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Woolston Eyes Monthly Sightings


Took a walk through the fields to the south of the canal and east of the golf course opposite Butchersfield Tip. The fields held a flock of 150 Lapwing together with small groups of Redwing and Fieldfare. Five Skylarks were flushed from stubble fields just south of the canal and a minimum of 3 and possibly four Chiffchaffs were feeding on the ground.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett


A cold but bright day began with 20 Pink-footed Geese flying south-east over the canal. On the top of Butchersfield Tip a Woodcock flew up out of a wooded area. Returning to No.3 bed a Water Rail was calling in front of the Rotary Hide where a male Sparrowhawk landed briefly at the water’s edge before flying off underneath the hide! There were excellent numbers of Shoveler and Shelduck on No.3 bed with reserve-wide totals of 71 and 36 respectively. Other totals included 15 Pochard, 234 Tufted Duck, 92 Mallard and 5 Little Grebe. Three Song Thrush were singing along the canal track.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett


Ringing Report WE 22/01/2017

John Blundell and Dave Riley were on No1 bed on the Monday, Thursday and Friday mornings, they made 89 captures of which 21 were new, these were typical wintering species although the Goldcrests were early as they don’t normally appear until March. Sightings during the sessions included 1 Great Black-backed Gull, up to 5 Woodcocks, 3 Tawny Owls, 1 Cetti’s Warbler, 19 Pink-footed Geese, 1 Chiffchaff and up to 12,000 Starlings roosting in the reed bed.

The No3 bed team, Mike Miles, Kieran Foster, Jason and George Dunbar worked just 4 nets whilst completing a very satisfactory amount of coppicing. Kieran set the duck trap on Friday evening ringing a Teal and a Mallard in the process. On Saturday morning the area around the trap was the only part of the bed to have ice and the trap was not useable. Including the ducks they ended with 50 captures (15 new and 35 re-traps). The highlight was catching two Coal Tits, fairly rare on the bed. Both were already ringed, one on No.1 bed but the other, would appear to be a control, a bird from another area.

Sightings were restricted to a Barnacle Goose in front of the Morgan Hide. A Willow Tit was in song near the ringing table.

Submitted by: John Blundell


A really good morning, with beautiful light and an excellent 70 species recorded. We started with breakfast in the Morgan Hide and then walked through No.1 bed, down to Bollin Point and then through Rixton Paddocks to the arable lands beyond, before ending up back on No.3 bed. The day started well with a Barnacle Goose in front of the Morgan Hide, a real scarcity at Woolston. Other records of note included:1 Barn Owl, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Goosanders, 2 Goldeneye, 8 Yellowhammers, 1 Cetti’s Warbler, 1 Peregrine, 4 Willow Tits, 25 Redwings, 3 Fieldfares, 175 Tufted Ducks, 32 Pochard, 1,000 Teal, 35 Shovelers, 4 Little Grebes, 1 Nuthatch, 4 Snipe, 2 Sparrowhawks, 1 Kestrel and 3 Buzzards.

Photo of the Barnacle Goose from this morning.

Cheers David Bowman (with Alan Warford, David Spencer, Helen Wynn, Diane Shepherd and Brian Baird)

Submitted by: David Bowman


Only a short visit today but a glorious winter’s day with no wind and excellent light. Five Little Grebe were on the river between Nos. 2 and 3 beds whilst a male Goosander was heading east along the canal near the car park. On No.3 bed were 50 Shoveler, 23 Shelduck, 17 Pochard and 2 Greylag Geese. A flock of about ten Siskin was feeding in Alders near the Tower Hide and on the feeders were a pair of Bullfinches a female Great-spotted Woodpecker and a Willow Tit. Signs of spring included singing Song Thrush and Snowdrops coming into bloom.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett


John Blundell and I had and excellent time ringing on No1 bed this morning, on the way to the bed we flushed a Woodcock from bracken by the copse near the car park, another along the track by No2 bed and three along the track on No1. Other sightings included 19 Pink-footed Geese, 12,000 Starlings coming out of roost, singing Cetti’s Warbler, 3 Tawny Owls, 2 Sparrowhawks and 15 Fieldfares

Submitted by: Eyesbirder


Wildfowl Count (WeBS) carried out on 14/01/2017 covering all the Reserve

Little Grebe 9, Great crested Grebe 1, Cormorant 17, Mute Swan 9, Grey Heron 2, Canada Goose 41, Shelduck 20, Gadwall 18, Teal 1000, Mallard 48, Shoveler 47, Pochard 3, Tufted Duck 264, Goldeneye 4, Water Rail 1, Moorhen 60, Coot 14, Lapwing 14, Woodcock 1,Black headed Gull 20, Common Gull 3, Lesser Black backed Gull 1.

Apart from Teal,Shoveler,Shelduck and Moorhen numbers were below average as they appear to have been at many other local wetlands including the Mersey Estuary.

Submitted by: Brian Martin


George Dunbar and I met up with Jane Cullen and her colleagues from the Cheshire Badger Group this morning, for some productive survey work, despite the drizzle. George’s sharp eyes picked up a Goosander on the Ship Canal and we also noted three Woodcocks, flushed as we made our way round No.3 bed.

Cheers David (with George Dunbar, Jane Cullen, Helen Lacey, Paul Hazlehurst et al)

Submitted by: David Bowman


Arrived on No.3 bed this this morning to help undertake the monthly Winter Wildflowl Count, with mainly sunny weather and good visibility. Highlights included: 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Woodcock, 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldeneye, 8 Snipe, 1 Peregrine, 2 Water Rails, 1 Willow Tit, .800 Teal, 35 Shovelers, 18 Shelducks, 77 Tufted Ducks, 2 Pochards, 38 Mallards, 33 Moorhens, 10 Gadwall, 2 Little Grebes, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 8 Bullfinches, 50 Greenfinches, 25 Chaffinches, 2 Lesser Redpolls, 1 Siskin, 2 Pied Wagtails, 5,000 Starlings from the roost at dawn, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Sparrowhawks, 3 Buzzards, 27 Blackbirds, 17 Robins, 4 Mute Swans, 14 Lapwings, 14 Long-tailed Tits, 1 Grey Heron and 3 Stock Doves.

Photo of a Greenfinch from the Morgan Hide.

Cheers David Bowman (with Dave Steel, Alan Warford, David Spencer, Helen Wynn, Diane Shepherd, George Dunbar, Brian Baird and Les Jones.)

Submitted by: David Bowman


A very blustery day and as a result many birds remained out of sight! Nevertheless there were some sightings of interest. On No.3 bed were 27 Shelduck, 54 Shoveler and 9 Pochard. Eight Pheasant were flushed on Butchersfield Tip and 2 Little Grebe were on the river between Nos.3 and 4 beds. Tufted Duck totalled 303.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett


A correction to my records of 4th January, the 3 Goosanders were, as Dave Hackett indicated,2 drakes and a female.

Submitted by: Brian Martin


After early rain it was a lovely winter’s day for my first walk round the reserve of the year. The resident Tawny Owl was roosting on No.1 bed and a small flock of 63 Tufted Duck was at Bollin Point. About 20 Lapwing were in fields to the north. Two parties of Long-tailed tits on Nos. 1 and 3 beds totalled 25. The highlight of the day was 3 Goosanders on the canal - 2 males and a female. A pair of Goldeneye was on the river between Nos.2 and 3 beds. The feeders at the John Morgan Hide attracted 2 Willow Tits and a female Great-spotted Woodpecker. Tufted Duck totalled 258 and other reserve-wide counts were 38 Moorhen, 67 Mallard, 42 Shoveler and 19 Shelduck.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett


Generally quiet on No.3 bed this morning but highlights were 44 Shoveler and 19 Shelduck. Also lots of Teal. On the nearby Ship Canal 3 Goosanders were showing well-1 drake and 2 females. Normally an uncommon bird at Woolston there has been an interesting series of records of Goosander in the past 10 days or so.

Submitted by: Brian Martin


This Cormorant was at the Weir

Submitted by: Keith Gallie


A nice sunny morning on number 3 bed with plenty of Long Tailed Tit flocks passing through and glimpses of Goldcrests there was 1 oystercatcher that i had just missed still lots of teal, shovelers, wigeon and a few more Shellduck G S Woodpecker on feeder with about 20 Greenfinch but i was hoping for a brambling.

2 male goldeneye on the river among the Tufted Ducks at the Weir along with a lovely Cormorant

Submitted by: Keith Gallie