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Post Info TOPIC: Moore NR


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Moore NR


Full trip around the reserve, the Marsh and the River today from 6 a.m. A bit frosty, ice on some of the saline puddles on Norton Marsh!!!!!

Over 100 Chiffchaff (110 - 125 but some in areas I could have heard the same bird twice as I zigged and zagged), (linearly, walk was 13 miles) calling. Three Willow Warbler, all in Lapwing Lane area. 137 Canada Geese between the River and all the main pools was a high count for me.

Six Reed Bunting on Norton Marsh, two Cetti's Warblers, four Skylark, a flyover Curlew calling, a Raven, eight Shelduck, six Gadwall, two Great Black-backed Gulls and a few Black-headed Gulls loafing about made the contribution from the River and Marsh. Two Oystercatcher were the only waders present as the morning mist lifted.

Two Little Egret brightened up Pumphouse Pool, with 14 Teal, eight Gadwall, Pied Wagtail, Little Grebe and finally for the patch for the year, two Stock Dove. Used to be monthly at lowest frequency; first since since Nov 2022.

Green Woodpecker Yaffling on the Capped tip and Great Spotted Woodpecker heard drumming at the canal crossroad, with two Nuthatch whowooht-ing at each other.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Monday 3rd of April 2023 09:12:59 PM

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Again, quiet the last two day with the Chiffchaffs and a few more Willow Warbler. Headed West today to the river, seven Snipe on Norton Marsh, two pair Reed Bunting, one Yellowhammer over, two Skylark, five Cetti's Warblers.

Up river to Richmond Bank a couple of Redshank and four Lapwing were seen on the way but Richmond Bank stole the day with 97 Lesser Black-backed Gulls including two almost pitch black coated ones (fuscus graselli?) and 22 Great Black-backed Gulls and a single Herring Gull. Six Black-headed Gulls loafed on the river with seven Canada Geese.

Two Siskin in the alders by teh farm fields footpath on the way back and two Oystercatcher in the wood on Birchwood Pool Island provided the last of the days excitement.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Friday 31st of March 2023 05:10:45 PM

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Little to report from the visits the last eight days. Plenty of nice birds, plenty of nice walking, days of no birds in the rain!

Willow Warbler singing by Pumphouse Pool today (year tick) was the highlight plus a couple of other species (two more year ticks) we don't mention in breeding season. Wigeon and Goldeneye seemed to have moved off over the weekend. 34 Chiffchaffs on a loop of Eastern Reedbed, Factory Marsh, Birchwood Pool (east end only), Pumphouse Pool, Millbrook Pool, Black-fields Pool.

 



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Today marks the Spring Solstice and thus the end of Quarter 1 of "Solstice to Solstice" year patch birding (I was banned from doing a 2023 patch list as apparently I have a lot of gardening and DIY to do.......no)!

So a few trips have been had down the patch the last few days to see if I could get a share of the Sand Martins, Wheatears and Common Scoters that seem to be dropping in all over Cheshire (though Moore does seem to get its migrants later than the southern 2/3s Cheshire) to get the patch Q1 score to 100 (personal best in Q1 before 97). Nada, not a dicky-bird, quite literally. Bad birding ju-ju last few days. Hmmm, the Yin to the Yang of that excellent week a couple of weeks ago.

Then this morning, on a loop from Pumphouse Pool two Oystercatchers, one Lapwing, one Common Sandpiper, Black-headed and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Teal, Gadwall, Grey Heron and Mallard).Chiffchaff. 28 in total across the route (Pumphouse, Birchwood Pool, Lapwing Lane, back field path via Shiptons Wood (11 here alone) to Owens Wood, then to Round Cherval (tide still high, Canada Geese and Shelduck only birds on the river) and then back up the Ship Canal to the crossroads and swing bridge).

Male Goldeneye on Birchwood Pool, seven pairs great Crested Grebe across Birchwood Pool and the Ship Canal, Grey Wagtail on the roof of Recovery Wharf, three Ravens over Triangle field made the best of the rest.

Little else about, a decent number of Redwing (30+) and Song Thrush (12) were on the Southern Ship Canal horse fields by Stobarts Warehouse.

The destruction and decline of Moore NR continues. Birchwood East hide has (intentionally one presumes) been bulldozed into the pool itself. A youth had taken advantage of this new "launch spot" on Sunday and was canoeing on the pool..."the sign only says no swimming mate, doesn't say no watersports" which in reflection was a fair response to my challenge what he was doing there. Having canoed the Mersey a number of times past Moore i can't really fault the logic or take a high ground here as long as the Island and roosting birds isn't disturbed.

Scores on the doors: 98 for the Q1 "year" list to date (new PB but probably aided by the Marsh Harrier in the last week of Dec 2022), 281 miles walked, 132 hrs "on patch" since December 21st.



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In an interesting juxtaposition of species, today, two Common Sandpipers were on Pumphouse Pool (both days species have been seen in flight so tail pattern/projection has confirmed species, with the contrasting light at the mo a green Common could look a bit Green and a pale Green like a Common), with two Oystercatchers. 140 Black-headed Gulls and one Lesser Black-backed Gull across the PHP and Birchwood Pool. Couple dead gulls on Pumphouse, hopefully predator rather than AF.

2 Curlew on Norton Marsh displaying with the strut and cocked tail was an interesting sight, never seen that here before. 

Four Chiffchaff heard around the place and Redwing singing by Moss Lane.

Spring certainly seems on the way, got bittern by first clegg of the year today a whole 31 days early than last year! 17C at 1 pm on the Costa del Norton Marsh. 



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Afternoon mid to low tide yomp down the Mersey mudflats from Arpley Bridge to Richmond Bank, 2 Oystercatchers, four Lapwing, three Carrion Crow, 18 Black-headed Gull, 7 Great Black-backed Gull, four Lesser Black-backed Gull and one each Common Gull and Herring Gull. 33 Teal on the Bank.

Back to the reserve paths, now smelling of wellies full of sewage / Mersey mud.......Pumphouse Pool was best, 47 Teal, two Green Sandpiper and for less than a minute, five Wagtails landed on the Spit then flew off high to the North calling. At least two were White Wagtails, possibly a third but they flew as I was switching from Bins to 'scope so didn't get he best look at birds 3-5. 47 Teal and 9 Gadwall of note for duck.

5 Pochard on the Black-fields Pools, Gargeny not seen nor reported since Tue. A further 32 Teal (group from Richmond Bank or a third separate group, 112 Teal on patch would be my highest). 9 Tufted Duck.

And most strangely, on the roof of a warehouse at recovery wharf a Green Woodpecker pecking at the moss on the roof. Some inscety feed present warmed by the building heat loss?



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9-14:00 highlights of yesterday's high Peak RSPB group trip:

Marsh Tit, Woodcock. 12 Pochard, Green Woodpecker, 7 Lesser Redpoll, Treecreeper, 3 Nuthatch,, 3 Stock Dove, 2 Sparrowhawk, Skylark, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Goldeneye, 2 Oystercatcher, 2 Lapwing, 4 Common Buzzard, Kestrel, 2 Ring Necked Parakeet, 4 Bullfinch, Grey Wagtail, 8 Gadwall, 8 Great Crested Grebe, 7 Little Grebe, Kestrel.

Thanks to Andy Slee for his help and local knowledge. Much appreciated.



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One of those weeks patch birding and the hrs put in pay off. A very short visit today around the Eastern Reedbed and Pumphouse Pool (Long-tailed Tits two pair off, were the only woodland birds apart from a Wren), six Teal, eight Gadwall one Cormorant and a Grey Heron on Pumphouse.

Up the embankment to view the Black Field Pools (level is high looks, poor for wader passage this year but plenty diving duck present); one pochard, 17 Tufted Duck, a Coot, two Mallard, Buzzard overhead, two Moorhen, Black-headed Gull and at the back skulking along the reeds by the rear third pool, resplendent in the morning sunshine a Garganey. First patch bird of the year, first summer migrant on patch, first self-found Garganey. Not a bad end to a week with patch year ticks of Caspian Gull (less than annual) and Black-tailed Godwit (just about annual in the last 10 years, usually autumn on Pumphouse though rather than on the River banks.

So having seen the first "summer migrant" it is time to invoke the Moore Universal Law of Listing (C) Mark Feltham. I.e. you take the number of species at the first summer migrant, divide by 0.7 (on 96 species, divided by 0.7 suggests 137 species will be passing through the reserve....but you need to take 10% away as you'll not get every species), giving a year predicted patch total of 124 species. 8-9 more Warblers potentially, so 96 goes to 105, Cuckoo 106, Swallows, Swifts and Martins 110, three more plover species 113, a Tern species 114 (wouldn't an April Black tern be a nice tick?),  autumn Greenshanks 114, Hobby and Osprey 116, Woodcock 117, the illusive Stock Dove 118 and Water Rail hasn't been seen or heard this year but lack of access to the old Phoenix hide may be the reason. Hmm, that leaves 5-6 or so wild cards....perhaps Wheatear on migration and Ring Ouzel again if really lucky.

Record shot

 



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Black-tailed Godwit and two Redshank on Penketh Bar today, 11 Curlew over.

47 Black-headed Gull, one Common Gull and 4 Lesser Back-backed Gulls on Pumphouse Pool.

One female Goldeneye and a further 49 Black-headed Gull and two Common Gull on Birchwood Pool. Six Great crested Grebe, one pair nest building.

Four Bullfinch seen (2 pair).

Stonechat on Norton Marsh, Kestrel over also.

Reed Bunting and Chaffinch flock on Lapwing Lane.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Friday 10th of March 2023 07:19:02 PM



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Lunchbreak visit to the reserve from Car Park crossroads to the Eastern Reedbed and environs.

1 Parakeet still Lapwing Lane behind the hide and reports of three more. Buzzard over Ship Canal with 18 Gadwall. Great crested Grebe on canal also. 27 Tufted Duck on Anglers Pool.

Reed Bunting and Skylarks flying over the tip areas.

Green Sandpiper and two Teal on Pumphouse Pool but little else to the east all the way to Eastford Road.

Back to Birchwood Pool and there was a good raft of Gulls (high tide at Fidddlers Ferry was around 11:40). Up to 140 Black-headed Gulls with numbers coming and going over an hour. 18 Common Gull, my highest here for many years. Three Lesser Black-backed Gull (1ad, 2 imm), two Herring Gulls and a Gull that had a slightly different manner - slightly bulkier hind but more slender / edgy up front and look to it, even giving washing out sunlight conditions a very "pale" Herring Gull cf the classic Argentus next to it. Could only pick up bridge forehead going to flat top profile, pale yellow-green bill with very small ruddy dark spot, straight bill (cf the adjacent Herring Gulls fine yellow and red respectively). With the sunlight directly on the gull it looked very pale. Moving from the Southern Hide to the Western I got a much better side on view and pale head and neck striping were visible with the better light angle as were the primary showing white only on the tip and side (~2cm white grey stripe) of the outer primary and a small spot on P9 when the gulls was washing its wings, with only the smallest smidgeon of white when the wings were folded - seems good for a sub/ad winter Caspian Gull. There was also as per 22nd Feb "interesting Lesser Black-backed (presume) Gull was also on Pumphouse, I suspect tricks of the light, its legs appeared very vividly Crayola Crayon Yellow, and its back was as black as night, much darker than a compatriot next to it. There were no white areas showing in the tail primaries either, completely black, unlike the bird next to it" but I can't get diagnostic features to add up for that individual.

Screenshot from video taken, bird on left - too poor quality photo to ascertain anything but there for the record. Will try and process the video to an uploadedable size.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Tuesday 7th of March 2023 04:33:40 PM



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 11th of March 2023 05:44:56 PM

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Parakeets there this morning, three in a tree, one in a hole in the tree.....usually get Great Spotted Woodpecker in that area, as you both say below, potential problem, though given they breed round Walton Hall and Appleton Reservoir only so long before they got to Moore I guess.

27 Wigeon Lapwing Lane Lake - wonder where they went when they disappeared last week?

Snipe, two Cetti's Warblers in song, pair Reed Bunting and pair Skylark on Norton Marsh, 121 Lapwing on Penketh Bar. 11 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, constant refresh of Black-headed Gulls from both directions of the river, one Great Black-backed Gull and an almost equal sized Argentatus Herring Gull.

Huge female Sparrowhawk (with puffed chest in flight first Jizz suggests Goshawk), Buzzard and Kestrel along the Ship Canal.

Couple of Bullfinches back at the car park.

 



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 11th of March 2023 05:00:20 PM



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I saw the Parakeets last week - if they're settled, they'll be taking over Woodpecker holes no. Potentially serious problem there

Andy, agreed, short is best



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4 ring necked parakeets lapwing lane 2 goldcrest 2 treecreeper 1 great spotted woodpecker many nuthatch but no willow tit



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Sunday 5th of March 2023 08:52:10 PM

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Hmmm, not convinced. Think a shorter narrative of highlights rather than a full list from the Birdtrack App as filled in as walked is more useful / easier to read. Comments welcome. Cheers, Andy



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Lets see if this works....direct copy and paste from Birdtrack summary.....EDIT. Visit date 28/02/2023 7:00 - 10:00 hrs.

142 Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)

On River Mersey

 Blackbird (Turdus merula)

87 Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

From a seven mile walk around reserve from Xroads to Halfway House over the Marsh, round the farm fields at UMS and then down through the woods to Pumphouse and back.

6 Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)

 Buzzard (Buteo buteo)

 Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)

 Cetti's Warbler (Cettia cetti)

1 Coal Tit (Periparus ater)

 Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

6 Common Gull (Larus canus)

 Coot (Fulica atra)

17 Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

 Dunnock (Prunella modularis)

 Feral Pigeon (Columba livia f. domestica)

 Gadwall (Mareca strepera)

2 Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)

Birchwood Pool

6 Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)

 Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)

 Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

23 Great Tit (Parus major)

1 Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)

1 Greenfinch (Chloris chloris)

 Jackdaw (Coloeus monedula)

 Jay (Garrulus glandarius)

 Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

423 Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

2 Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)

 Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

 Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

 Little Owl (Athene noctua)

13 Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)

 Magpie (Pica pica)

 Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

1 Marsh Tit (Poecile palustris)

 Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus)

 Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

 Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

 Pochard (Aythya ferina)

 Raven (Corvus corax)

 Redwing (Turdus iliacus)

12 Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Flock on Lapwing Lane / Triangle Field

 Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

 Rook (Corvus frugilegus)

5 Ruff (Calidris pugnax)

 Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)

7 Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

 Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

 Teal (Anas crecca)

 Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris)

 Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

23 Wigeon (Mareca penelope)

Lapwing Lane Pool

 Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus)



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Thursday 2nd of March 2023 10:56:33 PM

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Lots of Tits in Song this afternoon. Very quite otherwise. No raptors. The Wigeon seem to have departed the reserve for the spring elsewhere. Three Cormorants alone in the roost on Lapwing Lane Pool.

Pumphouse Pool had the wader action with a solitary Green Sandpiper and likewise a solitary Lapwing and a solitary Pied Wagtail. Interesting Gadwall (x Mallard [Falcated?]) type duck with Gadwall body back and breast but a white throat band and green crown. Hybrid Mallard x Muscovy duck also present. Perhaps from one of the local farms or from the feral duck collection off the back of Eastford Road.

Two Common Gull amongst 49 Black-headed Gulls on Birchwood Pool. Great crested Grebe look to be building a nest on the East End the Island. Herring Gulls over a few times, perhaps 12 in two hours on the reserve.

Two Goldeneye (m+f) on Birchwood Pool. Six Little Grebe.

Black-fields Pools - seventeen Pochard (my site highest ever count), 7m, 10f.  Coot, Moorhen, Gadwall and Little Egret.

 

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Monday 27th of February 2023 08:52:43 PM



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Monday 27th of February 2023 09:07:11 PM

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Full visit to the reserve (and Wigg Island and Astmoor Saltmarsh) to see the big tide flooding the Marshes, especially with the predicted 20-30cm surge from the wind.

But first, highlights from the rest of the reserve. Unusually good numbers of Treecreeper down the East Woods past Birchwood Pool and all the way to the WCML/Mersey, six or seven birds in total. 103 Black-headed Gull and two Common Gull on Pumphouse Pool. Two Oystercatchers and two Great crested Grebe in display. Four more Great crested Grebe in Display on Birchwood Pool. Two Pochard and 17 Tufted Duck. An interesting Lesser Black-backed (presume) Gull was also on Pumphouse, I suspect tricks of the light, its legs appeared very vividly Crayola Crayon Yellow, and its back was as black as night, much darker than a compatriot next to it. There were no white areas showing in the tail primaries either, completely black, unlike the bird next to it.

21 Wigeon on Lapwing Lane Pool.

482 Lapwing on Penketh Bar as a rather soggy and LFC and EFC football infested Norton Marsh (from the previous tide) was crossed at 11 am, with me musing about the day being strangely raptorless so far, before rejoining the Ship Canal heading off West to Wigg Island.........

 

..........and back at 12:30 to see the tide increasingly rushing in at Halfway House and from Owens Wood looking over Norton Marsh as it flooded. (Eventually topped out at 1:20p.m. with the gauge at Fiddler Ferry reading 16cm above a normal spring "High Tide".

Curedly Marsh North of the Mersey flooded first, nine grey Heron were following the water line, with around 300 mostly Black-headed Gull and a few Common Gull and a Great Black-backed Gull. A Marsh Harrier appeared from the West and spent a good 15 minutes at the waterline (North of the Northern river bank so doesn't count for Moore Patch......no). I got my feet wet as the tide breached the Southern bank and moved to higher ground at Owns Wood. Not the best end to view the Marsh being flooded as a creek to the North floods first and that was where two Buzzards, a Kestrel and a female Peregrine were all picking of various prey, with Magpies, Ravens (four), Carrion Crow and Black-headed and Herring Gulls joining in. As the tide flooded below where I was standing two Snipe were flushed and a Herring Gull picked up what looked like a mole (small black rotund dumpy rodent about 2-3" long) whilst the gruesome fest continued with other bird picking out frogs (they scream!) and mouse like rodents.

When iCloud behaves I'll add some video to Youtube of the flooding. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIrl-Sl_ITM

 



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Wednesday 22nd of February 2023 05:03:12 PM



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Wednesday 22nd of February 2023 05:08:12 PM

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Down to the river for Dawn. Plenty of singing Song Thrush, Dunnock, Bullfinch, Chaffinch and Great Tits on the way from Lapwing Lane. 17 Grey Heron on the south bank of the Ship Canal, spaced between 120 and 145 "Andy Slee steps" apart, amazing regularity in spacing!

432 Lapwing on Penketh Bar, with 53 Curlew, four Herring Gull, one Little Egret and two Black-headed Gulls. Eight Canada Geese on river. Two Shelduck distant toward the saltmarsh at Wigg Island.

Eight Redwing back at Lapwing Lane, Marsh Tit heard but not seen on path from feeders to Birchwood Pool. Plenty of Blackbirds, Song Thrushes and Mistle Thrushes singing away. Great Spotted Woodpecker showing well by Lapwing Lane hide, drumming away. 27 Wigeon on Lapwing Lane Pool.



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Dawn raid around the patch.

Black-fields Pools: Six Tufted Duck, Eight Canada Geese, one Little Grebe, Raven, seven Teal. Cetti exploding in song at dawn at East end.

Pumphouse Pool: 47 Black-headed Gull, six Gadwall, four Teal, Herring Gull, Green Sandpiper.

Birchwood Pool: Male Goldeneye, male Pochard, two Little Grebe, supporting cast of Canada Geese, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Black-headed Gulls (constantly circling in and out on the high win).

Millbrook Pool: Mute Swan, male Shoveler, two Green Sandpipers (one of which could be the earlier bird from Pumphouse as that was not there on my return).

 



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Lapwing Lane Pool; 27 Wigeon, m+f Goldeneye, Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Gadwall, Blue Tits, Great Tit, Nuthatch and Treecreeper.

Richmond Bank; 457 Lapwing, two Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, 47 Black-headed Gulls.

Two Yellowhammer and six Skylark, Wren, Buzzard, two Grey Partridge, resplendent in the sun a male Stonechat, two Jack Snipe on Upper Moss Side and Norton Marsh.

Penketh Bar; 1097 Lapwing (none ever flew past me as I came down river from Richmond Bank so presume separate from the Richmond Bank birds), Four adult and one juvenile Great Black-backed Gulls, four Herring Gulls, one Shelduck, Grey Heron, 102 Black-headed Gulls.

Single Curlew flew over as I returned through the farm path. Quiet on the farm fields apart from Corvids. Woods back to Lapwing Lane also quiet a couple of Robins, Blackbirds and a Song Thrush.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Wednesday 15th of February 2023 03:55:26 PM

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Just very slightly off patch but 42 Pied Wagtail on Morely Common football pitch was an unprecedented sight; with 17 Blackbird and seven Mistle Thrush.

Three Goldeneye (2m,1f) on the Anglers pool, just visible from the road next to it.

Four Oystercatcher on the Black Fields Pools was a good number - suspect high tide pushed them of the Banks / Bars of the Mersey at the time (3p.m.).

Strangely though the high tide flock of 27 (always 27 this winter, surviving well) Curlew were not in the Moss Lane or Big Hand Ranch Fields, nor could they be heard on Upper Moss Side during a circuit of Lapwing Lane. Perhaps having a quiet avo in the largely unwatched these days Fiddlers Ferry Lagoons? 

Only new tick for year, 1m Brambling on the feeders on Moss Lane with Greenfinch (3m) and Chaffinch (f) ...but never on NR patch it seems this year though feeding seems much reduced in the NR itself.



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AM
Birchwood Pool
2 dapper M Goldeneye displaying to 1 F bird in sunshine.



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A few patch year ticks this morning, Green Sandpiper and Oystercatcher (pair) on Pumphouse Pool.....not counting the Muscovy Duck though that was there.......unless I end up in a patch-tie with another birder at the end of the year then it will be my "ringer"!. 42 Teal, eight Gadwall, couple of Mallard, Little Grebe and two Grey Heron also present.

Green Woodpecker over the capped Tip.

97 Lapwing over the tip. Three buzzards, smatters of small groups of Redwing and families of Long-tailed Tits.

Male Goldeneye on Birchwood Pool. 



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Skylarks (2), Dunnock, Reed Bunting and Cetti's Warbler on Norton Marsh.

47 Lapwing and 27 Curlew on Penketh Bank. Four Great Black-backed Gull, Mallard, Grey Heron, 47 Black-headed Gull. One Herring Gull.



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Feeders: two Coal Tit, up to four Great Tit, one Long-tailed Tit, five Blue Tit, four Chaffinch (2m2f), two Nuthatch, Robin, Dunnock, Mallard and Buzzard.

Male Goldeneye visible through bushes next to road overlooking Anglers Pool.



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Re Stock Dove funny, I was just wondering if any were still about. There used to be a pair to the left of Lapwing Lane hide. Re LEO the warden was telling me of recent sightings over the fields / marsh area so eyes open certainly. There is a second pair Tawny down near the Eastern Reedbed as well as the ones near the crossroads these days.



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Nice little tally that mate, I see the tawny owl has moved roost from when I used to bird Moore. Do you not see many stock doves there these days? I remember some nice ticks at Moore, black- necked grebe, smew, Iceland ,Caspian and YLG gulls, back when arpley landfill was still going. As well as the obvious Moore specialities Lesser spotted woodpecker et al. Missed some good ones there as well, been a good little site. Happy patching anyway, keep an eye out for long-eared owls there, I never did see one but they do turn up there.

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Decided on a long visit - low low tide to high (Spring) high tide. Video of tide coming past Fiddlers Ferry here ...amazing how nothing happens then the river basin fills in 30 minutes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArJRDvq1QLA

I know, I put the trail cam upside down no so the time caption is upside down at the top. A small Mersey Bore can be seen passing Penketh Bar at 2m14s as the flooding tide comes up the estuary.

6:30 a.m. Crossroad / Swing Bridge. Mallard, Tufted Duck, Carrion Crow, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Tawny Owl, Buzzard, Jackdaw, Jay, Wren, Treecreeper, Robin all seen or heard near crossroads or on the Ship Canal.

Lapwing Lane Pool Coot, Little Grebe, Wigeon, Shoveler (4), Great Tit and Cormorant.

Lapwing Lane (North) - Magpie, Mistle Thrush, Woodpigeon, Pheasant, Herring Gull, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk.

Moss Farm - House Sparrow, Long Tailed Tit and Blue Tit.

Upper Moss Side - Curlew, Feral Pigeon, Black-headed Gull, Dunnock.

Round Cherval overlooking the river (9a.m.) - Great Black-backed Gull, Grey Heron, Canada Goose, Teal, Cetti's Warbler, Lapwing (27), Gadwall.

Manchester Ship Canal back to crossroads. Nuthatch, Great crested Grebe (7), Moorhen.

Lapwing Lane Wood - Redwing (7), Song Thrush, Chaffinch, Bullfinch (2), Siskin, Raven, Goldfinch.

Recovery Wharf (10:30a.m.) - Starling, Pied Wagtail, Collared Dove (2).

Eastern Reedbed - Reed Bunting.

Black-fields Pools. Bittern (*) in flight across small third pool reedbed at back pool, as seen from top of bank above "Firecrest Alley", Grey Wagtail, 8 Bullfinch.

Pumphouse Pool (11 a.m.) - nothing; zilch, oh for the heady days of wader migration last spring here.

Birchwood Pool - Mute Swan, Pochard.

Halfway House and Norton Marsh (back up for the high tide) (12:20 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.) - Common Gull, Shelduck, Merlin (flushed by beautiful Dog Fox running on the Marsh as the tide covered it).

West Dock on the Ship Canal - two Goldcrest, three Fieldfare over in flight.

A respectable 63 species (no Coal Tit!?!), 17 miles walked.

(*) bumped into the warden later and mentioned this, there have been Bittern at Moore each winter for the last 30 years, up to three some years, they just don't report them much when away from the Eastern Reedbed (now inaccessible due to Phoenix hide having being burnt down last summer) as technically the areas aren't public access but belong to the Tip; not that that seems to stop some dog walkers such as the one that walked across the back of the pool today flushing the Bittern.

 

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Tuesday 24th of January 2023 10:02:59 PM

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11.30-14.30

Lapwing Lane Pool : Around 70% Frozen.

8 Wigeon, 5 Shovelers, 12 Teal and 1 Little Grebe.

2 Goldcrests, 1 Buzzard and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker seen in surrounding woodland.

A flock of at least 35 Siskins on alders alongside the former canal, and a further 15+ near the feeding station.

2 flocks of Lapwings seen heading South, 100 birds in total.

Birchwood Pool area : : 1 Buzzard, 1f Goldeneye, 1 (1st winter) Mute Swan, 14 Tufted Ducks, 5m+5f Pochard,

1 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Little Grebes and 5 Gadwall. 4 Redwings were sorting through the leaflitter in the woodland.

Pumphouse Pool: Almost completely frozen over. 5 Siskins on a birch, plus a vocal overflying Raven.

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From Musselburgh to Moore, one day, two countries, twitching and patching (Part 2, see Scotland thread for part 1).

17th Jan - Waking in Scotland, a couple hrs birding there and an afternoon work in Runcorn I was goosed. But driving home from Runcorn I auto piloted and parked up at Moss Lane. 3:50pm so not much daylight left, but time for a quick loop around Lapwing Lane and a few environs. Wigeon and 47 Tufted Dock on Lapwing Lane Pool, plus two Coot.

Plenty of Jackdaw and Carrion Crows coming in to the Capped Tip roost and trains of Gulls (mostly Black-headed, a few Herring and Lesser Black-backed mixed in). Curlew calling on Upper Moss Side (UMS), Barn Owl quartering the fields on UMS. Blue Tits and Great Tits everywhere (tallies for the yomp 47 and 37 respectively). Couple of groups of 8-9 Long-tailed Tits moving through the trees back at Big Wood. Few Gulls on Birchwood Pool. Two Tawny Owls calling to each other in Big Wood coming back to the crossroad and to complete the day, as I set off back up Moss Lane past Big Hand Ranch a Little Owl (year tick) was sat on the gateposts of BHR! My first triple owl day (had two triple woodpecker days) at Moore.

Not bad for a "normal" work day, a lifer and seven year ticks!

 



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Couple of hours around the reserve 32 species seen some highlights 1 goldcrest 1 treecreeper 3 meadow pipits  1pr great crested grebe 1pr gadwall 1 kingfisher 



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Wednesday 18th of January 2023 05:13:07 PM

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A quick visit too Norton Marsh revealed a calling Corn Bunting on the Upper Moss Side farmland, heard to call and recorded and Sonogram checked - spent half hour watching the hedge the calling came from but never laid eyes on the bird. 

Penketh Bar had 504 Lawing and 67 Curlew with their haunting call drifting over the estuary. 32 Canada Geese drifted down the river. One Great Black-backed Gull was with the Black-headed Gulls. 26+6 Linnet in two flocks were also on the farm fields, with two Skylard and 6 Meadow Pipit over The Marsh. Four Snipe were flushed also.

Richmond Bank held 440 Lapwing and 1,260 Black-headed Gull with four Herring Gull and six Shelduck. Two Redwing flew over the Capped Tip where a Buzzard was soaring until battered down by the rain.



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22 Gadwall were on Pumphouse Pool with a Grey Heron and a Pied Wagtail.

Three Buzzards were over Colins Field.

Birchwood Pool held four Herring Gull, 49 Black-headed Gull, one Great Crested Grebe, one Kingfisher, 19 Coot, 17 (9m,8f) Pochard, 14 Tufted Duck, one fem Goldeneye.

Cettis singing in the Eastern Reedbed.



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Reversing yesterdays loop, of interest first, was a male Peregrine today on Stobart's Warehouse. Great Crested Grebe again doing the display snake dance on the Ship Canal by Randall Sluice.

Song Thrush (patch and year tick) on the path from the Ethylene Station to the old Shrike Field which also gave up calling Grey Partridge (patch tick, year tick) which were then flushed (7 off) as I got closer up the path. Seven Curlew were in the paddocks by Stobrats.

Three or four Buzzards were over Upper Moss Side at any one time, six Kestrels in different locations. One female Sparrowhawk by Round Cherval on the Ship Canal and a female Merlin (patch tick, year tick) zoomed down the Lane by the old Tree Sparrow feeding Station.

Again High Tide....a Lapwing flock of similar size to yesterday (600-700) was put up from Fiddler Ferry Lagoons by an unseen source; a few minutes later looking East another slightly smaller flock (500-550) was flying over Richmond Bank / north side of Capped Tip - Fiddlers Ferry flock still in view so two separate flocks.

Thirty-eight Curlew were in a flooded field one field North from Moss Side Cottages.

A Goldcrest made the last of the days patch firsts for the recording period.

Couple of Pochard on Birchwood Pool and the unusually high number of Wigeon still on Lapwing Lane Pool.

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Tuesday 10th of January 2023 11:06:39 PM

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36 Wigeon on Lapwing Lane main and side pools. One Teal, male Pochard, Coot, Mallard and a Gadwall present.

Feeding station held at any one time three Chaffinch, seven Great Tits and five Blue Tits whilst six Long-tailed Tits passed by in the trees behind.

Quiet around the farm fields. A few Ravens and one Rook, seven Pheasant.

From ex-Norton Marsh hide watching over the River Mersey a Tractor going round the bund wall on Fiddlers Ferry lagoons put up a flock of 600-700 Lapwings, which were soon minus 1 as the resident Peregrine swooped down from the Power Station Stack through the flock (patch and year tick for me - probably for the Lapwing as well).

34 Canada Geese were on the Mersey which was running a high tide just below the level of the Marsh. One Jack Snipe was flushed off the old wader scrape and a Reed Bunting (m, then another pair m+f) gave me my third patch and year ticks (with the JS). Skylark were starting bursts of song in the air. Six Shelduck drifted up river on the tide. (Patch year tick)

Slightly off patch there were 17 Grey Heron next to Oxmoor NR on the South bank of the Ship Canal. 26 Tufted Duck were rafted in the area.

In the Horse field by the Ship Canal at Stobart's Warehouse there were five Redwing (patch year tick). Buzzards (3) (inc one very dark morph) and Kestrel (1) and Sparrowhawk (1) (the large almost Goshawk sized female that lives around the west end of the patch) all showed. Passerines were two Goldfinch and a Cetti's Warbler singing.

Two Great Crested Grebe started to do the snake dance mating display on the Ship Canal, quite ambitious on the waves that were blowing about on the Canal. One Great Black-backed Gull was by the western dock, poking about with a strange animal skeleton; flew off as I approached. I can't id the skeleton, so have put a photo here to see if anyone could tell me what it was scavenging on. White feathers were on the ground adjacent but I think there is / was two separate corpses? I'll put in the other Wildlife thread as well if Mods want to delete from here.

Anglers Pool held one Common Gull, one Cormorant, seven Coot and three Siskin. 32 more Tufted Duck rafted around the Moore Swing Bridge.



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Lunchtime. Black-fields Pools held 34 Teal. To the NW a distant flock of 800 Lapwing could be seen to rise from the vicinity of Richmond Bank as the tide came in.

Single male Grey Wagtail on the roof of Recovery Wharf.

13 Wigeon Lapwing Lane Pool.

Sparrowhawks (both F) at Feeding Station and Eastern Reedbed.

Four different Ravens seen. Nuthatches and Treecreeper in the Woods. Curlew heard in the direction of Moss Lane.



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A dawn walk to the river at Halfway House. As per 50% of the time I got the tide wrong and the river was full! A few Canada Geese were on the Northern Bank but noting else visible. At 7:32 am a passage of Black-headed Gulls started upriver, by 7:49am totaling 1,034 peaking at 81/minute. 20 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were in the fray with three Herring Gulls and two Great Black-backed Gulls.

An Owl was quartering Norton Marsh, twice it flew within six feet of me, once pausing on a post then seeing my ugly mug it got scared off. I'd forgotten how utterly silent Owls are in flight. Pure Patch magic!

Skylarks were singing over the Capped Tip as dawn broke. 2 Pink-footed Geese flew South over the tip at 8:34am, following at 8:44am by 72 heading SE. 20 Lapwing flew North over the Capped Tip at 8:49am.

Pumphouse Pool held 40 Teal and six Gadwall.

Birchwood Pool held one female Goldeneye, 12 Tufted Duck, 7 Pochard (6m, 1f), Coot, Mallard, single Teal and four Canada Geese.

Been a great year patching #biglocalyear - 132 visits in total.

135 species including four patch lifers (ringtail Harrier on passage down the Mersey, Quail (heard only), Ruddy Shelduck, Great White Egret - Harrier seen WHILST looking the Ruddy Shelduck how spawny is that two patch firsts in one scope view). 124 different species in the first six months of the year, 122 different species in the second six months of the year.

948.8 miles walked on patch. 449hrs 42minutes spent walking. 27 miles cycled as well and 26 miles Kayaked up / down the Mersey, but by far the most productive mode of motion was walking and waiting.

Due to a backlog of DIY and gardening I have been officially banned from doing a #biglocalyear 2023 Moore year list. no

However, as I write my own rules this "year" I'm doing a Winter solstice 2022 - Winter solstice 2023 #patch year instead biggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrin and I'm already six visits, 32.2 miles walking and 54 species in! smile

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Thursday 29th of December 2022 10:52:37 AM



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Thursday 29th of December 2022 12:47:44 PM



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Thursday 29th of December 2022 12:51:13 PM

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12.30-16.00

Lapwing Lane Pool : 15 Wigeon, 1 Shoveler, 6 Tufted Ducks, 1 Little Grebe and 6 Cormorants.

Feeding Station: Amongst the usual garden birds were 2 Nuthatches and 1 Coal Tit.

Plus a pair of Jays focussed mainly on taking the suet that was smeared on the bark of an oak.

Also the body of a deceased Great Spotted Woodpecker that appeared to have got through the

anti-squirrel mesh of one of the feeders, but been unable to get out.

Birchwood Pool : 4 Little Grebes, 14 Tufted Ducks, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 2f Goldeneyes, 5m+1f Pochards,

6 Gadwall and 3 Cormorants. A flock of 16 Long-Tailed Tits moved through the birch woodland.

2 Common Gulls and 1 adult Herring Gull were amongst a small group of Black-Headed.

Pumphouse Pool : 12 Gadwall, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Buzzard and 43 Teal (40 of which flew in together at 15.30).

The low water level on this pool now means it is little more than a few small ponds.





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Two Redshank and one Curlew at Halfway House made up the waders.

A few Black-headed Gulls (40 or so), two Great Black-backed and one Herring Gull drifted by on the tide.

Buzzards and a Kestrel provided the raptors.

Two Siskin in Alders by crossroads at Lapwing Lane.

18 Wigeon on Lapwing Lane Pool plus Little Grebe and Gadwall.



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Terry Long wrote:

Hi, I'm not sure if I'm talking about the same gulls as you but I believe the majority of the gulls that pass overhead over the Mersey around wigg, roost at frodsham marsh.


Did a trip west today and walked from Wigg to Halfway House at dusk. Gulls were definitely settling on the mid-river bank as dusk fell under the new Mersey Gateway Bridge which doesn't get flooded except by the highest tides - saltmarsh grass appearing to start to grow this year.

Earlier, Halfway House delivered one Lapwing, three Redshank, one Curlew and 48 Dunlin (my highest count by far) on Penketh Bar.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Tuesday 20th of December 2022 07:32:04 PM

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33 Wigeon on Lapwing Lane Pool were a nice treat, must have moved in from elsewhere as usually there are 12 at Moore. 42 Mallard, two Moorhen, 17 Coot and two Gadwall and a single juv Mute Swan made up the rest of the cast.



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Mostly the same as the last few days with the thaw giving a bit more action.

However, a new species for Moore was found today, being in Britain the 2nd most common Woodland Wader the Wood-Curlew. 47 were feeding at the bottom of Moss Lane in the Wood. 

 

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Saturday 17th of December 2022 05:34:50 PM



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As everywhere has been frozen of late a trip to the river at low tide beckoned post dawn. Even parts of the Ship Canal were frozen on the way down. The river mud looked frosted / frozen but no way was I walking out on it to find out.

Most productive from Round Cherval - Four Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Eight Great Black-backed Gulls, 42 Herring Gull, four Common Gull, 293 Black-headed Gull, one Curlew, two Redshank, seven Shelduck, two (m+f) Pintail (patch life tick!), 19 Cormorant, two Grey Heron, one Buzzard, 17 Mallard. Two Great Crested Grebe were on an open patch of canal with 72 Tufted duck and two female Goldeneye.

A few Bullfinch about on the field path and one Woodcock flush from the capped tip drain as I walked over. 

Returning to the car park I set eyes on a Treecreeper I'd been listening to for five minutes, 1st one in the second half of the year so a half-year tick was gained as well this visit.



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Eastern Reedbed...with everyone else getting Bitterns a forlone frozen hour with no Bittern, just four Starlings and 11 Long-tailed Tit and just one Cetti today.

Gulls appeared in bigger numbers than 7th Dec post I made below, but this time I was counting Corvids going to roost on the tip.

I had a bit of a theory last week as the farmer closes the gate near Colins Hide, the rattling of his Loadhaul tractor on the track makes a distinctive noise to say "all clear" as the Corvids only started last week to go towards the tip when that happened. Today, again within two minutes of the farmer leaving the tip, in came the Corvids (15:59 last week, 15:57 today so not related to sundown - both days clear blue skies).

In total 919 Jackdaw, 128 Carrion Crow, 1 Jay, 70+ Magpie (wasn't counting them at first) and three Ravens from Arpley circled back to the Capped Tip. Numbers felt to be less than half of last weeks roost.

87 Pink-footed Geese went North at 16:08.

Tawny Owl again on the path to the River Mersey from ERB.



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Of course "Sino" and all that! I'll blame my 14 year old daughter and GCSE revision......she is doing trig that takes me back 40 years and is frying my mind.

Adding a few other highlights from today (before I was rudely dragged off to help DD with her online maths).

27 Curlew on Moss Lane and not surprisingly with the cold weather, I got my personal best "10 in 10" (sitting at the feeders waiting for ten minutes, seeing if you see ten species).......Carrion Crow, Coot, Moorhen, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Robin, Great..Blue..Coal Tits, Nuthatch, Jay.....13 species in 6 minutes 22 seconds. By which point I was numb with cold and paranoid about not making the school run if the swing bridge shut so an early dart was called for.

Photo of the Curlew attached, they must have been starving and desperate to be in one of the few defrosting patches of farmland, only 8 - 12 feet away from the road...taken through the car window so a bit shakey focus.

 



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Andy Slee wrote:

Sinenesis Cormorant with some whitish head with gular angle over 90 degrees right under the bridge, couldn't tell any others on the canal. (Does the sine come from trigonometry in the Latin name anyone know?).




Hi Andy - it means "Chinese" or "from the East"

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Terry, that could well be a good shout re the Gulls. Need to see them a bit further along to see if they are going out to roost when they disappear from view or just their path down river makes them look like they are landing.

All pools frozen today. Two Carrion Crow, one Mallard on Lapwing Lane Pool and six Mallard on Birchwood Pool.

Got a bit nervous staying on the reserve too long to watch dusk flyovers today as at the Xroads as they were doing maintenance work on the Swing Bridge, after Stockton Heath's bridge froze and jammed open for 20 minutes. I don't mind staying overnight on Norton Marsh in the summer but II'll pass a night in Colin's Hide in this weather.

The Ship Canal held the Wigeon, Goldeneye, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Great and Little Grebe, Sinenesis Cormorant with some whitish head with gular angle over 90 degrees right under the bridge, couldn't tell any others on the canal. (Does the sine come from trigonometry in the Latin name anyone know?).

Anglers Pool also held a good number of ducks, as per the Canal and a flyover Sparrowhawk.



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Hi, I'm not sure if I'm talking about the same gulls as you but I believe the majority of the gulls that pass overhead over the Mersey around wigg, roost at frodsham marsh.

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Trying to track down where Gulls overflying Moore at dusk are roosting I decided an afternoon at Halfway House watching the Mersey and Ship Canal.

As the tide dropped and revealed Penketh Bar two groups of small waders flew in 16 + 13 Knot. Very unusual here - last record I can find November 2016. Eventually as tide dropped further nine Redshank came in also (might be about my highest number for one group on patch) and two Curlew and a single Black-tailed Godwit and a single Green Sandpiper (from the direction of Fiddlers Ferry lagoons).

A few Black-headed Gulls were loafing as the tide fell, a single Common Gull and one Great Black-backed Gull also joined the waders. Gulls were generally as dusk fell flying from where I'd seen them in the East of the reserve and passing over towards Wigg Island and dropping out of sight behind Randles tip (roosting on the new Bar building up under the central column of the Mersey Gateway Bridge?).

A couple of Shelduck were all that was on the river otherwise. Five Grey Heron along the Ship Canal and a few Coot on the walk in and Fieldfare and Redwing in the Stobrats Horse Paddocks. Two Goldcrest were amongst Tit flocks near Owens Wood.



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Decided an afternoon / dusk trip to the Eastern reedbeds to see if the Nostalgia of 2010 (Bittern, Starlings in their 250,000s when the Runcorn Bridge was disrupted by night works) would return.

On the way in Goldcrest like bird, slightly greyer than greener (light?) with two wing bars but no central headstripe led to a bit of tracking for better views and heartrate increasing down before concluding a late juv. Great spotted Woodpecker over Black-fields Pool. Pool frozen. Pumphouse Pool 95% frozen, one Jay, one Carrion Crow.

Sitting down to watch the roost-fest "Whichever species it may be" gave four Coot and six Gadwall on the Eastern Reedbed; 27 Magpie into a tree to the North of the ERB. 16:07 the (note singular) Starling Roosted. 16:12 three Cetti's Warblers in quick succession called out their territories - two to the East side of the ERB and one on the reeds at Millbrook Pool....I like to think they were saying night-night to each other. A large Corvid Roost was flying in behind me, I occasionally turned around and flocks of 47 and 36 Jackdaw were small countable flocks, glances gave bigger flocks of up to 300 mixed Jackdaw and Carrion Crow - interestingly the Jackdaw always seemed to be flying 50% higher speed than the Carrion Crow so the Jackdaw flocks looked like they were marauding through the Carrion Crows.

The reason I couldn't count well the Corvids (behind me) was in front of me over the embankment was the Manchester Ship Canal / River Mersey which seemed to have a significant gull movement - lots and lots of little flocks from 15:24 - 16:17. In total 1,457 Black-headed Gulls, groups from 3 to 43), 514 Herring (mostly, possibly a few Lesser Black-backed as light was fading) Gulls, again from groups of 3 upwards, with two groups of 17 and 27 comprising of sub-adult birds only. Initially their movement was from the East of Moore NR (Ship Canal direction) but the later groups were increasingly coming from SE or even S. All were heading from the ERBs to the direction of Richmond Bank (low tide around 5:30pm today).

No Bittern, though a Grey Heron went to land on the ice on the ERB and ended up doing an impression of Roadrunner.

And then leaving the reserve a Tawny Owl flew across in front of me and stopped in the first tree next to me on the path and just quietly looked down at me with curiosity. One of those moments the birds are all about!! Next trip, count that Corvid roost.

(Oh in total six Starlings came into the ERB, eventually).



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Wednesday 7th of December 2022 08:50:51 PM



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Wednesday 7th of December 2022 09:14:20 PM

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