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Post Info TOPIC: Moore NR


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Moore NR


Met a birder/photographer I'd seen last week on the 15th and he showed me the photo of the Black-necked Grebe that drifted past the Lapwing Lane Hide as we were sat there. I Completely missed it even though he said he told me at the time!!!

Pesky Parakeets still about poking in holes on Lapwing Lane though a squirrel gave one a good fight today.

All the usual ducks on Lapwing Lane Pool, Wigeon (22), Shoveler (4), Shelduck (unusual here - 3), Mallard, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Coot, Moorhen, Little Grebe and displaying Great crested Grebes.

Seven Cormorant in the roost, Ravens and Buzzards over, not sure who was having a go at who sometimes.

Triangle Field Flood had 18 Golden Plover (first I have had away from the river, it was pretty much spot on high tide roost time), and 22 Lapwing. Cetti's Warbler singing off the base of Capped Tip. Other than that the circuit of Lapwing Lane was very quiet, the only other sighting of note was 22 Rook in the fields on the South side of the Ship Canal next to Promenade Park.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Friday 23rd of February 2024 08:31:05 PM

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Ringtail Hen Harrier on Norton marsh, first for me there. Also singing Stock Dove at Moore, just audible above the Ring - Necked parakeets dulcet tones.



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Doc Brewster wrote:
Andy Slee wrote:
............... with an all Black Mallard with yellow bill trying to be strung into a Scoter,

 


 I presume it was darker than American Black Duck, Andy? Could be a mega bird if it was one!!! Take a look at the link, you'll need to cut & paste it!

( https://ebird.org/species/ambduc )


I took the romances of a female British Mallard towards it in the group of Mallards it was with, plus another Hybrid Domestic Mallard in the Group to mean it was feral. And yes much blacker no colouration to the feather tips. The head when the light was right had the UK Mallard sheen to it.................this is closest image I could find.

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-domestic-mallard-duck-anas-platyrhynchos-domesticus-24158557.html?imageid=8D027E31-F4BA-4C14-91C3-FA1E626C8DD2&p=32408&pn=1&searchId=05a6f33579295724ad26e1900c84efb8&searchtype=0

Mind you, a freighter had gone up the Ship Canal a few hours earlier and they do say Moore is well overdue a UK Mega - perhaps a White Throated Sparrow off the next freighter if it decides it doesn't like the look of Seaforth first!



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Andy Slee wrote:
............... with an all Black Mallard with yellow bill trying to be strung into a Scoter,

 


 I presume it was darker than American Black Duck, Andy? Could be a mega bird if it was one!!! Take a look at the link, you'll need to cut & paste it!

( https://ebird.org/species/ambduc )



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Two loops of Lapwing Lane plus a few side paths and then the Horse fields South of the Ship canal today proved much more productive than the Woods have been of late.

Moss Farm midden and seed piles held six Reed Bunting, 11 Chaffinch, Brambling (single male), three Pied Wagtails, five (2m, 3f) Greenfinch and two male Yellowhammers.

Prey in the form of three Buzzards, male Kestrel, the big female Sparrowhawk near Bens Bridge and Ravens over.

Two Stonechat (m+f) viewed on the Horse fields by Stobarts from West Dock, plus Song & Mistle Thrush, and Fieldfare, Magpie and Curlew in the fields.

West end of Moss Lane, searching through the fields of Woodpigeon for the now patch rare Stock Dove (none seen - year blank to date) three Linnet flew over.

Great Crested Grebe in display with Coots, Moorhen, Tufties, Kingfisher on the Ship Canal with an all Black Mallard with yellow bill trying to be strung into a Scoter, Wigeon still on Lapwing Lane Lake and the ubiquitous Ring-Necked Parakeets are now up to five! (They are being fed fruit by a resident of Promenade Park opposite the reserve apparently who likes the birds on their feeders.....).

Chiffchaff calling by the Swing Bridge Crossroads and at North end of Lapwing Lane. Cettis calling by bottom edge of Triangle Field.

 



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Went down Upper Moss Side and Halfway House for the big tide of the year today and was not disappointed - the tide topped out at 6.55m on Fiddlers Gauges (6.20m is the usual max) and as a result Cuerdley Marsh and Norton Marsh both eventually fully flooded. The highest velocity I measured of detritus today was a storming upriver 7.2 knots. 

Gulls - 84 Black-headed; four Herring; six Lesser Black, four Great Black; two Common Gull. All got involved in scavenging small fish, frog, newt, rodents as the [Norton] Marsh flooded in front of me. Four Buzzards, a Raven, multiple Magpies and a juvenile Marsh Harrier joined in the slaughter. Seven Grey Heron were joined by a Great White Egret also partaking their fill.

Skylark (patch year tick) and six Reed Buntings were flushed; little other passerines. Three separate Snipe were flushed off the Marsh, other waders for the day were numerous Lapwing coming off the Marshes and from Fiddlers Ferry, a max of 282 was seen in the air at one point. Green Sandpiper kept the year ticks up and 11 Curlews, and flyby Oystercatchers and Redshanks made up the remaining waders.

Bird of the day was a Short-eared Owl (patch first, year and decade tick), flushed as the waters rose off Cuerdley Marsh. It remained quartering over the Marsh for a few minutes, myself cursing as that isn't Moore patch as it is North of the river bank, then headed over the river to Randles Tip/Astmoor/Wigg, with my feet firmly on Moore patch at Halfway House that counted then as a tick.

Blackbirds seemed to be in big numbers today, single Siskin and Bullfinch seen and to the south of the Ship Canal Mistle Thrush and Rook in the horse fields by Stobarts.

At Lapwing Lane Pool was the gruesome spectre of two dead cormorants in the roost of 27, hanging upside down, skeletal bones showing. Died in sleep with rigor mortis setting in - why haven't they fallen off the branches? Four Little Grebes and a good increase in Wigeon to 27.

55 species in total, not a bad few hours.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Monday 12th of February 2024 07:06:46 PM



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Monday 12th of February 2024 07:09:32 PM



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Pleasant walk around this morn from the car park to Pumphouse Pool and back. Highlights Siskins, Bullfinches, Chaffinches in the hedges, Goldcrests in the woods, a couple of flyover Oystercatcher for the patch list.

Two Little Grebe and two Great Crested Grebes coming out into breeding plumage and a Common Gull with the 14 Black-headed Gulls on Pumphouse Pool and m+f Goldeneye on Pumphouse Pool, male flew off to the Ship Canal to be seen again at the Swing Bridge. This male is a bit odd, the white eyepatch does extend in almost a teardrop above the bill suggesting perhaps another species but the bill shape is a Common Goldeneye, the back looks lighter coloured than usual for a Goldeneye (almost like a Scaup in some light). Looking through hybrids of Goldeneye species tonight it does seem to sit 95% in the variability of Common Goldeneye, hybrid with Smew / Barrow's look faint 5% chance on web photos, but photos on a PC screen don't capture the light and reflection one saw on a day.

Wigeon on Lapwing Lane Pool.

Four (4!) Ring-neck Parakeets making a nuisance of themselves along Lapwing Lane popping into nest holes and shrieking at small passerines.

Edit the male Goldeneye looks a bit like the middle of these three birds but with a silver / greyer back......that image from the following flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cochon/4326858482/



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Pleasant early morn visit to the river and Marsh, 43 species in total highlights being three Snipe and Kestrel all added to the year list. Ravens displaying over Upper Moss Side, 11 Great crested Grebe on the Ship Canal, 424 Lapwing at Halfway House will the usual Gulls, but sadly no white wingers.

Chiffchaff seen earlier in the week by Pumphouse Pool also an addition to the year list.



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2 hours this morning 30 species seen including 2 ring necked parakeets  treecreeper nuthatch coal tit 16 Siskin 1 chiffchaff 1 goldcrest



-- Edited by malcolm roach on Tuesday 30th of January 2024 06:24:51 PM

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From the 'dark-side' of Gateworth Tip where I was watching Richmond Bank and the gulls (how 2010!) Common Pheasant and Pied Wagtail were both seen on the Moore patch side of the river so two more year ticks for the patch. Upper Moss Side fields are absolutely sodden by the look of things with no signs of the winter finch flocks of later years. Full report in Richmond Bank thread.



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Very calm early this morn and little sign of the wind from the night before. A respectable 35 species from a loop of Lapwing Lane to Birchwood Pool East and back over the Dog Field where my first Green Woodpecker (f) of the year just fed away unaware I was watching for five minutes.

All the usual wildfowl with the 17 Wigeon being present as usual. Leaving the reserve a flock of 13 Goldfinch made the first appearance of this species for me on patch this year.



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Only two Curlew at Moore Lane today. A Little Egret in the fields at Big Hand Ranch on the small pond that has formed of late was an addition to the year list. Very little on the reserve in the building winds, just a few tits and a Blackbird.



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37 Curlew by Moore Lane Swing Bridge in the farm field today and 62 Tufted Duck on Anglers Quarry were noticeable numbers. Swing Bridge open to a boat so didn't go into the reserve itself.



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Last few days visits have been down the West end to add the usual suspects (in bold) found down there to the year list. Of note, Lapwing Lane had 16 Redwing, a Fieldfare, 6 Bullfinch. 

Onto the Ship Canal and a Sparrowhawk was at Oxmoor, little else along that stretch as the hedges were being mown. To Halfway House and two Curlew, one Redshank, nine Lapwing made up the waders. Wildfowl included on the Mersey Canada Geese, Wigeon (17), Teal(11), four Shelduck, 28 Mallard,  two Gadwall, six Tufted Duck, 17 Cormorant, flyover Mute Swan, and gulls present were one Common Gull, 281 Black-headed Gulls, three Herring Gulls, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls and two Great Black-backed Gulls. At least seven Grey Heron about.

A Merlin swooped under the banks of Owens Wood heading for the Marsh. At least two buzzards were about one very pale breasted, almost white.

On the Marsh was a flock of 27 Reed Bunting (highest I have seen in one place), one Meadow Pipit, and a few more Fieldfare over.

The return paths were very quite, highlight being six Lesser Redpoll and five more Bullfinch and another 16 Lapwing.

 

Noted the other day the proposals for Fiddler Ferry are being published for consultation which looks like (unlike earlier plans to drain and build over) at least the Eastern two lagoons may remain as wildlife areas. Be nice if they stuck a couple of hides / screens on the outer bund to view over the Mersey at Norton Marsh / Penketh Bar / Owens Wood / Halfway House from the Fiddlers side. https://fiddlersferry.com/

 



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One of the birders I see down Moore reminded me that there are still a lot of documents on Warrington Council's Website re the proposed plans for the destruction of Moore and reconstitution as a Country Park. The following document has the 2019 Breeding and Wildfowl Birding Surveys summarised and in detail in the appendices for anyone that is interested.

Despite a recent upturn in birders at Moore (through the Long-tailed Duck for year lists) no one seems to have any idea how to oppose these plans (snuck out by WBC as part of the local plan in Covid times). Anyone any ideas? CAWOS never responded when asked, the warden doesn't think anyone / corporate are interested as its a done deal. One can only hope Warrington can't afford to build the Western Bypass and plans unravel from there. Not sue I'd want a country park on Arley Tip though, after all the rain we've had last year there are some very hydrocarbon liquid puddles and pools around the base of the tip.

Link to anyone interested for the surveys.........https://www.warrington.gov.uk/sites/default/files/2022/localplan/UPSVLP-0438-P4-Redacted.pdf

 



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Absolute gruntling cracker of a visit for the second visit of the year. You expect the annual patch list to creep up a fair bit (41 after first visit) but the quality of the birds today exceeded the quantity (which wasn't bad either).

Lunchtime loop, in from the WCML bridge past the Black-fields Pools (Tufted Duck, Coot, Pochard), to come out at the Capped Tip to Raven gronking overhead and six Lesser Redpoll in the Alders. Lots of Woodpigeon moving about in flocks of 50-70.

On via Pumphouse Pool, 49 Teal, six Tufted Duck, a juv Mute Swan. Two Grey Heron were present in the margins and a Kingfisher flew over.

Through the woods to Birchwood Pool east and Treecreeper, male Bullfinch, Goldcrest and Willow Tit were seen (all four year ticks also). Long-tailed Duck (also a year tick) picked up in East bay of the Pool and over time, circled back to the SW corner, behind the island for a time. From Birchwood Pool South hide a Sinesis Cormorant loafed ten feet in front of me, two Common Gull, 39 Black-headed Gull circled around and two of the four Great Crested Grebes on the Pool entered into a mating display briefly.

Waxwing (three, patch life tick) were at the bottom corner of the Dog Field / opposite Recovery Wharf. A small Woodpecker flew onto the Island in Birchwood Pool and hung around for a brief while, whilst a Kingfisher also stayed on there fishing from the edges. Three Little Grebe emerged from the banks and swam about calling.

Best bird(s) of the day were saved until almost leaving the patch when slight movement on the an embankment made me look through the bins at the scrub to pick up three roosting Woodcock. Never had such a great view and watched for a couple minutes getting further details on their features as my eyes untangled the camouflage.

If wanting to see the Green Woodpeckers which are around the Dog Field these last twelve months might need to be quick, Further reports of the Ring-necked Parakeets chasing them off / trying to get to the nesting holes.



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1st decent morn to be out for a few weeks. 41 Species from just Lapwing Lane Lake and Birchwood Pool. No Long-tailed Duck (hasn't been seen for a few days).

Highlights Wigeon (17) on Lapwing Lane Lake, 49 Siskin, titmouse everywhere, singing Song and Mistle Thrush and Redwing. Gorgeous Common Gull just catching the light right on Pumphouse Pool.



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long-tailed duck on lapwing lane pool today



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Very quiet today. Pools mostly empty. Even a lack of Wigeon on Lapwing Lane at 11 when I arrived, 5 there when I left. Lots of branches and trees down.

Female Brambling at the back of Lapwing Lane Hide the best for the day.

140 the total species list from solstice 2022- 2023.

New ticks this year for my patch list; Long-tailed Duck found by Steven Wende (patch first by contemporary records / per comms), Yellow-browed Warbler, Ring-necked Parakeet no, Long-eared Owl after a decade away, Red Kite and Turnstone (pervious patch by other ca. 2016).



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Full loop of the reserve yesterday. Very quiet apart from Siskins, Redpolls and usual Titmouse in the trees in the woods areas.

Duckwise, Long-tailed Duck still on east end of Pumphouse Pool, 87 Teal, one fem Goldeneye, otherwise handfuls of the usual. 17 Wigeon on Lapwing Lane Pool.

The Marsh held a few Reed Buntings and one Stonechat and that was that, where the Snipe and Skylark have gone...?

Not one raptor seen all day.

River made up for it though watching for a couple of hours as the tide came in on WEBS count. 14 Redshanks upriver in a flock is my highest site total, followed ten minutes later by 12 Golden Plover that went over to Fiddlers Ferry Lagoon. Two Pintail flew upriver (**) and a single Ruddy Shelduck could be seen with three Shelduck off the edge of Astmoor Marsh.

(**) year tick - the fabled 140 species for the year and still haven't seen usually annual Willow Tit or biennials such as Goosander or Hen Harrier, nor any Waxwing...yet...but I did get these on the way home at Battersby Lane in Warrington.

Total WEBS species between self and two others for recording area River Mersey from Halfway House, past Round Cherval, Owens Wood, Penketh Bar and Penketh Bank to Northern Tip of Norton Marsh:

Canada Goose 59

Coot 3

Cormorant 12

Curlew 4

Gadwall 6

Golden Plover 12 Flew over to Fiddlers Ferry Lagoons

Grey Heron 3

Lapwing 229

Little Egret 1

Mallard 3

Pintail 2

Redshank 14

Shelduck 3

Teal 5

Wigeon 11

Black-headed Gull 14

Common Gull 2

Great Black-backed Gull 4

Herring Gull 6 Four Argentatus

Lesser Black-backed Gull 4

Domestic Mallard 2

Ruddy Shelduck 1

Caspian Gull 1 Adult

 



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Called in here late morning after checking on the Warrington Waxwings earlier (only 10 for us, very flighty , possibly due to a patroling Sparrowhawk).

The female Long-tailed Duck seen from Pumphouse Hide, very active in the bay to the left. Also female Goldeneye, Pochard, Gadwall, Teal,Tufted Duck, Little Grebe.
Another female Goldeneye on Birchwood Pool along with Great crested and Little Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, etc. 2 Ravens over to the North, usual woodland species.

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Late lunch around the East end. 23 Lapwing on Arpley field over high tide.

Along the Black-fields Pools one Great Spotted Woodpecker, 17 Siskin, eight Redpoll. Four Coot, two Grey Heron, two female Goldeneye, four Tufted Duck and a Redshank flyover.

Long-tailed Duck back on Pumphouse Pool (hasn't been the last two weeks so where she went to?), 89 Teal, two Shoveler, seven Gadwall, 11 Coot.

Two Pochard on the Eastern Reedbed with four Tufted Duck.

Finally Kingfisher on the Canal path to Chester Road.



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Quick visit to Lapwing Lane, 27 Wigeon on the pool with three Little Grebe, 18 Gadwall, 6 Mallard and five (3juv) Mute Swans.

Flock of 50-55 Siskin in the Alders on Lapwing Lane with six Lesser Redpoll.

Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Robin, Dunnock, Great Tit, Nuthatch, all fliting around in the lower scrub by the hide.



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Dawn broke over the Costa del Norton Marsh revealing 30 groups of people sat in deckchairs along the river from Halfway House to Penketh Bar, almost Algarve like apart from -2C and low cloud! Drat, so I wasn't the only one having the idea of watching Fiddlers Ferry cooling towers being blown up then! (Which turned out to be a total fail as a)the Northern towers being blown up are shielded from view from Round Cherval by the Southern towers and b) the fog came down and apart from a reasonably loud "crump" at 9:35 nothing more was seen.

Between 8:04 and 8:17 over 1,500 Black-headed Gulls headed up river. Seven Herring Gulls, four Great Black-backed Gulls and two Common Gulls were on Penketh Bar, with seven Cormorant, six Shelduck, and at first light 67 Curlew.

A single Redshank flew downriver, three Lapwing, 11 Mallard and three Grey Heron hung around the Northern Bank. 

Whether disturbed off Fiddlers Lagoons or just generally heading downriver a juv Marsh Harrier came over Curedley Marsh and flew off over Astmoor Marsh.

The bang sent a flock off Wigeon (27) off the lagoon and onto the river and six Teal joined them.

Despite so many people about the Marsh was alive with small birds, 11 Wren, nine Blue Tits, eight Stonechat, six Reed Buntings, a Skylark and a Yellohammer at the edge of Upper Moss Side.

Walking back was fairly quiet, a flock of 37 Fieldfare calling was nice a few Redwing and Mistle Thrushes were also about.

Single Pied Wagtail on the flood in Triangle field.

Only one Wigeon on the mostly frozen Lapwing Lane (rest at the river?), 27 Teal, four Shoveler, six Gadwall, 67 Coot, 11 Mallard, one Little Grebe.

 



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Lapwing Lane 60% frozen, 28 Wigeon, 12 Gadwall, eight Mallard, four Coot, two little Grebe, four Shoveler, eight Teal.

Coal Tits by the hide coming really close. Marsh/Willow Tit near the Crossroads didn't call and not long enough view to get features to determine which. Have had Marsh Tit calling and singing in this area twice in the last two years. Two Ring-necked Parakeets chased a Woodpecker sp. through the trees no.

Birchwood Pool, only 30% frozen at east end. Female Goldeneye, Common Gull, 14 Black-headed Gulls, five Tufted Duck (all F), 14 Pochard (9m, 5f), one Little Grebe, one Coot, 27 Teal.

Pumphouse Pool 99% frozen, two Coot being the only birds.

Black-fields, Millbrook and Eastern Reedbed all frozen.

Ship Canal held 89 Coot and Anglers Quarry four Common Gull, one Great Crested Grebe and 6 Tufted Duck (all m).

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Friday 1st of December 2023 06:44:54 PM

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Early morn visit, very quite on the Eastern Pools with everything frozen, one Coot on Pumphouse Pool and three Teal on the Eastern Reedbed. Nothing on Millbrook Pools or the Black-field Pools.

Plenty of birds fliting around the tree tops where the sun was up, two Chaffinch, 27 Blackbirds, 43 Redwings, 3 Fieldfare (overs), 5 Song Thrush, one Brambling, two Mistle Thrush. Great spotted Woodpecker over the Capped Tip, a few Herring and Black-backed Gulls flying around but that was about it.

Apart from Goldcrest - never seen so many (up to 17 / less if I was duplicated by any overtaking me on my walk) along the footpath known as Firecrest Alley (Moore Crest rule - check every Crest must be overdue another Firecrest by now!).

There is also a 'vagrant' sleeping rough down near Eastford Road so careful what you leave in your car if you park there - been a couple of break-ins on dog walker vans over the weekend.





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Half of Fiddlers Ferry cooling towers are due to be blown up next Sunday. Be interesting to see what wildlife that displaces. By 2025 all the site is to be demolished and the lagoons and cooling tower bases filled in with Demolition rubble. Suspect that means the end of the Peregrines down west end of Moore and the Lapwing flocks that roost on Lagoon #3 when the tide is high on the river.


Be worth a watch from Halfway House next week what the demolition throws up, a mega man made blast-thrash through the lagoons and Curdley Marsh.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Sunday 26th of November 2023 07:34:08 PM

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Earlier morning visit but identical almost to yesterday except for 79+29 Lapwings in two flocks circling above Fiddlers Ferry #3 Lagoon where there appeared to be vehicle disturbance. The local Peregrine had a few dives around the flocks whilst I watched but didn't seen to get anything.



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Early lunch visit down the Marsh and Halfway House. Tide still falling on the river so not as much about as I'd hoped bt still a nice pair Great Black-backed Gulls, six Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 14 Herring Gulls (highish number for here), 120 Black-headed Gulls, seven Grey Heron, Little Egret, 42 Pink-footed Geese over SW and just as Penketh Bar fully emerged 48 Canada Geese flew from up river (Richmond Bank?) and landed on the bar. 17 Curlew and 31 Lapwing were present with three Cormorants and four Teal.

Seven Great crested Grebes on the Ship Canal with Coot, Mallard, Gadwall on the walk in. Ones and twos of Redwing and Fieldfare flitting about the bushes, having done a good job demolishing the promising looking berry crops already.

Stonechat (m), Skylark (6), Goldfinch, Reed Buntings, Cetti's Warblers (three by MSC, four Norton Marsh) and Buzzards provided the interest around the edge of the Marsh. Then whilst coming down the path from the ex-Norton Marsh Hide 14 Whooper Swan came in low overhead, did a circle over the river / Fiddlers Ferry Lagoon #3 and then turned East up the Mersey. A biennial treat they seem, always overflying these days. Patch year tick number three of the week with Mondays Long-tailed Duck and Woodcock! 

On 139 species for the Solstice - Solstice year (wife banned me doing a 2023 patch list....no), one short of the fabled 140 for the patch (though that is calendar year based and Barn Owl sits in my 2022 dates, so list is 138 for 2023 at the moment). No Willow Tit yet this year (where have they gone? Only heard two other birders see them this year and not in the usual places) and of course, a Waxwing winter may be on us.......but the Redwings and Fieldfares seem to have stripped the farmland hedge / woodland berry bushes....blankstare



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Wednesday 22nd of November 2023 06:47:17 PM



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Wednesday 22nd of November 2023 06:48:12 PM

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One of those day patching comes alive! Early wander at dawn.

Birchwood Pool, 57 Coot, seven Shovelers, 11 Gadwall, eight Teal, 27 Wigeon, four Mallard, two Little Grebe, two Tufted Duck.

Birchwood Pool, four Gadwall, 10 Tufted Duck, five Little Grebe, nine Coot, nine Black-headed Gulls, four Teal.

Pumphouse Pool, four Gadwall, three Tufted Duck, Water Rail, two Coot, 13 Teal, Siskin behind west hide and from Colins Hide finally got onto the female Long-tailed Duck. Patch life tick and from speaking to others with records, possibly the first ever at Moore NR. 42 Pink-footed Geese overhead.

Black-fields Pool, 24 Teal, two Mute Swans one Little Grebe and three Cetti's Warblers.

Eastern Reedbed, 29 Black-headed Gulls, two Teal, one Coot.

Millbrook Pool, ones of Teal, Coot, Moorhen, Shoveler and Gadwall.

Factory Marsh, two Snipe, one Woodcock, five Mallard.

 



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Fem Long-tailed Duck on Pumphouse Pool Moore NR. Visible from Colins hide but couldnt see it from the west end screen (per comms)



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No sign of the Long-tailed Duck this afternoon between 3pm and 4pm on Pumphouse Pool (was reported there this morning), Birchwood Pool or the East end of Lapwing Lane Pool. Nothing visible from the limited sightlines over Anglers Quarry as I left the reserve, apart from two Mallard. Male Goldeneye on Birchwood Pool was a new addition for the autumn (female having been here a few weeks).

Huge numbers of Jackdaws and Carrion Crow (well into 000s) passing over to the tip area in one flight-line and another to somewhere above Moore Village in the Daresbury direction.



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Stephen Wende wrote:

Female Long Tailed Duck currently on Lapwing Lane Pool


 No sign this morning (per comms)



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Female Long Tailed Duck currently on Lapwing Lane Pool

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Pumphouse Pool - eight Gadwall, one Grey Heron, 25 Teal, 14 Mallard, two Shoveler.

Birchwood Pool - one Tufted Duck, four Little Grebe, 9 Black-headed Gulls, 11 Coot.

On the backpath back to the feeders lots of tits flitting around in the reeds including a couple of Goldcrest.

Lapwing Lane Pool - one Ring-necked Parakeet, two Cormorant, 28 Wigeon, 54 Coot, one Moorhen, two Little Grebe, 11 Mallard, 19 Gadwall, four Tufted Duck. Trees behind the hide Chaffinch, at least 13 Siskin, two Lesser Redpoll, two Bullfinch, two Nuthatch, Goldfinch, three Greenfinch.



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58 Wigeon (highest count I have ever had) on Lapwing Lane Pool was the only noteworthy sight today.



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Lunchtime visit to the East End. Four male pochard, two Coot and five Tufted Duck on the Eastern Reedbed.

Siskins and Redpoll flitting back and forth in the Alders near the Phoenix Hide path, too mobile to count but at a guess, 20 and 12 respectively.

67 Pink-footed Geese over eastwards.

24 Teal, 18 Mallard, five Tufted Duck, two Shoveler two Gadwall and a Grey Heron on Pumphouse Pool, with a further 28 Teal and 16 Mallard on Black-fields Pool, plus Kestrel, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Goldfinch and three Cettis Warblers singing.



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Lunch again and down to Norton Marsh and the river. Main highlights 73 Curlew on Penketh Bar with 26 Lapwing.

31 Fieldfare in a flock flew over the Ship Canal. Very few Gulls. Flocks of the usual Tits everywhere, plus Treecreeper near the car park crossroads.

Lots of Berry bushes along the ship canal with Redwing and Blackbirds in and also near Birchwood Pool where the Waxwings were seen early 2010s, worth keeping an eye out if the influx reaches the West.



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Lunch trip. Wigeon now up to 28 on Lapwing Lane Pool. 50+ siskin around the Alders at the Car Park Crossroad. Two Ring-necked Parakeets giving it the noise and chasing small birds in the woods by the car park. :).

Four Shoveler and 28 Teal on Pumphouse Pool, four Pochard on Birchwood Pool were the only other new things of note apart from two Treecreeper at the east end of Pumphouse Pool.



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Between the showers, five Great Crested Grebe on the Ship Canal to the West, one Fieldfare over, but good numbers of Redwing on the berry bushes (64 in a three mile loop) and Blackbirds esp imm. and female outnumbering by far.

On the Mersey at Fiddlers Ferry 29 Canada Goose, one Common Sandpiper upriver, seven redshank, 164 Black-headed Gull, nine Lesser Black-backed Gulls, one Great Black-back Gull, one Common Gull, two Gadwall, couple Grey Herons and 11 Cormorant.

Three (m+2f) Tree Sparrows near the old feeder location, plus 2f Bullfinch, one Greenfinch on the track in and Goldfinch and Linnet in the fields before Norton Marsh.

Three Snipe on Norton Marsh, three Reed Bunting, male Stonechat (1st of autumn here), Buzzard and Kestrel.



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Black-fields Pools - three Coot, four Tufted Duck, two Buzzard over, quite a few teal in the North Bank but too well hidden by Vegetation to count all.

Firecrest Alley (path below Black-fields) - 17 Goldcrest in 30 minutes, outnumbering 13 Long-tailed Tits, 11 Great Tits, seven Blue Tits, three Coal Tits and 1 Lesser Redpoll. Robins, Wrens and Song Thrushes present as well.

Pumphouse Pool - one Mute Swan, Jays, Woodpigeon, one Grey Heron, seven Coot, six Gadwall, four Tufted Duck, three (2m, f) Shovelers, seven Teal, Carrion Crows and Black-headed Gulls over.

Birchwood Pool, 17 Canada Geese, eight Coot, female Goldeneye (1st of winter), four Tufted Duck, 11 Mallard, one Little Grebe, two Moorhen, one Cormorant, five Black-headed Gull.

Lapwing Lane Pool, 51 Coot, two Moorhen, four Tufted Duck (again, four what a weird coincidence, four pools all with four on), 17 Wigeon, six Gadwall, two Moorhen, one Teal, 11 Cormorant in roost.

Dog Field by car park, one Green Woodpecker, two Redwing, two Mistle Thrush, Jackdaws and Jays.



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Phil Oddy wrote:

Yellow-browed Warbler reported at East end today (per birdguides)


I had put that into the Birdtrack App for my own records as I was working in the tip area this morning. Not great views but distinctive call hear a few times, Cornell Labs picked it up and Sonogram checks out with XCanto / Audiology. It isn't a public area though (300m North of the Tip Southern Gate) hence why it was not put out generally. There must be a second person whom has put it out via Birdguides since this morn from another location around there? 

Edit: Best similar habits within short distance with public access would be either the memorial wood next to Gateworth Sewage Works ~400m NE (w3w much.boom.script) of where I was, the patch that is known as "Firecrest Alley" 600m SE (w3w impose.guess.manage) or Colins Field / Woodpecker fields 500 - 700 m South. (w3w calculating.save.news).

Edit 2: Rest of the sightings on lunchbreak wander. Fresh dead Gadwall floating (reported to DEFRA) in front of Lapwing Lane Hide - please don't remove they've rung to say they are going to try to collect the bird for sample).

Redwing and Fieldfare over in small groups, 2 Mistle Thrush over was a nice sight not so many these day, but Song Thrush were singing in quite a few places keeping spirits up.

Pump House Pool, one Grey Heron, one Lesser Redpoll above Colins Hide, lots of Jays back and forth, six Gadwall, three Tufted Duck, 41 Teal.

Birchwood Pool, seven Little Grebe, four Pochard (2m, 2f), Canada Geese, three Black-headed Gulls. Great Spotted Woodpecker over. Buzzard disturbed with prey on path to West hide....looked squirrel like - Buzzard took it away. Eight Little Grebe.

Lapwing Lane Pool. Coal Tit in Reedbed, Great Tits and Robins coming into the hide whilst I was there. (On the off chance readers, whoever is putting birdfood in the hides can they not put it on the ledges and seats as they are getting covered in bird poo both at Lapwing Lane and Birchwood Pool). One male Shoveler, 17 Wigeon, 60+ Coot but a lot of movement into a hidden channel. Six more Gadwall, three Cormorant, eight Mallard.

Black Fields Pools filling up - all the wader crapes gone. Seven Pochard (2m, 2f, 3juv), four Coot, two Little Grebe.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Thursday 26th of October 2023 10:00:37 PM



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Thursday 26th of October 2023 10:18:14 PM

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Yellow-browed Warbler reported at East end today (per birdguides)



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Lapwing Lane Pool, 71 Coot, six Gadwall, three Moorhen, two Tufted Duck, 17 Wigeon, two Little Grebe, Robins, Blue and Great Tits flitting around the edge of the hide.

Birchwood Pool, three Black-headed Gulls, two female Pochard, 17 Canada Geese, 8 Little Grebe, 7 Mallard, two Tufted Duck.

Woods quite only other birds seen were more Robins, Wrens, a Nuthatch, Jay, Carrion Crow and Magpie.



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Long overdue a decent traverse of the whole patch for a mooch late afternoon from Eastford Road all the way to the Mersey, wondering what state the river would be in with the storms and rain.

Eastern Reedbed had 5 Shoveler and two Cetti's Warblers singing, plus Reed Bunting (x2). Loads of Woodpigeons, Jackdaws and Carrion Crow back and forth to the Capped Tip.

Pumphouse Pool had 13 Teal, 17 Gadwall, few Mallard and Tufted Duck, three Grey Heron, one Great Spotted Woodpecker over and a few small flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing coming S -> tip. Grey Wagtail flew over but didn't land.

Factory Marsh had another Grey Wagtail, two Snipe and six Greenfinch (family party).

Dog walker field - Skylark, two Kestrel, Buzzard, Fieldfares on berries on eastern bushes.

Six Pochard, three Little Grebe, 82 Canadas Geese, 7 Greylag Geese, white domestic Goose, two Great Crested Grebe, four Herring Gulls, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls (ads) and adult Common Gull on Birchwood Pool.

Very little else up to the Mersey via the Ship Canal apart from cormorants. The tide was in a funny state at Halfway House, almost like the rush of water down the Mersey was stopping the usual high tide coming in and as such Penketh Bank and Bar were hardly covered, for only an hour or so around 4 p.m. Buzzards (8) were over Fiddlers Ferry, a couple of Redshank and Oystercatcher flew down the river, whilst a small wader (Dunlin?) flew up as the rains started. Eight Shelduck, 72 Canada Geese, 14 Cormorants, two Coot and six Mallard were around the river or Banks. As the tide dropped 182 Lapwing came in from over Fiddlers Ferry and 19 Golden Plover.

Back over the Norton Marsh Hide path six Lesser Redpolls in the bushes adjacent and once onto Lapwing Lane a flock of Siskin / Goldfinch / Reed Buntings were in the Alders as the sun came out at 5:30pm.

Got soaked, wore wrong clothes, skin chaffed where it hurts but adding Golden Plover to the year list and five "second half year patch species" (in bold) for the visit so quite happy! Two months to go on patch for this year as I'm doing the solstice to solstice year rather than the traditional calendar year.



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Just realised in my photo below of the four Greenshank between the last two rocks on the right hand side there is a Snipe so make that two Snipe on the Black-fields as the other one was on the muddy bank of the eastern pool.

Very quite on the last couple of brief visits this week, absolutely nothing worth mentioning apart from the four Wigeon on Lapwing Lane Lake.

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Tuesday 10th of October 2023 08:47:29 PM

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Went to the Eastern Pools at lunch to see what the high Spring Tide had displaced.

Disappointingly almost nothing during a wander into the reserve to coincide with the tide being high on Penketh Bar and Richmond Bank no Gulls, no Lapwing, hardly any Canada Goose. I've a feeling now that Fiddlers Ferry is shut down and much reduced operations on the lagoons there (until remediation) a lot of stuff may be going that way, Lapwing flocks certainly seem to when displaced off Penketh Bank and Bar.

So on my return from Birchwood Pool (30 Canada Geese unlike 00s last week) I was most gruntled to find four Greenshank around the edges of Pumphouse Pool, 42 Teal, seven Grey Heron, one Little Egret and six Garganey:::: Gadwall, not Garganey doh, four Tufted Duck.

A flyover Great Spotted Woodpecker, Buzzards, two Raven and  Kestrel (unusual down this end of the reserve) made for the ariel sights, plus Woodpigeons. Then further gruntlement on the Black-fields Pools another four Greenshank (I went back to pumphouse, takes about four minutes and the four on Pumphouse were still there so they were not stalking me from pool to pool, I don't think..............), one Snipe, one Heron, one Little Egret, six Little Grebe and two Shovler, the first of the second half of they year (six second half year tick in the last three days, autumn definitely on the way).

Finally two Grey Wagtails over Arpley fields.

Greenshank on west Black-field Pool attached.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Friday 29th of September 2023 07:48:11 PM

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Autumn is here! Wigeon are back on Lapwing Lane Pool (2m,1f). During a couple hours wander skeins of 5, 21, 43 Pink-footed Geese flew over, all coming from East Warrington direction heading off NW over Fiddlers Ferry.

At the ploughed field on the way into the reserve 17 Pied Wagtails, mostly juv, no Wheatear today though.

43 Coot, two Moorhen, seven Gadwall, two Little Grebe and nine Cormorant in the roost at Lapwing Lane Pool.

Very quiet round to Norton Marsh apart from Corvids and Woodpigeons.

Norton Marsh seemed dead and the river devoid of birds until after a few minutes three Snipe flew over, a Raven mobbed by other Corvids drifted from Fiddlers Ferry, 31 Goldfinch flew off the Marsh, 2+1 Skylarks were starting to fly and call, 11 Meadow Pipits S, Little Egret flew along the river and  Buzzard flew over.

1 Great Crersted Grebe on the Ship Canal but little else.



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Feeling that the incoming weather front might slow some migrant went for a quick look around the farm fields. Horse fields (Moss Lane) had one Grey Wagtail, 11 Linnet, three Goldfinch, four Starling, low numbers of Magpie, Jackdaws and a Jay with Woodpigeon coming and going everywhere. 13 Mipits over in 10 minutes as the rain got stronger two landed.

A recently ploughed field opposite Big Hand Ranch on Moore Lane (today, tractor still parked on field) had  11 Swallows South, eight more Meadow Pipits, 39 Black-headed Gulls, 75+ Woodpigeon coming and going and three juv + 2 adult Pied Wagtail and a Female and juv Wheatear of the nominate race.

Two Snipe flushed from marshy section of Moore Millennium fields.



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Staying out the rain today was a trip round the pools, woods and remaining covered hides.

Lapwing Lane Pool - Treecreeper, Water Rail, 37 Coot, 14 Mallard, two Moorhen, 12 Gadwall, 1 Cormorant. Chaffinch, Wren, Great Tit and Robin next to Hide.

Nothing at the Feeders. Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits on the path from Feeders to Birchwood Pool plus Buzzard over Capped Tip.

464 Canada Geese on Birchwood Pool - I think that is my highest total for anywhere on the patch. Four House Martins, 11 Swallow over as the rain cleared, plus an interesting "dark rump patch" hirundine but that got away, never got diagnostic views. Four little Grebe and one Great Crested Grebe chick, being given agro by one of the LGs. Two Great Crested Grebe adults nearby. Eight Tufted Duck, and three Gadwall, one male Pochard. One Black-headed Gull. Lots of Jays (9+) in the woods.

Pumphouse Pool held two Grey Herons, one Little Egret, 42 Teal, 16 Gadwall, two Little Grebe and a further 11 House Martins over.

Six more House Martins over (or perhaps some of the earlier birds) as I returned past the Dog Field at the Crossroads.



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