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Post Info TOPIC: Moore NR


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RE: Moore NR


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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Lapwing Lane - two singing Chiffchaff. Party of 6 inc 2 Juv Greenfinch by the Quarry. Single Curlew over.

11 Swallow on Norton Marsh, two Cetti's Warblers, two Reed Bunting and a female Marsh Harrier drifting West alone the Mersey.

17 Curlew, two Little Egret, flock of 240 Lapwing and 462 Black-headed Gull flew off Penketh Bank (disturbed by the Harrier?) and headed looking to land on Richmond Bank.

Seven Great Black-backed Gulls, 118 Lesser Black Back-backed Gulls (~30 sub adults) three Herring Gulls, 108 Lapwing (different flock) and 120 Black-headed Gulls plus three Herring Gulls were on the mudflats opposite Halfway House. At least a couple of thousand gulls (50:50 Large : Black-headed) were on the Sandbank opposite Astmoor Marsh but the rain was really starting to come in and the view was going.



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Quiet today down the East End (from the Eastern Reedbed up to the crossroads with the pools and tip in between). Quite a few Chiffchaff still moving through though, at least six seen.

Strangest sighting was an Embden Goose gander on Birchwood Pool (my Grandfather used to keep these). How the heck that got there with the 67-72 Canada Geese I saw I'll never know. Distinctive red eye ring, crown progression straight to bill angle correct for species, bill colour and being 30% bigger than the Canada Geese on the Island with a distinct upright stance it didn't leave many other options as far as I can remember of domestic geese.

One Common Gull on Birchwood Pool.



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A quick loop around Lapwing Lane and Upper Moss side felt very autumnal today.

Best of the day were two pairs Bullfinch looking beautiful in the sun. A few more Swallows drifting over in singles. The big female Sparrowhawk was on the telegraph poles near Moss Farm with a juv. They took off over Upper Moss side and put up 32 Curlew from the fields. A Cettis Warbler sang away at the bottom of triangle field.

The Tawny Owl was in the daytime roost near the Lapwing Lane Canal crossroads. A visit to Birchwood Pool produced a Buzzard head onto me in the Woods and 47 Canada Geese on Birchwood Pool but little else.



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Saw, driving to Moore near Hatton (via Appleton Resvr back road) an Animal Control Zone sign with details; seems the Pheasant Farms to the NE Hatton have had to had their stock put down from weblinks (DEFRA ref AIV2023/49).

Shame they couldn't have put down all those headless chickens at Creamfields a few weeks ago (joke) that caused us three sleepless nights...........but I was young once so my grumpiness is replaced by being gruntled that young 'uns still have fun as I did.

Anyway, later walked from home to Moore, whilst short in length (basically a lunchbreak) left me very gruntled staying dry between the weather fronts though much disgruntled by Cleg bites in the 30 mins I was around Lapwing Lane and Hide. Clegs seems to go for elbows, neck and knees this year. (Cases of Ticks reported from Runcorn dog walkers in areas of high ferns so be careful of rashes that last a couple of weeks).

Lapwing Lane Pool - flyovers Great Spotted Woodpecker, one Cormorant (+one in roost), seven Swallow South. 41 Coot (+ more would be in bays not visible), 21 Gadwall, one Canada Goose, five Great Tit, six Little Grebe (3 ad, 3 juv), five Tufted Duck (3m, 2f) plus one Mallard and six Moorhen and by the Borehole on Lapwing Lane a Spotted Flycatcher. There was one in June (edit: strike that it was May, was guessing when writing) 30 yards South towards the Ship Canal seen over 4-5 days. Did this individual stay or is it a different bird on return passage?

Buzzard over a few times, Green Woodpecker on the Dog field scrub, Long-Tailed Tits, Blue Tits, Robin, Dunnock, Chaffinches calling, one Chiffchaff, various Gulls mooching in the sky (BH, HG, LBBG).



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Tuesday 12th of September 2023 10:55:22 PM

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Two Chiffchaff singing Eastern Reedbed.

34 Gadwall on Millbrook Pool, plus four more on Pumphouse Pool.

Green Sandpiper still on Pumphouse Pool. Two Teal present and a Grey Heron.

Lot of movement of Woodpigeon about the site.



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Lapwing Lane Pool Coot (44) and Gadwall (47) building up. Very showy Reed Warbler still present in front of hide.

Birchwood Pool Little Grebe with noisy 2 day juv, 1st Common Gull of the autumn, one Pochard was the only interesting duck.

Grey Wagtail on Port Warrington roof.

Pumphouse Pool had two Green Sandpiper (difficult view from West hide, required standing on bench to view over bracken obscuring view in front of hide) plus a Tufted Diuck, Gadwall (16) and two Teal with a Grey Heron landing as I left.

Woods absolutely dead of any birds, song or visible..........



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An eerie silence in the woods at 6 p.m. Didn't see or hear a bird for the first 20 mins of my walk around the forest; no wind, no leaves falling, nothing. Back at the car park I heard a Green Woodpecker calling very close. A quick look and then off it flew across the field.

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After narry a couple weeks not being able to get far and being stuck on the roads and lanes around the patch I managed to get down to Halfway House and through Owens Wood and Norton Marsh today early am. Glad I did. Not quite all ones Birthdays come at once but very close..........

On the river between Round Cherval and Halfway House 42 Canada Geese, 23 Curlew, one Grey Heron, seven Little Egret, one Moorhen, three Coot (CO), six Gadwall, one Kingfisher, two Little Grebe flew by, one Mute Swan, six Cormorant (three juv), six Great Crested Grebe, 102 Lapwing, 340+ Black-headed Gulls, one Great Black-backed Gull, 40+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls, three Herring Gulls, four Mallard and two Teal.

Juv Kestrel spent an hour watching me from the pylon as I watched the river.

Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler were seen on the walk in with a pair of Bullfinch. Goldfinch were in a number of charms and there were three Cetti's Warblers starting to sing again in that "ooops I've forgotten my distinctive call but I'll have a go"  late summer song they have.

Highlight though was whilst whiling away the dawn watching the river a Tree Pipit overflew with its distinct beeez                      beeez         beeez vocally trill. Patch tick #149 since 1999 (only serious patching since 2019 apart from a brief winter attempt in 2009). And with a few other birds picked up elsewhere I'm on #299 for my BOU life list............what is to say #150 for Moore could be #300 for my life list, how symbolically symmetric would that be!.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Sunday 20th of August 2023 10:01:03 PM

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Horse fields around Moss Lane again.

13 Pied Wagtail (three juv), 22 Starling, 1 Great spotted Woodpecker overhead in flight, plenty of Swallows but no other Hirundines. 13 Linnet at Big Hand Ranch with four Goldfinch and a female Yellowhammer. Magpie, Jacdaw, two Rook and Carrion Crow making up the support.



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Two Yellow Wagtail with one juv and 11 Pied Wagtails in the horse paddocks by Moss Lane. Swallows, Linnet, Goldfinch, Magpie and House Sparrow also present.



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Make sure you get your tides right! If you use this link it gives the current tides at Fiddlers Ferry https://www.tideschart.com/search.php?q=fiddlers+ferry.

 

Penketh Bank and Bar start to flood roughly 1hr before high tide and become fully visible again up to 3 hrs after. But it can be hit and miss even from that rule dependant on wind and amount of water down the Mersey.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIrl-Sl_ITM is a video of the highest tides with Norton Marsh flooding and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArJRDvq1QLA shows the three hours up to a Spring high tide. 



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Andy Slee wrote:

If you follow the Ship Canal west from the yellow gate off Lapwing Lane, after ~2/3 a mile you go past the Ethylene pumping station on your right then 1/3 a mile later the wood on your right (Owens Wood) drops to track level and you can cut through onto the edge of the saltmarsh (Halfway House is 300 yrds further west).

Shown here on Google Maps. RC=Round Cherval, HWH - Halfway House, YG = Yellow Gate.

 

 


 Thanks Andy , Ill have a walk down that way this weekend 



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If you follow the Ship Canal west from the yellow gate off Lapwing Lane, after ~2/3 a mile you go past the Ethylene pumping station on your right then 1/3 a mile later the wood on your right (Owens Wood) drops to track level and you can cut through onto the edge of the saltmarsh (Halfway House is 300 yrds further west).

Shown here on Google Maps. RC=Round Cherval, HWH - Halfway House, YG = Yellow Gate.

 

 



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Andy Slee wrote:

A great visit to Round Cherval and Halfway House on the falling tide (nearly at ebb). Birds everywhere!

On the way in two Gadwall and 28 Ad + three juv Great crested Grebe on the Ship Canal plus around 40 Black-headed Gulls and three Grey Heron.

Penketh Bar and Bank held 13 Cormorant, one Yellow-legged Gull, five Grey Heron, 65 Curlew (a steady stream coming from Fiddlers Ferry Lagoon area as Penkth Bar exposed - another habitat to be lost in 2024-5 as it get turned into house / light industry / nature parks), two Black-tailed Godwit, one Whimbrel, two Redshank, one Snipe, two Little Egret and four Lapwing. 

Loafing on the river were 142 Canada Geese, nine adult Great Black-backed Gulls, 18 Lesser Black-backed Gull (ad) and 33 immature, 3 Herring Gulls, 1 Mediterranean Gull and 326 Black-headed Gull.

And on the walk in/out to Halfway House, three more patch "second solstice period" ticks were attained of Bullfinch, Water Rail and Treecreeper with the best being saved until last as I was about to drive off from Lapwing Lane when a male Yellowhammer popped up from the corn field and loafed on the branch in front of my windscreen where I'd parked.


 Wheres round cherval please 



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A great visit to Round Cherval and Halfway House on the falling tide (nearly at ebb). Birds everywhere!

On the way in two Gadwall and 28 Ad + three juv Great crested Grebe on the Ship Canal plus around 40 Black-headed Gulls and three Grey Heron.

Penketh Bar and Bank held 13 Cormorant, one Yellow-legged Gull, five Grey Heron, 65 Curlew (a steady stream coming from Fiddlers Ferry Lagoon area as Penkth Bar exposed - another habitat to be lost in 2024-5 as it get turned into house / light industry / nature parks), two Black-tailed Godwit, one Whimbrel, two Redshank, one Snipe, two Little Egret and four Lapwing. 

Loafing on the river were 142 Canada Geese, nine adult Great Black-backed Gulls, 18 Lesser Black-backed Gull (ad) and 33 immature, 3 Herring Gulls, 1 Mediterranean Gull and 326 Black-headed Gull.

And on the walk in/out to Halfway House, three more patch "second solstice period" ticks were attained of Bullfinch, Water Rail and Treecreeper with the best being saved until last as I was about to drive off from Lapwing Lane when a male Yellowhammer popped up from the corn field and loafed on the branch in front of my windscreen where I'd parked.



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Eastern Reedbed - one Cormorant, two Gadwall, one Reed Warbler, Kingfisher flew in to N corner.

Millbrook Pool (East, West appears dried / overgrown by reed / birch) - one Grey Heron, one Green Sandpiper took off towards Pumphouse Pool.

Pumphouse Pool - 12 Gadwall, four Teal, two ad Mute Swan, one Pied Wagtail, Stock Dove, Magpie, Jay.

Black-fields Pool(s) currently high and joined as one pool. 102 Lapwing, plus suspect more as only 70% islands in the pool were visible due to high vegetation. Seven Pochard, four Tufted duck, one Ad Mute Swan, Little and Great crested Grebes, Coot, Moorhen, swift and Swallow over, steady flights of Black-headed Gulls west, two Oystercatcher went over east but didn't stop.

Rook in the horse fields (first for second half of the year). Linnet flock still about but on the brow of the hill so difficult to count. Hundreds of Wood Pigeon, Corvids, couple Stock Dove and Feral pigeon in the mown corn fields around Lapwing Lane. Buzzard and Sparrowhawk both over Lapwing Lane fields. Last of the summer visitors it felt with a couple Willow Warblers (1 juv) and a single Chiffy still about. Tawny Owl roosting in the new location in Big Wood.

Lapwing Lane Lake - 52 Gadwall, two Little Grebe, eight Mallard, four Canada Goose, Coot, Moorhen, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Reed Warbler.

 



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Annoyingly the high Spring Tides which might breach Norton Marsh are at night yesterday and today so no chance of seeing species / foodstuff displaced by the water - have had owls on trail cams in the past at night when that happens .

However went on the off-chance anything had been pushed up the river on the tides for a wander around the West end Moore this evening and had my first patch Turnstone on the Mersey banks below Astmoor Marsh, visible from Halfway House biggrin.

Seven Grey Heron, 5 Little Egret, one adult Mediterranean Gull, four Oystercatchers (all flyby), 13 Curlews, two Redshank, one Common Sandpiper and Lapwings (circulating between Penketh Bar and Widnes Warth, 00s) plus 42 Black-headed Gull, 27 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (19 Juv/sub adult) two Herring Gulls (ad) and a smattering of Canada Geese, Gadwall, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard and Tufted Duck made up the main supporting cast. 

Looked to be quite a few Shelduck with the gulls on Widnes Warth sandbank but until I get a scope higher than 45x I struggle from on Moore land at least to get accurate count / sighting as it is nearly 1.4 miles away at extremis.



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Very little in the woods early am and quite a few branches down or loose so stuck the the main tracks around the quarry and Moss Lane.

22 Linnet in the horse paddocks with 23 Goldfinch in the same field. 47 Swallow lined up on the fence (11 juv) in the mizzle. Seven Pied Wagtails.

Four more Pied Wagtails (2 juv) were at Big Horse Ranch with a single Lapwing and over behind Anglers Quarry a flock of 375-400 Woodpigeon was disturbed.



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A brief trip to the River Mersey at Halfway House for the rising tide almost proved a washout with little apart from Great-crested Grebes, Cormorant and a few moult Gadwall on the Ship Canal.

Strangely almost no Gulls at Halfway House apart from a couple of Black-headed and three Lesser Black-backed.

Waders mae up for it, four Dunlin (patch year tick) flew upriver as the Banks/Bars were getting submerged, Common Sandpiper at Round Cherval and a Redshank flying upriver as well. Small numbers Lapwing drifting about but no big flock.

A Buzzard and a Kestrel over the horse fields and seven Canada Gosling were all else of note.

 



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A pleasant if slightly damp mooch around the east end as weather fronts came through.

Black-fields Pools had seven Lapwing, one Greenshank, 17 Canada Geese, two Little Grebe, 5 Grey Heron, one Little Egret, two Pochard, Tufted Duck, Morehen and Coot, with 10s of House Martins passing South with three Sand Martins amongst them.

Oystercatcher, another Greenshank (seen continuously by another birder from the time I'd watched the bird on BFPs), one Lapwing, one Black-headed Gull and six Gadwall, one Pied Wagtail on Pumphouse Pool.

More House and Sand Martins over Birchwood Pool with seven Pochard.

Little Egret on Lapwing Lane Pool, Reed Warbler juv showing well in front of hide and Reed Buntings calling.

Nuthatch the best of the woodland birds.



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Spent a good while around the reserve and clocked up 52 spp around the reserve with the highlight being two Greenshanks on PHP



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First returning Curlew (10) on Penketh Bar today. 42 Lapwing, 87 Black-headed Gull, 3 Great Black-backed Gull and seven Lesser Black-backed Gulls loafing about also. Looking towards Widness Warth from Halfway House another 98 Lawping were visible and more coming from Wigg Island direction as the tide rose to be displaced off over Fiddlers Ferry direction.

Buzzard, Raven, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk all seen over Upper Moss Side on the walk in.

5 Little Egret around the Mersey between Owens Wood / HWH and seven Grey Heron on the Ship Canal, with Coot, Moorhen, Great crested Grebe and Mallard, plus 34 Canada Geese at Moore Swing Bridge.

One Shelduck up by Norton Marsh with a Peregrine (m) swooping over the river for a while before returning to Fiddlers Ferry turbine building.

Coal Tit and Great Black-backed Gull added to the patch tick list for the second Solstice period of the year (69 species seen second Solstice period, 127 seen Winter Solstice 2022 - Summer Solstice 2023).

 



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Tuesday 11th of July 2023 09:00:44 PM

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No Guillemots at Morley Common today that must have been a sight.

Lots of young around today, brood of seven Gadwall on Pumphouse Pool, one Lapwing, one Water Rail, Long-tailed Tit juvs everywhere, plus a few Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff juvs.

A male Linnet flew over Colins hide.

32 Tufted Duck on Birchwood Pool was a good number.

Three Cygnets and two Great crested Grebe Broods (2+2) on the Black-field Pool with good numbers of Swallows, Swifts and House Martins passing south. Four Grey Heron + 2imm also present.

Two Reed Warbler and three Cetti's Warbler still singing away around the Eastern Reedbed.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Friday 7th of July 2023 02:56:28 PM

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Ended up with 127 patch species from the Winter Solstice 2022 - Summer Solstice 2023 (banned from doing a patch list 2023 by her indoors so decided to find a technical way around it). Hrs on patch this year to date less than half that last year and very few mornings due to shift patterns.

Only 2 visits since the Summer solstice but already 55 species for the second half the year. Best of the visits was watching the tide rise up the Mersey on Sunday (02/07) and watching Lapwings flushed from further down the Mersey to group on Penketh Bank. Approx 940 at highest count before heading high north as the Bank was covered by the afternoon tide. Two Oystercatchers, usual Gulls and seven Little Egret and three Grey Heron (1 imm) made up the supporting cast.

More hide vandalism on site unfortunately as well.



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Visits yesterday and today saw many young and birds feeding young - parties of Long-tailed Tits everywhere, Common Whitethroat feeding young by the Ship Canal, Canada Goslings on the footpath by Lapwing Lane, Coot, Moorhen and Little Grebe young on Lapwing Lane.

Reed Bunting and Skylark both had families on the Marsh whilst watching from the ex-Norton Marsh Hide; Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and two Kestrels (ad, juv) were overhead for long periods.

An unusual "mini legless Bittern pattern / shape" rose twice flew fast and sunk back into the corn field (Triangle Field) next to Lapwing Lane as I walked by, but only 6-7" in length and 8-10" in Wingspan. No call heard. Will be back to listen in the evening as heard Quail here last year. (Edit. Nothing heard tonight - only heard Quail or seen their heads so not sure what a flight bird looks like 100%).

Better on the 100% though was Penketh Bank with loafing Lesser Black-backed Gulls (26) of all CY, Herring Gulls (12) couple imm, most Ad, a few Ad (12) Black-headed Gulls, three Ad Great Black-backed Gulls was resplendent amidst an adult Yellow-legged Gull, with plumage, small mirror size, leg pastel crayon bright yellow and red eye ring colour all easily compared against fellow Gulls. A shame the sun haze was getting up as over on the sandbank next to Astmoor were many hundreds of gulls as the tide went out, but the heat haze was fouling optics.

One single Gadwall on the river and four Shelduck and two Cormorant amongst the Gulls with seven Little Egret and six Grey Heron (1imm, 5 Ad).

Three Oystercatcher and 62 Lapwing made up the days wader totals.

Midges [clegs] biting horrendously. With DEET and fully clothed (sweating) with only face skin exposed still got bitten numerous times, this rain / heat is classic for a second brood to emerge as well in a week or two. Take antihistamine before you go if you can!



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After been away with work last week a couple of brief trips in lunches (too hot) this week produced the usuals, but the unusual was a Red Kite over as I walked to Halfway House after tea tonight, heading towards Fiddlers Ferry. I thought I'd had a Red Kite many years ago, but looking through my notes gone by (my MS Access database of years 2008-2013 is corrupt..woe) this is both a life patch and Cheshire year tick for me.

Most pools looked very low, even Lapwing Lane and Birchwood Pool are over two - three feet lower than usual. Few Moorhen, Little Grebe, Coot and Canada Goose Broods scattered about.

Black-fields Pools however has rising water (strange as that is supposed to be concreted over for light industrial use in 2025/6) and East and West Pools are so high they are now one pool. Two or three Pochard broods are on there and a Green Woodpecker flew over.

A Raven was sat motionless on Lapwing Lane to the point I could almost touch it; [didn't] I didn't think a young bird as it was mostly black with a bit of brownish on the secondaries, beak was massive and fully black......would it be succumbing to Bird flu or knackered by heat?

Still...the Red Kite puts the patch list this year at 123 since winter solstice.

 



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A full trip from 4:30 am around the reserve, starting at the centre down the Marsh and River, then a drive down the Eastern end to walk back to the centre and back via various Pools.

Seven Cetti's Warbler (5 west end, 2 east) and plenty of the other usual Warblers singing away in most places, Garden Warbler at Colins Hide, Lesser Whitethroats at the scrub above the Eastern Reedbed and ex-Long Pond field at Norton Marsh. Blackcap, Goldcrest, Willow, Chiffchaff Common Whitethroat everywhere localised, Reed (Marsh, reedbeds), Sedge (Black-Fields Pools, Marsh, Round Cherval).

Two patch year ticks, finally House Martin (Black-Fields Pools, five with three Sand Martin) and a Water Rail and chick on Millbrook Pool East (Almost-Dried-Out-Swamp Rail would be a better name given the lack of water).

Cuckoo over toward the Capped Tip gas plant.

One Black-headed Gull and two Great Black-backed Gulls on the river, with 89 Lapwing, three Grey Heron, 10 male Mallard, 1 Gadwall, and 11 Shelduck.

Kestral and Buzzard on the Marsh.

Reed Buntings and Skylark and Corvids a plenty on Norton Marsh. 

Two pairs Mute Swan, no cygnets seen though. Moorhen, Coot, Canada Goose and both Common Grebes all had young. Four Tufted ducks lazed on the Eastern Reedbed, no sign of any young yet.

Pumphouse Pool just holds on...Grey Heron eating frogs from the remaining mudscapes, single Lapwing, 11 Teal and seven Gadwall plus a Moorhen and Pied Wagtail made up the show today.

71 species in total though in 4 1/2 hs, not bad for June smile.

 



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This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar.