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Post Info TOPIC: Stockport and environs to East Didsbury


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RE: Stockport and environs to East Didsbury


A nice bonus on the river at Burnage Rugby Club this evening was 2 Linnets, a real genuine Patch Tick, never mind Lockdown! Not quite an albatross but it made me happy.

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Lesser redpoll with young on our garden feeders in Marple today. That was new to us. We have them in winter flocks never seen signs of breeding in our area. What is their status here?



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Nothing new to report other than the incredible spectacle late this afternoon of dozens of Swift feeding at very low level over the Mersey, in concert with Sand Martin, House Martin and Swallow. Amazing

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Some nice bits on the river this morning:

4 Whitethroats fresh in and singing
1 Swift
c.20 House Martin that just appeared, flew round with the Sand Martins for a few minutes then disappeared again - lovely
1 Common Sandpiper, flew through heading downstream towards Cheadle Bridge

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Grey Wagtail over Mc-Vites at 07:02 this am.



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A pair of Grey Wagtail in the Nelson Tavern A6,car park at 07:10 this am.



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Whilst driving up New Zealand Road this morning I spotted a Magpie chasing a young rat along the pavement against a brick wall.

The rat was running along the edge of the wall whilst the Magpie continued to peck at it.    



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Tony Coatsworth wrote:

alanhill wrote:

PS (from my earlier post). Does anyone know who monitors the activity in the artificial nest bank? I was told that it is specifically designed to make for easy access and recording. Are there any records from last year?


 No Sand Martins that end, but plenty around the Rugby Club with about 10 birds checking out the nest holes. I guess they prefer scruffy natural holes!

 





I've been checking the area around the artificial nest holes every few days and not seen any birds around there; they look settled at Burnage Rugby Club for now.

I found an article on the RSPB website here: rspb link about managing habitat for Sand Martins and it suggests that the holes should be partially blocked each winter allowing the birds to dig them out again - I don't see that at the Waterside Hotel site so perhaps they have not fancied it there? It suggests they look for freshly eroded banks at a site, and that is certainly what they have used at Burnage Rugby Club.






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alanhill wrote:

PS (from my earlier post). Does anyone know who monitors the activity in the artificial nest bank? I was told that it is specifically designed to make for easy access and recording. Are there any records from last year?


 No Sand Martins that end, but plenty around the Rugby Club with about 10 birds checking out the nest holes. I guess they prefer scruffy natural holes!

 



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Another idyllic scene this morning on the river, 39 species. Best today:
Reed Bunting pair at Garlic Bend pond
Kingfisher along the river but perched briefly right in front of me
Goosander, 1 female with 10 ducklings, that explains why the males have been lurking around on their own in the last few days, 4 males were together yesterday, presumably the equivalent of the maternity ward waiting room.

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Beautiful by the river this morning. Loads of birds singing and a few things worth noting:
Lesser Whitethroat as mentioned in the thread for Mersey Vale Nature Park
numerous Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Greenfinch, Blackcap singing
2 Swallows at Vale Farm, nice yeartick for me and they looked beautiful in the sun, coming down to the ground and perching at times
Tons of Sand Martin activity and 4 Male Goosander by Burnage Rugby Club

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Grey Wagtail again this am behind the Nelson pub A6 again at 07:18.



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Grey Wagtail behind the Lord Nelson pub A6 this am at 07:10 & Rook on top of the North bound traffic lights at the junction of the A6 and Railway Road at 13:10.



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Eight House Martin briefly over B&Q at 12.10 today heading South.



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and as a bizarre footnote an Oystercatcher has just flown over the garden calling (Im a few hundred yards from the river). A new bird for the house list

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Happy Easter folks

 

A 07:15 stroll along the Mersey this morning was surprisingly busy with joggers, cyclists and dog walkers.

It seemed like we might have had an arrival of Blackcap, probably 6 singing makes.

Also 3 singing SongThrush between the community orchard and the rugby club.  Still lots of singing Chiffchaff.

Of note 3 drake Goosander near the rugby club and at least 12 Sand Martin feeding around the nest area and perching by the nest holes.



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alanhill wrote:

PS (from my earlier post). Does anyone know who monitors the activity in the artificial nest bank? I was told that it is specifically designed to make for easy access and recording. Are there any records from last year?





Hi Alan,

I don't know who, if anyone, monitors the Sand Martins nests in the artificial bank but will see if I can find out. If you do see any evidence of nesting there it would be good to have a count of the number of occupied holes and birds flying over the river.

There is a small colony on the river at Burnage Rugby Club. The maximum count there last year was 25 birds in late May but only 7 occupied nests in early July. Neither of the recorders who submitted records in 2019 live locally, so the colony may go unrecorded whilst the current restrictions are in place.

All the best

Steve

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A nice walk along the river this morning between about 7.30 and 9.

Sand Martins were active around the river bank, at least 20 birds, 11 holes at least being attended. No idea where these birds go at times; the other night the bank was deserted for half an hour then they suddenly appeared again.

1 Dipper at Cheadle Bridge. 2 Willow Warblers singing was a nice yeartick , Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Goldfinches, plenty of Nuthatch activity, 1 Goosander, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Treecreeper.



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Chiffchaff and Blackcap singing in Mersey Vale Nature Park.

sand Martins still around but not visiting the nest holes they were working on earlier this week.

Goosander flew downstream from the river near Parrswood School playing field and over the Manchester Road bridge.  Re-found further towards Northeden near Milgate Fields but flushed no back up river by an irresponsible dog owner.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Thursday 9th of April 2020 06:03:54 PM

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PS (from my earlier post). Does anyone know who monitors the activity in the artificial nest bank? I was told that it is specifically designed to make for easy access and recording. Are there any records from last year?



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i went down on Tuesday morning, specifically to see the sand martins, as for me they are the key sign of spring. There were around 6 flying over the river near the rugby club; they were feeding, no sign of any nesting activity. I went to look at the artificial nest bank opposite the Galleon/Waterside car park but there was no sign of anything happening there. I can see that maybe they are feeding up after their long migration and perhaps will start some serious nesting in a short while. I couldn't make out whether the ones I saw were male or female.



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RE: Stockport and enviryons to East Didsbury


Pair of Mallard over the bus station West@15:40.



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RE: Stockport and environs to East Didsbury


We walked down to the Mersey this morning via Priestnall school.

Birds sighted before getting to the Mersey:  Blackbird, Starling, Jackdaw,  Carrion Crow, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Great Tit, Blue Tit, 2 Nuthatch by the school, Coal Tit, 3 Meadow Pipits on Cavendish Road.  Passing by the Crown pub we had Robin, Wren, singing Chiffchaff, flyover of 3 Canada Geese.  On the pond a loan Moorhen. 

By the Mersey behind the industrial estate, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Greenfinch.  Eventually sighted a Chiffchaff.   Mallards on river, 3 Grey Wagtail, 2 Dippers flying upstream towards Stockport.  Possible Blackcap singing.  2 Peregrine heading towards Didsbury.  Dunnock.  Single Song Thrush, Sand Martins.

On the way home we saw a Sparrowhawk high over the allotments.  As we approached the front door we heard Long Tailed Tits.  

All in all a nice mornings walk  Numbers of walkers and cyclist increasing as we left the river.



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I had a walk down to the river this morning, between about 7.00 and 8.00. Not too busy, I guess it will be by now at 10am...

7 Sand Martins, tremendous stuff. Thanks to Mike for posting yesterday, literally the only day in the last week that I haven't been down there. Something gets me every time I see them there, all the way from Africa to nest at the bottom of my road.

Regarding Reed Buntings, I have seen a male before around the pond on the so-called Garlic Bend, so entirely possible that there are some there. It has been a while though, that sighting was the 10th of April 2015! At least this year we will have our full attention on the site...

This morning some other nice bits were a Treecreeper on the little island and a pair of Mandarin by Cheadle Bridge. Also a pair of Blackcaps in the small wood by the plastic pitch on the school playing fields; my first singing male locally this year. Lots of birds were singing well today, a few Chiffchaff, Greenfinches, loads of Dunnocks, also Goldfinches very active in general.



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A short walk past the sports ground  this evening at 19.00 yielded 2 Mistle Thrush, 3 Starling, 2 Magpie and a fly over of 9 Ring Necked Parakeets 



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Good news

The Sand Martins have returned and are busy excavating nest holes on the opposite bank to the footpath.
Viewed from the fence near Burnage Rugby Club.

Plenty of singing Chiffchaff between the bridge carrying Manchester Road and the M60.

Stock Dove (only two), plenty of Wood Pigeon, Rook, Crow, occasional Pheasant, lots of Blue and Great Tit.

 

Just a "heads up" - If you regularly walk down here, keep an eye out for Reed Bunting.  No idea how uncommon they are (and I might have misidentified) but I had the impression of a pair in river side bushes (flushed by some noisy children and their dog) just before getting to the area behind the little business park where Vale Road joins NCN62.  Dont get over excited - I may well be mistaken but at RSPB BMW or Conwy, I wouldnt hesitate to say Reed Bunting.  Footpath pretty busy and awkward to maintain your "social distancing"

 



-- Edited by Mike Crawley on Saturday 4th of April 2020 03:33:31 PM



-- Edited by Mike Crawley on Saturday 4th of April 2020 03:35:10 PM

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Whilst waiting at some lights in Stockport a Jackdaw on the roadside  lifted  what looked like a  discarded windscreen wiper out of the way to get at what looked like a long strand of couch grass !

A walk at tea time produced a single Mistle Thrush on the local sports field, the only bird in sight. A new GM bird for 2020.



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A Kestrel passed through quickly near the B&Q and a minute later a Great Spotted Woodpecker was passing over and then remarkably for me  a couple of Goldfinch about twenty minutes later.

An early evening stroll as part of my daily exercise ( all I need after an hour digging then another hour of forking a lawn) brought a singing Nuthatch near to home, could it be one of our recent visitors ?



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Wednesday 1st of April 2020 07:52:02 PM

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I've occasionally seen kingfishers on the Mersey between Burnage Rugby Club and the glass pyramid, though not for a bit. My best was on the fishing pond near the bottom of Vale Road.

I'm also looking out for the sand martins opposite the rugby club; they seem to do scouting missions before they start nesting in the bank, but nothing seen yet. Last year the artificial nesting site opposite the Galleon/Waterside seemed quite well used, but again I've not seen anything so far this year. 



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Alan Hill


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I had an exercise walk down to Burnage Rugby Club last night, lots of people so a frustrating experience in some ways, because everyone seems intent on moving so you get frowns if you stop and stand still. Nice to see Tony from the Stockport Birdwatching Society, we compared notes at a safe distance.

I was delighted to see a Kingfisher zip down the river channel and perch in a tree, apparently not bothered by the volume of people at all really. This is the best bird I've seen since the lockdown began, it was excellent, I've actually never seen one before on this stretch of the river, so there goes the theory that a deserted bank early in the morning is the best formula.

Also picking an odd moment were a pair of Stock Doves that flew around together, only the second time I have seen them down there. I do check the Woodpigs every time so again this seemed random. There are a lot of Pigeons on the fields on the Cheshire bank though.

Still no Sand Martins, I hope they come back.

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Best of this am, a pristine pair of adult Herring Gull in the bear pit & a Grey Wagtail in the Bus station. Sand Martin over the Mersey.



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Kestrel West over the bus station@16:10.



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Pair of Grey Wagtail in the bus station.



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7.45-9.15 around Burnage Rugby Club and the river

28 species, plenty of singing Chiffchaff, a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker showed really well, main thing to note was a pair of Herring Gulls being territorial at the Rugby Club, would this species breeding somewhere like that be noteworthy? Having grown up by the seaside it was a profoundly familiar sound to hear them wailing at each other, actually quite nice!

Fair numbers of people around for the time of day, although it is a favourite route for runners and cyclists in any case

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Pair of Peregrine over Grand Central West @16:00.



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alanhill wrote:

Yes, I counted three pairs of goosanders in the relative short stretch between Patch Island and the Weir, plus an unattached male. The recent use of the flood storage basin at Fletcher Moss left hundreds of sticklebacks stranded in pools and ponds when the water eventually drained off. Which indicates the abundance of small fish in the river, so that must be good for the goosanders and other fish eaters.

Alan Hill

 




Hi Alan. Yes, on the Didsbury stretch of the Mersey I've noticed the number of small fish left stranded on the lower bank after the water level drops.
The river is a much healthier place for fish, diving ducks and kingfishers these days.

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Yes, I counted three pairs of goosanders in the relative short stretch between Patch Island and the Weir, plus an unattached male. The recent use of the flood storage basin at Fletcher Moss left hundreds of sticklebacks stranded in pools and ponds when the water eventually drained off. Which indicates the abundance of small fish in the river, so that must be good for the goosanders and other fish eaters.

Alan Hill

 



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Whilst doing the WeBS count in the Heaton Mersey area, a Peregrine Falcon landed on the pylon at Garlic Bend being mobbed
by a Kestrel. Also 8 Goosanders, the highest number I've had along this stretch of the river.






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2 calling Redwings flew south of the Mersey Vale SBI at 1pm today.

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A Little Egret flew upstream and then back downstream over the flooded river Mersey at lunchtime today, near the Mersey Vale SBI, it seemed to drop into the sewage works on the south side of the river.

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Peregrine Falcon over town centre at 09.25. Into a stoop but didn't catch feral pigeons. 4 Pied Wagtail too.



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Seemed to be good numbers of Sand Martin along the Mersey this afternoon from the viaduct to the pyramid. Grey Wagtail flycatching too, and a fishing Cormorant. 



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Burnage Rugby Club to Mersey Vale Nature Park 6.15-8.45

The value of getting up early demonstrated this morning with 42 species seen and lots of birds showing well. Normally on this route I manage about 25-30, but there was tons of activity in the bright sunshine.

Main point of note was some nice sightings of Whitethroat, there was a male on territory on the main footpath, which was flying really high from its perch, 20m or more. I was presumably a bit early for them last month. Two more males were locked in a song battle on the high ground within the Nature Park, they were incessant and again flying high off their perches. Also around here a very prominent singing Willow Warbler, not that common down here in my experience, it is far more normal to find Chiffchaffs.

The scrub and light woodland up on the embankment there at Mersey Vale looks great for a Garden Warbler or Lesser Whitethroat, but there was no sign today, despite plenty of other birds being in there.

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I walked down to the Waterside Hotel at Cheadle Bridge today to see how many Sand Martins might be about. 2 only over the river, but the river bank has been landscaped and grassed over since last year so there is virtually nowhere for the birds to nest. Ironically on the other side of the bridge at the Burnage Rugby Club site, the bank is clear of the Himalayan Balsam and they could resume nesting there; lets hope they settle somewhere. Other than that there were 4 pairs of Goosander on the shingle and then back at the Garlic Bend singing Blackcap and Chiffchaff but no Whitethroats; it used to be a great place for them until the footpath was widened.

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Cheers Chris, I guess I must have missed you- I have a very similar photograph of the Cormorant.  Not as ridiculous an identification mistake as it might seem, without binoculars and obscured by the tree branches it wasnt easy to identify the bird.



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Hi Mike, Ive just had a quick look at the Mersey in the Gt Portwood St. , Tiviot Way area, ie. the back of the main shops.  No sign of Herons of any description,however there was a Cormorant sat on a rock in the river, immediately behind the Sainsburys loading bays ??.. photo below.Also seen female Goosander, two Grey Wagtails,two Canada Geese and two Mallards.

Cheers Chris



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RE: Stockport to East Didsbury


Originally posted today by Mike Crawley:

 

hi folks,

I'm friends with the CAWOS county recorder and he has just sent me a messag.  I plan to go into the town centre and take a look.

Here's the message

 

Hugh,
 
There are a few spots that might fit.
My immediate thought would be behind the town centre Sainsburys store (Warren Street), as this area is "at the back of the main shops".
 
 
From: AHUGH PULSFORD
Sent: Friday, March 8, 2019 9:35 am
To: Mike Crawley
Subject: Fw: Night Heron
 
Hi Mike
 
Don't suppose you got a few minutes to check this out please. Can you work out the location? If not could you forward it onto any local birders please?
 
cheers
Hugh
 
Hugh Pulsford
Cheshire and Wirral County Bird Recorder
Cheshire and Wirral Ornithological Society ( CAWOS) www.cawos.org
Secretary National Association of County Recorders and Editors (ACRE)
 
 
----- Forwarded message -----
From: Angela
To: Hugh
Sent: Thursday, 7 March 2019 16:24:13 GMT
Subject: Re: Night Heron
 
 
Hi Hugh  
 
Didn't get any photos as I was on my way to go shopping & walking across the bridge. At first I thought it was a Grey Heron but as I got closer noticed it's head was different ie: shorter so I stopped to observe it. I stared & stared & thought I don't know what it is. So came home looked up in my RSPB bird book & found it exactly like the Night Heron Black body grey wings & exactly the same shape beak. It was standing on a rock at the waters edge on the bridge over the River Mersey at the back of the main shops.
 
Thanks for the reply
Angela
 
On Thursday, 7 March 2019, 14:52:51 GMT, Hugh > wrote:
 
 
Most unusual Angela. Did you manage to get any photos. Do you know if it was an adult bird, ie black head, black back and grey / white body or very brown with lots of white streaks on its body. Also what was it doing please.
Many thanks
 
Hugh

Sent from my iPhone

On 7 Mar 2019, at 14:13, Angela  wrote:

I spotted a Night Heron on the River Mersey in Stockport yesterday afternoon just wondered if it was unusual as I have never seen one before.
 
cheers
 
Mike

 



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A short walk along the River Mersey at noon near Heaton Mersey.

Kingfisher

Little Grebe

Mallard c20 4:1 in favour of drakes

Goosander pair

Black Headed Gull x 20 

Magpie x 6

Crow x 2

Long Tailed Tit x 6 

Blackbird male



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Chiffchaff still in song at Heaton Mersey Vale yesterday morning, also 2 Dipper, Kingfisher and 10+ Goosander on the river Mersey.

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sorry for the delay.

nothing earth shattering but on Saturday whilst I was watching an entertaining game of rugby:-

Three Common Buzzard low over Burnage Rugby Club (during the game on the 3G pitch which is next to the nature trail walk and carried on over the golf course towards the river) the third was lowest and being aggressively mobbed by Crows.
approx. 10 Redwing flying over, calling
3 Fieldfare on the 9th green of the golf course, with a Mistle Thrush
Ten Ring-necked Parakeet, flying over

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