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Post Info TOPIC: Moore NR


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Moore NR


Evening visit to the east end. Highlights.

Black Fields Pool; Lapwing (8), Canada Geese and Goslings, Little Grebe, Buzzard, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Black-headed Gull.

Pumphouse Pool from Colins Hide; Lapwing, Oystercatcher (2), 2 juv Pied Wagtail, Green Woodpecker, Shelduck, Great Crested and Little Grebe, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Moorhen, Coot, Water Rail +juv.

Pumphouse Pool from West Hide; Kingfisher, Lesser Black Backed Gull.

Birchwood Pool from East (Fox) Hide; 17 Canada Geese, Little Grebe, Kingfisher, Tufted Duck, Pochard (1m), Grey Heron - tried to grab, in flight, with beak, the Little Grebe from off the surface of the water - never seen that before! 

Phoenix Hide over Millbrook Pool; 2 more Kingfisher (possibly from Pumphouse?), Mute Swan and 2 cygnets. 2 Grey Wagtails. Reed Bunting in flight between reedbeds. Great Crested Grebe feeding juv.

Good handful of Swifts over, 1 Sand Martin, 11 House Martin and 10+ Swallows also seen during the wander.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 28th of June 2022 09:34:37 PM

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Few hours from dawn, parking at the Yellow Gate to the Manchester Ship Canal, along the Canal at the West End of the patch at Halfway House, back via Owens Wood, Upper Moss Side, Lapwing Lane (North) as far as Birchwood Pool then back to retrieve the car.

Raptors: Kestrel, Peregrine (Stobart Building), Buzzard.

Waders: Double figure Oystercatchers on the Mersey at Halfway House. Lapwings increasing on the Banks as the tide went out - some circulation of birds between banks by Wigg Island and Penketh Bar but 110+ including juveniles (-1 perhaps to Peregrine....;). Single Green Sandpiper on the canal "beach" East of Randall Sluice.

Small numbers Shelduck (6/7) on the River. Plenty Canada Goose inc young (30+).

Two birders popped out of Owens Wood when I was at Round Cherval and put me onto a Spotted Flycatcher at the South Bank of the wood, watched for a few minutes then it flew South towards Oxmoor at 8:14.

Path round Norton Marsh to Upper Moss Side too brambly to bash through - stupidly I had put shorts on and forgot Cleg spray anyway! 

Garden Warbler in the usual corner by the Yellow Bar Gate off Lapwing Lane and one in the wood by the old canal. Lots of Whitethroat along the ship canal. Chiffchaffs in equal numbers to Lapwing (edit: Whitethroat), many fewer Blackcaps than recent years (by guesswork / judgement / feeling of juju; not from records).

All Hirundines present along the Ship Canal (10s+ Swallow, 2/3 Martins) - tending South with Swifts (8/9) overhead as well.

Bullfinch, Linnet, Blue, Coal and Great Tits together with Song Thrush made up the best of the rest. (Plus a few of the usual gulls, corvids and ducks and grebes, but nothing unusual in amongst).

 

 

 

 

 


-- Edited by Andy Slee on Thursday 23rd of June 2022 06:39:26 PM

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Quick visit on return from work; Lapwing Lane Pool and Birchwood Pool.

Lapwing Lane Hide looking over pool 6 Little Grebe, 2 sets Coot and chicks (3+5), Great Crested Grebe with 2 chicks. 8 Pochard (4m, 4f). 12 Canada Geese and three Goslings. 1 Male Gadwall starting to show signs of moult, sadly pushing around and around a dead female Gadwall (presume dead, neck position had head underwater, movement of body only with breeze observed for 30 minutes). 2 Reed Warblers going to left of hide with feed in beaks to counter bad ju-ju on the duck front.

Birchwood Pool. One male Teal dropped in. Four Black-headed Gulls. Treecreeper. Kingfisher family (M+F+Juv) in SW corner. Greylag on Island. 4 Swift over, 13 Swallow. Blue, Great and Long-Tailed Tits. Robin and Nuthatch on path through woods, plus Willow, Chiffchaff and single Garden Warbler at gate to Lapwing Lane. No Blackcap?



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Thought on the way home I better sneak an afternoon visit in as the last for the month and was rewarded with a 2022 patch tick of House Martin, of which there were six on Pumphouse Pool with eight Sand Martin.

Present with young were Great crested Grebe and Coot. Kingfisher, Little Grebe, Pochard, Swift, Song Thrush, Lapwing, Jay, Pied Wagtail, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Gadwall, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and Willow Warbler made up the rest of the supporting cast visible / audible from Colin's Hide between 15:00 and 16:00.

Ten visits in the month, 64.6 miles walked - much time was spent sitting this month at Halfway House either a) cursing my ability to read tide tables with respect to GMT / BST b) accepting the randomness of the tide on the Mersey whilst waiting for Penketh Bar to flood / clear.

Year foot mileage total 514 now, no other sources other than walking employed for travel this month and no video trail cameras deployed this month. Eight new patch avian species in the month and two species converted from Video only to Mk1 Eyeball. 



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 31st of May 2022 04:55:20 PM

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Again three Commic Terns (I presume Common but they have been 300-400 yards away) ahead of me on the Ship Canal (they would have been around Randall Sluice which often has swarms of sprat type small silvery fish in the spring and summer months) and as I walked to Halfway House appeared to cross over Round Cherval toward the Mersey River.

No sign during an hour watching the river, which having got my BST/GMT the wrong way around had very little upon and rapidly diminishing banks for any waders! An hour passed, Gadwall, Canada Grouse, Black-headed, Lesser and Great Black-backed Gulls, Rook (single), Crows and Jackdaw on the diminishing Bank, Shelduck flypast, six pairs of Oystercatchers past for at least a wader species for the day and raptors, one Buzzard. 

Then as I was heading back through Owens Wood to Lapwing Lane, a last glance over the river and three Commic Terns are going East up the Mersey (towards Warrington). Anyone keeping an eye on Fiddlers Ferry lagoons now the power station is shut, wonder if that is where they are coming to / from? Not seen Terns here as frequently ever (each individual visit over the last 13 days) as I have this year around HWH and the Mersey on Upper Moss Side.



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Two Commic Terns East down the Ship Canal early morn; they looked to cross over to the Mersey around Round Cherval but I couldn't find them when I got there. A few Black headed but mostly Lesser black-backed gulls on the mud (~28) from all CYs.

Interesting "chocolatey Pintail like" white breasted Mallard / Muscovy hybrid with young on the Ship Canal at Randal Sluices.

Several Grey Herons about, Greylag and Canada with Goslings.

Single Kingfisher going West down Ship Canal. Cormorant, Coot, Gadwall on Ship Canal.

On the river only waders were Lapwing and Oystercatcher.

Raptor - Buzzard only.

5 Swallows on the Ship Canal.

Skylark family on Norton Marsh.

Warblers much quieter now, though still not heard / seen Lesser Whitethroat this year at Moore.

Bullfinch seemed very ascendant, at least 5 pairs as I walked the loop today from the Crossroads to HWH over the Marsh and back via the farm track.

Yellow Wagtail in corner field of Lapwing Lane by Bobs Bridge.

 



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Black Fields Pools, single Redshank still, Lapwing, Pochard, Teal (4), Canada Goose (8), single Oystercatchers and Grey Heron. Pale Buzzard circling on high and Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and Willow Warbler all present. Reed Warbler on path in from Morely Common.

Pumphouse Pool, single Sand Martin and two swallows. Few Coot, Little Grebe, Moorhen. One Oystercatcher. Kingfisher, Tufted duck (2 pairs), single Shoveler and Pied Flycatcher. Green Woodpecker heard calling towards the woods by the capped tip.

Past Birchwood Pool (Lesser Black-backed Gull, Canada Goose, both Grebe) and back up to the car park held Robin, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Dunnock and not too much else. Sparrowhawk in the woods near the feeding station and Reed and Sedge Warblers on the reeds by the tip drainage channel North of the feeding Station. 



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2hrs at Moore today, feeling again it might be good for waders if Woolston would be kind enough to send a few West from todays passage there (ha-ha).

Half Way House was my first place to aim for.

Four species of Gull were on Stobbies Warehouse roof observable from the walk down the MSC path on the way to Half Way House - Common, Black-headed, Lesser-black Backed and Great Black-back.

Scanning the ever expanding Penketh Bar as the tide fell three Ringed Plover and five Dunlin were observed. A Swift also flew overhead and thus three year patch ticks were gained. 

Kestrel, Reed Bunting, Stonechat, Buzzard, Skylark seen over / on Norton Marsh, with a Kingfisher flyover.

 

Back to the car to scoot to the other [east] end.

Black Fields Pools held Lapwing, Pochard, Teal, Canada Goose, Buzzard, Redshank, Coot (+brood of three), Moorhen, Grey Heron.

Pumphouse Pool held Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper, Lapwing both Grebes and Shoveler.

When I totted up my list for the whole two hours, given I didn't spend any time in the Woods at the centre of the reserve so missed a few tit species, I was surprised my list was 76 species for the wander, my highest single patch list to date for Moore. I wonder if sometimes one is "blind" to the everyday species and one forgets to count them. Had 69 in a winter period without Warblers but with Winter Duck, more Gull species, more Tits and winter Thrushes etc.

Full list....

  • Collared Dove
  • Common Gull
  • Common Sandpiper (1)
  • Coot
  • Cormorant
  • Crow
  • Cuckoo (heard on tip from Lapwing Lane)
  • Dunlin (5)
  • Dunnock
  • Feral Pigeon
  • Gadwall
  • Goldcrest
  • Goldfinch
  • Grasshopper Warbler (3 all Norton Marsh)
  • Great Black-backed Gull
  • Great Crested Grebe
  • Grey Heron
  • Grey Partridge (1 - Triangle Field, Lapwing Lane)
  • Grey Wagtail (1)
  • Greylag Goose
  • Herring Gull
  • House Sparrow
  • Jackdaw
  • Jay
  • Kestrel
  • Kingfisher
  • Lapwing
  • Lesser-black Backed Gull
  • Little Grebe
  • Magpie
  • Mallard
  • Moorhen
  • Mute Swan
  • Nuthatch
  • Oystercatcher
  • Pheasant
  • Pied Wagtail
  • Pochard (m+f)
  • Raven
  • Redshank (1)
  • Reed Bunting
  • Reed Warbler
  • Ringed Plover (3)
  • Robin
  • Rook
  • Sand Martin
  • Sedge Warbler 
  • Shelduck
  • Shoveler
  • Skylark
  • Song Thrush
  • Sparrowhawk
  • Starling
  • Stock Dove
  • Stonechat (1)
  • Swallow (12)
  • Swift (2)
  • Teal
  • Tufted Duck
  • Water Rail
  • Whitethroat
  • Willow Warbler
  • Wood Pigeon
  • Wren
  • Yellowhammer

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Thursday 12th of May 2022 06:47:43 PM



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Thursday 12th of May 2022 08:56:43 PM

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Covered most of the reserve today.

Wader were the main highlights again today though nothing new or unusual - 5 Common Sandpiper (2 Halfway House, two MSC, one Pumphouse Pool), Lapwing, Greenshank (Halfway House), Redshank (Black Fields Pools), Oystercatcher, including a pair in the wood by Birchwood Pool?

Buzzard (2) and Kestrel for the Raptors.

Mallard, Coot and Moorhen Broods seen.

Whitethroats and Kingfishers both seen with nesting material.

Only one Swallow and three Sand Martin all day.

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Friday 6th of May 2022 04:41:48 PM



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Thought the weather and tide looked good for potential waders on the River at Moore and was treated to a Greenshank and a fly over Whimbrel but little else. Shelduck, Lesser-black Backed Gull, Black-headed Gull and Canada Goose on the River also.

Cetti's, Sedge, Grasshopper (3 off) and Reed Warbler on Norton Marsh with Reed Bunting, Whitethroat and Stonechat (pair). Yellowhammer heard but not seen near "Tree Sparrow" corner on the upper Moss Side path.

Buzzard in the Lapwing Lane woods and few of the common tit species, Robin and Nuthatch.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Wednesday 4th of May 2022 09:46:15 PM

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Went for a short walk to retrieve a camera (plus hopes of seeing some as yet unpatched migrants) left overnight watching Penketh Bar. I'll re-edit this post with the camera list when I've been through the photos.

Ploughed field at the start of the path to Upper Moss Side - movement in field, go to scan, female Wheatear, nice, then in a nearby furrow dark thrush like tail seen, "put you head up, head up not tail" and the bird does. Ring Ouzel! First on Moore for me for a couple of decades and first self found! Nice to hear the info services worked and a couple of other birders at least got down and on the bird.

Feeling the day couldn't improve (I must be coming to the end of my recent purple patch on Moore) I go to Norton Marsh, pass a reeling Grasshopper Warbler 30m west along the bund from the ex-hide concrete pad and at Mersey shoreline a swallow goes past up the Mersey (what did I say yesterday about clegs beating swallows to the patch).

Miscellany noted on the return to the car, two coot broods, 3 and 2 chicks, one Moorhen brood, 3 chicks. Redshank (2), Little Ringed Plover (2), Oystercatcher (6), Shelduck (10), Lapwing (8), Reed Warblers and Whitethroats in all the usual haunts.

And then to cap it all (pun coming up, coat is being retrieved as we speak) for the day as I pass the Capped Tip north of Lapwing Lane that familiar spring two-tone call of the Cuckoo drifts over. 10 minutes patience, stopping, listening, refining direction along Lapwing Lane and I'm rewarded with a perfect flyby as the Cuckoo comes off Capped Tip and heads for Long Field / Upper Moss Side/ Norton Marsh.

 

Think that is the final visit for April, patch list year to date 113 species (two video only!). 20 species added in the month including three patch lifers (caveat need to analyse the raw photo files that the trail cam used to make a 24 hr video, might be another year tick caught on camera that I'd previously put down as a possible). 448 miles walked on patch YTD, plus 13 miles cycled, 26 kayaked.

 

NOTE: Moore Swing Bridge has now got a "road closed" sign for 8:00 - 16:00 on both 30 April / 1 May and 7/8 May, whether you will be able to walk over the bridge into Moore NR still I do not know. Access from Wigg Island or Morley Common and walk into the reserve, a couple of miles from each access point.



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Short route round the west end of the patch today. Parked at Bens Bridge, down to Halfway House, back via Norton Marsh and Lapwing Lane.

Year ticks; Ruff (Halfway House on northern mudflats of Mersey), Garden Warbler (Bens bridge), Grasshopper Warbler (reeds by Quay on Manchester Ship Canal opposite Stobart's Warehouse) and Whitethroat.

Grey Heron, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Mallard, Cormorant, Common Sandpiper, Great Crested Grebe, Mute Swan on the Ship Canal.

Cetti's Warbler, Reed Warbler, Skylark, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Bullfinch, Pied Wagtail around the farm fields.

Sparrowhawk soaring over the raptor viewpoint with two Buzzards. Heart wants to say Goshawk, but despite being almost 2/3rds the size of the Buzzards, neat square tail and pale contrasting under barring, just couldn't get a good view on chest size as bird rose higher. Have seen a very large female Sparrowhawk over Lapwing Lane a month or so ago so will go down as one of those enigma sightings, a bit like the light morph Buzzard often seen near the Eastern Reedbeds which always makes one start to think Honey Buzzard??????.

First clegs of the year came out in the afternoon sun and started biting down the Norton Marsh end! First tim I've had clegs bite me before seeing a swallow!



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Short stroll round the Eastern Reedbeds, Colins Hide and the Black Fields Pools paths both low and high level.

Path to Phoenix Hide. Blackcap, Great Tit, Cetti's Warbler, Buzzard.

Eastern Reedbed. Water Rail, Little Grebe, pair Pochard, single Shovler, pair Mute Swan, Reed Warbler, Grey Heron, Canada Geese, Teal.

Colin's Hide. Chaffinch, Lapwing (8), Gadwall, Black-headed Gull, Pied Wagtail (7) with White Wagtail, Common Sandpiper, Oystercatcher Little Ringed Plover.

Black Fields Pools. Sedge Warblers (3), Cetti's Warbler (2), Wren, Linnet, Teal.

An just off "the patch" as I went past Morely Common in the car, three Ring-Necked Parakeets flew over NW, had I been at the Pheonix Hide I'm sure I'd have seen them.



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A Lesser Whitethroat was singing, close to the junction of Lapwing Lane and Moss Side Lane, at around midday on Saturday 23 April.

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Decided the walk to HWH (Halfway House) should be from the other [West] side for variety so came in from Wigg Island on my recuperative wanderings today.

I must admit in hindsight the route in from Wigg Island is a bit more "industrial" than that from the Moore swing bridge crossroad and some of the smells coming off the water leaching from Randles tip into the ship canal via puddles in the track smell quite "chemical" (this area was a mustard gas factory in WW2 and then Randles tip a landfill that pretty much all the crap from cleaning up the mustard gas factory that couldn't be recovered went into.

But that didn't seem to worry the Common Sandpiper dashing about the edge of the ship canal near the sluices, the Western Osprey that overflew me at the start of the walk but the best bit as always was reaching the Western end of Moore "patch" at Halfway House, to Cetti's Warblers, Oystecatchers, Stonechat, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Whitethroat and a sought 'target' of mine this year on "Moore Patch" Wheatear (been trying for over three weeks seeing reports of them elsewhere on patch). Not one but four (1m, 3f) on the fenceposts on Norton Marsh when viewed from Owens Wood. 

Mods - if image is inappropriate as a map of location please remove, recently had a few birders I've seen at Moore ask me how to get to Halfway House so thought it would be a useful addition to the thread. Red shows the footpaths - mostly public, not sure about Owens Wood path. Lime cross is Halfway House. Blue Cross in Round Cherval. Black Cross is Owens Wood viewpoint over Norton Marsh from the South (you go into Owens Wood behind the Etheylene Pipeline Monitoring Station or come along the Shore from Round Cherval). North side of Norton Marsh can be seen from the finger of red path at the same level as the "M" in Mersey.

 

 

 

 



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Crossroads to Halfway House (HWH)

Chiffchaff, Blackcap, one Shelduck on the Manchester Ship Canal, bit of an unusual sighting given it was low tide on the estuary.

Looking over the estuary a single Lapwing, four Curlew, two Great Black-backed Gulls, Cormorants, Gadwall and Mallards, Shelduck distant towards Widnes. Canada Goose on Fiddlers Ferry Marshes, Corvids a plenty.

Six different Skylarks singing coming back from Round Cherval, past Penketh Bar, Norton Marsh (ex) Hide location back to Lapwing Lane.

Down to the East end by car then walk back into the reserve. Coot, Teal, Canada Goose, Kestrel, Eight Lapwing and one Redshank on Back Fields Pools; getting to Colin's Field (by Pumphouse Pool) the Buzzards are up in the air with the Gulls at something...Western Osprey over Arpley Tip heading North.

Pumphouse Pool, two Lapwing, one Little Ringed Plover, Willow Warbler, Merlin through left to right in front of Colin's Hide, caught something small off the scrape, not sure what (amphibian?). Supporting cast of Little Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Black-headed Gull, Shovler, Gadwall and Tufted Duck.

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Sunday 10th of April 2022 05:53:55 PM

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Stuck to a car to get around the various parking spots at ends of the reserve today and covered both extremities.

Six Blackcap seen so another one off the year list. Low tide at Halfway House produced Lapwing (8) and three Black-tailed Godwits, one almost fully in summer plumage. Whilst watching these I heard Shelduck flying in, patch life tick, one of the four was a Ruddy Shelduck (there were some hanging around Spike Island late last year so perhaps this was a returnee of that posse)?

Little Ringed Plover still present at the Eastern End and Willow Warbler heard in numerous places along Birchwood Pool.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Friday 1st of April 2022 05:13:57 PM



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Using a couple of one way transport links (*), somewhat repeating last weeks recuperative walk, took 5hrs hrs for what is usually a 2.5hr double traverse of the reserve on foot, water and rubber.

Was hoping for Blackcap but failed though did meet other birders whom had heard them.

Norton Marsh, Meadow Pipit, 6 Snipe and a pair (m+f) Stonechat were observed, plus a very large pale Grey Heron. No waders, got my tide times wrong and there was no Penketh Bar visible. Hightailed past the back of Richmond Bank (now also obscured by tide) back via the main pools. Single Goldeneye (m) left on Birchwood Pool. Tufted Duck and two Black-Headed Gull.

Two Pied Wagtail Pumphouse Pool; supporting cast of two Greater Black-backed Gulls, Pochards, Little Grebe, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck. Then on the scrape created late 2021 (or at least enlarged and cleared of vegetation) from Colins Hide, two Little Ringed Plover, one Redshank, two Oystercatcher, three Lapwing and 5-7 Sand Martin.

Back Fields Pools (anyone correct me I have heard Black Fields Pools recently as a term also; as well as Back Fields) held Green Sandpiper, plenty of Teal, five buzzards including one very pale one - a regular here which always makes you look twice and thrice, Starling, two Grey Heron, Canada Geese, three Cetti's warbler on territory and Chiffchaff everywhere.

Siskin in Alders by Phoenix hide.

(*) left a car at the east end of the reserve, drove second car and portaged into the Mersey at Wigg, coming back out at WCML at Lower Walton to bicycle back to HWH and back to the WCML before going back to get the car we went to Wigg in! Not sure we actually saved any carbon footprint c.f. just driving from site to site, perhaps next time we will stick to bikes!

#BigLocalYear, 39 visits in 2022, 93 species so far (only two summer migrants in the 93 so I expect 100 will be broken in the next few weeks). Main omissions from usual species seen by now years in the past are two Owl species, Yellowhammer, Linnet and Grey Partridge. White Winger gulls and overwintering Bittern seem lost from Moore these days post 2016 as well. 229 miles walked. 13 miles cycled. 26 miles canoed up and down the Mersey.

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Wednesday 30th of March 2022 06:52:03 PM



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Wednesday 30th of March 2022 06:52:59 PM



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My first Blackcap of the year, a m singing lustily from woods, this morning.

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Recuperative walk at a slow pace whilst getting through some health issues, actually a slow pace is good for observation, but not so good when two hours into a route that usually only takes me 2 hrs in total I'm only only half way around!

Went West from the Crossroads at the car parks. Chiffchaffs every 100 yrds it seemed on territory singing away up until Half Way House, three separate Cettis Warbler in the area along the MSC by HWH. Eight Grey Herons visible in a 360 from HWH and two Little Egret.

No waders at all on the Mersey despite Penketh Bank and Bar being exposed to the returning tide, three Great Black Backed Gulls and a few Black Headed Gulls.

Returned over the back fields to Norton Marsh, still a few Redwing, one Tree Sparrow, female Peregrine. Whooper Swan flew along the Mersey.

2 pairs Bullfinch on Upper Moos Side. Met a couple of birders who solved the mystery of the hide disappearing "as too expensive to maintain so FC had removed the asset" Booo. However, did get within eight foot of a little Egret whom also hadn't realised the hide had gone! Be interesting to see if the Warbler that used to reel just outside the hide west window will establish a territory there again this year?

Wigeon seem to have moved off from Lapwing Lane Pool, got too tired and couldn't get further down to Birchwood Pool to see if the Goldeneye were still about. Still 54 species in a few hours wasn't shabby.

Year list stands at 89 on 34 visits, ca 124hrs on patch and 203 miles walked.

Turns out from percomms on social media, the Moore Wader-fest today was down the East End with Snipe, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Green Sandpiper and Curlew all down there!



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Late visit for an hour or so to clear cobwebs from a bug.

Still a few Wigeon on Lapwing lane.

2 Goldeneye (M+F) on Birchwood Pool with Kingfisher resplendent in the setting sun in the SE corner.

To provide the juxtaposition of the seasons, by Colin's Hide a Fieldfare and four Redwing. In the opposite field, a absolutely knackered looking Chiffchaff was flying one tree at a time away from me at my walking pace (which was funereal for me today). Turned out to be the first of six or seven Chiffchaffs I saw between the Eastern Reedbeds and the car park crossroads.

Two Oystercatchers on Pumphouse Pool spit. Very white underwinged buzzard on Colin's field, plus three Meadow Pipits.

Green Woodpecker vocal in the woods to the east of Colin's field, not seen though. Redshank over calling.

Common Gull in amongst the Black-headed Gulls, one Black-headed Gull displaying slightly rosy tinges, may have been a trick of the 6pm sun?

Pair of Great Crested Grebes doing the mating dance on Birchwood pool on return.



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Morning walk today 08:15-11:15. Gs Woodpecker at least 6x, 5x Treecreeper, 3x Nuthatch, 3x Bullfinch, 1x Brambling, 1x Willow tit, 20x Goldcrest, 7x Siskin, 5x Mistle Thrush, 4x Song Thrush, 7x Redwing

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Almost summer like today on the Costa Del Ship Canal as I headed from Moore Village down to the crossroads and West as far as Halfway House (HWH). Highlight the outward trip was a Merlin near HWH. 47 Lapwing on Penketh Bank, solitary Great Black-backed Gull with a low number (less than 200) of Black-headed Gulls. (Anyone know of any good software for "dot counting" when analysing images - I had some about 3 PCs ago but forget the name, though it seemed to work on you analysed the colour of the dot, it worked out how many pixels there were of that in the total photo and associated colours(?) and how many pixels were in the "test dots" you assigned, then divided one by the other, so it wasn't a true counting software).

2 pairs Bullfinch on the walk from the Ship Canal to the ex Norton Marsh Hide. A few winter thrushes still about. Single Goldcrest in the hedges but very quite otherwise.

Replacement observation post at Norton Marsh Hide leaves a bit to be desired (discussion with other birders that Marbury have had it "stolen to order" may or may not prove true when the new hide goes up there!).

It does appear that there has been a recent visit from Pete and Bernies' Philosophical Ornithological Society however! Never did find out from Forestry Commission why the old hide had ben removed and local friends that live on Moore were unware also as has been every single birder I've quizzed on the issue

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Sunday 27th of February 2022 05:08:59 PM



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Visit to the West of the reserve today pm.

23 Wigeon on Lapwing Lane Pool.

4 Bullfinch (2m2f) on path to ex Norton Marsh Hide. Remaining screens destroyed and much detritus on Norton Marsh from recent storms / surges. Peregrine sat on an Owl Box on the back field just before before the NM hide. Pair Ravens sky dancing over Norton Marsh.

Forestry Commission screen by Snipe fields destroyed by recent winds. 200m of path flooded. Wear wellies if going down the middle path North of Lapwing Lake.

7 Grey Partridge on fields North of Lapwing Lane.

Feeders held Coal, Blue, Great LT Tit and Chaffinch today in a 30 minute viewing.



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After my fence came down in the storm last night, with a few spare hours today that I could fix it but not a spare fence panel in town ("six weeks mate, should have bought some Thursday") I thought I'd ignore home life and use birding as therapy and go to Moore; visit #21 for the year. Generally stayed on the main wide tracks to give space to dodge any falling branches. There does look a lot of "loose stuff" still in the trees that might well fall in the next few days, even without a storm so careful out here. Signs of trees down but I think more from teh Friday storm as there were dog prints and human footprints already forming avoiding paths where they were over the main path.

Redshank, seven Teal, two coot and two Tufted duck on the landfill sump pool (you have to climb the bank of the path North of the Eastern reedbeds to see these pools, around the location of the lifebelt at the top of the bank give a good view, easy in winter but once the brambles start difficult to get up). Photo from bank attached.

11 Siskin behind Colin's Hide (suspect more from the noise but the wind gusting made it hard to latch onto which trees they may be in, they could have been further into the covert). 43 Gadwall on Pumphouse, my highest ever count since 2006. 1 Herring Gull in amongst the Black-headed Gulls.

All four Goldeneye still present on Birchwood Pool, be sad when they move on, but then that should mean spring migrants coming through to replace them.

79 species for patch list so far this year, with strange omissions of Greenfinch, Kingfisher and Pied Wagtail and whilst I finally got Kestrel a couple of visits ago to improve the raptor count strangely Owlless.

Got to the Ship Canal, not as wild as it was at the storm surge on Sunday, but still "surfable waves".

 

 



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Quick wander around before the next few days high winds, don't fancy being near all those trees with the ground so waterlogged, bound to be a few down.

Highlights, Merlin, 55 Siskin, 12 Redpoll (all down East Reedbed end). Singing Marsh Tit between Birchwood Pool and Lapwing Lane.

Birchwood Pool, 4 Goldeneye, and supporting cast of Great Crested and Little Grebe, Gadwall, 2 Oystercatchers, Black-headed Gulls, Shoveler, Shelduck, Tufted Duck, Cormorant and Mallard.



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Looped back round to Moore;  two of the three usual Woodpeckers species seen and on Lapwing Lane a Crow with a White Wing (right side from behind). I noted one on 2015, then haven't been much 2016 - 2019 and haven't seen a white winged Crow since frequent visits in 2020? Same bird? 






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Dawn walk to the Mersey end of the reserve.

In-between showers, plenty of Song Thrush, Blackbird and Dunnock making for an increasingly loud dawn chorus.

Other than that fairly quiet until Randall Sluices where ca. 150 Black-headed Gulls were feeding on what looked like silvery sprat type fish jumping out the surface.

Two buzzards were in the same area.

Turning North to view the Mersey on Penketh Bar were 12 Curlew (some were already leaving the roost as I was walking along to Round Cherval, so possibly 30 or more in total had roosted), 272 Lapwing, 4 Oystercatcher and a solitary Redshank.

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Monday 14th of February 2022 09:30:33 AM



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Monday 14th of February 2022 09:38:39 AM

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3 hour visit today, 33 species seen including

 

1 Willow Tit

2 Treecreepers

2 Buzzard

4 Goldeneye

8 Little Grebe

1 Great Crested Grebe

250+ Black Headed Gull

5 Common Gull

2 Oytercatcher



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No probs mate, an old school protractor sounds like the most reliable way.

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Ta Rob,

I actually took my 1970s school protractor with me the next day! How old school and quaint is that!

I should have said "can't conclude is it just an excessively white cormorant, or either was Sinesis or Leucistic".

I'll keep my protractor in my bag and eyes out as I say I think I saw a bird, possibly the same one, with a very high covering of white on its head fly past me at Wigg Island last March so perhaps it is around in the area?

Added Green Woodpecker to the year list today, on the fields SE of Colin's hide.



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Hi Andy,
looking at your image, personally I wouldnt have said it was leucistic, although bear in mind the pitfalls of judging from images without actually seeing it 1st hand.

Also, I dont know if you are aware or not so Im only pointing out that just because the head was totally white it probably wouldnt have much bearing on it being a Sinensis. Many Carbosis have much white on the heads in breeding plumage and its about the right time for that stage now, plus there are many hybrids in the UK between the 2 subspecies anyway.
The only sure way of determining a Sinensis is to assess the Gular angle around the base of the bill and the bare patch around the gape.

General rule
< 66 deg Carbosis
> 72 deg Sinensis
With the overlap in the middle !!!

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Pre/post dawn visit. Nice to hear the dawn chorus starting.

Woodcock flushed near feeders. Jack Snipe flyover on Lapwing Lane.

Tree Sparrow on path to ex-Norton Marsh hide location.

5 Pink-foot flew over SE.

Penketh Bar contained 232 Lapwing and 84 Curlew (my site highest count).

No sign of the white headed cormorant from yesterday.



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Another visit keeping the local patching up. Boy was it windy down there today. 

Was expecting the river to show some sandbanks off Round Cherval around 3pm but the wind was obviously pushing the Mersey up still so the running tide hadn't yet really established itself. A few gulls and a lapwing flock starting to establish as Penketh Bar started to come out the water.

Couple of nice additions to the year list, Snipe (Upper Moss Side) and Goldcrest.

6 Bullfinch (4 Upper Moss Side, 2 Lapwing Lane). Three flocks of 5-8 Long-tailed Tits.

Smattering of winter thrushes but other than Corvids and Woodpigeon and a single Sparrowhawk.

Wigeon, Pochard, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Gadwall, and a Water rail from Lapwing Lane hide.

Also from Lapwing Lane hide 17 cormorants roosting. However one bird choose to stay away from the remainder of the roost on its own. Badly bino-zoomed iphone photo attached. As well as white patches above the legs, the head was almost completely white, no dark at all apart from a possible crest and the nape yellow area appeared more extensive that the other birds behind (none of the other birds showed the transition to breeding plumage). I'm going to go back in the morn with my 'scope as the light was going on me, and I was viewing against the setting sun so I've can't conclude either was Sinesis or Leucistic. I'm 99% sure though this bird flew past me at Wigg Island in March 2021 as I was a bit stuck by a totally white headed cormorant in flight, with the white side patches. Would a Sinesis stay in the NW all year or just come here to winter at the same spot?

 

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Tuesday 1st of February 2022 05:28:06 PM



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Tuesday 1st of February 2022 06:33:54 PM

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Quick post dawn raid to see if the overnight winds had blown anything interesting in onto the pools but everything was hunkered down still, with the exception of 5 Goosander (4m, f), a year patch tick, drifting on the canal under the West Coast Mainline Bridge and a few teal, Tufted Duck and the four Goldeneye that seemed settled for the winter on Birchwood Pool.

#BigLocalYear, 13 visits in 2022, 69 species so far, bit lower than usual with some strange obvious omissions; Kestrel, Collared Dove, any Wagtail, Greenfinch.



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Late afternoon.

Snipe flushed from ditch on back path from feeders to Birchwood West Hide.

2 Oystercatcher on Pumphouse pool. 27 Black-headed Gulls, two with smart hoods already (were these the two I saw three hours previous at Gateworth Sewage works)? Other wildfowl included Gadwall, Shovler, Wigeon and Pochard.

4 Goldeneye Birchwood Pool. Grey Heron. 17 Tufted Duck. 2 Little Grebe.

Bramblings with Chaffinch at feeders.

Usual Tits but no Willow or Marsh.

Siskin by car park (1 f).

Very pale under winged Buzzard seen twice at the eastern end of site. Didn't have the "pigeon head" appearance of a Rough-Legged but was worth an investigation anyway!

 

 



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Visit 20/01. Late afternoon to dusk. All the pools from Eastern Reedbed and then Lapwing Lane loop and feeding stations. Pretty quite, most pools frozen. Highlights being:

Lots of Tufted Duck, Gadwell, Coot, a few Great crested Grebes under the WCML railway bridge on the mSC.

Single Redpoll on track by railway embankment.

Green Woodpecker yaffling to N of Colins field.

Wigeon and Pochard on Lapwing Pool.

Birchwood Pool held the biggest number of wildfowl including a single Canada Goose and the four Goldeneye (2m, 2f) that seem here for the winter.

An then, highlight of the day, despite 90% of the pool being frozen, as I sat down at Colins Hide on the return a Redshank came calling from the river and landed by the mud/waterline. In the past I've had real good wader sightings from Colins Hide but the last couple of years it has been poor (only Greenshank, Green Sandpiper and Lapwing) so here perhaps, now the vegetation / scrape has been modified over the winter there might be the start of a resurgent year for waders at Moore.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Thursday 20th of January 2022 06:31:33 PM



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I enjoyed a short trip to Moore this morning and had a few good birds for my yearlist smile

I started at the Feeding Station screen and within the first 5mins had a Willow Tit whiz in and out taking seed from the near table. Thereafter 3-4 individuals visited this table but with close scrutiny I have to say that all were Willow Tits, some more obvious than others but all the same species nonetheless. A female Brambling stayed on the table filling herself up for a lot longer, showing really nicely. A group of 6 Long-tailed Tits clustered on the fat ball feeder over to the left. Also using the feeders were a Nuthatch, Coal Tits, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Chaffinches and a Robin.

A walk around on the other side of the path was productive as I first heard and then watched a large feeding flock up in the alders. This consisted of good numbers of Lesser Redpolls, Siskins, mixed tits and a couple of Goldfinches. These soon moved through and the only other bird of note was a Great Spotted Woodpecker.



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Visit 15/01 starting from East End.

7 - 12 Redpoll in trees 50 yrds past Tee-junction to Phoenix Hide, 3 Siskin (2f, 1m) present with flock. Treecreeper next to path to Phoenix Hide. Water Rail on ice visible from Phoenix looking to East.

Common Gull with 9 Black-headed Gull at Birchwood Pool. Male Goldeneye.

64 Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, 3 Goldeneye (2f, 1m), Gadwall (5), Mallard on the MSC viewable from the swing Bridge.

Lapwing Pool 3 Wigeon, 5 Teal, Water Rail calling, Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming and seen to SW of Lapwing Lane Hide.

 

 

 



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 15th of January 2022 04:22:19 PM

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Lapwing lake 35 tufted duck 20+wigeon 1little grebe  large flock of redwing big hand ranch 8 curlew over 2 jay car park 6 pheasant in field near farm upper moss side



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Visit 06/01 - Lapwing Lane loop, West to Halfway House and Round Cherval, back over Norton Marsh and covered tip to Birchwood and Pumphouse Pools. 

Raven, Stonechat (Round Cherval), Goldeneye (Lapwing Lane Pool and Pumphouse Pool) and Willow Tit (feeders) added to the year list for the patch. 

Word of warning for anyone going "off-piste" in the wooded section between the River Mersey and the Ship Canal - there is a vagrants campsite set up 200 yards West of the Electric Substation in the woods with significant drug and alcohol paraphernalia scattered about. Path through the wood had recent (since previous rainstorm a couple hours prior) footprints to the site and fire embers were still smoking. Might be entirely innocent, might not be someone you want to bump into alone?

 



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Friday 7th of January 2022 06:03:31 PM

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Visit 04/01. All the pools from Eastern Reedbed and then Lapwing Lane loop and feeding stations.

40 species. No woodpeckers. Paucity of gulls, though a new bank almost up to HT level seems to be forming at the Mersey Gateway bridge with an increasing population (2,000+ on 1st estimated from Wigg Island), perhaps they are no longer coming to Richmond Bank on the higher tides. Single Curlew in fields next to the Ship Canal. Nice to hear two of the three Cetti's that have been present round Eastern Reedbed still.

Ended last year on 115 species for the patch (highest previous patch list in "good wader years" and when the tip was still open with "gulls", that I can find on the internet / blogs seem to be 149). "021 was very poor for waders though, hopefully this year will be better!



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3/1/22.       Birchwood pool.  2f goldeneye  2 common gull  2 cormorant  1 little grebe  1 great crested grebe. 1m pochard  lapwing lake. 10 wigeon. 3 teal. 2 Canada geese  feeding station 2 jay 1 nuthatch 1 willow tit chaffinch great/blue/coal tits 5 Siskin in trees back of feeders big hand ranch 8 curlews in field



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a.m.

Brief visit to Big Hand Ranch fields (no Curlew for the first time in ages), Lapwing Lane hide (Wigeon singing the highlight), feeders (Brambling, Chaffinch, Robin, Nuthatch, Blue, Great, Coal and Marsh Tit; no Willow Tit, fellow birder a couple of days had both Willow and Marsh simultaneously "his first time in decades") and round Lapwing Lane (279 Lapwing over, a most Aptronymic moment), as far as the location of the ex Norton Marsh Hide (three Buzzards, four Bullfinch 2m+2f).

In the evening (16:05) i was coming back out of town along the Chester Road bordering the Eastern Reedbeds, ca 1,800 to 2,000 Starlings left the pylon wires and headed toward above the vicinity of the Eastern Reedbed (or perhaps slightly North to the lagoon at the end of the tip fenced areas) and briefly appeared to Murmurate before dropping out of sight from the Chester Road.

 



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Quick mooch at lunch.

Quiet on duck and gull front. No pochard or Wigeon.

1 Bullfinch.

3 Great Tits.

Lot of Robins, lost count.

1 Nuthatch.

1 Kestrel.



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Pleasant mooch round this afternoon.

Interesting goldcrest seen on path to the (now gone) Norton Marsh Hide. Looked to have an eye infection and the white ring around they eye on the side I could view appeared "swollen" and enlarged, the ring depth being almost the same as the eye diameter. Goldcrest like in all other features though (no white supercilium, no black edging to custard yellow crest).

Smattering of Redwing and Fieldfare. Plenty of coot and a single Moorhen on the Manchester Ship Canal (MSC). Interesting "avian" observation from Halfway House, six linesmen up in the Gods repainting the pylon, which was making an interesting buzzing noise. No birds on the Mersey there so backtracked the 300m to where you can step down to the banks of the Mersey at Round Cherval to be greeted by the mudflat to the NE being chocka with birds:

890 lapwings

56 Golden Plover

12 Black-tailed Godwit

40+ Curlew

1,000+ gulls, which I had just started to sift through when I spot a large totally white backed gull with it's head tucked in in the middle of the. Slightly bigger than a Lesser-black Backed Gull in front of it. I start to get excited, then the little Egret lifts its head out the gutter and steps out the gutter it was in behind the gulls. Drat  though it might be my first white winger of the winter. So back to searching the gulls, but the flocks all take to the air in alarm. I cannot locate any raptor in the flock nor see boats or humans going near the bank. Then I pick up on a loud noise of a boat passaging on the MSC. Strange that that would cause disturbance on the River itself, but interesting to watch the discrete flocks of waders form in flight, the lapwings "sky-danced". Curlew went high, swooped around and came back down first. Gulls headed west down the estuary. Blackwits re-joined Curlew next, Golden Plover flew towards Curdely Marsh and the Lapwings split into two flocks one back down on the river and one flock heading North.

And then on the way home, sat at Walton lights and 12 Common Scoters fly over SE (16:48). Would have almost certainly flown over Moore a few minutes before and been a nice patch tick. 

 



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Plenty of thrushes in woods. Loose flock of Redwing, Fieldfare and Blackbirds

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No Gulls on pools at East end. Little Egret on Pumphouse.

Huge Corvid roost and low hundreds Woodpigeon coming in as well. All observations below from Phoenix Hide at 4 - 5 pm.

Again no Starling Murmuration.

Single Great Spotted Woodpecker over. 

Three different Cetti's Warbler calling as dusk came, two to east of hide, one to west.

Grey Heron flew past hide at ground level, brilliant view.

Kingfisher over the bund at hide between the two lakes.

Smattering of Gadwall, Shoveler, Teal, Mallard and Tufted Duck.

Water Rail calling.

Reed Bunting showed briefly.

Raven landed on path on return to car park at the Railway Bridge, just a few feet in front of me, great view.

Another birder reported female Smew with Tufted Duck on the Anglers Quarry to South of the Manchester Ship Canal; I don't have a permit and was at wrong end of reserve so couldn't check this out on todays visit.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Sunday 7th of November 2021 09:03:58 PM

 



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Went to the Eastern reedbed at dusk (4pm - 5pm) yesterday (5th Nov) to see if any starling murmurations were happening. At 4:11pm in flew the first starling and started circling the bed. Then two more joined it and at 4:13 a further two. Murmurating flight continued for 12 minutes over the reedbed before the five starlings headed off west, not to be seen again!

 

However, a huge corvid flock came in over Birchwood pool (2,000 or so) and headed north to roost near the old tip. Quite a noisy spectacle.

 

Two buzzards were watching the fields by the reedbed. Three fieldfare flew south. Many groups of 4 - 6 long tailed tits flew past (7 or eight, wasn't counting at first). Brambling (5) were seen in the trees by the old canal.

 

 



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07:00 - 09:00

Visited the West end and walked down the ship canal to Round Cherval and Halfway House.

2 Goldcrest, 1 Kingfisher, 6 Redwing over to South, Ship Canal.

80 Pink Footed Geese East up the Mersey at Half Way House

1800 Black-headed Gulls, 1 Med Gull, 2 Great Black Backed Gulls, 8 Herring Gulls, 1 Redshank, 2 Lapwing, 17 Little Egret (most I have had ever here), 2 Grey Heron mud bank to east of Round Cherval / Richmond Bank.

37 Curlew in fields by Canal swing bridge.

Strangely raptor-less!

 



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