10mins away smile



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Again no sign of any Wood Ducks in a short visit to the New Bridge area today. A single Grey Wagtail near the stream outlet and 2 Kingfishers chasing along the R.Weaver near Big Pond with one landing in a bush on Big Pond. Other than that the usual stuff and my first autumn/winter Siskin on this walk in the Alders loosely associating with a large flock of Long-tailed Tits.



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Two drake Wood Ducks were seen in the New Bridge area of the river just down the track from Moulton, near the salt works, so I headed down there today to check it out. No sign of the Wood Ducks but fantastic views of a male Kingfisher having a wash by repeatedly plunging into the shallows, wings out and then up onto a branch to shake its wings and body scattering water droplets. I watched it for ages, even filming through my scope, although since dusk was drawing in the light levels hampered the filming and unfortunately the quality suffered. On Big Pond, further down the river halfway towards Vale Royal Locks big numbers of Moorhens & Coots have built up, with upwards of 30 of each, thae largest numbers that I have ever seen here.



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Hartford Bridge - Vale Royal Locks - Woods by old River Weaver - Vale Royal Cut - Hartford Bridge. Out 2.5 hours from 9.15 in pleasant, sunny weather. Amongst others :-

Grey Heron (3)
Cormorant (3)
Great Crested Grebe (2ad, 1juv)
Sparrowhawk (1m)
Buzzard (1)
Grey Wagtail (2)
Kingfisher (2-3)
Long tailed Tit
Great spotted Woodpecker (3)
Nuthatch
Bullfinch
Chiffchaff (1)

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Tuesday 29th of September 2015 12:11:01 PM

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11.00-16.00

Bradford Mill area

1 Grey Wagtail, 1 juv Great Crested Grebe, 4 Cormorants and a drake Wood Duck.

Walk along the towpath to Vale Royal Locks and back, enoute:

2 Kingfishers, 3 Grey Herons, 2 Buzzards,3 Cormorants and a Chiffchaff.

Vale Royal Locks Area

2 adult+ 1 juv Great Crested Grebes in the bay where the old river branches off.

1m+2f Mandarins and 3 Kingfishers on the old river. 2 Treecreepers and a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the adjoining woods.

A Grass Snake was glimpsed swimming across the old river at one point. 1 Comma butterfly and numerous Speckled Woods along the woodland edge.

4 Brown Hawker and several Migrant Hawker dragonflies seen during walk.


-- Edited by John Williams on Saturday 26th of September 2015 11:04:26 PM

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Spotted Flycatcher showing well late morning, half a mile downstream of Winnington Bridge, right hand bank just before the weir.

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Two hours on the river this morning, downstream from Winnington Bridge and back. Weather warm and sunny. Amongst others :-

Buzzard (min 8)
Chiffchaff
Blackcap
Common Sandpiper (1)
Kingfisher (1)
Great spotted Woodpecker
Nuthatch
Long tailed Tit (c.20)

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One and a half mile walk downstream and back from Winnington Bridge late afternoon on larger split. Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler.

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Out for an hour or so this morning, walked from Winnington Bridge to outskirts of Weaverham and back. Amongst others, Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting, Stonechat, Jay, Long tailed Tit, Green Woodpecker and Mute Swan (15).

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Sightings today including 3 Common Buzzard in flight together above Marbury Lane, and by Witton Brook: 4 Goldcrest, good numbers of Long Tailed Tit, 2 Song Thrush, 4 Redwing, 4 Nuthatch, female Blackcap, 8 Chaffinch, Red Admiral butterfly, Common Darter, usual Blue Tits, Great Tits, Robins, Wrens, Blackbirds. Large number of Lapwings and 1 Grey Heron on Neumann's flash.

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Not quite River Weaver but male Peregrine seen above Moss Farm/Greenbank area of Northwich yesterday afternoon.

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Thanks Doc, will let you know next time I plan a visit there.

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John Williams wrote:

It's well worth a visit again Doc, probably in a different season.





It is, I walk it all year round & although summer is the best for all round natural history, it is even mentioned in dragonfly guides such as Twist & Hill and Steve Dudley's, there's interest in other seasons. We had a wintering Bittern last year that showed down to a few metres out in the open!! Winter passerine flocks can get q.large on the farm fields inland too. If you are coming again I can show you the lesser known bits if you like, that only the core patchers know of, just frop me a PM!! But don't tell too many folk, wanna keep it relatively undisturbed lol biggrin

p.s yes mink are a huge problem, they are so cocky & do take lots of stuff, but also due to the heronry nearby there is predation from the large number of Grey Herons too, seen it happening blankstare The stretch from New Bridge to the locks is the best stretch for wildlife but the meadow on the Winsford side of New Bridge Pool is good for butterflies (p.s. I think what you call Bradford Mill is what we call New Bridge on patch? correct me if you mean somewhere else?).


-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Saturday 5th of July 2014 08:14:59 PM

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We're hoping to move to the Winnington area of Northwich next Spring, possibly to one of the new housing developments backing on to the river. Looking forward to seeking out new birding sites. Seems a lovely area, birding and non birding. Visited many times (daughter lives in Winnington) but not really done any birding in the vicinity....yet! Will miss my daily jaunts on Darwen Moors but am really excited about putting down roots in Cheshire.

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It's well worth a visit again Doc, probably in a different season.

The female Mallard with just 1 tiny duckling in tow seemed to indicate high predation, is that due largely to mink?.

I'll explore the area around the lock more next time, biting insects deterred me yesterday.

Between Bradford Mill and the locks seemed much better for wildlife, than the stretch down to Winsford, although that did have it's merits.

I'd recommend it to any birder as a refreshing change to visiting key reserves.





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My local patch John, just down from where I live & walk it q.regularly & yes I have had several Grass Snakes along there. The old river loop is the best area, with at least 3 different snakes seen there in the last few years. They are by no means easy to see & it is just luck 7 the number of times you are down there. It is teeming with Large Red-eyed Damselflies at the moment which is q.notable and a pair of Kingfishers are feeding young just away from the main river. I watched them catching & killing sticklebacks just last week 7 they posed for full frame photos, brilliant. The Canada Goose population (main group on the old river) is up aver 50 and a bit of a problem with all the droppings & increase in nitrogen content due to this causing extra algal & weed growth in the old river.

In recent years both Mandarins & Wood Ducks have bred in the area but post hatching mortality has meant that no young have ever been proven to have survived to fledge. Green Woodpeckers are reasonably common, Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers have been seen and heron nest in the heronry here every year. Best bird so far was the White Stork which roosted one night on the old river sluice when it was around Barnton Cricket Club several years ago. A small group of us co-ordinate sightings and most go up on the sightings board at Vale Royal Locks thanks to the efforts of Peter, the lock keeper & wildlife expert smile

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Vale Royal Locks to Winsford (PM)

I was advised by a nature lover from Northwich that this area is a hotspot for Grass Snakes, alas I didn't find any.

It's a walk worth doing though, no uncommon birds about, but lots of wildlife, and at this time of year a botanical gem, especially the marshy areas adjoining the tow path.

6 Grey Herons, 6 Cormorants, 3 Buzzards, 3 singing Chiffchaffs, 2 family groups of Willow Warblers, 2 Common Whitethroats, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker

and a group of 14 Canada Geese. 2 Mallard broods, but only 2+1, so predation appears to have taken its toll.

4 newly fledged Swallows sat on the fence by the salt works, their parents flying in to feed them every few minutes.

There were masses of low flying Swallows around the lock, and high above the river lots of Swifts too.

A charm of 20 Goldfinches were around the salt works, close by an area crammed with Teasel.

3 Red Admiral, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Comma, plus in the wooded areas lots of Speckled Wood and in grassland lots of Meadow Brown butterflies.

Common Blue Damselflies in profusion, but only whilst it was sunny. Clegs were a problem near the wooded areas.

The linear marsh that adjoins the towpath, and contains a couple of sizeable pools, holding broods of Moorhen and Coot, was alive with small frogs, and looks promising for Grass Snakes.



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