Woolston Eyes Monthly Sightings


David Bowman

2018-04-29

A cool, drizzly morning on No.3 bed produced a nice arrival of hirundines, which built up steadily over the morning. By lunchtime 65 Swallows, 50 House Martins and 14 Sand Martins were skimming low over the water, while a single Swift was hawking high above. Three adult Mediterranean Gulls included a pair which spent the morning disappearing into the reeds, again raising hopes that they might stay and breed this year. As ever, there were plenty of Black-necked Grebes, paired and nest-building. Perhaps most pleasing was the activity on the shingle Vikki’s Island which we built, last year, in front of the Morgan Hide. Black-headed Gulls seem to be getting more accustomed to it and three were on nests, with one already on two eggs.

Photo of a Grey Heron from this morning.

Cheers David Bowman (with David Spencer)

Submitted by: David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2018-04-28

It was the usual 6.30 am start this morning, beginning with a Breeding Bird Survey of No.2 bed. There were plenty of singing warblers around the bed, with totals of: 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Cetti’s Warblers, 7 Whitethroats, 4 Willow Warblers, 13 Chiffchaffs and 14 Blackcaps. Then it was on to No.3 bed for breakfast in the Morgan Hide, followed by a solid morning scanning for migrants. Highlights were: a single Hobby, soaring over the east bank, 6 Swifts, 4 stunning male Bramblings on the feeders, 3 adult Mediterranean Gulls, at least 8 Black-necked Grebes in front of the hide, a soaring Peregrine, a spiralling group of 10 Common Buzzards and an arrival of hirundines totalling: 38 House Martins, 19 Swallows and 6 Sand Martins. A few butterflies were also flitting about, with: 1 male Orange Tip, 1 Green-veined White, 2 Small Whites, 1 Speckled Wood and 1 Small Tortoiseshell.

Photo of a Swallow, one of a pair probably breeding on No.2 bed.

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

Submitted by: David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2018-04-26

A rare dry day with sun at times although the maximum temperature did not reach 10 degrees, in marked contrast to last week’s “heatwave”! I found my first Coot brood of the year on the west pool of No.1 bed and there were two Greylag broods on No.3 bed. A Peregrine flew in to the nest under the viaduct. Some butterflies emerged at midday including my first Speckled Woods of the year. Less welcome were 17 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the Loop of No.4 bed.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

2018-04-19

An early start to complete the second Common Bird Survey of the year on a glorious spring morning. Unsurprisingly the totals of migrants were down on last year due to their late arrival as a result of unsuitable weather. The only exception was Chiffchaff which are usually the first to arrive A total of 15 included 14 singing males. I found two singing Whitethroat, my first of the year. Resident birds were similar to last year’s counts with 17 Wren, 7 Chaffinch and 14 Robin (all singing males). The warm weather soon produced sightings of butterflies with the first at 8.10 a.m.! A count of 31 Peacock was higher than the year maximum of 29 in 2017 and other sightings included 11 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Comma,3 male Orange Tip and 2 Small White. On No.3 bird were a pair of adult Mediterranean Gulls and the male Peregrine was on the viaduct.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

David Bowman

2018-04-18

A productive morning, meeting with representatives of Peel Ports to discuss possible developments on the Reserve. We finished at lunchtime, just as the day was beginning to really warm up, so I was able to fit in a couple of hours birding and butterfly watching. Despite the glorious weather, there was little sign of visible passage, though many of the 14 Black-necked Grebes continued to give great views. There was a good variety of newly emerged butterflies around, though,with one Orange Tip, one Brimstone, two Green-veined Whites, one Small Tortoiseshell and six Peacocks noted.

Photo of a Great Crested Grebe from this morning.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2018-04-14

Late entry for WeBS Count Little Grebe 13, Great crested Grebe 21, Black necked Grebe 9, Cormorant 11, Mute Swan 20, Grey Heron 3, Greylag Goose 8, Canada Goose 65, Shelduck 19, Gadwall 87, Teal 61, Mallard 56, Shoveler 53, Pochard 20, Tufted Duck 280, Water Rail 3, Moorhen 20, Coot 69, Oystercatcher 1, Lapwing 3, Black tailed Godwit 12, Snipe 2, Black headed Gull 818, Mediterranean Gull 1, Lesser Black backed Gull 14, Buzzard 2, Sparrowhawk 2

Submitted by: Brian Martin

 

David Bowman

2018-04-16

With a steady south-westerly breeze blowing and ever-changing blue skies, it always felt like a good day to find a few migrant birds on No.3 bed. Sure enough, a count of Black-necked Grebes turned up 14, five more than yesterday. In addition, a single Common Sandpiper arrived on the Morgan Hide scrape and stayed all morning, as did the first-summer Mediterranean Gull which has been around for a few days. Singing warblers included two Reed Warblers, a Whitethroat (reported from No.2 bed by David Spencer)and four Cetti’s Warblers, while 28 Swallows moved north. As the day warmed, a few butterflies appeared, including one Comma, one Small Tortoiseshell and six Peacocks, while bees and hoverflies were much more numerous.

Photo of today’s Common Sandpiper

Cheers David Bowman (with David Spencer, Bert Lloyd and John Verdon)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2018-04-14

On a day which became slowly more spring-like, we made the usual early start in the Morgan Hide before walking down to Bollin Point to complete the last Wldfowl Count till the autumn. Highlights were: a record count of 12 singing Cetti’s Warblers, 12 Black-tailed Godwits which flew through, the first Grasshopper and Sedge Warblers of the year, a first summer Mediterranean Gull, 9 Black-necked Grebes, 10 Bramblings, the odd Lesser Redpoll and Siskin, 19 Willow Warblers, 10 Blackcaps, 16 Chiffchaffs, 19 Common Buzzards and c.1,000 Black-headed Gulls at the No.3 bed breeding colony.

Photo of the Swan’s nest from No.3 bed

Cheers David Bowman (with David Spencer, Helen Wynn, Alan Warford, Les Jones and Brian Baird)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2018-04-10

Second calendar year Mediterranean Gull this evening

Submitted by: David Spencer

 

David Bowman

2018-04-10

Heres a link short video, showing the drake Common Scoter which was found yesterday by David Spencer at the Weir Basin. It starts, though, with clips of the male Lapwing maintaining his nest scrape on Vikki’s Island in front of the Morgan Hide, despite the lack of any female interest, a drake Gadwall preening, a Great Crested Grebe catching a fish and then three Black-necked Grebes including a winter plumaged individual and two summer plumaged birds.

Photo of a Common Buzzard from yesterday

CLICK HERE to view David’s video……………..

or paste the link below directly into your browser

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LX8D-w3nJDI

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2018-04-09

Thick fog hampered viewing this morning, although Ash Radford heard our first Reed Warbler. Fortunately the mist cleared as I walked home and this drake Common Scoter was on the River Mersey, above the weir, viewable from footbridge.

Submitted by: David Spencer

 

Chris Monks

2018-04-08

Black Necked Grebes displaying

Submitted by: Chris Monks

 

Chris Monks

2018-04-08

Drake Gadwall

Submitted by: Chris Monks

 

David Bowman

2018-04-07

Despite the persistent drizzle this morning, there were some nice counts of migrants. As ever, we started with a dawn breakfast in the Morgan Hide before completing a breeding bird survey of No.3 bed. Then it was diligent scanning for birds moving through. Overnight, three more Black-necked Grebes had arrived, taking the total to eight, including two which are still in winter plumage. A pair of adult Mediterranean Gulls were then on a suitable looking nest site for a while before drifting off the bed. Other counts for the day included: 2 House Martins, 24 Swallows, 22 Sand Martins, 4 Willow Warblers, 3 Cetti’s Warblers, 4 Blackcaps, 12 Chiffchaffs, 10 Bramblings, 2 Common Snipe, 1 Willow Tit, 18 Shoveler and 24 Pochard. Interestingly, there was a report from yesterday of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker on the Morgan Hide feeders.

Photo of a Grey Heron from this morning

Cheers David Bowman (with David Spencer, Alan Warford, Dave Steel, Sue Haddock and Brian Martin)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

John Bradford

2018-04-05

Beautiful quiet sunny morning brings a Common Buzzard to liven up No 3 bed. Please correct me if I’m wrong!

Submitted by: John Bradford

 

John Bradford

2018-04-05

Cormorant. Please correct me if I’m wrong!

Submitted by: John Bradford

 

John Bradford

2018-04-05

Mute Swan

Submitted by: John Bradford

 

John Bradford

2018-04-05

Black necked Grebe close to the reed bed opposite the John Morgan hide.

Submitted by: John Bradford

 

John Bradford

2018-04-05

Black necked grebe close to the reedbed opposite the John Morgan hide.

Submitted by: John Bradford

 

David Bowman

2018-04-04

On a morning best described as “changeable” there was evidence of a steady northward movement of migrant birds on No.3 bed, with the odd surprise thrown in. We started at 7.00 am, with three Black-necked Grebes in front of the Morgan Hide and a few hirundines struggling through. By the end of the morning one House Martin, three Swallows and 16 Sand Martins had passed through. Highlight of the morning was the arrival of a pair of Red-crested Pochards, a less than annual visitor to the Reserve. They spent the whole morning touring the bed and were still present when we left at lunchtime. A single Common Tern which dropped in briefly before spiralling off to the north was also unexpected. Other records of note included: 1 Cetti’s Warbler, 3 Chiffchaffs, 1 Redshank, 1 Oystercatcher, 15 Bramblings, 1 Peregrine, 2 Kestrels, 2 Sparrowhawks and 5 Buzzards. The link is to a video showing the Red-crested Pochards, preceded by squabbling and mating Black-headed Gulls and Black-necked Grebes.

CLICK HERE to view David’s video………………

or paste the link below directly into your browser

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D-_auRUln4 Photo of a Greylag Goose Cheers David Bowman (with David Spencer and George Dunbar)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2018-04-03

On a comparatively balmy afternoon on No.3 bed, a steady trickle of migrants added to the spring-like feel. Earlier in the day, Marsh Harrier, Swallow and Curlew were reported and as the afternoon progressed, more hirundines arrived, with totals of six House Martins, six Swallows and eight Sand Martins. Out on the water, three Black-necked Grebes and two adult Mediterranean Gulls were in front of the Morgan Hide, while other birds of note included: one Cetti’s Warbler, one Blackcap, three Chiffchaffs and six Bramblings.

Photo of a pair of Canada Geese from today.

Cheers David Bowman (David Spencer, Brian Martin and Kieran Foster)

Submitted by: David Bowman