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Post Info TOPIC: Ashton Moss


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RE: Ashton Moss


Thanks Vicky (?) for pointing me SW from the tram stop carpark to the path up to the top.

Stunning views down on the short eared owl quartering up and down Moss Lane ~3.15-3.45, initially in beautiful light.

That went on until a second owl came in hard from ~Ikea and tussled briefly with the first, which headed off towards Littlemoss. The new owl took up quartering a bit further NE of Moss Lane, seeming more nervous than the first and disappeared entirely when someone popped up near the dilapidated garage where it had just been hunting (the first bird had seemed largely oblivious to two dogs off the lead and their owner on the lane).

Other birds as others have reported (albeit with a higher skylark:meadow pipit ratio)



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A break in the blizzard conditions at 2:50 produced:

Short eared owl seen flying in the distance looking out towards the pylons to the left of Ikea. It flew into the long grass to the right of the main path.
Also:
1 Stonechat
7 Meadow Pipit
1 Kestrel
1 Skylark

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0845-1005

At least one Short-eared Owl on the mound this morning. First seen just before 9am against the backdrop of IKEA, it dropped in the grass. About ten minutes later, the same or another bird put on a short display giving overhead views before disappearing towards Littlemoss.

Also on the mound at least one male Stonechat, female Reed Bunting, c12 Skylark and a small number of Meadow Pipit.

Sheldon Pool

3 Tufted Duck
2 Mute Swan

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29/1/2016 from 2:15 till 3:15 on the mound

Dropped extremely lucky this afternoon. 2 Short-eared Owls were hunting the whole area whilst I was there. Sometimes probably even visible from Sheldon Way, ranging across the main traverse path towards the horse field and also getting across Moss Lane and on to Littlemoss farm land at the other end of the site. Would have provided a great garden tick for the houses that back onto the area if anybody had been looking. At one point a mobbing Carrion Crow caused one of the birds to go very high over towards the town centre but it eventually returned. Both birds were still visible as I left at 3:15. Occasionally giving some stunning close views.

Also seen
2 Male Stonechat
6 or 7 Skylark, some singing up high briefly.
1 Reed Bunting
a few Meadow Pipit

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Some great, if distant, sightings of the short eared owl quatering the mound between 2 and 2:30 this afternoon. Also skylarks and magpies in attendance. 3 herons on the riding stables land and a further heron stood in the middle of a field on Littlemosss. Nothing on the pools at the "back"of the mound. Good to meet David (surname unknown) with whom I shared the owl sights.

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Sunday 24th January 2016, 8.30 - 10.00am

Following yesterday's brief sighting in the company of Simon Gough, plus the fact that I have three dogs to walk, I decided to walk along Moss Lane, rather than trudge across the bog that is "the mound", as it was towards this direction that the Short-eared Owl appeared yesterday. The only birds flying over the mound were Skylarks, but I managed to pick up the owl roosting between tussocks of rough grass, less than 100 yards away, on the other side of the perimeter fence. It sat blinking at me for half an hour, not even flinching when some numpty on a motorbike tore across the mound, within 50 yards of the bird. It began preening itself, and finally took to the air at 9.30, being instantly mobbed by three Carrion Crows, after which it started quartering the area. It disappeared when a dogwalker appeared at the top of the mound at 9.45. Fantastic views of a stunning bird - well done Mr Suttill.

Also seen:

c 20 Skylarks, many singing and displaying this morning. Simon and I weren't sure whether or not it was our presence causing them to sing briefly yesterday, but the males seemed to be singing against one another, and for longer, today.
c 20 Meadow Pipits, moving around as a group
1 Lesser Redpoll over
Plenty of Great and Blue Tits, Robins, and singing Wrens in the brambles

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The dwindling Higher Swineshaw Reservoir, surrounded by a blackened Swineshaw Moor - July 2018


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I managed to catch up with a Short-eared Owl this afternoon, seen over 10 minutes or so at about 14.30. Good views initially but then a couple of dogs being walked seemed to keep it on the ground after that, or maybe it was full up, the place must be crawling with rodents. What a great winter it has been for them, this is the 2nd within the M60 that I've seen. I met David Walsh a bit later and we had one very brief view of the bird at about 4pm as it came up off the ground and then disappeared again. Nice to meet you mate!

It was noticeable that this bird wasn't being mobbed at all, unlike the one at Chorlton. Maybe the bigger area means the owl and the Magpies can co-exist more happily.

Also seen were a male Stonechat, hunting Kestrel, around 5 or 6 Skylarks and a dozen or so Meadow Pipits. There were also a lot of gulls passing over, I did notice a few Common Gulls amongst the Black-headeds. A couple of the Skylarks started singing as they flew up, but soon stopped again. I had some nice close views of them flying around. Finally, there were indeed some Lapwings on the roof of Car People, just like Steve said! I could see double figures when I arrived.

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9.15-10.00 this morning

No sign of any short-eared owls

Kestrel f
3 Skylark
5 Meadow Pipit

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Thanks Steven. I will try and get down again next week. I'll certainly be looking out for lapwing too.

Thanks again

Vicky

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11.00am 2 mute swans (unringed) back on Sheldon pond now the ice has gone. They were using the old pair's nest site so fingers crossed for Spring. No owls in sight.


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2 hours this afternoon leaving at 3.30. No sign of Short-eared Owl, did see male Stonechat, female Reed Bunting, 2 Linnet and good to meet one Roger Bakersmile.
Cheers Ian

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Sheldon pond is on your left as you walk from the Metrolink car park towards Mockridge nurseries. The mound is on your right. Car People is on the other side of the main road and tramtracks - look out for the Lapwings on the roof.

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Steve Suttill wrote:

Hi Vicky

If you park in the Metrolink (tram) car park (for tram users only!) the "mound" is the raised area in front of you if you stand with your back to the tram tracks. I'm sure there must be a better way of putting this, but it should be obvious when you are there!

The "mound" is fenced off with very few gaps in the fence. It's an overgrown tip and could be dangerous, but all the local dogwalkers seem to use it. If you want to get to the top of the mound for a better view, there is a public footpath between two fences on your right as you walk down the lane past the big pool towards Mockridge nurseries.

Good luck!





Cheers, I was going to ask the same question! I work in Ashton and so might pop there after work tomorrow to see if I can spot a Short-eared Owl. Where's the Sheldon pond in relation to the mound?

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Hi Vicky

If you park in the Metrolink (tram) car park (for tram users only!) the "mound" is the raised area in front of you if you stand with your back to the tram tracks. I'm sure there must be a better way of putting this, but it should be obvious when you are there!

The "mound" is fenced off with very few gaps in the fence. It's an overgrown tip and could be dangerous, but all the local dogwalkers seem to use it. If you want to get to the top of the mound for a better view, there is a public footpath between two fences on your right as you walk down the lane past the big pool towards Mockridge nurseries.

Good luck!

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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I pass Ashton Moss daily on my way to work. I'm planning on stopping off to try to see the short-eared owl. Could somebody tell me where the mound is please.

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Bad luck Roger. Looks like you are also suffering from Irritable Owl Syndrome biggrin

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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That has cheered me up no end ! furious
I must have just missed you Vic.
Pulled off the car park at 14.20 having done a two hour stint without a sniff of the Short-eared Owls and not a lot else.

Stonechat. (M)
Mistle Thrush.

A lady dog-walker told me that the owls were right up to the fence around 10.00 hrs yesterday morning.

Roger.

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2 Short-eared Owls still present between 2.30pm and 3.10pm.

A single bird hunting over the mound for much of the time - mostly distant but one excellent close range view. It was joined briefly by a second bird on 2 occasions.

3 Common Snipe overhead.



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WEBs count from Sunday 17/1/16 10.45am
Sheldon pool
Pond 90% ice
8 canada geese,
7 mallard,
7 coot,
1 moorhen,
19 black headed gulls

and i would have love to have seen a short eared owl think i need a trip around the mound


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19/1/15.Late morning on the mound

Good,long views of a short eared owl and two seen together briefly.Also a male stonechat,a flock of about 30 meadow pipits,a collared
dove and two great tits.Also a female reed bunting by the pond near Mockridge nursery ,a wren and the usuals.


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B Beckwith


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19/1/2016 early afternoon on the mound

Short-eared Owl was flushed by a couple of lost walkers but quickly went to ground, it reappeared about 45mins later and started to hunt. Been half hoping one of these would be seen on here since the influx of autumn. Excellent find Steve, thanks for putting the news out.
Also around
1 Stonechat male
Skylark
2 Reed Buntings
Few Meadow Pipit
1 Goldcrest

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Full circuit of the mound - 13.15 - 14.30

SHORT-EARED OWL quartering the Moss was a most pleasant surprise smile

also: Kestrel hunting, 3 Skylarks, flock of 25 Meadow Pipits, 1 Snipe flushed...

usuals on Sheldon pool and just 4 Lapwing on Car People.

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Pond near Mockridge Nursery Pair mute swan Several coot 5 mallard 2 tufted duck ( m and f) Moorhen c20 Black-headed gull 8 canada geese Sheldon Pool Pair mute swan 8 canada geese (these could have moved from the other pool) Kingfisher 3 mallard (2m 1f)

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Sunday 3rd of January 2016 02:13:08 PM

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Late morning visit

Sheldon Pool

2 Tufted Duck (pair)
2 Mute Swan
8 Coot
3 Moorhen
5 Mallard

2 male Stonechat on the mound
Meadow Pipit
Kestrel hunting

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Afternoon visit

Sheldon Pool

Female Tufted Duck
6 Coot
Moorhen
Two adult Mute Swans flew in while I was there
15 Canada Geese
6 Mallard
24 Black-headed Gulls

Mound

Kestrel
Male Stonechat

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Tuesday 29th December 2015, 1.50 - 2.40pm

2 Grey Heron
4 Skylark
1 Meadow Pipit
1 Fieldfare
2 Mistle Thrush
3 Lesser Redpoll
c25 Goldfinch
c40 Starlings
2 Reed Bunting

On the pool

1 drake Tufted Duck
2 Mute Swans
7 Coot

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The dwindling Higher Swineshaw Reservoir, surrounded by a blackened Swineshaw Moor - July 2018


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A late afternoon visit, too late to see anything on the mound.

Sheldon Pool

2 Mute Swan
Drake Tufted Duck
8 Coot
3 Moorhen
5 Mallard

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Wednesday 23rd December 2015, 1.30 - 2.10pm

A forty minute lunchtime escape from the gathering festive madness of work.
From Moss Lane, north across the railway line towards Littlemoss

1 female Kestrel over Moss Lane
1 Grey Heron in the fields towards Jaum Farm
At least 2 Skylark calling north of the railway line
Several Reed Bunting calling around Moss Side Farm, and another north of the railway
Magpies everywhere

It would be good to have more time, and do a full count of the area



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The dwindling Higher Swineshaw Reservoir, surrounded by a blackened Swineshaw Moor - July 2018


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A couple of hours on the Moss this morning

Mound area

2 male Stonechat
Male Reed Bunting
Skylark
c30 Meadow Pipit
Five flocks of Lapwing flew over, containing over 120 birds (12, 5, 25, c80)

Sheldon pool

Female Tufted Duck
2 Mallard
7 Coot
5 Canada Geese

2 Lesser Redpoll, 1 near Mockridge Garden Centre and one from tram stop
Song Thrush singing

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14/12/15 Sheldon pond 11.30am
2 mute swans (must have flown back, unringed pair not the original pair)
15 canada geese
2 moorhen
6 mallard
6 coot
1 tufted duck
11 black headed gulls

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13/12/15 Webs count 10.50-11.00am
2 mute swans- flew off on arrival
1 grey heron
3 moorhen
5 mallard
7 coot
18 black headed gulls


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14/12/2015 Mid morning visit to the mound

c30 Meadow Pipit
1 Reed Bunting
3 Stonechat
1 Skylark
3 Bullfinch
4 Lesser Redpoll
c15 Long-tailed Tit
1 Coal Tit
1 Kestrel
2 Grey Heron
13 Mallard
9 Redwing flew over


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On the mound 11 15 am to 12 00 am on Fri 11th Dec.

2 skylarks.several meadow pipits and wood pigeons,magpies and two crows.
2 mute swans on pond and one heron flying,Female stonechat and wren nearby.

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B Beckwith


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Wednesday 02/12/15, 11.00am
12 canada geese,
9 coots
4 mallard
1 tufted duck
2 mute swans (both unringed)
20 black headed gulls

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4/12/2015 an hour after noon on the mound.

3 Stonechat
3 Skylark
2 Reed Bunting
c10 Meadow Pipit spread out over the site, probably more hidden in the long grass.
1 Mute Swan on a pond near Moss Side Farm, no Darvic on the right leg, didn't get to see the left so could be one of the birds from a few weeks ago.
2 Grey Heron in the horse field



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Lord Sheldon pond
2 mute swans- unringed,
18 canada geese
8 mallard
41 black headed gulls
9 mallard
5 coot
2 moorhen

I think from the original pair of mute swans that the male has disappeared shortly after cygnet died and the female has moved the remaining 3 cygnets over a week ago. Current 2 swans possibly pair that Simon had seen on farm pond

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Late afternoon 23/11/2015

On or over the Mound
1 Reed Bunting
5 Linnet
3 Lesser Redpoll
5 Meadow Pipit
2 Kestrel
1 Common Snipe flew around.

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Late morning

Sheldon Pool

2 adult Mute Swan. No sign of any juveniles
6 Moorhen
6 Coot
3 Mallard (2 drake)

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Webs count 12.20-12.30pm, very little bird life after the torrential weather.
6 coots
1 tufted duck
4 moorhen


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Early afternoon

Sheldon Pool
2 Coot
3 Moorhen

35 Pink-footed Geese flew over

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30/10/2015 from noon for an hour or so.

Ponds adjacent to Moss Side Farm
23 Mallard (17 drake)
5 Moorhen
1 Little Grebe
2 Mute Swan
Horse Field
19 Collared Dove feeding as a flock.
On the Mound
1 Reed Bunting
3 Skylark
c15 Meadow Pipit
flock of c25 mixed Fieldfare and Redwing flew over going south
1 Kestrel


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4pm

only 1 adult mute swan present, plus 3 cygnets, no sign of other adult- will keep an eye out.

1 kestrel hoovering over mound by mini roundabout, then landed on lamp post next to me



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WEBS count 10.30-10.50am
5 mute swans
9 coot
3 tufted duck
8 mallard
3 moorhen
5 black headed gulls

overhead not using pond:
76 pink footed geese- very low, though was going to land on Moss but kept changing direction, disappeared over mound, may have landed.
approx 15 thrushes flew over


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2 Common Gull on the Leisure Park roundabout late afternoon along with c20 Starling.

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14/10/2015 an hour or so this afternoon

30+ Meadow Pipit

1 Kestrel

On the pond to the north west of the mound

1 drake Wigeon, coming out of eclipse

3 Mallard

1 Canada Goose

2 Mute Swan, appeared to be adults, both were metal ringed but had no darvic rings

3 Moorhen

Double spacing problem persists.



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Sadly one of the cygnets found dead today by road, possibly flew into tram wires, no obvious injuries

3 still on lake though plus adults.



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Monday 12th October 2015, 6.20pm

6 Mute Swans
13 Mallard
1 female Tufted Duck
7 Coot
7 Moorhen
5 Pied Wagtails flying over Car People, towards Ashton

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The dwindling Higher Swineshaw Reservoir, surrounded by a blackened Swineshaw Moor - July 2018


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12.30pm

down to 3 cygnets & 2 adults (1 presumably flown on)

8 coots

1 moorhen



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Thursday 1st October 2015, 9.15 - 9.50am

A half hour wander on the way home from the vet

6 Mute Swans
7 Coot
6 Moorhen
4 Tufted ducks
13 Mallard
5 Pied Wagtail over towards Ashton
1 Kestrel
At least 6 Skylarks around the mound
12+ Meadow Pipits

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The dwindling Higher Swineshaw Reservoir, surrounded by a blackened Swineshaw Moor - July 2018


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On the main pool today

2 Tufted Duck, both female
7 Moorhen, one of which moved rather quickly when a large fish (carp?) jumped out of the water a couple of times!
7 Coot
2 Mallard
6 Mute Swan, all in moult


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This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar; rest in peace mum.