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Post Info TOPIC: Marbury Country Park


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RE: Marbury Country Park


The Bittern again showed reasonably well in Coward Reedbed at around 4.15 this afternoon. Best viewed from the screen hide at the west end of Budworth Mere. No flight views but the bird was up for a good ten minutes at one point. Starling murmuration of c.2-3k although many dropped down well away from the reeds across from the hide. Car park - with barrier - closes at 5pm although you are able to park as soon as you turn into Marbury Lane from Marbury Road.

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The evening dog walk was an excuse to return to the screen hide overlooking the western end of Budworth Mere and Coward Reedbed. Upon arrival at 4pm there was a Starling murmuration of around 2-3k. This built up over the next quarter of an hour, then chunks of birds broke off an dropped into the reeds to roost. Others continued to arrive until after 4.30 and could be heard dropping in whilst it was virtually dark. Probably 10k in total. Meanwhile, the Bittern was giving superb views, moving in the reeds, wing stretching, flapping and attempting to catch Starlings. At one point, it flew past the small inlet into the far rhs reeds before flying back to its usual spot ten minutes later. Best views of a Bittern for a long time.

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Monday 2nd of December 2019 05:16:15 PM

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Budworth Mere, 3 hours from 9.30am in cold and dry weather, little wind, of note :-

Pink-footed Goose (2)
Canada Goose (130)
Greylag Goose (120)
Lapwing (5)
Curlew (56)
Goldeneye (1f)
Shoveler (2)
Teal (7)
Tufted Duck (c.80)
Cormorant (6)
Kingfisher (3)
Water Rail (2)

Nuthatch and Coal Tit amongst other birds at the feeders by the screen hide. A flock of around 20 Redwing in and near the arboretum. No sign of the Bittern which, apparently, was up atop the reeds late yesterday afternoon.

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Budworth Mere, two hours from 9.30 in cold and clear weather, -2 to start with but no part appeared to be frozen over.

Goosander (1m, 2f)
Goldeneye (1m, 1f)
Wigeon (2)
Teal (2)
Little Grebe (1)
Water Rail (1)
Curlew (c.25)
Lapwing (c.20)
Kingfisher (2)

Plus all the usuals, Cormorant, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Canada & Greylag Goose etc.

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Two or three visits to Budworth Mere since the 18th didnt throw up anything other than the norm, so it was pleasing to learn that a Bittern was seen and photographed at Coward Reedbed, early on Monday afternoon.

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New in this morning were 4 Goldeneye, 2 males and 2 females. The females were right up against the north bank, east of the bay to the east of Kid Brook Spit. I didnt notice the males until later as they were at the far east end of the Mere, in front of the sailing club. Other than that, pretty much as it has been over the last couple of weeks although 25 Cormorant were noteworthy.

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Two hours this morning from 10.20, slipway and screen hide. A bit of sunshine and heavy showers.

Great Crested Grebe (min 83)
Little Grebe (2)
Teal (4)
Tufted Duck (c.35)
Pochard (1m)
Lapwing (c.150)
Curlew (c.100)
Starling (c.150)
Kingfisher (3)

Plus Mallard, Coot, Grey Heron, Cormorant etc and other usuals. Small flock of Long tailed Tit with a separate Tit flock in Coward reed bed where Water Rail was heard. I have looked, several times, for the Bittern that was seen on 11 October, without luck. Presume it has moved on and was just prospecting for a suitable over wintering spot.

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An hour and a half this morning from the slipway, then the screen hide, amongst others :-

Goosander (5)
Tufted Duck (c.20)
Great Crested Grebe (c.70)
Water Rail (1)
Lapwing (c.20)
Curlew (c.30)
Kingfisher (1)

Four of the Goosander were fresh in and appeared to be 3 adult females and a 2CY male. The other Goosander that has been around since 21 October was again present but stayed away from the others. Having read up on the ageing, sexual maturity and moult timings of this species, I feel that the lone bird may well also be a 2CY male. Thought originally to perhaps be simply an adult male in eclipse. Interesting stuff and not at all easy to get to grips with.

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Budworth Mere this morning, two and a quarter hours from 9.30, viewed from the slipway and then the screen hide. Weather cold but fine. Of note :-

Goosander (1m, 1m in eclipse)
Shoveler (3)
Tufted Duck (c.30)
Great Crested Grebe (c.50)
Little Grebe (2)
Greylag Goose (35)
Canada Goose (c.200)
Mute Swan (2)
Curlew (c.75)
Kingfisher (1)

Plus the usuals, Coot, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mallard etc

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Highlights from a walk around the area this afternoon:

2 Raven over
1 Goosander - redhead
30+ Great Crested Grebe
Numerous Redwing
2 Nuthatch
Water Rail heard squealing from the reedbed

-- Edited by Steven Nelson on Sunday 27th of October 2019 05:05:28 PM

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14.15-15.30

Budworth Mere : 35 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Little Grebe and 1 Kingfisher.

A Sparrowhawk was being mobbed by a couple of Jackdaws over Big Wood.

Small groups of Redwings were seen flying West across the park throughout my stay.

Kid Brook was largely devoid of birds, something or someone must have spooked them just before I arrived.



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One and a half hours this morning from 9.45 in fine but dull weather.

Not too much happening. Of note, a Little Egret back to the Kid Brook Spit area, two Little Grebe close in to the north east shoreline and a Cettis Warbler calling from Coward Reed Bed. Some of the Tufted Duck appear to have dispersed but Great Crested Grebe numbers remain high at around the seventy mark. Very pleasing is the number of Cettis Warbler now on the full Marbury Patch, which encompasses Anderton Nature Park, Marbury Country Park plus the Neumanns & Ashtons Flashes. The first Cettis was recorded, I think, in January 2017 and we now reckon there are up to eleven territories. I also know of a further three just off patch.

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Two and a half hours this morning from 9am in fine and pleasant weather.

Grey Heron (4)
Green Sandpiper (2)
Lapwing (c.25)
Curlew (120)
Tufted Duck (c.50)
Great Crested Grebe (min 70)
Little Grebe (1)
Grey Wagtail (1)
Kingfisher (1)
Water Rail (1)
Cettis Warbler (1)

Plus the Geese and other usuals.

We now have one less Coot on the Mere. A beautifully coloured, large fox appeared behind Kid Brook Spit. It moved amongst the waterfowl on the grassy shoreline before attempting to go for a Greylag Goose which avoided it. It then missed a Coot before turning 180 degrees and homing in on another unfortunate Coot at blistering pace. We can spare one..


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Just over two hours this afternoon from 2.30pm. Weather fine and cool after raining all morning.

Pretty much as it has been over the last few days. The Little Egret had returned, feeding in the bay to the west of Kid Brook Spit. Two Little Grebe were seen east of East Bay, Great Crested Grebe numbers still well up and 89 Tufted were noted at the west end of Budworth Mere with the male Pochard still in with them.

Highlight was an early returning Bittern that flew into Coward Reed Bed just before 4pm. Very early, the first Bittern usually returns well into November, so well see if this one stays.

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Two hours from 10.00 this morning in fine and mildish weather.

Great Egret (1)
Little Egret (1)
Grey Heron (1)
Green Sandpiper (1)
Curlew (40)
Lapwing (50)
Kingfisher (2)
Pochard (1m)

Plus the Geese and other usuals.


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One hour from 1pm in fine and mild weather.

Canada Goose (c.300)
Greylag Goose (c.30)
Great Crested Grebe (min 70)
Tufted Duck (min 80)
Pochard (1m)
Curlew (8)
Lapwing (3)
Common Gull (5)
Kingfisher (1)

Plus the usuals.


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12.00-13.30

Budworth Mere : 33 Great Crested Grebes, 7m+1f Pochards and 3 Grey Herons.

1 pair of Great Crested Grebes, both still in summer plumage, gave a full pairing display.

2 Buzzards were seen in the park and a flock of 14 Redwings flew over heading West.

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John Williams


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Common Tern present for a quarter of an hour this morning before departing. Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail and singles of Shoveler and Little Grebe also around. Otherwise fairly quiet apart from the usuals.

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11.45-13.30

1 Hobby appeared over the mere opposite the slipway, then flew off towards Higher Marston.

1 2nd winter Mediterrean Gull with Black Headed Gulls on the mere.

28 Curlew on the meadow by Kid Brook, whilst 24 Lapwings and 3 Common Gulls were around the spit.

36 Great Crested Grebes were on the mere, most gathered at the Eastern end opposite the yachting club.

6 Little Grebes were also on the mere.




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A couple of hours down at Budworth Mere this morning in pleasant weather, firstly viewing from the slipway, then the screen hide.

Three Egyptian Geese feeding on the bank to the right of KBS were a surprise. Nothing else of note on or around the Spit other than four Curlew and a couple of Stock Dove. An eclipse male Mandarin swam towards the west end of the Mere, tagging on to a group of Mallard. Five Little Grebe were present as was the juvenile male Pochard, still in with the Tufted Duck flock.

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Juvenile Black Tern found this morning by Greg Baker along with a 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull that was associating with a newly in influx of Lesser Black-backed Gulls. A Kingfisher flew past the slipway as I was waiting (in vain) for the tern to come a little closer. Heavily cropped photos attached.

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In the absence of anything interesting on Kid Brook Spit, decided to do a full count on Budworth Mere, 10.00- 12.00, weather sunnyish and fairly warm :-

Mute Swan (7)
Cormorant (2)
Grey Heron (3)
Coot (287)
Moorhen (5)
Canada Goose (49)
Greylag Goose (2)
Common Gull (2)
Black-headed Gull (102)
Great Crested Grebe (48)
Mallard (157)
Tufted Duck (45)
Pochard (1)
Curlew (4)
Lapwing (24)
Redshank (1)
Little Ringed Plover (2)
Swallow (35)
House Martin (20)
Sand Martin (35)

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Spent an hour and a half at Budworth Mere this morning in intermittent weather with two deluges. A juvenile Little Egret was present around Kid Brook Spit. Eight Black-tailed Godwit dropped in after the second deluge, feeding on the grass bank amongst the goose flock. There were a minimum of one hundred and fifty hirundines over the Mere, mainly House Martin. Two Little Grebe at the western end of the Mere.

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Tuesday 13th of August 2019 01:23:23 PM

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A couple of Black-tailed Godwit, a few Lapwing, an Oystercatcher and up to forty Curlew on or around Kid Brook Spit this morning.

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Little Egret and Common Sandpiper on or around Kid Brook Spit this morning, otherwise quiet.

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The juvenile Black-necked Grebe, found by Greg Baker earlier this morning, was still around when I ventured down to Budworth Mere at around 9.30. Common Sandpiper in the bay west of Kid Brook Spit, otherwise quiet. Water levels high after recent rain, with very little mud exposed around the spit and the two bays.

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Forty five minutes this morning viewing Kid Brook Spit from the slipway, weather dull with a few spots of rain. Common Sandpiper in the bay to the west of the spit, a minimum of 120 Lapwing on the spit and a minimum of 250 House Martin above Budworth Mere along with other hirundines. A few return passage Little Ringed Plover have passed through over the last ten days or so but none today.

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13.30-15.30

Big Wood : 2 Buzzards and 1 Goldcrest.

Kid Brook : 2 Oystercatchers, 12 Lapwings and 2 Grey Herons.

Budworth Mere : 16 Great Crested Grebes.



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John Williams


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Half an hour mid morning viewing Kid Brook Spit from the slipway in warm and sunny weather. A Common Sandpiper was joined by two Common Tern. A Dunlin was present yesterday morning. Otherwise quiet.

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17.45-19.00

14 Great Crested Grebes on Budworth Mere.

2 Oystercatchers and 14 Lapwings at Kid Brook.

Huge numbers of hirundines over the mere, mainly House Martins, but also a few Sand Martins and Swallows.

Large numbers of Swifts soared high above the park.

A Buzzard patrolled the edge of Big Wood.

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13.30-15.30

Budworth Mere : 2 Oystercatchers, 3 Great Crested Grebes and 4 Shelducks.

I had a good look around Big Wood as a Spotted Flycatcher has been seen there recently, but I could'nt find it today.

However, a juvenile Goldcrest posed for me at one point and 2 Treecreepers were chasing each other around.

4 Song Thrushes were in the wood, as were 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers one of whom ripped a dinner plate sized lump of bark from a dead tree.

A Green Woodpecker flashed quickly through the woodland near the canal, and Swifts were constantly noticed flying just above the canopy.

A Raven could be heard calling close to the wood.

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Found a Little Stint on Kid Brook Spit early afternoon. Also, just left of the spit, found what I initially thought was a female Garganey, preening then sleeping. The bird was receiving mixed reviews (Garganey/fem Teal/Hybrid) so GB and I went to the edge of the woodland via the boardwalk for better views. Pretty much sure now that its either an early moulting adult male Garganey or a first summer male Garganey.

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Brief visit 12.00-13.00

2 Buzzards over Big Wood, 12 Great Crested Grebes on Budworth Mere and 2 Oystercatchers on Kid Brook.

A group of 3 Grey Herons left the heronry and flew towards Comberbach together.

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Two Black-necked Grebes dropped in on Budworth Mere today and showed very well.



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Getting down to Budworth Mere after today's 2pm deluge paid dividends as two Black Tern had dropped in.

A Common Sandpiper was present at Kid Brook Spit.

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Black Tern found this morning on Budworth Mere (GB) along with an Arctic Tern and four Common Tern. As the day progressed, numbers increased and peaked with one Black Tern, a minimum of two Arctic Tern and around twenty Common Tern. By 6.30pm the Black Tern was still present with both Arctic and five Common. A Yellow Wagtail was by the Fishermans Path (MC).

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Forty minutes at the slipway early evening from 6.15, weather sunny :-

Ringed Plover (2)
Dunlin (2)
White Wagtail (1)
Kingfisher (1)

A Yellow Wagtail was seen earlier in the day (MC) in the ploughed field by the Fishermans Path.

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12.00-14.00

8 Great Crested Grebes were exiled to Western end of the mere due to boating.

A pair of Oystercatchers were the only waders on Kid Brook, also there were 2 Grey Herons and the usual park waterfowl.

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An hour at the slipway, mid afternoon, hoping for Terns but to no avail. Very quiet all round although after initially finding only four Oystercatcher on Kid Brook Spit, I then picked up on two Little Ringed Plover before a Greenshank flew in from the east. It landed east of the Spit and, looking edgy, flew off high to the east. Luckily, it flew back in, calling and settled in its original area and was still there when I left. Garden Warbler singing loudly at Garden Warbler Corner.

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Around thirty minutes at the slipway from 9.30am viewing Kid Brook Spit. Of note :-

Avocet (2)
Common Sandpiper (1)
Green Sandpiper (1)
Little Ringed Plover (2)



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Quick visit to the slipway this morning to view Kid Brook Spit. A single Black-tailed Godwit, two Green Sandpiper and a White Wagtail of note.

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13.30-15.00

Kid Brook area : 4 Whimbrel, 4 Oystercatchers and 1 Black Tailed Godwit.

8 Great Crested Grebes were on the mere, and restricted to the Western end by boating.

1 Song Thrush, 1 Mistle Thrush and 2 Buzzards were in Big Wood.

Also in Big Wood a pair of Long tailed Tits have made a home in the cavity of a dead tree, and a pair of Goldcrests have done so in a clump of Ivy.


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Kid Brook Spit viewed from the slipway, half an hour from 6.40, fine and cool :-

Little Ringed Plover (2)
Green Sandpiper (2)
Black-tailed Godwit (1)

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Kid Brook Spit viewed from the slipway, one hour from 9.30, breezy and warmish:-

Little Ringed Plover (min 4)
Green Sandpiper (2)
Oystercatcher (3)
White Wagtail (1)

The 5 Little Gull departed shortly after 18.00 yesterday. Garden Warbler heard this morning just behind the slipway.

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The Little Gull finally arrived this afternoon, found by MT, with Budworth Mere having been watched for some considerable time now. Three adults in summer plumage, one 2CY in mainly 1stW plumage and a near adult still showing some 2ndW characteristics. Two Wheatear were showing reasonably well from the Fisherman's Path.

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Kid Brook Spit, viewed from the slipway, one hour from 14.30 in light rain :-

Black-tailed Godwit (1)
Common Sandpiper (1)
Green Sandpiper (2)
Little Ringed Plover (3)
Oystercatcher (2)
Curlew (18)
White Wagtail (1)

Plus the usuals. Swallow (200) moved through ahead of the rain at around 13.00 hrs (SH).

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11.15-12.30

Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, 18 Curlew, 2 Oystercatcher, Willow Warbler, Reed Bunting, 5 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 2 Redwing, 5 Swallow, 40 Sand Martin, House Martin  Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel  Common Buzzard 



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Kid Brook Spit from the slipway. Two hours from 9.30 in sunnyish and cold conditions.

Common Sandpiper (1)
Green Sandpiper (2)
Little Ringed Plover (3)
Oystercatcher (2)
Curlew (3)
Yellow Wagtail (1)
White Wagtail (2)
Pied Wagtail (10)
Sand Martin (c.500)
House Martin (2)
Swallow (3)

Several Blackcap on the mereside path along with a couple of Willow Warbler. All the usuals on the Mere, Great-crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, Teal, Grey Heron etc. Nice to see the first Yellow Wagtail of the season. Wagtail passage was pretty poor last year so lets hope for an improvement this time around.


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Kid Brook Spit from the slipway 9am then 11.15 from the Fishermans Path :-

Little Ringed Plover (1)
Common Sandpiper (1)
Curlew (21)
Oystercatcher (2)
White Wagtail (1)

An interesting Pipit at the waters edge. From colouration, possible Rock or more winter plumaged Water but difficult to be certain at that distance.

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Early evening, five Little Ringed Plover on or around Kid Brook Spit, Budworth Mere. One of the patchers (DH) had a Common Sandpiper on the Spit this morning but that would now appear to have moved on. Still no Little Gull or Terns.

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