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Post Info TOPIC: Newchurch Common


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Newchurch Common


Thank you every one for your help (it seems like Dunham Massey is the place to go). Also does anyone know if the smew has been seen recently. Finally I have had a look on google maps to see which pool it in but there are four in that area, from previous posts, I guess that it is on the big pool but is that the very biggest one with an island in the south-East bank. Sorry for all the questions.

-- Edited by Joel Tragen on Friday 9th of January 2015 10:13:36 PM

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Unfortunately your probably correct then Rob about the Water Voles,it was a long shot,its just that the very few times that I have seen them,and that is a few years now,I think it was in Millers dale ,I did hear a similar plopping sound as they entered the water,and I think that is a characteristic way to know that they are about? Also Jason who I was with said he got a glimpse of a small mammal,although very brief,before it went into the water.
As regards Green woodpecker I know that they can be surprisingly hard to see.I remember scanning around some anthills where they are known to be,and not seeing any,so walked on when one flew up from where I had been looking,give out it's call,and landed on a tree where it stayed still allowing me to get good views,so I could not see it on the ground at all.It is in fact, either in a tree or flying where I have seen them,I don't think ever on the ground.
Good Birding to everyone.
Forgot to say we parked our car at the end of Nova Scotia Lane,there is a bit of a lay by there with room for maybe 4 or 5 cars or so.

-- Edited by TELESMAN on Friday 9th of January 2015 07:40:41 PM

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Joel Tragen wrote:

Hi I was thinking of heading down at the weekend and would like some tips for seeing the green woodpeckers (I haven't seen any for a while). Also where would be the best place to park the car. Cheers





Hi Joel,
As Simon and Doc mention its a tough one with Green Woodpeckers as they are quite vocal birds but notoriously difficult to spot, even my last few visits to Dunham has proved to be a no show although I've heard them. Infact, my last few sightings of Green Woodpeckers were mainly by chance whilst not expecting them. My guess is you're not the only one on the forum who hasn't seen them in a while.

...a quick note regarding the Water Voles, as Doc says none reported despite being a well surveyed area, in my opinion probably indicates there are none here as Mammal groups are usually right on top of declining species. Although widespread they are NOT common and are getting rarer. A quick check of my most up to date Mammal site book seems to show what I expected, it favours extensive reedbeds nowadays and especially where Mink numbers are controlled or even eradicated!
Cheers
Rob

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Everyone is right, the lane is Novia Scotia Lane and the small cluster of houses is called Novia Scotia, as per the Cheshire A to Z Street Atlas or look at 7 o'clock from the arrow on this Streetmap link smile

http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?x=362500&y=369500&z=120&sv=whitegate&st=3&tl=Map+of+Whitegate,+Cheshire+[City/Town/Village]&searchp=ids.srf&mapp=map.srf

The Big Pool on the N.side of the track that continues W.from Novia Scotia Lane is the pit that the Smew is on.

Ditto Green Woodpecker, hard to see here, not the best place for sightings, much more often heard than seen. For sightings, as mentioned, try Dunham Massey Park or even Dairyhouse Meadows/Neumann's Flash area, I see them q.regularly there smile



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Friday 9th of January 2015 10:03:25 AM

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Simon Gough wrote:


Hi to Telesman too, its weird referring to an alias on here by the way, the forum owner Ian normally mandates people use their proper name as their username. I haven't worked out how to pronounce Telesman...





Folk at least get the chance to reply or at least read my private messages to them regarding such matters before I make any changes. I'm not quite the ogre I'm perceived as wink biggrin

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We parked on Novascotia Lane, as Google has it, although Doc Brewster referred to Novia Scotia.

We didn't see any Green Woodpeckers so not convinced there are tips to be had! Only heard them. But the classic place to see them is Dunham Massey Deer Park, which you'd be virtually passing heading from Manchester, generally a couple at least there and lots of other nice stuff too.

Hi to Telesman too, its weird referring to an alias on here by the way, the forum owner Ian normally mandates people use their proper name as their username. I haven't worked out how to pronounce Telesman...

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Hi I was thinking of heading down at the weekend and would like some tips for seeing the green woodpeckers (I haven't seen any for a while). Also where would be the best place to park the car. Cheers

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Simon Gough wrote:

Hi,

Rob and I said it would have been nice to meet you on Sunday morning, we were rather in twitch mode and got going fairly soon. I would have liked to have found those green woodpeckers too to be honest. The pukka Iceland Gull in Blackpool was calling us though...

I love the little note about the bus company, always happy to hear nuggets like that.

I'm sure we'll cross paths at some point






I thought exactly the same, Simon, real shame to have missed you & Rob. We were doing a leisurely trawl around local sites so not in twitch mode at all, recovering from the Little Bustard twitch on New Years Day I suppose!! I think we may have been along the west shore when you were there as we saw two birders stood with scopes in East Bay from across the lake, so near & yet so far smile Next time I hope smile

Never heard of Water Voles at this site but that's not to say they aren't there, but it is a well surveyed area so it would probably be a new occurance if they were. For future reference if anyone is interested it's a great dragonfly site with Downy Emerald being its speciality, the ride above the fishing pool is the hotspot for them, well worth a look as this is a stunning insect with bright green eyes smile

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Hi Simon,just seen your post I was one of the Stockport Birders and nice to meet you and Rob.
I am new to register so this is my first message.
It was indeed a great crisp day and the first time there for us,and very pleased we went,thanks for helping us find the Smew so quick I was expecting it to take much longer!
We also heard Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming and saw two together so they may have paired up?We also heard on two separate occasions a loud plop into the water,which may of been Water Voles? Not sure if they are around there? Also great to know that there are Yellowhammers about,we saw good views of them including a very bright male at Old Moor reserve last week.
All the best and hope to see you again.

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Wednesday 7th of January 2015 11:28:35 PM

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Hi,

Rob and I said it would have been nice to meet you on Sunday morning, we were rather in twitch mode and got going fairly soon. I would have liked to have found those green woodpeckers too to be honest. The pukka Iceland Gull in Blackpool was calling us though...

I love the little note about the bus company, always happy to hear nuggets like that.

I'm sure we'll cross paths at some point




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It was a bit later than that Simon, you are right. That female Tuftie has been around all winter and as Rob says she makes you look twice as she has an incredible amount of white around her beak, but everything else about her is Tufted Duck and I have seen some like her in the past, especially when Chorlton WP was my old patch in it's heyday of huge aythya flocks smile

It does look good for Goldeneye but aint seen one there this winter but Teal can get on both Big Pool (which they were when I was there on Sunday - down the cut behind the island) and more often on the smaller fishing pool.

Local info since you bring up the strange road name - Novia Scotia Lane leads to the area called Novia Scotia (never seems to be labelled on many maps as that though) which spawned a local bus company that used to serve our area but Arriva undercut them on all routes and they are now no more, shame really as they were a small local company!! Bit off track but thought I'd drop that bit of Local History in lol biggrin

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Simon Gough wrote:

Rob Creek and I went down to see the Smew this morning, arrived at about 10 and there it was no more than 50-60 yards off the bank, seen from one of the little fishing bays at the Eastern end. Smashing little bird, smaller than I expected in fact. Neither Rob nor myself had seen one before. He got some great photos too. As we left the bird was appearing to gravitate more to the open water, it had been hugging the shore over 30 mins or so till then. I guess Doc is talking about later on in the day for an intermission?

Also seen around the lake:
2 Kingfisher
Lots of common water birds including a Tufted Duck female with the classic deceptive Scaup-like white on the face
No Teal we could see but it didn't look muddy enough for them, also looked good for Goldeneye but we didn't see any

In the trees back on Novascotia Lane (great roadnames in Cheshire...) we heard and saw 2 Nuthatch and heard a Great Spotted Woodpecker and 2 Green Woodpecker

It is a really nice spot to be honest, and the clean, crisp morning was joyous to be sure.






Further to Simon's post...
As stated the red-head Smew was a Lifer for me, that was the start of good things to come.
The Smew was constantly diving, within a second of surfacing it was down again, and at first we got very brief views but myself and Simon were right on it. We were joined by 2 Stockport birders (nice to meet you both) who kept missing it but they soon got it!

Other birds of note...
-Lots of Wigeon
-Plenty of Gadwall including a brightly coloured billed female
-Only 2 Pochard (both Drakes)
-Great Crested Grebes
-lots of Tufted Duck
-the female Tufted Duck Simon mentions was well worth another look but she was a Tufted Duck
-1 female Shoveler bit further round bank from the Smew
-lots of Black-headed Gulls
-the 2 Kingfisher chasing each other was a nice sighting

I must admit the 2 Green Woodpeckers we heard 'Yaffling' to each other I didn't expect this early, probably March, but they were in full voice around the farm to the right where we parked up.
Also a Yellowhammer calling in the top the tree we we stood under, very loud, but we couldn't see it!
A lovely area indeed!





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Rob Creek and I went down to see the Smew this morning, arrived at about 10 and there it was no more than 50-60 yards off the bank, seen from one of the little fishing bays at the Eastern end. Smashing little bird, smaller than I expected in fact. Neither Rob nor myself had seen one before. He got some great photos too. As we left the bird was appearing to gravitate more to the open water, it had been hugging the shore over 30 mins or so till then. I guess Doc is talking about later on in the day for an intermission?

Also seen around the lake:
2 Kingfisher
Lots of common water birds including a Tufted Duck female with the classic deceptive Scaup-like white on the face
No Teal we could see but it didn't look muddy enough for them, also looked good for Goldeneye but we didn't see any

In the trees back on Novascotia Lane (great roadnames in Cheshire...) we heard and saw 2 Nuthatch and heard a Great Spotted Woodpecker and 2 Green Woodpecker

It is a really nice spot to be honest, and the clean, crisp morning was joyous to be sure.




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Redhead Smew still present this morning slap bang in the middle of East Bay on Big Pool. It had been missing for about an hour and a half before it appeared, probably having swum out from under the overhanging vegetation of the large island to the left of East Bay. A nice flock of 5+Bullfinch too, 3 of which stopped in trees and were seen to be stunning males. Lots of Long-tailed Tits about too and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were drumming and 'chicking' on a sunny, frosty morning, great to be out & about smile

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RBA Pager reports Smew still present today smile

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No John it's never got across on the smaller fishing pool, chatted to lacal patchers and the info services and they had put out the wrong info, calling Big Pool the 'fishing pool'. See my post earlier for explanation, the small pool has the fishing car parks and is stocked with fish so we know it as the fishing pool. Big Pool has a few carp anglers usually but is known as Big Pool or Large Pit and that is where the Smew always has been. It favours East Bay but can go missing for over an hour at a time in the vegetation at the fringes of the island on the left. It was there yesterday & I will be going tomorrow so will report back. Hope to see you & Liz around smile

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No Smew at 15:45 from the small peninsular - I gather it sometimes visits the smaller Fishing Pool but not today. Any other favourite spots ?

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Just had customers in who tell me they have been watching the redhead Smew again today in its usual location in East Bay on Big Pool

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Good to know it is still about Richard, my planned New Years Day start there was rudely interrupted by a Little Bustard turning up in Yorkshire which I had to twitch today wink

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The redhead Smew was still resident this morning around 0900. It was in the middle and towards the small peninsula that comes in from the SE side. Also a Green Woodpecker was about. No sign of Velvet Scoter.

-- Edited by richard howells 2 on Thursday 1st of January 2015 05:31:52 PM

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With news yesterday of a juvenile Velvet Scoter on Newchurch Common Big Lake I popped down again to see if it had stayed overnight. Several folk were there but no sign of the scoter, a shame that it didn't linger into 2015 for a good year tick. The redhead Smew was in its usual bay on the eastern side of the Big Pool showing well at pretty close range. Viewed from the eastern shoreline I have seen this bird several times and with patience close views can usually be obtained. Access isn't bad around the lake, but I go there regularly and its a bit off piste in places, wellies are recommended!

This water is only a mile or so from my house but I usually only visit for dragonflies (Downy Emerald is a speciality here) but hopefully can clarify directions for others. The two main pools lie either side of the track running down form the roadside parking at Novia Scotia. Locally the lefthand pool is know as the Fishing Pool/Pit, as it has two fishermans car parks adjacent to it and is a stocked lake so is the preferential fishing lake. The pool on the right is known as the Big Pool/Large Pit and is usually fished mainly by carp anglers. The ducks favour Big Pool, and the Smew has never left this pool during its recent stay. Some info networks have put out its location as fishing pool and folk there today expressed their confusion over this, a couple going straight to the smaller pit in error. If anyone is heading down for New Year ticks the Big Pool is on the RHS, the Smew is in the E.Bay and other species on this pit include Tufted Duck, Pochard, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Gadwall, Great Crested Grebe, Dabchick and Cormorant with Siskins, Bullfinches and Redwings in the lakeside alders. The grid ref for the middle of Big Pool is SJ605691, hope this explanation helps smile

-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Wednesday 31st of December 2014 10:44:16 PM

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Smew still present this morning at extreme eastern end of lake, If your planning a visit best take a scope as its a large piece of water and didn't look to have great access around complete perimeter.

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Redhead Smew still in Eastern part of fishing pool at 11.15
From Sandy Way/Nova Scotia Way along path and pool on the right.
Also many Wigeon, Little Grebe, Gadwall, Peregrine Falcon Common Buzzard and Bullfinch.

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Smew showing well yesterday at about 3pm off the eastern bank - about 20-30 feet out.

Also lots of Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Gadwall and Mallard, loads of Coot and a few Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe and Little Grebe. Around the pool some small flocks of Redwing and Fieldfare.

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Smew showed well this morning from the eastern corner of the pool. Lets hope it stays for another couple of weeks!!!!

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A fishing pool a mile or so south of Sandiway, best accessed from the Nova Scotia Lane/Sandy Lane end (the east end). Redhead Smew fishing at the western end close up against the bank at 1530 today. Been there a couple of days. Another birder there intimated that it had been at Astbury Mere and Westport Lake previously

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