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Post Info TOPIC: Moore NR


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Moore NR


Took a visit today to where the "Sea-watching Hide" overlooking Richmond Bank is proposed to be built if Peel Ports get their way and the current Moore NR is concreted over, and the Capped Tip turned into a "Country and wildlife (aka Dog walker paradise) Park"). If anyone wants to see the plans which Warrington BC snuck out very quietly during Covid as part of the Local Plan update / consultations when we couldn't go and view plans...search for 'The Environment Partnership document ref 6929.01.037" on Google and you should be able to get a redacted PDF of the plans / biodiversity assessment.

Anyway, important stuff, the birds. One Great spotted Woodpecker calling in the wood on the way to the Capped Tip. Buzzard and Sparrowhawk on the Capped Tip. One Redshank, 486 Lapwing on Richmond Bank, with a supporting cast of two Great Black-backed Gulls, 47 Herring Gulls, 186 Black-headed Gulls, seven Common Gull, one Raven, 22 Cormorant. Two Snipe flushed walking along the bund to Norton Marsh. Woods and fields otherwise very quite.

Two female Goldeneye on Birchwood Pool and a Little Grebe were the best there. Pumphouse Pool devoid of birds since the wader heydays of autumn.



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11.00-15.00

Lapwing Lane area :

4 Goldcrests on a hawthorn near the car park, plus a further 3 seen in the surrounding woodland.

On the pool were 12 Wigeon, 1m Shoveler, 1 Little Grebe, 9 Gadwall and 10 Tufted Ducks.

In the wood once famed for small woodpecker sightings were, 1 Buzzard, 2 Nuthatches, 5 Redwings and a couple of Coal Tits.

As on my last visit to this wood, the cones on the mature alders attracted Goldfinches, Siskins and this time a few Lesser Redpolls too.

These birds were best viewed from the boardwalk area along the Western side of the wood.

Birchwood Pool: 2f Goldeneyes, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Little Grebes, 1m Pochard, 7 Tufted Ducks, 5 Gadwall and 1 Common Gull.

Pumphouse Pool : 2 Cormorants, 1 Grey Heron, 5 Teal and 4 Gadwall.

This pool is a shadow of it's former self, it has shrank to around half it's original size.



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John Williams


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Usually a morning birder, evening Dad, but the last couple of nights I've been down the area from mid afternoon until after dark, primarily looking for and failing to detect any owls!

Yesterday went to the Eastern end of the Reserve to have a look, with the default "thermal image" App on an iPad Pro. Pretty crap quantitatively (definitely was not -17 degC on the water) but qualitatively pretty good at highlighting objects of different temperature / (I think it works on emissivity / reflectivity rather than being true FLIR as I'm sure you'd need a different lens to the default on on the iPad). A test a few days prior in the day it picked up four Snipe I was about to flush at a distance of 15 yards. On the Black-fields Pools you could tell the shape of Teal vs. Gadwall and spot roosting Corvids and Grey Heron. At the NW side of the back small pool, something was moving in the edge of the reeds towards the back, when it came into the open it had a profile revealing a female Pheasant, too fat and not snake enough neck liked to be anything else. Hundreds of Corvids came up off the Capped Tip and went towards Birch Wood to roost. Couldn't see to count due to the treeline in the way, but for ten minutes the cacophony of noise was spectacular. A few flocks of tens or low hundreds of Starlings flew in as I was walking off the Reserve, I couldn't triangulate if they were going to the Capped Tip Reedbed (CTRB) or the Eastern Reedbed (ERB).

Today a more traditional walk around the lanes and farmland using the Mk1 ears and eyes. 147 Herring Gulls in small groups went West down the Ship Canal. 126 Pink-footed Geese flew over heading NNW over Norton Marsh, so looked more like heading for Lancashire Mosses than Dee? I got to the S-bends on Lapwing Lane and in the dusk my eyes pick up a bright Blue Jack Snipe that was heading through the bends zig-zagging up the centre of the road at a metre height. Hold on, that can't be right.....Kingfisher of course, but strange to see one on a landlocked route equidistant from the Mersey and the Ship Canal. Better view of the Corvid roost, at least 900 Jackaw and Carrion Crow, including the "White Winged Carrion Crow" present last Winter (and 2015-2016) - does a good impression of a Hoodie in the twilight. Groups of Starlings could be seen from the field by the car park heading toward the ERB or CTRB and around 2,000 joined and did a couple minutes bunching and grouping as if to go into full scale Mumurations but they started to fragment and small groups dropped out of sight. 64 Cormorant were roosting on Lapwing Lane Lake trees.

 



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Misty morning but plenty of winter thrushes down in the hedges around Lapwing Lane and down the Ship Canal to Halfway House. Waderless river though.

Huge Herring Gull again on the river, with 17 normal sized Herring Gull, 11 Great Black-backed Gull and 47 Black-headed Gull. Smattering of Cormorant but Shelduck are conspicuous in their absence on the river this autumn.

Seven Grey Heron in view from Halfway House between the Mersey and the Ship Canal.

Four Snipe on Norton Marsh and on the now flooded wader scrape I managed to sneak up on a "bouncing" Jack Snip. Apologies to any other birders on the Marsh (didn't see any) as I reverted to my 1970s youth as a Sheff Weds fan and yomped my way off the marsh singing the "If you are not bouncing you are a Blade" football chant.

Then to top the day off, three Greenfinch on Lapwing Lane, rare I ever see more than a singleton on patch, and only the third time seen this year, Yellowhammer 



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Insomnia..so having shut my car door in the dark at Moore last night I find myself opening the door before first light. A much better day - 140 Tufted ducks were roosting on Pumphouse and as day broke flew off SE in pairs, threes and fours (to the Ship Canal?).

37 Siskin in one flock by the hide on Lapwing Lane. One Pochard. Four more Tufted Duck on the lake and two Wigeon.

Woodcock flushed on the wet field / building raft to east of Recovery Wharf - the idiot left it until I nearly stood on it and came straight up at me. I don't know who got the bigger shock I had a brief vision of its bill piercing my heart and me hanging up my binoculars on the way to the great observatory in the sky, felt the wing tips / air brush my cheek as it went past my head.

And to top the day off, all three Woodpecker species were seen, usual spots; Green over Capped Tip, Great Spotted over Pumphouse Pool and the other from Lapwing Lane fields in the adjacent trees.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Wednesday 30th of November 2022 04:12:22 PM



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Wednesday 30th of November 2022 04:14:48 PM

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I mean early afternoon on a misty November day is never going to produce quality birding but c'mon a loop of the Northern path past the Eastern Reedbed, via Colin's Hide and back via the remains of Phoenix Hide remains produced three Long-tailed Tit, two Cormorant, 54 Teal, two Gadwall and a Carrion Crow. And that was it in 90 minutes! That just isn't game.

So unperturbed I gave up on Moore and had a more successful yomp along the Mersey (see "Cheshire River Mersey Sites thread") only to see eight Goosander flying down the Mersey towards Moore East End (I was well over on the North Bank of the Mersey so they couldn't count as a second-winter patch tick).

Returning to Moore from the sojourn to the Dark Side, that "feeling" came over me and I took the short-cut from the Transpennine Trial past the Black-fields Pools (one Cetti, four Teal, one Buzzard, few Woodpigeons) back to Colins Field where I heard a familiar wheeeep-whip screech. Waiting and watching and hearing the call again over 30 minutes as dusk started to fall and I was treated to a Little Owl flit up from behind the ridge onto one of the telegraph poles toward the Capped Tip - over three years since I've seen one on patch as they seem to have gone from the usual haunts at the farms. Euphoria of adding one to the patch list for the year slightly tempered by finding an error in the count formula in my database and thinking I was on 133 before today, finding that only after adding Little Owl was I on 133....supporting cast was slightly better this time with in addition to the Teal numbers again, eight Fieldfare over Phoenix Hide, four Tufted Duck on the Eastern Reedbed, Grey Heron and a smattering of Starlings (80ish) flying around but not stopping to roost.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Tuesday 29th of November 2022 06:44:18 PM

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Female Goldeneye back on Birchwood Pool, three Pochard, Little and Great Crested Grebe, four Tufted Duck 17 Black-headed Gulls, Jay, Carrion Crow and Buzzard.

Willow Tit on path to Pumphouse Pool, where there were six Gadwall, Coot, Moorhen, 54 Teal, being stalked by a dog Fox, resplendent colours shining in the early morning sun. Generally good numbers of Tit flocks flitting about but nothing other than Blue, Coal, Great and Long-tailed Tits, no crests.

Two Nuthatches dominating the feeding station.

17 Tufted Duck on Anglers Pool.



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Must have missed John below by seconds as have just got back from almost the same list of birds...except I didn't see the Siskin........but there was a Lesser Black-backed Gull on Birchwood Pool briefly that displayed traits of adult winter spp. intermedius



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10.00-13.30

Lapwing Lane area : 2 Goldcrests, 1m Bullfinch and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Siskins and Goldfinches were seen foraging around the top of alder trees.

Lapwing Lane Pool : 13 Wigeon, 8 Gadwall, 6 Shovelers and 2 Little Grebes.

Birchwood Pool area : 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Buzzard, 4 Little Grebes and 5m Pochards.

Pumphouse Pool area : 1 Green Sandpiper, 50 Teal, 2 Little Grebes, 1 Grey Heron, 10 Gadwall and 3 Cormorants.

This pool has been largely drained, so the Cormorants looked somewhat out of place.

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John Williams


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Forgot there was a running race through Moore today so gave up on the Woods and went to the Pools.

Pumphouse Pool is getting lower, I know Solvay have increased their extraction rate, soon there will be no pool left (same with Millbrook pool but that is harder to see with the Phoenix Hide closed) - I can't even think what sprats the herons and egrets must be eating (frogs?). However the first four Shoveler of the second winter period were back, 37 Teal, 72 Gadwall, four Mallard, four Cormorant, 11 Coot, seven Moorhen. Surprisingly a Kingfisher came through, dived into what was almost mud and pulled out a stickler as big as its head which it proceeded to batter on a fencepost for five minutes until it could swallow it. Seven Black-headed Gull present and constant Woodpigeon over.

Three Cettis around the Eastern Reedbed, two Goldcreast and a Chiffchaff were the birds of note.



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Late report from Weds 9th Nov.

Went early (5 am) looking for owls before dawn (no joy) but heard a number of Woodcock and Winter Thrushes overhead.

18 Snipe flushed on Norton Marsh. Odd Curlew and Lapwing flying along the Mersey and seven Little Egrets in view from Halfway House.

3,400+ Pink-footed Geese went East up the estuary at 7:50am.

Still very quite for woodland birds, but finally reconnected with Bullfinch, not seen any since late April.



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Been very quite on patch the last couple weeks, apart from Winter Thrushes the woodlands seem bare of birds, even Tits are hard to come by.

Seven Snipe and one Jack Snipe flushed on the marshy land beside the WCML railway bridge.

Great White Egret still on Pumphouse Pool, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen and Little Grebe making up the supporting cast.



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A dismally wet start to the day and just after dawn as I was walking along the Northern path by the Eastern reedbed somewhere in the order 5 - 10,000 Starlings were climbing into the sky from the location of the Reedbed and heading North East towards Warrington town centre.

Great White Egret still on Pumphouse Pool, now seemingly friends with the Grey Heron stood side by side again.

However the day brightened up and produced four counts which for me were all my highest patch individual totals; Pochard - 35 Birchwood Pool, 12 Greenfinch in a flock at Recovery Wharf, 64 Jay (31 of which were in one field at Moss Lane), and between Birchwood Pool and the Ship Canal 182 Mallard.

353 was the single biggest skein of Pink-footed Geese I have seen on (ok, over, SE at 11:10) the patch but I've higher daily totals from multiple sightings.

27 Curlew on Moss Lane fields.



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Today 

Birchwood Pool - Pochard, Mallard, Little Grebe (two still in juv plumage), Great Crested Grebe.

Pumphouse Pool - Great White Egret still, Grey Heron, two Green Sandpiper, two Lapwing, 22 Teal, Mallard and Gadwall

South side Capped Tip - two Skylark, Kestrel, Buzzard, Fieldfares on berries.

Richmond Bank - two Great Black-backed Gulls, eight Herring Gull, 42 Black-headed Gull, 860 Lapwing, Cormorants.

During the two hrs rom dawn around 650 Redwing over in groups of up to 55, with some fieldfare in the groups and one group 17 Fieldfare.

 

Yesterday

MSC to halfway House - 34 Great Tits (plus Blue and Coal) in two adjacent trees.

River Mersey - three Green Sandpiper, Cormorant, 28 Lapwing, 104 Black-headed Gull, two Herring Gulls and a stonking houfus of a Herring Gull, presume argentatus with a brutish scowling expression, towering over the Great Black-backed Gull it was stood next to.

Back path over the fields around 255 Redwing over in small groups and three feeding on berries on the bushes.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Friday 21st of October 2022 02:30:23 PM

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Early morn visit, 100th to the patch this year and Moore had a nice treat for me for my centennial visit!

Black Fields Pool held Snipe, Teal, Mallard, Moorhen and Cetti's warbler. A Raven flew over.

Pumphouse Pool from Colins Hide, at first in the sun there were Teal, Black-headed Gulls a single Green Sandpiper, five Little Egret and before I stated looking at the ducks a Grey Heron chasing a Grey White Egret (a patch first for me) come into view. They circled the Pool sometimes going behind the island / roosting on the island, regularly for 20 minutes or so. Then the Grey Heron again chased the Great White Egret into the NW corner and was lost to visit. I went round to the Western Screen to see if it could be reseen, again it flew past doing a circuit as I got there, to go and roost back over in the NE corner where I had just come from. Mist was dropping in by now and 35 Redwing were the last sighting of note.



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Early morn start, quiet down Lapwing Lane past the ploughed field, Jays, 2 Tree Sparrow (at Moss Farm) and a pair of Pied Wagtails. On the path to Norton Marsh was a Chiffchaff and Linnet in the adjacent fields.

Round Norton Marsh and a wisp of 13 Snipe were flushed from next to old hide to further down the Marsh. A pair of Reed Buntings were on the fence below Owens Wood. The Mersey was quiet with two Great Black-back Gulls, four Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 22 Lapwing, two Cormorant, and 124 Black-headed Gull. No Herons/Egrets for the first time in a while.

Back from the Ethelene pumping station via the back path to Lapwing Lane and two Lesser Redpoll were on the hedgetop, first of the second winter season for me.

Lapwing Lane Pool held the same species roughly in number as a couple of days ago.



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Lapwing Lane Pool: Four Wigeon, 61 Coot, 21 Gadwall, Mallard, Little Grebe, Moorhen and Tufted Duck.

Lots of Tit flocks moving along the back path from the Feeding station to Birchwood Pool, including Coal, Great, Blue and Long-tailed, with a single Goldcrest and Dunnocks and two Chaffinch for company.

Birchwood Pool: Two Wigeon, 41 Black-headed Gull, Tufted Duck, two Great-Crested Grebe, one Little Grebe, Mallard, six Pochard, one Cormorant.

Ship Canal from swing bridge: Kingfisher, 21 more Coot, two Little Grebe and most out of the norm, a Water Rail on the concrete section of shore on the South side of the canal (where Oystercatchers sometimes hang out).



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Horse fields and circuit of Moss Lane (South of the ship canal technically not on the reserve itself).

27/8 Pied Wagtails in the horse fields, around 1/3rd of which were juvs. Three Linnet. Collared Dove. Skylark and Meadow Pipit over. Starlings on the wires (low 00s) outnumbered by ca. 2,000 Wood Pigeon on the wires. Goldfinch, Rook, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow and Magpie in abundance. Buzzard and Kestrel over the field and Curlew (9) with a solitary Golden Plover on the field the borehole rig is in by Moss Lane. Two Tree Sparrow by Gentlemen of Moore Rugby Club. 47 Black-headed Gull and a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls flying over.



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Pumphouse at about noon - 5 lapwings, 2 green sandpipers, 4 greenshanks, 3. Little egrets, 2 grey herons and 9 cormorants

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swifty


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Pumphouse Pool. Two Little Egret, two Grey Heron, one Green Sand, one Greenshank, three Lapwing, one (m) Wigeon, three Teal, 37 Gadwall, 14 Cormorant.

Wet marsh between Pumphouse and the Ship Canal a Jack Snipe flushed (by a German Shepard type dog seemingly running around on its own!).

Birchwood Pool. 47 Black-headed Gull, Grey Heron, Mallard, two Tufted Duck, Two Pochard, Gadwall, Coot, Moorhen, Ad Little Grebe with two chicks still bearing juv "stripe-head" plumage.

 

 

 

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Thursday 6th of October 2022 06:22:48 PM

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Must have been a "mini" fall overnight. Northern Eastern Reedbed path in 1/2 mile had 17 Goldcrest and six Chiffchaff. Loads of berries on the bushes looking good for Winter Thrushes.

One Little Grebe and 34 Teal on the Black Fields Pools. Earth moving machinery from the Landfill starting to work it's way around the BFPs, wonder how much longer they will exist? Anyway the over-wintering Green Sandpiper usually on these pools was today on Pumphouse Pool with a Greenshank, three Grey Heron, one Little Egret, 17 Cormorant, 28 Gadwall and 18 Teal.

One Buzzard and one Black-headed Gull were the only birds over the Eastern Reedbed.

 



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After no waders at Halfway House yesterday, applying the Moore "what wasn't there yesterday will be there today" (a variant of the "waders are always at the other end of the patch rule") a morning visit around the falling / low tide produced 27 Oystercatcher, seven Golden Plover (first of the autumn on patch), six Curlew and two Green Sandpipers.

Much of the same as yesterday along the Ship Canal track, plus a signing Chiffchaff and a Kestrel hovering over the field by Stobart's warehouse which had two Pied Wagtail in.



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Before the rains....path to Upper Moss Side two Swallows, then a minute later six Redwing, small Greenfinch flock.

Four Meadow Pipits over Norton Marsh and three more Swallows. Cetti's Warbler singing. Nine Little Egrets and six Grey Herons on the Mersey, with Comorant, Canada Geese, Shelduck, Crow, Black-headed Gull, Great and Lesser Black-backed Gull and a single Great Crested Grebe.

13 more Grey Heron along the Ship Canal back from Halfway House to Lapwing Lane, four more Swallows, 19 Tufted Duck, seven Great Crested Grebe and a Cetti's Warbler singing on the South side near Oxmoor. Sparrowhawk on wires at Lapwing Lane



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Friday 30th of September 2022 12:34:32 PM

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Short loop of the middle of the reserve using the remaining roofed hides and tree cover to provide shelter from the rain.

Lapwing Lane Pool - 1 Wigeon, Moorhen, 47 Coot, 6 Canada Goose, 2 Little Grebe, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Cormorant, Mallard and Gadwall.

Path to Birchwood Pool, Willow Tit in with Long-tailed, Coal and Great Tit flock moving along the old Canal.

Birchwood Pool - 2 Pochard, 2 Lesser-black Backed Gulls, 27 Black-headed Gulls, 4 Canada Geese, 2 Tufted Duck, Little Grebe and Gadwall.

Beautiful Goldcrest came out the rain like a blade of Sunlight walking down to Pumphouse Pool which contained a Grey Heron, 37 Teal, Gadwall and four four Greenshank, three adult, one Juv. Beautiful group sighting to make the day!



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Evening walk tonight and just as I was passing off a few hundred yards east of the East End at 6 - 7 pm, 550+ Starlings that had on the electricity pylons by Chester Road went and "quasi-Murmured" going off west and disappeared out of view into where the Eastern Reedbed would be.

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Saturday 24th of September 2022 09:54:30 PM

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Down at the river early morning.

One Green Sandpiper, three Redshank, five Little Egret all flybys as tide rose flooding the Banks / Bars.

17 Pink-footed Geese SE.

Three separate Cetti's Warblers calling along the MSC path to Halfway House.



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Pumphouse Pool
pm
1 Green Sandpiper energetically picking insects from surface of water.
 



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Seven Little Egret, five Grey Heron, few Cormorant, seven Curlew, three Redshank, 14 Shelduck flyby, a Greenshank and a Green Sandpiper and the usual Corvids and Gulls down at the River at Halfway House this morning. Most unusual, was Coot in the gutter of the Mersey strolling along the waterline. Don't think I've ever seen a Coot here before.

Two Buzzards over the Eastern Reedbed, three separate Cetti's Warblers singing. Two Mute Swan with two juv.

Green Sandpiper on Pumphouse Pool with Teal, Gadwall, Mallard, Little Grebe, hybrid Mallard / Muscovy, Black-headed Gull four Lapwing and Crows.

Canada and Greylag Geese on Pumphouse Pool with Great Crested Grebe (inc 2 in juv plumage) and Little Grebe, a few Tufted duck about and Gadwall on the pool as well at Birchwood Pool.

Great-Spotted Woodpecker in Birch Wood, a few Titmouse families flitting through the trees.

Kestrel and Pied Wagtail on top of Recovery Wharf buildings.

Water Rail, Coot, Moorhen, Gadwall (some still coming out of eclipse plumage) , Cormorant, Canada Goose, Little Grebe, Mallard and Wigeon (4) on Lapwing Lane Pool, my #100 species on patch for the "second half" of the year.

Two swallows over the farm fields on the way out the reserve.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Monday 19th of September 2022 07:07:26 PM

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Retrieved a Trail Cam I'd left watching a small corner of Norton Marsh to see if the high tide last night did flood the Marsh. In-between the downpours, looks like there was some moving water on the marsh around 2am, with seven Little Egret and five Grey Heron on the Marsh picking away at prey.



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Again checked out the river over the high tide and can't convince myself there are enough other factors in a surge flow that means Norton Marsh will flood even around 2am the morrow morn on the biggest tide. I remember seeing it in 2013 (and the Mersey Bore) on what was one of the highest tides for a decade or so, with low pressure, high flow down the Mersey and a wind up the estuary and it was quite a bird of prey-fest on the displaced amphibians and rodents.

So after the River which apart from gulls passing up and down river, gave up one Green Sandpiper I went to the farm fields where Linnet (2), Jackdaw (17), Pied Wagtail (7), Mistle Thrush (3), Bullfinches (4), Goldfinches (13), Reed Bunting (2), made up the supporting cast.

Loads of Robins singing though, what do they say about a Robin being the soul of the recently departed?

One juv buzzard was around and the large female Sparrowhawk that hangs around Lapwing Lane put of a few good shows.

Tens of Swallows over and 5 House Martin.



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Wondered if the largish tides over the next few days might push anything upriver of interest but was sadly disappointed. Norton Marsh was close to flooding on the lunchtime high tide today (9.45m predicted) with some of the gutters including those to the old overgrown wader scrape filling up slightly but still a good foot or so before even starting to flow onto the Marsh. Annoyingly the two big tides of this cycle are 1-2ft higher HT at Liverpool (River seems to peak at Norton Marsh around an hour after HT at Liverpool, but depends on anything that can affect a surge such as air pressure, wind direction, flow down the Mersey etc), are both around midnight tonight and Sunday they will probably cause the Marsh to flood; will have to check out the new detritus left on there in the next few days.

Nothing was lost though as a very pleasant few hours mooch watching the tide cycle on the river and birds on the Marsh from Halfway House the old hide site.

Three Green Sandpiper flew up the river ahead of the tides. Only wader present today. 27 Cormorant, 4 Great Black-backed Gull, 117 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 9 Herring Gull and 300+ Black-headed Gull were on the various sandbanks (many more Black-headed gulls cycling up and down river). Grey Heron were present with seven and four Little Egret. Five buzzards over Fiddlers Ferry. Kestrel over Norton Marsh. Hundreds of Corvids flushing off Upper Moss Side farm fields every time the bird scarers went off.

Pair Stonechat on the posts at the edge of Norton Marsh, Great Spotted Woodpecker flyover towards Curdley, five Meadow Pipits south, 35 Goldfinch flitting around in a group, two linnet in fields by path back to Lapwing Lane.

 



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Early morning.....

Eastern Reedbed - Cetti's Warbler singing again. 

Millbrook Pool - Grey Heron, Little Egret.

Black-Fields Pools (BFP) - of note, 34 Teal, Little Egret, Green Sandpiper, mute Swan cygnet, 4 Lawping.

Tip Gate and Colin's Field - 1hr watch produced of note 2 Whinchat, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Swallow, 2 Snipe over, 1 Green Sandpiper (going from BFPs to PHP?), Buzzard in field eating prey (rabbit?).

Pumphouse Pool (PHP) - 2 Green Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 2 Grey Heron, Moorhen, Coot, 2 Cormorants, 8 Lapwing.

Birchwood Pool quiet, Common Gull, Both Grebes inc Juvs, Canada Geese, Gadwall (10/11).

Ship Canal at the swing bridge - 2 Pairs Mute Swan, 91 Coot, a few Tufted Duck.

Lapwing Lane Pool - Sparrowhawk and four Buzzards, great view of a Water Rail straight in front of the hide, 36 more Coot + juvs, Moore + juvs, 60+ Gadwall, Cormorant, Canada Goose, both Grebes.

On return extras - Pumphouse Pool - Black-tailed Godwit in bay to North :edit: South, not North (right hand side) of West end hide.

Nothing more at the tip gate as contractors are moving spoil around.

Eastern Reedbed - Hobby over soaring before moving off East down towards the Ship Canal.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Thursday 8th of September 2022 05:13:16 PM

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11.00-15.00 (Highlights)

Lapwing Lane Pool : 1m Wigeon and 7 Little Grebes.

Birchwood Pool : 4 adult + 3 juvenile Great Crested Grebes, 8 Little Grebes + 2 youngsters (Still being fed by a parent)

and 5 Pochards.

Pumphouse Pool : 1 Greenshank, 1 Black Tailed Godwit, 3 Snipe, 2 Little Egrets, 4 Grey Herons, 2 Cormorants, 4 Little Grebes

and 4 Lapwings.

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Lapwing Lane loop and the adjacent Ship Canal.

6 Mute Swan , 2 of which Cygnet.

In total 13 Swallow and 4 House Martin.

2 Curlew on fields, both singles of Green and Common Sandpiper on the Ship Canal beach at the Yellow Gate.

1,300+ (only started counting when I realised a large movement was occurring) of very vocal Black-headed, Lesser-black Backed and Herring Gull from the direction of the river (high tide was due about this time) passing over, looking to descend in the fields to the North of Daresbury. Probably eating detritus left from the Creamfields festival!

One juv Sparrowhawk and one Buzzard were the raptors of the day.



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Colins East Hide looking over Pumphouse pool. Four Lapwing, three Grey Herons giving each other agro trying to find whose spot was whose. Two Snipe looking on indifferent and resplendent in the afternoon sunlight sat in the middle of the pool mudflats. A Greenshank (much paler than last weeks bird, almost ghost like as light caught it sideways on was roaming the pool. Adult Green Sandpiper flew in from NE (Black-Fields Pools?) and returned in the same direction after 20 minutes. Five Lapwing were visible on the edges and a Kingfisher flew through, not stopping heading for the Eastern Reedbeds. Little Egret present, seems to be settled down the Eastern end of Moore this year.

Four Black-headed Gulls (juv) were present with two adult Lesser-black Backed Gulls +1 juv.

Six Greenfinch (ads+juvs) flew along the canal path embankment north of the Eastern Reedbed.

One Chiffchaff sat for a while, quietly, at Birchwood Pool West Hide, wonder if it has decided to stay? Water level on Birchwood Pool about 3ft below the hide floor, last winter, it was level with the hide floor.

Birchwood Pool Great-crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Mallard, Mallard / domestic goose Hybrid (white neck band), Gadwall (31 including count from Pumphouse who flew in), Canada Goose (14), Greylag Geese (11) + one Hybrid white necked and headed smaller individual with black eye and grey bill.

Two Buzzard over Black-fields Pools. Plenty of Wood Pigeon knocking about and starting to see Rook on fields down the Eastern Reedbed end which isn't something I've seen in recent years so early and starlings building up in groups on power lines.

Yesterday, driving just south of Moore (trying to avoid Creamfields to get to work) nine swift were overhead above ploughed fields at Walton for a while.



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Wondered if the heavy rains earlier might produce a bit of a fall and wasn't disappointed. 14 juv _ Ad Pied Wagtails in the horse fields by the Crossroads at the swing bridge, with a single juv Wheatear. 17 Blackbirds an 42 Starlings were also fliting around teh fields with Jackdaw, Magpie and Rook in attendance.

Checking the River for waders at Halfway House / Round Cherval / Owens Wood produced again a flock of eight Redshank (same birds as last week?), 1 Common and 2 Green Sandpipers, single Curlew and Oystercatcher.

Five swallows seen and leaving Moore there were over 90 Starlings on the telephone lines.



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Yesterdays visit gave a "return wader" feel to the Mersey at Moore so a return trip today was undertaken, again for the low tide at Halfway House and environs.

6 Curlew, 3 Lapwing (strangely low number), 1 Common Sandpiper were all the waders....hmmm bit disappointing. 4 Little Egret, 2 Grey Heron and again the five Common Species of Gulls loafing about and washing in the river, constantly flying to and from the Wigg Island direction so hard to get a feel for overall gulls, but a good 600-650 were present in front of Halfway House / on Penketh Bar.

Then the first highlight of today first returning Shelduck fly in (64) with three Ruddy Shelduck. Settled on the mudflats downstream from Halfway House between the East end of Wigg Island and Fiddlers Ferry.

Walking back over the fields, a Sparrowhawk put up a Charm of 67+ Goldfinch.

Applying the Moore Inverse Law on Waders (they are always at the other end of the patch) I went to the Black-fields Pools. Green Sandpiper (juv), Lapwing (8), Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Mute Swan, Tufted Duck and Coot were also present. Onto Pumphouse Pool and adult Green Sandpiper, Snipe (2), Lapwing (7) and a Greenshank were present, at one point all in the same Bins view! My July 15th prediction on Pumphouse coming good for waders this year appears to be coming true. Interestingly, re Greenshank, for three consecutive years I have seen the Spring migrants on the Mersey at Halfway House and the returning autumn migrants on Pumphouse Pool, singles on all occasions.

One of the days what patch birding is all about!

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Friday 19th of August 2022 04:56:04 PM

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Down to Halfway House / Round Cherval for low tide.

Curlew (3), Oystercatcher (1), Redshank (8 - highest count I've had on patch), Common Sandpiper (1), Lapwing (27), Grey Heron (5), Little Egret (1), Kestrel, Buzzard, All five usual Gull species, Cormorant, Crows, Jackdaw, Gadwall



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Might be worth going back there now after a few hours. Could be the patches first record of a Brown Booby!....Or three pairs of Red-breasted....I'll get me coat.



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Hi Andy, Did the sunbathers mis-read the 'Nature' Reserve sign for 'Naturalist'!? I am sure the Tawny Owl could not give two hoots! Sorry about that - sun is getting to me!

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Was hoping perhaps for a Gargeny with a few being around recently in Cheshire......read on for a suprise.......

Lapwing Lane Pool. 2 swallows, Gadwall, Coot, Moorhen, 6 Little Grebe, 4 Tufted Duck, 2 male Pochard under branches a few Canada Geese on Island.

Birchwood Pool from West. 10 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Ad, 1 juv Lesser Black-backed Gulls. 2 Adult and 4 juv Great-crested Grebe. 4 Tufted Duck. 

Pumphouse from West. 8 Black-headed gull, three Grey Heron. 7 Lapwing, Coots and Moorhen, 4 Little Grebe and a Green Sandpiper of unusual jizz (bob three times, straight walk, raise head and stretch neck, turn straight walk back, bob three times etc repeat) looking "long necked" and also had a slightly longer, thicker and more curved bill than I'd expect but finally after 30 minutes it flew across the pool and thoughts of it being any other species were put to bed by the distinctive tail banding. Not very good dhot attached of the bird starting to extend its neck.          

Cut back through the woods, and finally, for this year, found a Tawny Owl roosting!

Emerging from the Wood onto the North side of the dog field I encounter three nude sunbathers!!!! No record shot there I am afraid.

 

 



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Eastern End very quiet early this morning. Highlight seven Grey Heron and two Little Egret on the evaporating remains of Pumphouse Pool. Six Gadwall, thirteen Coot, three Lapwing and three Moorhen were the supporting cast.



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At the river at Half Way House, over the rising tide on the bend and Penketh Bar.

Three Oystercatcher, three Curlew, one Little Egret, two Common Gull amongst the Herring, Lesser, Greater and Black-headed Gulls. Two resplendant summer plumage Black-tailed Godwits were on the Northern Bank until the tide pushed them over to Fiddlers Lagoon direction. Cormorant, Crow, Jackdaw made up the supporting cast on the sandbanks. 

Very quite on the walk to Half Way House, just Mute Swan on the Canal, a few juv Titmouse families a Chiffchaff and a Buzzard with Great Crested Grebe (+juv) and a few Gadwall (<10) on the Manchester Ship Canal.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Sunday 7th of August 2022 07:04:38 PM

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10.00-15.30

Lapwing Lane Pool : 4 Little Grebes.

Lapwing Lane woodlands/Feeding Station area : 1 Buzzard and 1 Treecreeper.

A Garden Warbler was seen taking Elderberries from a tree near the feeding station.

Birchwood Pool : 5 adult + 3 juvenile Great Crested Grebes, 4 Little Grebes, 2 Pochard and 6 Sand Martins.

Pumphouse Pool : 4 Lapwings and 1 Little Grebe.

A Willow Warbler was seen snatching insects from the leaves of a tree alongside the pumping station.

Old canal towpath/embankment North of the Eastern Reedbed :

1 Garden Warbler with 2 fem/juv + 1m Blackcaps feasting on Elderberries.



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And now Phoenix Hide has been burnt down last night! Third time in its life..........poor Moore. Sounds like some dodgy characters are hanging around Moore in the evenings at least so take care anyone visiting.

https://www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/news/20600640.police-arson-probe-trans-pennine-trail-bird-hide-fire/



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a.m. Eastern end visit.

Black-fields Pools: 8 Lapwing, pair Tufted duck with 6 chicks. Two Grey Heron. Pale Buzzard. Single Chiffchaff. Eight Canada Geese, two small Juvs. Little Grebe (6). Two adult Mute Swan. 1st time I've seen any on these pools. Two swallows.

Pumphouse Pool (or mud-scrape, never seen it so low): Six Juv Black-headed Gull. Two Great Crested Grebe, no sign of the young from the nest ten days ago. Two Little Grebe. Four Gadwall. Two Teal. Great-spotted and Green Woodpecker flyovers. Two Grey Wagtail. Family of Long-tailed Tit flitting around Colin's Hide. 2 Lapwing. Single Jay. Grey Heron catching frogs! Water Rail and chick.

Raven on the path back the the Mersey at the WCML bridge.

Eastern Reedbeds / Millbrook Pool from Phoenix Hide (which has had half the benches burnt down, from the smell probably last night as fresh charring was still present). Little Egret on Millbrook Pool, elusive Green Sandpiper favouring the channel between the two halves of the pool, in and out of view regularly. Reed Warbler and Chiffchaff. Coot, Moorhen and Mallard present. Woodpigeon and Buzzard watching from the adjacent trees. Six swift.

Edited to add swallow and swift.

 

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Monday 1st of August 2022 06:59:00 PM

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Down the Mersey estuary end at Halfway House were 347 Lapwing, 2 Curlew (1st returnees I have seen), 17 Little Egret, 6 Oystercatchers, solitary Green Sandpiper, Black-headed, Lesser Black-Backed, Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls but nothing unusual. Juv Stonechat on fenceline of Norton Marsh.



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Millbrook Pool west of the Eastern Reedbed now approaches three discrete puddles as water levels drop. Still good views of adult + 2 juv Water Rail trying to find the water line. Mute Swan + 4 cygnets. grey Heron.

Pumphouse Pool rapidly dropping also, one creek almost separated from the main pool now. Highlight juv Grey Wagtail. Grey Heron. Canada Geese, 8 Lapwing inc 2 juv. 11 Black Headed Gull.

Even the clegs had given up in todays heat!

 



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Well "reverse listing" has proved interesting. At 15th Jan this year I had seen 66 species in 6 visits to Moore NR in 2022. As of "reset / reverse" I've seen in the same 15 day period in July 67 species in 6 visits. Both periods of visits each had two visits to each of i) MSC / Halfway House / Norton Marsh, ii) Lapwing Land and Pool and Birchwood Pool, iii) Pumphouse Pool, Eastern Reedbed, MSC East, River Mersey East to account for the species geo-location. So almost the same rate reverse patching species as accumulating them from the first six month period. 

Highlights, Black-necked Grebe Juv on Lapwing Lane Pool, 17 Little Egret on Penketh Bank and the bend in the River Mersey (7th) and one on Millbrook Pool 12th July - very rare I see them away from the Mersey (once a year?). Early Teal back on Millbrook Pool - or did it stay to try to breed (12th). Juv Yellowhammer by Lapwing Lane NW corner (7th).

Today was one of those funny days, when I looked at my "reverse" list I saw there were a few 'obvious species' already missing, Kingfisher, Nuthatch and Chaffinch. The early trip this morn started badly from light; 30 minutes in, despite DEET bug spray I reckon I'd been bitten by more Clegs than seen birds. Then from Lapwing Pool East / crossroads in 5 minutes I saw the three "instinct birds" and what was meant to be a quick scoot from the crossroads / main car park ended up being a productive couple of hours wander further afield.

Todays notes.

Lapwing Lane Pool: 57 Gadwall. 5 Little Grebe. 2 Moorhen. 4 Coot plus 2 Juv. Kingfisher. Cormorant. Mallard (4). Great Crested Grebe 1 fly over.

Path to Birchwood via Feeding Station. Nuthatch (3). Chaffinch (1). Great spotted Woodpecker (1). Reeds by old canal - Grasshopper Warbler reeling for a good 10-15 minutes. 

Birchwood Pool: 16 Tufted Duck. 2 Pochard (M). 2 Pairs Great Crested Grebe, one with one chick, one with two chicks (anyone else really scared / dislike juv GCgrebe plumage - reminds me of a snake and sends a shiver up my spine). 1 Heron. 2 Greylag Geese. 3 Little Grebe. 7 Coot.

Pumphouse Pool: Jay. 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker. Reed Warbler. Swift (4). Black-Headed Gull (12). Canada Goose (14). Kestrel and Buzzard both flew over.

 

Edit: The water levels at the East of Pumphouse Pool look the best for returning wader passage for many years.

 

 


 

30th June, halfway point in the year summary, 123 species. Now according to the "MoorePatcher (TM) or (C)" "Universal Law of Listing"; based on my total back in spring when the first summer migrant appeared my Moore patch year total should be somewhere around mid-high 120s.......meaning listing might become a bit of a dull sport for the rest of the year.

edit......

Looking through family note books from youth / Cheshire / Yorkshire birding in the 1980s I noted listing game I'd long forgot. Reverse listing. You take what you saw in the first half of the year as the list total, and then you reverse score in the second half of the year, back ticking species down to get from you half year score to [very optimistically] zero. 

So, mileage to end-June, 556 miles (foot), 65 visits, (hrs on patch am going to try to recalculate), patch total to date 123 species. Reverse patch total 123 ** species and decounting.

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Friday 15th of July 2022 07:40:45 PM



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Due to being away most of June only six visits to Moore in the month with just two new additions to the list for the year (Lesser Whitethroat on path to Norton Marsh and Spotted Flycatcher by Owens Wood).

30th June, halfway point in the year summary, 123 species. Now according to the "MoorePatcher (TM) or (C)" "Universal Law of Listing"; based on my total back in spring when the first summer migrant appeared my Moore patch year total should be somewhere around mid-high 120s.......meaning listing might become a bit of a dull sport for the rest of the year.

I know the two or three expected species I'm missing and either they're no longer on patch or second winter period may help find them.

Of course there is much more to a patch and birds than listing, the beauty of young birds now and the change of the seasons to return migration and the second winter period all add excitement to what a day on patch can hold. Or can hold............but things can be spiced back up!

Looking through family note books from youth / Cheshire / Yorkshire birding in the 1980s I noted listing game I'd long forgot. Reverse listing. You take what you saw in the first half of the year as the list total, and then you reverse score in the second half of the year, back ticking species down to get from you half year score to [very optimistically] zero. This allows for the vagrancies of the 2 in 20 years sightings (e.g. Ring Ouzel for me in April at Moore) not been seen in the second half of the year being allowed to be cancelled out by a "2022 new patch bird" / second winter season only sighting. *

So, mileage to end-June, 556 miles (foot), 65 visits, (hrs on patch am going to try to recalculate), patch total to date 123 species. Reverse patch total 123 ** species and decounting.

* I've just re-read my old notes and some of my Grandfathers and it appears it was Summer Solstice we started decounting on. Ho-hum drat missed that, going to do this from 1st July for Moore this year.

** In which case I just had a quick drive down to the swing bridge and watched for 20 minutes, nothing out the ordinary but I am already on a reverse patch total of 106.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Sunday 3rd of July 2022 09:38:09 PM

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