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Post Info TOPIC: Silver Lane Pools, Risley


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RE: Silver Lane Pools, Risley


Thanks for the kind words!

Don't have time to draw a more recent map as I'm flat out at work but maybe this might help (click on map to enlarge):

https://s707.photobucket.com/albums/ww80/jonathan_platt/?action=view&current=silver-lane-1.jpg&newest=1

Don't park where it says 'park here', park further back (west) along Silver Lane, towards Risley Prison. The teal was on 3rd (Bottom) Pool this morning.

Has anyone tried the 4th Pool? It's hidden from the footpath and there were mallard on it this morning - we didn't check it but we could hear them.

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Well done Jonathan. Great find. Super bird smile.gif Edit, sorry i missplelt your name, how rude of me, cry.gif

-- Edited by Dennis atherton on Thursday 23rd of September 2010 06:00:55 PM

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No further sign by 11.30am this morning.
Willow Tit, Stock Dove and c50 Lapwings also present during my visit.

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Last directions as I'm trying to finalise the awkward directions!

Further directions for Blue-winged Teal at Silver Lane. Footpath now approximately half way along Silver Lane by where metalled road heads north. Follow road north and where it veers right (east) continue north over the stile following the footpath in between two plantations. Once at the ploughed field head right through the hedge and follow to the pools

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Please note that access details below were coming in off Warrington Road and now the gate is open half way along Silver Lane the footpath north is approximately half way between Warrington Road and junction 11 M62. It is where the road turns north but there is no parking or vehicular access here.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Best access as follows:

Park at the eastern end of Silver lane and take footpath north for 400 yards. Once you come to a ploughed field, follow footpath to the right through hedgerow to view pools which are at the very northern edge of the landfill site.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Henry Cook wrote:

Great find Jonathon! A well deserved reward for your patching of the pools.
I hope to pop along later on.





ill second that beltin find,and some reward for all the time you put in on theresmile.gif

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Oh and yes, the legs have been seen (appeared unringed) and it behaves in a manner perfectly normal for a wild bird.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Great find Jonathon! A well deserved reward for your patching of the pools.
I hope to pop along later on.

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Female/immature Blue-winged Teal present this morning and probably for atleast two days now. Found by Jonathon Platt and it's identity confirmed this morning the bird has been utilising all three main pools. This morning it was alone on the 3rd pool east but disappeared into the vegetation along the north-eastern edge and didn't reappear!

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Black Tern still present at lunchtime but it was flying quite high at times and calling a lot before descending back to the pool. I was pleased to see it fishing and frankly amazed to watch it catching dragonflies - I didn't realise terns took them and they seemed to take some getting down! Not much on the paths to the pool as there was a lot of work on the landfill and on the access tracks.

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Black tern still present. A peregrine flew over the Bottom Pool.

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Black tern still present. 22 little grebes on Top (1st) Pool.

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Black tern on Top (1st) Pool this morning, female whinchat on small bushes between Top and Middle (2nd) Pools.

Counts from yesterday: Top Pool - 1 green sandpiper, 66 tufted duck, 49 coots, 13 little grebes, 2 gadwall, 12 mallard

Middle Pool: 1 green sandpiper, 147 mallard, 1 teal, 15 tufted, 1 shovellor.

Bottom (3rd) Pool: 2 mute swans, 2 little grebes.

Two pintail were again on the pools earlier in the week, a pochard was on Middle Pool on 15th and 6 grey partridge flushed from the landfill on the same day, at least one yellowhammer has been roosting in the bottom hedge below the pools. Sparrowhawks and buzzards present most days, jays have become more conspicuous in the last few weeks.

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Thanks very much for the comprehensive guided tour Jonathan and for arranging the star bird in the shape of that Red Crested Pochard - only my second ever but I bet it doesn't hang around - looked like it was ready to fly at any moment!

Looks like a very good site with good variety of habitat.

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7.00-8.30am (with Pete Welch)

Red-crested pochard (prob. female) on 3rd Pool, otherwise not much else besides usual.

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6.15-7.30am

1st Pool: 45 coot, 57 tufted duck, 22 little grebes, 2 mute swans and 2 green sandpipers.

2nd Pool: 125 mallard, 2 pintail. The pintail have been present for a week now.

3rd Pool: 2 little grebes, 2 herons, 2 snipe, 30+ canada geese.

Two sparrowhawks - one over the landfill, another along 1st Footpath. Four cormorants circled 2nd Pool then flew on, probably due to my presence. Heard a willow tit on 1st Footpath.

Travellers in residence down Silver Lane.

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6.15-7.30am.

The pair of little grebes on 3rd Pool appear to have lost their two young. I stared at two lurking grey herons accusingly. Also present was a green sandpiper.

1st Pool held 25 little grebes, 19 tufties, a single pochard, two gadwall and two teal, along with the usual mallard. Coot numbers have risen to 40. Another green sand was present.

At least five common whitethroats were along the landfill entrance road embankment on the east side.

The bn grebe was present on Monday (23rd) but had disappeared by Tuesday morning. A calling tree pipit flew over the east end of the landfill on Tuesday morning too.

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BN Grebe still present on 1st Pool. Overflying yellow wags at 1st & 3rd Pools. Two birders from Risley had a hobby over 1st Pool when they went to see the bn grebe yesterday afternoon.

A pair of little grebes have been sitting on a clutch of eggs in the NE corner of 3rd Pool recently. This morning I arrived to find the usual brooding grebe absent, but soon found the pair in the SE corner. One of the pair was diving constantly, the other had at least two tiny chicks on her back.

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Black-necked grebe on 1st Pool this morning along with 17 little grebes.

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Quiet at the pools this morning, best birds were 17 little grebes (inc. 3 chicks) on 1st Pool, 3 green sandpipers (2 on 3rd, 1 on 1st) and 2 snipe on 3rd Pool.

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Wood sandpiper on 1st Pool this morning. Flew to 2nd Pool where I couldn't find it again, presumably it went under the nearside bank, part of which is impossible to view.

16 little grebes on 1st Pool - the two chicks which I thought had disappeared yesterday had re-appeared this morning!

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Little grebes reduced to 10 this morning, plus two of the three tiny chicks have disappeared since Tuesday. Other birds on 1st pool were 31 coot, 8 tufties and 100+ mallard. A juv great-crested grebe was also present but later flew east as I walked down to 3rd pool. 3 teal on 3rd Pool, 4 herons on 4th, 2 yellowhammers still singing and 50+ lapwings on the landfill. A willow tit was calling from the 1st footpath as I walked back to the car.

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Jonathan Platt wrote:

JOHN TYMON wrote:
GREAT NEWSbiggrin.gif
where is the safest place to park there?as there always seems to be gypsy caravans? along the slip road.
cheers john




Don't worry too much about the travellers John, they only turn up a couple of times a year and - apart from leaving their rubbish strewn around everywhere - don't seem to cause much trouble. Safest place to park is probably on the Birchwood Roundabout (J11) off the M62, or at the top of Silver Lane where it joins Warrington Road (A574) - it's not bad birding walking down the lane. In the morning I usually drive down Silver Lane until you reach a gate, then park up under a big oak tree. I've never had any trouble, it's not the safest of places but is probably okay before the scrotes are up! One thing, if you ever visit early morning, make sure you walk round the pools in an anti-clockwise direction, otherwise the sun in your eyes can be a pain. Have a look at the map in the link below, it gives an aerial view of the pools with the path marked on it (click on the map to enlarge):

https://s707.photobucket.com/albums/ww80/jonathan_platt/?action=view&current=silver-lane-1.jpg&newest=1




ta JonAthan
not too woried about scrotes ,used to them,just don't want my car damaging,which i had once at woolston eyes when a group of kids took it on themselves to cave my car roof indisbelief.gif
smile.gif

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JOHN TYMON wrote:
GREAT NEWSbiggrin.gif
where is the safest place to park there?as there always seems to be gypsy caravans? along the slip road.
cheers john




Don't worry too much about the travellers John, they only turn up a couple of times a year and - apart from leaving their rubbish strewn around everywhere - don't seem to cause much trouble. Safest place to park is probably on the Birchwood Roundabout (J11) off the M62, or at the top of Silver Lane where it joins Warrington Road (A574) - it's not bad birding walking down the lane. In the morning I usually drive down Silver Lane until you reach a gate, then park up under a big oak tree. I've never had any trouble, it's not the safest of places but is probably okay before the scrotes are up! One thing, if you ever visit early morning, make sure you walk round the pools in an anti-clockwise direction, otherwise the sun in your eyes can be a pain. Have a look at the map in the link below, it gives an aerial view of the pools with the path marked on it (click on the map to enlarge):

https://s707.photobucket.com/albums/ww80/jonathan_platt/?action=view&current=silver-lane-1.jpg&newest=1

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Jonathan Platt wrote:

JOHN TYMON wrote:
Thats a goodly number of little grebes,this seems about the number i used to get at houghton green at this time of year,must be a lot quieter for them now at silver lane.Nice to hear they are still around in numbers ,has they have been in single figures all year at pennysmile.gif

-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Monday 2nd of August 2010 01:02:23 PM




It is a lot quieter than HGF John, I rarely see anyone around the pools. In fact, in several years of mouching around early mornings I can only recall bumping into three people - and two of those were on the same day! One or two dog-walkers have a wander over occasionally, but I still don't usually see anyone on the rare occasions I venture over there after 9.00am.

This morning there were 20 little grebes on 1st Pool. Then, after I'd been standing there for ten minutes, I noticed a movement in the far corner of the pool. It was another little grebe, then another, and with them were three tiny chicks! Surely a second, or even third brood? There's also a brood of three well-grown juvs on a small pond by the entrance road to the tip.




GREAT NEWSbiggrin.gif
where is the safest place to park there?as there always seems to be gypsy caravans? along the slip road.
cheers john

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JOHN TYMON wrote:
Thats a goodly number of little grebes,this seems about the number i used to get at houghton green at this time of year,must be a lot quieter for them now at silver lane.Nice to hear they are still around in numbers ,has they have been in single figures all year at pennysmile.gif

-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Monday 2nd of August 2010 01:02:23 PM




It is a lot quieter than HGF John, I rarely see anyone around the pools. In fact, in several years of mouching around early mornings I can only recall bumping into three people - and two of those were on the same day! One or two dog-walkers have a wander over occasionally, but I still don't usually see anyone on the rare occasions I venture over there after 9.00am.

This morning there were 20 little grebes on 1st Pool. Then, after I'd been standing there for ten minutes, I noticed a movement in the far corner of the pool. It was another little grebe, then another, and with them were three tiny chicks! Surely a second, or even third brood? There's also a brood of three well-grown juvs on a small pond by the entrance road to the tip.

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Jonathan Platt wrote:

Of note this morning were 18 little grebes on 1st Pool. Two juv. lr plover and two juv yellow wags on 3rd Pool. Two yellowhammers singing in the big hedge north of the pools.





Thats a goodly number of little grebes,this seems about the number i used to get at houghton green at this time of year,must be a lot quieter for them now at silver lane.Nice to hear they are still around in numbers ,has they have been in single figures all year at pennysmile.gif

-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Monday 2nd of August 2010 01:02:23 PM

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Of note this morning were 18 little grebes on 1st Pool. Two juv. lr plover and two juv yellow wags on 3rd Pool. Two yellowhammers singing in the big hedge north of the pools.

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Jonathan Platt wrote:

First trip around the pools for a couple of months for one reason or another. Very quiet until I reached 1st Pool when a hobby appeared low over the water, making a couple of passes before zooming off towards Risley HMP. A minute later I was watching a pair of little grebes when I noticed they had their heads up and were staring at something, also the coots had started to make a great deal of noise. Scanning the water I spotted something 'rowing' across the surface - a swift! The hobby must have either knocked it down or it hit the water whilst trying to take evasive action.

To cut a long story short (a lbb gull almost nailed it before I could get around the pool!) I eventually managed to drag the half-dead bird out of the water with a long branch. I've dried it off as best I could and it's now residing in a box in the boot of my car (don't worry, I'll move it if it starts to get hot). To be honest I thought it would die as it appeared to be, quite literally, taking it's last gasps when I originally fished it out, but it appears to have perked up somewhat in the last hour or so. It doesn't appear to be injured, if it recovers sufficiently I'll try and release it later today.






The swift was successfully released this afternoon. I threw it from the Tower Hide at Risley Moss, it flew off strongly towards Rixton tip. I doubt the hobby had touched it, I think it had simply crashed into the water trying to avoid the falcon.

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First trip around the pools for a couple of months for one reason or another. Very quiet until I reached 1st Pool when a hobby appeared low over the water, making a couple of passes before zooming off towards Risley HMP. A minute later I was watching a pair of little grebes when I noticed they had their heads up and were staring at something, also the coots had started to make a great deal of noise. Scanning the water I spotted something 'rowing' across the surface - a swift! The hobby must have either knocked it down or it hit the water whilst trying to take evasive action.

To cut a long story short (a lbb gull almost nailed it before I could get around the pool!) I eventually managed to drag the half-dead bird out of the water with a long branch. I've dried it off as best I could and it's now residing in a box in the boot of my car (don't worry, I'll move it if it starts to get hot). To be honest I thought it would die as it appeared to be, quite literally, taking it's last gasps when I originally fished it out, but it appears to have perked up somewhat in the last hour or so. It doesn't appear to be injured, if it recovers sufficiently I'll try and release it later today.

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Common whitethroat singing from the bank of the entrance road to the landfill this morning, two redwing in the large willow by the sheds, fieldfare calling from the hedge east of 3rd Pool, three wheatear along footpath above 2nd Pool and a cuckoo perched on a metal gate by 1st Pool.

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Three fieldfare at the pools this morning - two flew from the hedge east of 3rd Pool, then a single calling bird flew high over 1st Pool heading east. Quiet otherwise, a corn bunting singing from the footpath fence above 2nd Pool; several yellowhammers singing mainly around the east end of the pools; willow warbs, chiffchaffs and my first singing blackcap at Silver Lane this year - though I did see a female last week.

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Male wheatear perched on a post above 2nd Pool at 6.45am.

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6.45-7.45am

Two jack snipe by the path above 2nd Pool this morning, along with five common snipe (there were nine there yesterday). Water running off the landfill has turned the path and adjoining small area of rough grass into a quagmire. Yesterday an unseen green woodpecker was calling by the west footpath and I flushed a pair of grey partridge from the same area. Two oystercatchers on 1st Pool were the first I've seen there this year.

Wildfowl counts were: 1st Pool - 12 coot, 6 mallard, 30 tufted duck and a single drake pochard. 2nd Pool: 4 coot, 12 Canada geese. 3rd Pool: 2 coot, 2 tufted duck.



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7.30-8.15am

Only had time to do first two pools. Two great-crested grebes on 1st Pool - one in mostly winter, one in mostly summer plumage - were new birds for this year. Otherwise on 1st Pool, 34 tufted duck, 33 coot (plus 1 on 2nd Pool), 3 pochard, a score of mallard and half a dozen Canada geese. Pool mostly frozen, just a narrow band open along eastern edge.

At least one grey partridge was calling from the western end of the tip, where a pair of bullfinches were flitting through the birches.

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7.30-8.45pm

First pre-work amble around the pools of 2010. I'd only walked a couple of hundred yards down the west footpath when I stopped to look at what turned out to be a blue tit. As I watched, a large bird launched itself out of the hedgerow in front of me. Fortunately, it only flew ten yards before landing in the top of a scrub willow - a long-eared owl. It flew again after ten seconds or so, making it's way deeper into the woodland on the west side of the landfill, accompanied by an alarm-calling bullfinch and a scolding jay.

1st Pool held 35 coot, 21 tuffted duck, 12 pochard, 11 mallard and 22 Canada geese.

2nd Pool held 15 coot and 10 mallard.

3rd Pool was devoid of life! All pools partially frozen, 3rd pool more so.

Otherwise, it was fairly quiet - a pair of grey partridge on the N. bank of the landfill, 20+ redwing along the east footpath and a couple of buzzards.

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A quick dash down to the pools (I can't resist a frosty morning!) before work was rewarded with four woodcock flushed from the tiny triangular wood above 1st Pool - presumably new arrivals under last night's full-ish moon?

Otherwise, 30+ fieldfare along the west footpath hedgerow, and 28 coot, 6 gadwall, 25 tufted, 1 pochard, 1 teal and 4 little grebes on 1st Pool - didn't have time to do the other pools.

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29 November 2009 - 8.00-9.15am

1st Pool: 28 mallard, 6 wigeon, 6 gadwall, 19 tufted, 21 coots, 2 little grebe
2nd Pool: 5 coot, 8 pochard, 2 mute swans
3rd Pool: 7 mute swans, 2 mallard

A kestrel and a buzzard were hunting around 1st/2nd pool; a flock of 40+ stock doves on stubble to north along with woodies, jackdaws, rooks, etc. and c100 fieldfare; several small flocks of goldfinches feeding on alder and birch - no redpolls as yet.

Odd thing has happened to the coot at the pools this month. On 30th October I wandered round the pools late afternoon, I didn't count the wildfowl but numbers were obviously similar to previous count a few days before (ie. 55 coot). On my next visit (4th November) I got a bit of a shock - numbers had plummeted to just 8 coot! Other wildfowl numbers appeared normal. Coot numbers are normally pretty stable (between 45-55 most of the autumn), generally only cold weather causes severe change - initially numbers increase but then plummet if the pools become frozen.

I can only assume the drop in numbers is due to severe disturbance. Shooting? Model boats? I really don't have a clue. It's taken a month for numbers to build back up, but even now they're only half what they were in October.



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An unseen calling green sandpiper flew over the east side of the landfill in the half-light this morning and a record-breaking nine gadwall were on 3rd Pool! 40+ redwing and 2 fieldfare left the hedgerows along the footpath at the west end of the landfill. Yesterday a kingfisher was on 3rd Pool and a female stonechat in the fenced-off scrub between the path and landfill fence. A chiffchaff was accompanying a flock of tits along the landscaped south side of the landfill.

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A brilliant few minutes at Silver Lane at dinner time.

I'd walked down the footpath at the east end of the landfill and was scanning the sky for raptors - the arable fields to the east are usually excellent for thermalling buzzards, etc. I spotted two kestrels circling up over the old railway lines to the north, these were then joined by a female sparrowhawk who rapidly gained height above them. Suddenly another raptor appeared and mobbed the spar - a tiny male merlin! They disappeared at this point behind a tree, when I next picked them up they were far higher and had drifted towards me. It's not often I see merlins thermalling, every so often it would turn over and half-heartedly stoop at the spar. After a minute or so it started to drift back north, then I realised it was slowly gaining speed and the drift was turning into a stoop. Dropping almost vertically now, I expected it to smash into a lark or pipit, but suddenly a large raptor appeared and the merlin sheared past it, narrowly missing what I now realised was a peregrine. The peregrine too was now beginning to stoop, one of those long, shallow stoops that I see far more often locally than the 'classic' vertical job. It headed at speed across the landfill before disappearing behind mounds of earth, tipper trucks and bulldozers. Looking back to the merlin, that too followed the peregrine in a shallow stoop over the landfill. Whether it was chasing the peregrine, or prey put up as birds scattered in panic, I don't know, as it too disappeared. Fantastic!

Also in the sky were ten buzzards (with another sitting in a tree) and another sparrowhawk. A very high skein of c100 pinkfeet heading west flew over as I left. First stonechat of the autumn was above 3rd pool this morning.

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After several weeks of summer doldrums the place has livened up a little in the last week. Tipping seems to have ceased on the landfill and BIFFA are busy landscaping the area, consequently there are large areas of bare soil which are attracting many meadow pipits and pied wags each morning. Last Friday there was a wheatear and two grey wags with them.

On Monday a greenshank flew in to 2nd Pool. This morning I flushed another wheatear from the path above 1st Pool. To my surprise three common terns were sitting on a half sunken pipe in 2nd Pool, first ones I've seen at Silver Lane. As I was scanning the bare soil of the north bank of the landfill a calling yellow wag flew in and landed with the usual pipits and pieds.

Wildfowl counts on 1st Pool are riveting - tufted duck are up from four last week to five this week! Coot numbers hover around the thirty+ mark, and little grebe remain at five. Pointless counting the mallard as they use the pools for a wash-and-brush-up after a night's feeding on stubble, so numbers vary greatly from one day to the next, depending on how early I get there!

A cormorant has started visiting the pools and I saw a kingfisher there a couple of weeks ago, haven't seen either species at the pools for several months.

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6.00-7.30am

3rd Pool:
2 little grebe
2 waterhens

2nd Pool:
3 coot
2 mallard
1 green sandpiper

1st Pool:
30 coot
6 little grebes
14 mallard
8 tufted duck
1 ruddy duck

A green woodpecker was in the oak hedge around 1st Pool then, later, in Motorway Wood.

Other birds included a gs woodpecker, two buzzards, two kestrels and a huge flock of mixed tits containing at least one juv. willow tit, goldcrest and several chiffchaffs.

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A mundane treck around the pools was enlivened by a long-eared owl along the footpath east of the landfill this morning. It flew out of a tree just past 3rd Pool before landing again for a few seconds 20yds further on. It then flew off towards the landfill, though my view was blocked by trees. Presumably this was a dispersing juv. from a local nest?

Otherwise:
1st Pool
4 little grebes
3 mallard
1 tufted duck
39 coot (inc. 9 juvs)

2nd Pool
1 coot

3rd Pool
1 tufted duck
1 little grebe
2 waterhen
1 grey heron

Brood of swallows on landfill fence; a dozen meadow pipits; 2 corn bunts east of landfill; at least 1 juv. willow tit with a large group of mixed tits in the motorway wood.

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Silver Lane Pools - 6.20-7.30am

Whinchat - 1 male in saplings above 2nd Pool
Wheatear - 2 females on n. side of landfill
Common Sandpiper - 1 1st Pool, 2 2nd pool

Plus usual stuff - beautiful dawn chorus of corn bunts, reed bunts, linnets, skylarks and yellowhammer from arable east of landfill.

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Silver Lane Pools - 6.20-7.30am

Arable east of landfill:
Corn buntings, reed buntings, yellowhammer and skylarks singing.
Pair grey partridge.
3, then later 20 fieldfare flushed from hedgerow.
2 jays, 1 willow warbler also in hedgerow.

3rd Pool:
6 tufted duck, three coot, corn bunts singing from landfill perimeter and lower hedge.

2nd Pool:
Snipe flushed from path, 6 mallard, pair reed bunts, 3 meadow pipits.

1st Pool:
13 tufted duck, 11 coot, 3 teal, 4 mallard, 3 little grebe.

Also 7+ willow warblers back of Risley HMP, 4 bullfinches, siskins (unseen) over.

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A raven flew east, parallel with the M62, at J11 (Birchwood roundabout) this morning around 7.30am. That's the second one I've seen at Silver Lane in less than a week, though the last ones I saw there were on 2nd September last year.

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A hooded crow came off the Silver Lane landfill around 1.00pm today and flew east onto the mossland with a group of carrion crows. Found it whilst looking for displaying buzzards and initially thought the grey mantle was a trick of the light due to the bright sunshine! Presumably this is the same bird that was seen by the Risley Moss birders in December?

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Hi David,

That's great news - glad someone else has seen it! Apart from calling briefly to feed I've not been able to visit over the weekend, I'll try and get down there later today.

Cheers
Jonathan

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Jonathan

I have been a lurker on this site for a while and based on your earlier posts on Silver Lane, thought I must pay it a visit. Your last post on the Twite finally got me into action. Congrats on a good find.

I saw the Twite, Saturday morning at circa 10:30 singing in bushes on the Tip bank, approx 50 yds along from where you feed. The Linnet flock was very mobile but the Twite was more settled.

David

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RODIS

 

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