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Post Info TOPIC: Silver Lane Pools, Risley


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RE: Silver Lane Pools, Risley


A juvenile Peregrine, carrying what looked like a pigeon, was chased across the fields behind Risley HMP by a Buzzard as we walked down to the pools.

Top Pool:
38 Coot
6 Little Grebes
5 Mallard
2 Pochard
68 Tufted Duck
127 Canada Geese

Middle Pool:
1 Coot
2 Mallard
3 Tufted Duck
4 Pinkfeet (looked like a pair with two juvs)

Bottom Pool:
Nothing!

Hidden Pool:
70+ Mallard
2 Shovelor

Also around were 7 Buzzards, 2 Kestrels, 2 Jays, and a dozen Linnets. A dozen House Martins and a single Sand Martin were hawking insects over over Top Pool.


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Two great-crested grebes on Top Pool this morning was unusual, as were two common terns fishing on Middle Pool before flying off to the east. A yellow wagtail was calling from the arable east of the landfill.

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A fabulous four cuckoos at the Pools this morning - three perched on a fence line between Top and Middle pools whilst a fourth bird was singing from the direction of New Hall Farm. Also present were at least seven wheatear, two yellowhammers singing from the Lower Hedge and a corn bunting singing from the arable to the east of the landfill. There were roe deer slots by the old sheds on the east side too.

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The pools were dead this morning with only a few coot and mallard showing. However, on the fence surrounding the sapplings between Middle and Bottom Pool were five wheatear, a whinchat and two cuckoos! As I watched them a yellow wagtail flew over and a couple of yellowhammers sang from the Lower Hedge.

At the Hidden Pool single reed and sedge warblers were singing. Another sedge was singing from the trees and ditch along the nearby footpath. A reed warbler was also singing from here, I tried to find this bird as it seemed an odd place for a reed warbler when there was a small phragmites bed within 30yds. It sang sporadically for five minutes but I only had brief views before it disappeared.

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A fairly uninspiring wander around the pools with Bob Potts this evening was enlivened by my first cuckoo of the year, perched on the landfill fence above Bottom Pool. My first cuckoo at Silver Lane last year was four days earlier, on the 12th.

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Black-necked grebe present on Top Pool this morning. Also a male goldeneye has been present for a few weeks, a scarce bird on the pools.

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Two great crested grebes on Top Pool this morning, generally scarce birds here. Otherwise:

Top Pool: 30 tufted duck, 22 coot, 2 gadwall, 10+ mallard, 3 little grebes. Calling golden plover over as I was counting.

Middle Pool: 11 tufties, 6 coot, 2 pochard, 15+ mallard, 2 oystercatchers. Curlew flushed from the fields behind the pool.

Bottom Pool: 4 coot, 5 pairs gadwall, 2 mallard. A little grebe was calling from either here or Hidden Pool - didn't have time to check. Yellowhammer singing from Big Hedge behind pool.

Another curlew flew over as I walked along Top Footpath and 30+ fieldfare were quietly, beautifully communally singing from an oak tree behind HMP Risley.

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Two dead mute swans in the fenced-off rough at the back of Middle Pool at dawn this morning, a fox was dining on one of them. I noticed a live swan in there yesterday, I wonder if they had problems taking off (because of the fence) and the fox had killed them both last night?

Otherwise, there were 14 pochard, 14 tufted duck, c70 mallard and 42 coot on Top Pool, the other two pools were frozen. Yesterday a woodcock flushed from the wood behind Risley HMP and there was a covey of a dozen grey partridge on the path above Top Pool, the largest covey I've seen here for several years.

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A pinkfoot in with eight Canada geese on Middle Pool, otherwise usual stuff. A dog fox following a vixen up by Top Pool came within five yards of me.

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A merlin flew over the east end of Bottom Pool this afternoon.

Top Pool: 52 coot, 15 pochard, 16 tufted duck, 3 gadwall, 1 teal.

Middle Pool: 7 tufties, 31 mallard, 30+ Canada geese.

Plenty of redwing along the top footpath, a fox wandered across Silver Lane and into Motorway Wood.

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Had a wonder this afternoon. Fairly quiet, the usual tufted ducks, mallards, coots, moorhens and swans. There where 3 little grebes and also half a dozen wigeon all on the top pool with 3 pochard. Walking back got good views of a buzzard perched on a post and also 3 redwing and 1 fieldfare in the trees.

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Lots of redwing (800+) and fieldfare (200-300) over this morning as I walked back to my car (8.00-8.20am), all heading south-west. They were still flighting over as I pulled into the car park at work in Risley.

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Several redwing over this morning, and a few more in the hedgerows. Also heard my first fieldfare of the autumn flying over, unfortunately I was under trees at the time so failed to see how many there were. Seven wigeon on Top Pool, a couple of pochard, tufties, coot and seven little grebes, five more wigeon flew in as I watched. Siskin, redpoll, a few meadow pipits, pied wagtails and a lone grey wagtail also over. Four yellowhammers flew over Top Pool, then another single as I walked back to my car - a large quantity of grain has been tipped/spilled by the footpath that leads up to Bates Farm, I suspect they were heading for there.

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Little on the pools due to on-going pigeon shooting on adjacent fields, however there were seven tufted duck and five little grebes on Top Pool, and a teal with 20+ mallard on Middle Pool. Amazingly, a barn owl flew out of an oak along the eastern footpath by the landfill - first barn owl I've seen here for several years.

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A new species for my patch list this morning in the shape of a long-overdue goosander, well, two juveniles to be precise. Flushed from Middle Pool, fortunately they landed again on Bottom Pool. Otherwise, there were 17 tufted duck (including the brood of eight juvs), 28 coot, 11 little grebes and a cormorant on Top Pool, the usual moulting mallard on Middle Pool, and a little grebe on Bottom Pool (though I couldn't scan half the pool in case I flushed the goosanders).

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Three black-necked and twelve little grebes on Top Pool this morning, plus singles of gadwall and pochard mixed in with the mallard and tufted duck flocks. A brood of eight half-grown tufties on Top Pool too, and a pair of little grebes with three youngsters on Bottom Pool.

-- Edited by Jonathan Platt on Friday 12th of August 2011 10:40:57 AM

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No sign of the little egret this morning but three black-necked and nine little grebes on Top Pool, along with twelve tufted duck and twenty-three coot. Very little, apart from moulting mallard, on the other two pools. A yellowhammer is still singing from the bottom hedge and two yellow wagtails flew over.

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Excellent Damian! I've certainly never seen little egret at any of the pools. I was there early yesterday morning and didn't see it, so it's either flown in during the day or was under the nearside bank (part of which is difficult to view) . . . wish I'd not overslept this morning or I might have seen it myself!

Cheers
Jonathan

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My first visit to Silver Lane today - there was a little egret on the middle lake. Has this been seen there before?

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Four black-necked and eleven little grebes on Top Pool this morning. A whimbrel and a ringed plover flew over.

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Three black-necked grebes (Top Pool) and ten little grebes (9 Top Pool, 1 Bottom Pool) this morning. Reed warblers appear to have bred successfully on Hidden Pool this year, the only tiny patch of Phragmites around the pools - there were at least four birds present last week.

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Hi Frank,

The black-necked grebes have been present since at least last Tuesday. If they follow their appearances in spring, and at HG Flash in autumn, then numbers will vary from day to day. On Tuesday, for instance, there were three birds, this morning there were five! Obviously, you weren't to know, but I hadn't mentioned them on the forum for fear of disturbance - not the black-necked grebes particularly, but other birds utilizing the Top Pool for breeding. I was probably being over-cautious!

Today was a red-letter day for me at the pools - I saw my first kingfisher of the year! Can't believe I've got to July without seeing one! The last two harish-ish winters must have greatly affected numbers. Other than that there were four adult and one juv. little grebes on Top Pool, plus another on Bottom Pool. Two juvenile yellow wagtails were perched on the landfill perimeter fence, along with several meadow pipits and a skylark. Two yellowhammers were singing from the bottom hedge, last Tuesday a corn bunting was singing from the same area - first one I've heard at the Pools this year I think.

A large long-tailed tit flock along Top Footpath was interesting. As usual at this time of year it was carrying several fledged warblers, including whitethroat, willow warbler and a blackcap.

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Originally posted by Frank Huband this morning:

Two Black-necked Grebes, showing well

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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A cuckoo flew into the trees to the west of Top Pool 7.00am this morning.

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Black-necked grebe present again this morning on Top Pool.

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Black-necked grebe on Top Pool this morning, also 10 little grebes.

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24/2/11

Took up Jonathan Platt`s kind invitation of a guided tour round his local patch:

1 Brambling
1 Green Woodpecker
2 Grey Partridge
2 Oystercatcher
1 Kestrel
3+ Buzzard
3 Little Grebe
10 Gadwall
4 Siskin
2 Greylag Goose
Pochards, Tufted Ducks, Fieldfares, Redwings, Lapwings, Goldfinches etc

Wellington Boots recommended....

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23 February 2011

Top Pool: 11 tufted duck, 2 pochard, 8 coot, 4 mallard, 4 little grebes.

Middle Pool: 2 tufted duck, 10 pochard, 9 coot, 16 mallard, 17 Canada geese.

Two yellowhammers were singing from the bottom hedge - the first I've heard this year; a pair of grey partridges flushed from the rough above Middle Pool; at least two meadow pipits and four skylarks also mouching around the rough.

Dave Beetham saw a female goldeneye on Top Pool last Friday - unusual here these days.

I spoke to one of the guys who works on the landfill yesterday, he'd seen a long-eared owl roosting on-site last week, apparently it was there for two days in a spot I've seen them before.

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My first, brief pre-work wander around the pools this year.

Top Pool: 3 little grebes - my first here since November last year.
25 mallard, 2 gadwall, 13 tufted duck, 2 pochard, 5 coot.

Middle Pool: 21 mallard, 6 tufties, 3 pochard, 8 coot, 1 cormorant.

Bottom Pool: 2 tufties.

Three grey partridge flushed above Middle Pool; a common buzzard flew across Top Pool; 50+ lapwings in fields below the pools; several small flocks of siskins and redpolls buzzing around (five lesser redpoll feeding on birches along Top Path as I walked back to my car).

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First chance I've had to walk around the pools for a fortnight. All pools are completely frozen over, apart from Top Pool which had a small ice-hole containing 53 mallard and 14 coot. A woodcock flushed from Top Footpath and promptly flew into a sheep fence! Four common and one jack snipe were seen, the jack was in the ditch beside Silver Lane, by Motorway Wood. Three curlew flew over the field to the east of the landfill. Large numbers of gulls on the landfill this week (though fewer this afternoon than Tues & Wed), up to 1500-2000. They've been gathering on the fields to the east, which is handy as they're very difficult to view on the landfill. Also 1000+ starlings there too.

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20th October 7.30-8.30am

Bottom Pool: 2 mute swans, 2 herons. Six grey partridge flew off the landfill and at least one unseen siskin flew over. 15-20 meadow pipits on landfill.

Middle Pool: 6 coot, 3 mallard, 1 cormorant. 400+ pinkfeet (heading east) flew over in five skeins, a grey wagtail flew over and I heard a kingfisher piping - only the second sighting of one this year I think?

Top Pool: 8 coot, 14 tufted duck, 6 mallard, 10 little grebes, 1 great crested grebe (unusual here). Siskins calling from Triangle Wood (mainly alder) above the pool and two foxes were on the footpath to the west of the wood.

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Top Pool: 26 coots, 24 tufted duck, 10 little grebes, 1 cormorant.

Middle Pool: 2 coots, 48 tufted duck, 1 little grebe, 1 cormorant.

Bottom Pool: 2 mute swans, 2 dabchicks.

Mallard numbers back up to 100+ mark. Buzzard and sparrowhawk along Top (west) Footpath, kestrel and raven on landfill - first raven I've seen there for months. Flock of 150+ jackdaws gathering on the stubble to the east of the pools, what a delightfull, heart-lifting noise they make. Had a wonderful experience with a fox too along the Bottom (east) Footpath, managed to call it in to within a couple of yards!

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Mike Baron wrote:

Perhaps I'll take a leaf out of your book next time and wear waders!

Mike






A nice Greenshank on each foot

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John Barber wrote:

Mike Baron wrote:





Mike, the camouflage certainly worked, I never even noticed them.




John

They are so well camouflaged I put them down and now I can't find them!

Perhaps I'll take a leaf out of your book next time and wear waders!

Mike

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Mike Baron wrote:





Mike, the camouflage certainly worked, I never even noticed them.

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UK Life List 314 at 9th Dec 2014


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Jonathan Platt wrote:

Nice to meet a wader-clad John Barber, slightly more sensible footwear than Mike's snazzy trainers!






I'll have you know they are my top of the range birding trainers - 17% waterproof and superbly camouflaged (now). I could sneak up on any number of Sabines Gulls in these!

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Nice to meet you both this morning as well Jonathan.

I hung around for a while but there was still no sign of the teal. I think you're right, it has probably moved on.

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UK Life List 314 at 9th Dec 2014


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Had a walk round the pools with Mike Baron this morning, no sign of blue-winged teal unfortunately. Nice to meet a wader-clad John Barber, slightly more sensible footwear than Mike's snazzy trainers! A roe doe on the service road by Motorway Wood was as good as it got.

Has anyone had a look around Rixton Clay Pits? Eighteen teal flushed off Risley Moss yesterday during the thunderstorm, though none of them had blue wings.

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JOHN TYMON wrote:



And cracking pictures too which proves the find-superbsmile.gif






and I thought careful observation proved the find

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Congratulations to Jonathan - well deserved after all those patch visits! Good luck to everyone with the mud in the morning...

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Mike Baron wrote:

There is no one more deserving of a cracking find like this - also a difficult bird to identify.

Congratulations!





And cracking pictures too which proves the find-superbsmile.gif

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What's the betting that we'll all be there at first light !!

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UK Life List 314 at 9th Dec 2014


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Tom McKinney wrote:

Spent one of the worst afternoons of my life at Silver Lane today. I did all the pools properly (I even waded through the reeds where it was last seen on the third pool), including the hidden one just below the tip. Nothing. No doubt it will pop up again.

Nearly getting struck by lightning (a bolt hit a lorry on the top of the tip!), sinking shin-deep in mud and ripping my trousers on barbed wire have never been high up on my "must do before I die" list of things to do.

And in which world does John Ketley live if this afternoon's torrential downpour are what he considers to be "showers"?

I don't care if someone finds a Mugimaki Flycatcher there tomorrow, I'll not be going back. I'd rather a dose of herpes than suffer that place again.






I have to agree with you there Tom. I walked (waded) round the area in hiking boots. By the time I got back to the car I looked like I'd done the front crawl round the place. Full of sweat and mud!!

Saying that, I'll still go back if it turns up again!! Sucker for punishment!! He he!!

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Tom McKinney wrote:

Spent one of the worst afternoons of my life at Silver Lane today.

I don't care if someone finds a Mugimaki Flycatcher there tomorrow, I'll not be going back. I'd rather a dose of herpes than suffer that place again.






It was only a bit damp Tom ! biggrin.gif

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UK Life List 314 at 9th Dec 2014


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Spent one of the worst afternoons of my life at Silver Lane today. I did all the pools properly (I even waded through the reeds where it was last seen on the third pool), including the hidden one just below the tip. Nothing. No doubt it will pop up again.

Nearly getting struck by lightning (a bolt hit a lorry on the top of the tip!), sinking shin-deep in mud and ripping my trousers on barbed wire have never been high up on my "must do before I die" list of things to do.

And in which world does John Ketley live if this afternoon's torrential downpour are what he considers to be "showers"?

I don't care if someone finds a Mugimaki Flycatcher there tomorrow, I'll not be going back. I'd rather a dose of herpes than suffer that place again.

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There is no one more deserving of a cracking find like this - also a difficult bird to identify.

Congratulations!

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Typically when a rarity isn't present when the hordes arrive, there have been some doubters, though not on here

You genuinely couldn't really miss the bright blue (as per Shoveler coloured) upperwing inner coverts in flight, but for anyone doubting I have put a couple of Jonathon's digiscoped photos on the out-of-county gallery.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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It wasn't there this afternoon Nick.

I checked all the pools but no sign.

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UK Life List 314 at 9th Dec 2014


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I was there at about 10.00am this morning before the big influx of birders got there. No sign of the bird on the top pool but I did see a teal sized duck with coloured wing panels (blue or green, I couldn't tell as it was only a glimpse) circling around looking to land. It dropped down in the area of the 4th pool but when I went down there I couldn't locate it.

I couldn't spend too much time trying to find it either as I had to be somewhere.

Lets hope it re-appears!!



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I've put a couple of birders on site onto the fourth pool Jonathon but no sign as yet

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