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Woolston Eyes Monthly Sightings


An early start on No.3 bed found 1,200 Teal working hard to keep a small pool open on the lagoon. A Peregrine stooped to try and flush them, so it it could take one in the air, but without success. By late morning, after making some common bird counts, George and I were itching to go and re-find some of the Warrington Waxwings. We didn’t have much time but did manage to locate a handful at Milner St. The main flock has clearly found an alternate source of berries, for the moment at least. While the photo isn’t great and isn’t from Woolston, it does show two juveniles presumably practising courtship feeding, which might tempt people to go looking for them while they’re still around - well worth it.!

Cheers David (with George Dunbar and David Spencer)

Submitted by: David Bowman


2 Male Goldeneye on the river at the weir

Submitted by: Keith Gallie


A lovely winter’s day and plenty of interest as always. A Song Thrush was singing on the south bank of No.2 bed and on No.1 bed a Water Rail was calling noisily. About 70 Lapwing were on fields to the north of Butchersfield Tip. Returning to No.2 bed 4 male Goldeneye were on the river near the weir whilst on the partially frozen No.3 bed were 14 of a reserve-wide total of 15 Shelduck. Mallard totalled 100 and over 500 teal were on No.3 bed

Submitted by: Dave Hackett


A relaxed pre-Christmas wander around No.3 bed resulted in some decent counts of the regular species. Despite much scrutiny, we weren’t able to re-locate the Green-winged Teal, which now hasn’t been seen for a week and may well have moved on. Counts of interest were: 700 Teal, 10 Shelduck, 29 Shoveler, 23 Gadwall, 350 Pink-footed Geese flying east, 70 Greenfinches, 12 Linnets, 1 Peregrine, 4 Buzzards, 1 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk, 6 Little Grebes, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Stock Doves, 3 Song Thrushes, 3 Reed Buntings, 2 Willow Tits, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and 2 Goldcrests.

Happy Christmas to all, David (with Dave Steel, David Spencer, Helen Wynn, Kelly Ainsworth and George Dunbar)

Submitted by: David Bowman


One of my favourite activities is the monthly Visible Migration Watch from Butchersfield Tip, which we do once a month from September to December. December is obviously the quietest month, in terms of bird movement, but its always worth doing and when its under clear blue skies like today,it’s a real pleasure. Some of the more memorable of today’s sights were: 8,000 Starlings coming out of a roost to the west of our position (maybe on No.1 or No.3 bed - needs checking), a Sparrowhawk trying to catch a Stock Dove, 17 Buzzards feeding on one field, 3 Ravens heading north, a Woodcock flushed from under our feet on top of the tip and a Green Woodpecker near Bollin Point. Other totals included: 42 Redwings, 137 Fieldfares, 460 Pink-footed Geese, 16 Siskins, 22 Buzzards, 16 Bullfinches, 170 Tufted Duck , 4 Little Grebes, 42 Stock Doves, 103 Linnets, 107 Goldfinches and 11 Great Black-backed Gulls.

The photo is a phone shots of the mornings activity.

Cheers David Bowman (with Dave Steel, David Spencer and George Dunbar)

Submitted by: David Bowman


WeBS Count on 18/12

Little Grebe 3, Cormorant 18, Mute Swan 15, Grey Heron 4, Canada Goose 19, Shelduck 5, Wigeon 15, Gadwall 24, Teal 1000, Mallard 83, Shoveler 35, Tufted Duck 109, Goldeneye 2, Moorhen 37, Coot 12, Water Rail 1, Snipe 1, Black-headed Gull 15, Common Gull 2.

Sadly, the Green winged Teal that has been present for a few weeks was not found today!

Submitted by: Brian Martin


One of those productive mornings, when you can mix habitat management with some pretty good birding. We had hired a Truxor (a floating/tracked reed-cutting machine) to clear some channels and create some more nesting areas on No.3 bed. As soon as it started tracking through the reed-bed a Bittern got up, flew a 100 yards or so and flopped back into cover to the east of the South Screen. Two Cetti’s Warblers were in explosive song, while 3 skeins of Pink-footed Geese passed overhead, along with 1 Raven, 100 Redwings and 260 Starlings. By mid-morning the work was well in hand and I wandered into the Morgan Hide to pick out the male Green-winged Teal amongst the 500 Teal. The video (see the link below) shows a bit of the Truxor in action, along with a few birds. If you look carefully, you can pick out the distant Green-winged Teal, with its vertical white crescent on the breast side, amongst the “Common” Teal. As a welcome addition, Dave Riley, on No.1 bed, caught and ringed a 4th Siberian Chiffchaff for the Reserve this autumn.

To watch Dave’s video click here or cut and paste the link below into your browser

Cheers David Bowman (with Ash Radford, David Spencer and Bert Lloyd)

Submitted by: David Bowman


An early start on No.3 bed this morning. A small roost of 600 Starlings came out of the reed bed at dawn and 515 Teal were on the open water. Despite a lot of searching, I couldn’t relocate the Green-winged Teal, though it may well still be present. Then over to No.4 bed to meet Ash Radford to see how to make best use of the Truxor (floating reed cutter) over the next couple of days. Then back onto No.3 bed for a couple of hours, with additional sightings including: 7 Wigeon, 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Water Rails, 1 Willow Tit, 2 Shelduck, 4 Snipe, 21 Gadwall, 18 Shoveler, 60 Greenfinches, 40 Linnets, 35 Chaffinches, 48 Goldfinches, 46 Redwings, 1 Fieldfare and 40 Moorhens.

Photo of a Greenfinch from the Morgan Hide this morning.

Cheers David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman


Photo of a Blue Tit from the Morgan Hide this morning.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman


Well, despite the hard frost and the lagoon on No.3 bed being 95% frozen over, there were still plenty of birds to be found this morning. A lateish start in the Morgan Hide, followed by circuit of Nos.2 and 3 beds produced some good variety. Pick of the bunch were: the Green-winged Teal still showing well amongst a couple of hundred Teal, 1 Lesser Spotted Woodpecker near the car park, 1 Cetti’s Warbler, 1 Woodcock, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 female Goldeneye (on the Canal), 2 Water Rails, 1 Willow Tit, 25 Linnets, 13 Redwings and 35 Fieldfares (all heading east), 4 Reed Buntings, 2 Lesser Redpolls, 2 Peregrines (on the Viaduct), 2 Goldcrests, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Shelducks, 1 Snipe, 104 Tufted Ducks, 10 Shovelers, 1 Song Thrush, 33 Blackbirds, 40 Greenfinches, 32 Chaffinches, 17 Moorhens, 11 Bullfinches, 4 Wigeon, 8 Wrens, 6 Dunnocks and 19 Robins.

Cheers David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman


An enjoyable Saturday morning making counts from the Morgan Hide of both the birds using the bed and of movements overhead. It started well with the drake Green-winged Teal being quickly picked out among the hundreds of Teal . By late morning we decided to try and find the female Scaup which had turned up again yesterday afternoon, this time on the Ship Canal, but without any luck. We were then asked to go and try to assist with the rescue of an escaped Harris Hawk, which was caught by its jesses in the debris above Woolston Weir. By the time we arrived Wildwings had successfully recovered the bird and we were unable to locate the Scaup among the Tufted Duck flock. Counts of interest during the morning included: 1 Green-winged Teal, 1 Cetti’s Warbler, 350 Teal, 14 Pink-footed Geese, 115 Redwings, 19 Fieldfares, 6 Lesser Redpolls, 3 Siskins, 11 Goldcrests, 3 Water Rails, 37 Moorhens, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Willow Tits, 24 Shoveler, 1 Shelduck, 33 Gadwall and (over-flying); 3 Great Black-backed Gulls, 117 Herring Gulls and 140 Black-headed Gulls.

Cheers David Bowman (with Dave Steel, David Spencer, Alan Warford, Brian Baird, Helen Wynn and George Dunbar)

Submitted by: David Bowman