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Post Info TOPIC: Moore NR


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RE: Moore NR


Finally for the year, Common Swift (2) over Lapwing Lane Pool in front of the weather this afternoon. Three Coot Broods (4,3,2), 2 juv Great Crested Grebe, 2 juv Little Grebe. Possible juv Reed Warbler to left of hide - seems early considering the Warblers arrived late this year.

The river was quiet at low tide, three Oystercatcher were the only waders and Lesser Black-backed, Herring and Black-headed Gulls loafed back and forth.

An interesting sight was a patch of sprats of some sort that were in a river wye isolated by the falling tide. An Otter came over from Fiddlers Ferry and made short work of a few of them with Corvids coming in to clean up remnant left as the tide further dropped.

Greenfinch were seen in three new places on the walk - they seem to have had a good couple of years. Little else over the farmland or Horse fields.



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Early doors one day late WEBS trip to Norton Marsh and the adjacent banks as the tide dropped.

Waders: Common Sandpiper (1), Oystercatcher flyby (2), Dunlin (2) beauties in summer plumage stopped on the Bar for a few minutes as tide dropped then flew off high north over Fiddlers, Ringed Plover (2) under Norton Marsh Bank, Snipe (1 on Marsh itself), Lapwing (3), Redshank one flyby.

Six Shelduck , three Cormorant, 4 male Mallard, one male Gadwall, pair Mute Swan, oners of Tufted Duck and Little Egret, two Grey Heron, 3 juv Black-headed Gull, one ad Common Gull, 22 Lesser Black-backed Gull (20 imms).

Buzzard, Kestrel, Reed Bunting, Skylark and Raven all present over the Marsh.

Year list at 123 which is fairly typical for this time of year now spring migration is dropping off; bumped up slightly by new sightings for the patch of Januarys Long-tailed Duck and Waxwing and recent Sandpiper and Avocets but lacking usual ticks like Common Swift and hirundines in general have been poor, warblers [Reed, Common Whitethroat, Willow and Sedge] all lower at the Marsh (though Garden Warbler seem to be having a good year) and as for Nuthatch away from the original and alternate feeders - none existent since April.

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Tuesday 14th of May 2024 07:29:31 PM



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 14th of May 2024 07:51:31 PM

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6-8am after Oxmoor down to the river at Moore from Bens Bridge. Greenfinch + Juv at Etheylene Station with family parties of Titmouse including juvenille - Long-tail, Blue and Geart. In addition four Cetti's Warblers on the way down, one Reed Warbler between Halfway House and Round Cherval and towards Randles tip an observable Chiffchaff going 'Chaff-chiff'. Even when close Cornell did not identify the audio! In total three Tufted Duck, five Gadwall and two Great- Crested Grebe on the Ship canal with two Cormorant. Lots of Magpie inc juv (40+) in Stobrats Horse Paddocks.

River on the falling tide held two Whimbrel, four Shelduck, three Canada Geese, 44 Lesser Black Backed Gulls (all sub Ad), and two Mallard. Curlew calling to the North of the river but not visible. An Osprey came from Fiddlers Ferry direction, made a couple of half hearted swoops / dives towards the river but then rose high and carried on South - surely wrong direction! But birds of the day (and I suspect will be bird of the year for me here) was a patch lifer I've long awaited - three Avocet flew East up the Mersey.

Four separate Swallow on the way back via the back path to Norton Marsh, Mistle and Song thrush singing, Lesser Whitethroat in the usual spot near the Tree Sparrow feeders and a House Martin over Lawing Lane.



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Five hours wandering down to the marsh brought a mix of birds starting in Lapwing lane by the car park where Goldfinch, Chiffchaff and Blue and Great Tits plus a Dunnock were all seen. In the woods near the triangle female Blackcap.

Rejoining Lapwing lane and a Nuthatch was seen entering the nest. The walk down past the fields and a Common Whitethroat was seen in the scrub on the left along with a resting Buzzard. 

Turning towards the marsh down the path brought us towards the picnic table and from there down to the marsh we had Willow Warbler, Chaffinch, more Whitethroat and a distant Bullfinch. A Kestrel hovering over the field at the side of the path. Not much of note on the marsh but I didnt have a scope so couldnt determine if the bird on the cooling tower was a peregrine or not.

 

Returning from the marsh brought the two birds of the day. A patch first Garden Warbler on the path back up to the farm and a Little Owl in the grounds of the farm! 

Returning back to Lapwing lane and the woods and the final two birds seen were Sparrowhawk quartering over the woods and a GS woodpecker flying across the path near the old feeding station. 

A good day with some of the more unusual birds seen even if it did five hours. 



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Lapwing chicks alongside Lapwing Lane, two single Swallows. Pied Wagtail and Teal pair and Gadwall pair on the drying out scrape on Triangle field also. Common Whitethroat finally for the year (3) along Lapwing Lane in the Snipe Fields. Again, the bizarre sight of a Kingfisher flying down Lapwing Lane following every twist/turn of the road, as far from open water as you could get from anywhere in the patch (happened in Jan 2022 from memory). Cuckoo on Capped Tip, faint, probably Gatewarth side, Reed Warblers, Sedge and Cetti's all singing from Capped Tip area. Two Raven over Lapwing Lane.

Constant stream of Herring Gulls over west in ones and twos, must have been a few hundred in total as I looped out to the Marsh.

Another Common Whitethroat by the old Tree Sparrow feeder picnic bench, Lesser Whitethroat in the same bush as the last two years on the way to the old Norton Marsh Hide after the picnic bench and Grasshopper Warbler in the scrub to the NE of the path. Two more Lapwing with young in general area.

No Grasshopper Warblers in the usual spot on Norton Marsh but Sedge and Reed Warblers now in song and Red Bunting plus Skylark. White Wagtail with two Pied on Wader scrape. Distant views, high 10s of Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gull loafing on Penketh Bar at low tide.

Further Grasshopper Warbler in Balloon Hut field on the back path to the Etheylene station and Song Thrushes galore.

Greylag Geese and four Gosling on Lapwing Lane Pool, four Little Grebe, one Great Crested Grebe in beautiful plumage, two Gadwall, two Tufted duck, young Coot and Moorhen.

 



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If Ian Forum Owner doesn't mind a link to the most comprehensive blog about Moore is here;

https://moorepatcher.blogspot.com/2010/07/patch-perspectives.html

If you look down thread for my post Date: Thu Aug 10 8:57 AM, 2023 there is also a map of a few places down the western end.

Black fields pools are at the East End, you have to scramble up a bank on the path to the North side of the Eastern Reedbed Path W3W fish.doing.voting

Big Wood is North/ East of the big Dog field by the car park.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Thursday 2nd of May 2024 11:07:19 PM

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Nice walk around yesterday, approx. 4.30pm - 7pm. Of interest:

Cuckoo heard and seen near raptor viewpoint; Linnets also heard but not seen. Whitethroat seen by the path that runs to the north of Lapwing Lake, and parakeets (at least 2) on Lapwing Lane. Reed warbler heard and briefly seen by the hide on Lapwing Lane, quite a few blackcaps around also. Not much of interest on Birchwood or Pumphouse pools, aside from a couple of lesser black-backed gulls chasing off a common buzzard. Didn't see any hirundines or swifts at all.

Is there a map for this site/the surrounding areas with the names that people in this forum use? I'm not super local to the area (closer to Wigan!), and I can't seem to find things like Norton Marsh, Big Wood, Black Fields Pool etc when I search them online.



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Two Wheatear on Norton Marsh today - one looking possible for Greenland. Finally Reed and Sedge Warblers (patch year tick) back on the Marsh. Plenty of Cetti's Warblers to though at least seven between the Marsh / Upper Moss Side and Snipe fields.

Still quiet otherwise down on Upper Moss Side, couple Bullfinch, Chiffchaffs and Corvids the main avifauna. 

More Coot, Mallard and Canada Goose chicks on Lapwing Lane Pool.

Green Woodpecker on field next to Big Wood and Hobby over briefly.

Still no Whitethroat of either species in the usual spots, House Martin or Swift. Strange times.........clegs are back though no



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Wednesday 1st of May 2024 09:47:45 PM

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Rare due to work these days a rare chance to traverse the whole reserve early. Birdsong was fantastic as the ground frost gave an eirie mist close to the ground in places. Came in from Wigg Island and heard Common Whitethroats twice on Randles tip and from Oxmoor, as soon as I passed Halfway House not one more all morning. Mind other warblers seem missing in usual places this year - still no Reed Warblers down the West. 13 Cetti's Warblers heard in the whole traverse from Halfway House - Owens Wood - back path to ex Norton Marsh Hide, Lapwing Lane Wood / Pool - Birchwood Pool - Pumphouse Pool - Black Fields Pool - Eastford Road - Morely Common.

31 Canada Geese on Cuerdly Marsh had goslings present, difficult to see in the long grass. Redshank (1), Little Egret (2), Grey Heron (5), Black-headed Gulls (49), one Herring Gull, three Lesser Black Backed Gulls and two Great Black Backed gulls came through Round Cherval whilst watching the tide fall and the mudbanks revealled but no waders seemed to be dropping in as the sun rose. Two Oystercatchers "peeped" their way upriver and a couple of Gadwall and four Shelduck were on the river but little else.

Snipe, Kestrel, Reed Bunting and Skylarks over the Marsh. No Warblers apart from Cetti's on the Marsh.

Five (!!!) Ring-necked Parakeets flew from the direction of Promenade Park to a house with feeders on Lapwing Lane.

Great Spotted Woodpecker and Garden Warbler by the new aquatic scrape. with a nice showy Treecreeper.

Juvenille Coot and Mallard on Lapwing Lane Pool. Two Little Grebe.

Pumphouse Pool still very high little suitable wader ground, eight Tufted Duck, two Shoveler, eight Mallard, two Little Grebe, two Gadwall, 13 Sand Martin, 1 Little Egret, two Siskin in the Alders behind Colin's Hide.

Two Oystercatchers dropped into the Black Fields Pool which has been drained to leave a decent amount of muddy shore, where a Little Egret flew in (from Pumphouse?). Two more Grey Heron present. Mallard, Little Grebe, four Tufted Duck on the pool with a Common Sandpiper the the back of the West cell and resplendent in the morning sun on the back of the East cell a Wood Sandpiper (patch first for me and thus patch first for year).



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Very similar to last week on the Marsh or Eastern Reedbeds except for stayover(?) Siskin singing in the alders near the Eastern Reedbed. Not usual for them to stay to the breeding season.

Willow Warbler numbers seem very low as do Chiffchaff - Blackcap equalling Chiffchaff for territories down the Eastern End and no Chiffies up the Marsh end. Still no Whitethroat (either spp.) or Grasshopper Warblers or Reed Warblers on the Marsh at the West End, three Reed Warblers round the Eastern Reedbed / Black-fields Pools.



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East End today. Morely Common a couple of times a year has big numbers of Wagtails and today was no different with approx. 32 Pied and nine White Wagtail.

Moving round to the Black Fields Pools where the water is being pumped out a Common Sandpiper was flitting about. Star birds though were 29 Sand Martin dropping over the pool calling away. One Little Egret was present, Canada Geese, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe and Grey Heron.

Pumphouse Pool conversely the water is getting higher and higher. A second Common Sandpiper was here - a much paler individual than the one on the the Black Fields. Further Sand Martin, single Black-headed Gull, Cuckoo heard calling towards East entrance to Capped Tip, two Pochards, Tufted Duck, and single Mute Swan. Flyover Oystercatcher.

Eastern Reedbeds held at least three Reed Warblers to make up for the dearth in the marsh at the West End. Seven Cetti's Warblers on the loop around the East End and a Tawny Owl watching from a roost spot near one of the paths. Blackcaps almost  outnumbering Chiffchaff at the end of the reserve.



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Started at the canal crossroads and went over the boardwalk past the new aquatic scrape where a Garden Warbler was showy and singing, first for year anywhere and thus patch first for the year. Two Blackcap, Willow Warbler and five Chiffchaff also in the glade around the scrape.

Carried up Lapwing Lane to more Blackcap, three Swallows, Greenfinch.

Ring-necked Parakeets feeding at the bird feeders of a house on Lapwing Lane. no

Taking the back paths to Norton Marsh apart from Chiffchaff and Blackcap these were very quite, a couple of Blackbirds and a Great Tit made up the other birds.

The Marsh is still a scene of destruction from the floods last week. Many of the reedbeds have been flattened or broken / beaten down by the high tide, which judged by the detritus line topped out only just below the bund top, meaning some parts the Marsh would have been 2-3 metres under water. Lots of detritus (plastic mainly, bottles, croc shoes, footballs - Liverpool balls in excess of any others!!!) etc trapped in the broken down reedbeds, but at least new shoots are already showing so regrowth will be quick. The lack of Reeds probably explains lack of Reed and Grasshopper Warblers which I'd usually expect here at this stage of Spring / Migration. Four Skylarks were seen, one Meadow Pipit, three Reed Bunting and two Snipe, with a Buzzard overhead and a Kestrel drifting over from fiddlers Ferry.

Three Whimbrel flew calling over North looking to drop in on Penketh Bar but deciding not to and carried on over Fiddlers Ferry. A Single Redshank was on the river. A Curlew was also calling but unseen under the banks. Seven Shelduck, a few Mallard, Gadwall and Canada Geese made up the ducks, whilst the Gulls were 11 Lesser Black-backed and three Great Black-back - including one of very large size towering over the other two. A few Cormorants hung about drying their wings.

Greenfinch and Cetti's Warblers seen on the walk back to Lapwing Lane Pool, the clearances along the north bank of the canal now give good views into the old Snipe Fields from the south edge - scrub looks good for Whitethroats when they arrive. Willow Tit pair near the old Forestry Commission hide in the wood. Lapwing Lane Pool held seven Tufted Duck, male Pochard, two Little Grebe, three Gadwall and a Great Crested Grebe and a Reed Warbler flew across the hide between the adjacent reedbeds.

 



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Today, Eastern End, still very muddy. Curiosity being in the small Heronry at the East End of the reserve there look to be Egrets in the same tree area. Four Mallard ducklings on the Black Fields Pools, Reed Warblers on Black Fields, and Eastern Reedbed.

 

Late report for Tue am just gone. Parked up at the Crossroads intending to go to Halfway House for the Big Tide - then seeing the storm surges hitting the Welsh coasts decided for once rather than watch the action on the Marshes as raptors and Corvids find prey to come down the Eastern end and see what gets displaced to the Eastern Pools. (Possibly a good decision as the 6.5ish metre floods in Feb/Mar I watched almost blocked off return paths, this storm surge put the gauge at Fiddlers to 7.12m which will have been very close to the bund wall overtopping on Norton Marsh).

Pumphouse Pool, nothing apart from two Shelduck, eight Tufties and 92 Black-headed Gulls. Very quite. 

Nothing on Millbrook Pool or Eastern Reedbed.

Glad I left my car at the centre of the reserve as I walked towards Eastford Road to go to the Bridgewater Canal to walk back to Moore, the Mersey burst its banks (the 7.12m flood is second highest ever recorded at that modern station!) and trying to go through Eastford Road Bridge I was getting toward welly deep in flood water at the end of the track to Eastford Road so 180degree turned at the Ethylene Station and walked back past the old canal to Pumphouse Pool (canal and Eastern Reedbeds now backfilling from the Mersey).

Typically I get a text to say Harrier sp. on the Marsh and Little Gull over the Mersey at Halfway House/Astmoor!!! Wrong end again.

PS - re flooded water and walking on roads - one safety aspect drummed into us at work is when rivers burst their banks, drains tend to burst also. There have been a couple of really unfortunate drownings in the last few years when people have walked into floods thinking "only knee deep" and then stepped where a burst manhole cover was and get sucked into a drain, stuck and drowned. Be careful out there folks in floods.



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To Halfway House from the centre of the reserve, Willow Warblers and Blackcaps now adding to the morning chorus, with Tits, Song Thrush, Bullfinch (my favourite finch song) and gronking Ravens. Five Cetti's Warblers between Yellow Gate and Round Cherval and a distant hint of possible Reed Warbler from Oxmoor direction.

WEBS Count on Norton Marsh / adjacent Mersey.

Canada Goose 32, three Curlew, one Lapwing, 1 Mute Swan, five Shelduck, two Coot,  three Gadwall, six Little Egret, two Oystercatchers, six Teal, six Cormorant, three Grey Heron (plus another six on the Ship Canal), four Mallard, two Redshank and three Tufted Duck.

Additional birds over the rier /  Marsh. 42 Black-headed Gull, 17 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (3 imm, 14 Ad), one Great Black-backed Gull, three Herring Gull. Three Buzzards, one Kestrel and four more Raven.

Not a bad count but quiet wonder if Moore is giving me JuJu after quite a few visits to Woolston in the last two weeks to see their Quaternate of special duck species and adding nicely to my Cheshire list whilst ignoring my Moore year list during migration.

A male Wheatear on Moss Side farm field refuted any thoughts of bad JuJu though the rains started to come in on the return walk. Reed Bunting, Skylark, Yellowhammer (male again, hope they are hanging on) all flitting about the path back to Lapwing Lane then from Lapwing Lane back through the reserve, three great Spotted Woodpecker and two Willow Tits made up the rest of the day.



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The numbers are going up on patch, five patch year firsts today (in bold). Early trip before the rains round the Eastern Reedbeds, Black-fields and Pumphouse Pool. At first from Firecrest Alley, very faint Cuckoo call from over the Capped Tip from Black-fields. Walked over via the dog walker path towards Gateworth / the Bridge over the Mersey - the call sounded like it was coming from the scrubby area by the Capped Tipp Gas Plant (no public access - look for the NOx brown fumes for the gas plant if viewing from South).

On the return to the path North the Eastern Reedbeds the Black-fields had seven Sand Martin hawking about. A single Little Ringed Plover (patch and also year tick) was on the usual pool. A few Teal, Shoveler, single male Pochard left on Pumphouse Pool, 52 Black-headed Gulls, seven Lesser Black-backed Gulls came in for a wash, male and female Blackcap by the borehole at the East of Pumphouse Pool and three Willow Warblers calling in the woods, south of Birchwood Pool which held a few Teal two Little Grebe and four Great Crested Grebe (2 pair displaying).

Early Hobby reported passing through over Eastern Reedbed this morn by another regular.

 

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Monday 1st of April 2024 08:07:35 PM

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Another visit to Moore today brought my first Blackcap of the year. A male. GS Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Mistle Thrush, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit and Great Tit, as well as a Jay.



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Late post for yesterday Afternoon.

A walk down to the river to look out for any passing Osprey. Reports of one being on Frodsham Marsh gave me hope of a sighting over the marsh on the site of the now demolished hide. No Osprey but I did get four other raptors: Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and a Peregrine sitting on top of one of the cooling towers. Usual birds in the woods on the walk down and back included Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Chaffinch, and Goldfinch.



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A visit to the river, marshes and farmland noticeably not as many Chiffchaff as last year - they seemed to be every 100yrds apart down the back path and canal shore last year - this year every 300-400 yards. And no Blackcap or Willow Warbler (yet), first sightings previous four years have been around 1st weekend in April and given a seemingly early push this year of migrants strangely absent?

2m+f Bullfinch at Yellow Gate, four Cettis Warblers between Yellow Gate and Round Cherval, and three Greenfinch at Round Cherval.

Coot, Moorhen (unusual), Great Crested Grebe, Gadwall, Mallard, Grey Heron and Kingfisher on the Ship Canal with a Common Sandpiper (patch year and year tick) on the sandbank by Stobarts m Stonechat on fence in Stobarts field.

On the river on the falling tide very little wildfowl just a couple Canada Geese, couple Mallards and a fly through Cormorant. Single Oystercatcher, three Curlew, one Black-tailed Godwit (patch year tick 100), three Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 17 Black-headed Gull and four Herring Gull.

Two Snipe, four (m) Reed Bunting, three more Cetti's Warblers, unusual number of Wren (12), Kestrel, Carrion Crow and Raven on the Marsh.

Farmland / scrub / woods / hedges all absolutely sodden - wettest ground I have ever seen and very quiet apart from Blackbirds, Song Thrush, Blue and Great Tits and Dunnock until virtually back at Lapwing Lane a male Yellowhammer was singing away in a field hedge - could they still be holding on?

Wigeon still on Lapwing Lane Pool - if they hold on a day moore they will be my first April tick on patch! Or they won't.....

Doh! Edited to add when re-reading last years joys of spring....on 4th April 2023...a lonely Wigeon was still on Lapwing Lane Lake



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Sunday 31st of March 2024 07:36:06 PM

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I did not manage to get to Moore as planned for a dawn visit but my late afternoon/early evening visit today brought my first Brambling of the year. Other birds included GS Woodpecker (making quite a racket), Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Jay, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, Redwing. Chaffinch (with the Brambling), Blue tit, Great tit, and Long-tailed tit and a Chiffchaff.



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A brief visit to my local patch for a late afternoon wander. After four visits without one I had six GS Woodpeckers. I was beginning to wonder what had happened to them. The usual suspects included a Dunnock, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Long tailed Tit, Great Tit, Redwing, Blackbird and a Wren. My first Chiffchaff of the year at Moore. My bird of the day was Redpoll (a pair by the boardwalk where they have created a pond). No raptors. A dawn raid planned for tomorrow to see what else I can get



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Chiffchaffs have arrived, at least six singing during a loop of the Eastern Reedbed alone. Other passerines of note eight Siskin, four Bullfinch, two Greenfinch and 10+ flock of Goldfinch. Previous four years 1st dates for migratory Chiffchaffs, 20th Mar (2023), 14th March (2022), 19th March (2021), 19th March (2020). 

Pumphouse Pool held main interest, eight Shoveler, two Pochard, four Grey Heron, 29 Teal, three Little Grebe, eight Tufted Duck, nine Gadwall, seven Mallard, one Cormorant, one Herring Gull, one Common Gull, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 89 Black-headed Gulls. Looks poor for wader passage this year as water level is too high (same with the Black-fields Pools) due to drainage off the landfill coming down this end the reserve currently.

A pale overflying Buzzard was the only raptor.

Invoking the Moore patch predictor for the year, divide total species (98 so far for the year) at first migrant by 0.7 to give total patch species per year, then take 7% off as unlikely to see every patch species = 130 species guestimate for the year.

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Friday 15th of March 2024 07:21:36 PM

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Down to the river and Marshs to watch the high tide - which topped out at 6.6 on the Fiddlers Ferry gauges - this was the most flooded I've seen Norton Marsh, though Cuerdley Marsh didn't seem as high in flood as February 12th.

Raptors were stars of the day; one Merlin, five Buzzards, pair Kestrel, one Sparrowhawk and a Peregrine reducing my Lapwing count by one.

A group of 23 Shelduck flew through at one point bringing the local Ruddy Shelduck (patch year tick) with them. Finally caught up with the elusive and becoming rarer and rarer Stock Dove when a pair flew by me as I was walking through the farmland to the Marshes.

Great Spotted Woodpeckers were drumming away on Lapwing Lane at some traditional sites. 

Marsh Tit singing at the first bend on Lapwing Lane towards the farms. Plenty of Nuthatch singing away also.

32 Wigeon on Lapwing Lane Pool, m+f Goldeneye on the Ship Canal.

Waders, three Snipe, three Redshank, 19 Curlew, 45 Lapwing, two Oystercatchers (alll flying over the Marshes/river).

Gulls - 146 Black-headed Gulls, two Common Gull, 15 Herring Gull, four Great Black-backed Gulls and 23 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. 

71 Species in total for the day which is my second highest day count in the last five years. Edit to add all my year high record day counts have been at the spring crossover of winter/spring/ migrants, top five annual day counts 71, 71, 66, 63, 60 all between mid Mar and mid May, autumn counts tend to be 50-55, actually beaten in three years by December counts of species for the day of 59, 59, 57. So to conclude for a good Moore year list the spring crossover period is key to getting the list up.

 

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Tuesday 12th of March 2024 06:54:17 PM



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Tuesday 12th of March 2024 07:41:45 PM

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Late record - 26th Feb - patch year tick Whooper Swans (22) over the Eastern Reedbeds heading west late morn, watched as I was going by train South past the reserve!

Today, trips to both river and reedbed. Oystercatcher, Curlew and Redshank singletons at the river, constant turnover of Gulls, predominantly Black-headed (low 00s), 3 Great Black-backed Gull, seven Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 14 Herring Gull, two Common Gull, two Little Egret, seven Grey Heron. Lots of Shelduck and further Gulls on the banks around Astmoor but light was difficult to count fully. Only a single Skylark on the marsh (which is absolutely sodden even after low tides); wonder if the big tides and rain have move the birds off this spring.

Eastern end, Pumphouse Pool attempting its former Gull glory now it has flooded up - 197 Black-headed Gulls, four Common Gull, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls, six Herring Gulls, one Yellow-legged Gull (year tick and patch year tick). 81 Teal, fourteen Tufted Duck and a male Goldeneye.

Milbrook Pool, seven Shoveler and a Water Rail. Eight Gadwall.

Black-fields Pools another eight Shoveler (fifteen on site would be my highest day total), two Pochard, Little Grebe, Tufted Duck, Coot, Mallard, Morehen.

Seven Grey Heron in the Heronry.

 

 



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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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