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Woolston Eyes Monthly Sightings


It was a pleasant day after the recent wind and rain. Although generally quiet there were some good sightings including 2 Goosander on the canal near the ferry, a Green Sandpiper (probably over-wintering) on No.1 bed, 6 Little Grebe in the river basin and to the east of the weir footbridge and 2 Goldeneye (river). A Peregrine was on the viaduct and on No.3 bed were 100 Chaffinch, 50 Greenfinch, 291 Teal, 2 Common Gulls and 2 Brambling under the feeders. Reserve totals included 98 Mallard and 220 Tufted Duck. Photo; river to the north of No.1 bed

Submitted by: Dave Hackett


We started the morning at dawn, walking onto No.3 bed and flushing a Woodcock en route. From the Morgan Hide, singles of Water Rail, Redshank and Redwing were accompanied by 300 Teal, 45 Shoveler, 6 Shelducks, 3 Cetti’s Warblers and 80 Greenfinches. Then it was the long, seven mile return walk through Nos.2 and 1 beds, past Bollin Point and Rixton Paddocks to the lane beyond. There were plenty of thrushes along the way, with counts of 120 Fieldfare, 65 Redwings. 55 Blackbirds, 2 Song Thrushes and a singing Mistle Thrush. Other counts of interest included: 6 Yellowhammers, 2 skeins of Pink-footed Geese totalling 140, 3 Siskins, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 8 Goldcrests, another Cetti’s Warbler, 1 Willow Tit, 2 Ravens, 14 Bullfinches, an immature Peregrine by the Viaduct nest-site, 100 Chaffinches, 4 Little Grebes, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Kestrels and 4 Buzzards. Foot-weary by the end, David Spencer, Alan, Helen and I then slogged our way back into No.3 bed for a last hours birding and some of Helen’s exceptional cake, adding 1 Snipe and 150 Lapwings to the day’s tally. Photo of a Greenfinch Cheers David Bowman (with David Spencer, Helen Wynn, Alan Warford, Dave Steel, Sue Haddock, Les Jones and our guests Kaz Horrocks and Jules Hill)

Submitted by: David Bowman


A Black Swan has has been present on the ox-bow below No.2 bed for the past two days. It is in the company of 2 Mute Swans

Submitted by: David Spencer


This cygnet present on No.3 bed on 12th November bore a green darvic ring CLX6 and is a female ringed on 22-10-18 at Spike Island, Widnes

Submitted by: David Spencer


WeBS Count carried out on !0th November.

Little Grebe 6, Great crested Grebe 8, Cormorant 11, Mute Swan 14, Grey Heron 8 Shelduck 5, Canada Goose 8, Gadwall 50, Teal 152, Mallard 77, Pintail 1, Shoveler 69, Tufted Duck 227, Goldeneye 1, Water Rail 2, Moorhen 49, Coot 23, Black tailed Godwit 12, Snipe 4, Kingfisher 1, Black headed Gull 128, Lesser Black backed Gull 1, Hen Harrier 1 , Buzzard 1.

Submitted by: Brian Martin


That was a brilliant morning! We met at dawn and wandered into No.3 bed to start the monthly Wetland Birds Count. Our first reward came in the shape of a ring-tailed Hen Harrier which slid in from the west, flushing a load of Teal and dropping into the reeds on the east side of the bed. While Hen Harriers used to be a regular sight at Woolston in the 1980s the persecution and decline of the English breeding population has reduced them to a less-than-annual visitor. As we left the bed we scanned for the harrier from the South Screen, where a Stoat and two Water Rails gave great views. We then ambled down to Bollin Point, where a Raven and a Buzzard were duelling over Butchersfield Tip and a Goldeneye was with the commoner wildfowl. Returning to No.3 bed we watched two Crossbills, another species we don’t record every year, fly west while a Merlin went rattling east along the line of the Ship Canal. Back in the bed, highlights included: 1 Brambling, 1 Siskin, 150 Fieldfares, 8 Black-tailed Godwits and 1 Snipe. The link is to a video clip showing a few seconds of the Hen Harrier plus Water Rail and Brambling.

Click here to watch David’s video or cut and paste the link below into your browser…

Cheers David Bowman (with David Spencer, Helen Wynn, Sue Haddock and Brian Baird)

Submitted by: David Bowman


A good day completing a survey of the birds on Nos.2 and 3 beds. The morning was really pleasant before heavy rain set in by mid-afternoon. The link is to a short video showing: one of the 200 or so Teal currently present, a juvenile Carrion Crow feeding with an adult, Black-tailed Godwits feeding actively, some of the flock of 100 + Greenfinches coming down to drink, the juvenile Kestrel which has been frequenting the Morgan Hide scrape for the past few weeks, a drake Shoveler, one of the 50 or so present and the two Goosanders (a scarce Woolston bird) still present on the Ship Canal by the Penny Ferry.

Click here to watch David’s video or cut and paste the link below into your browser…

Cheers David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman


This was one of those autumn mornings when you’re never quite sure what might turn up next. Shortly after sunrise a Merlin, moving at high speed, came skimming over the water. It flashed past the feeding station, snatched a fleeing Greenfinch and hurtled back in the direction it came from. This little immature female has been hanging round the bed for a month or so, now. It’s unusual for Merlins to frequent feeding stations but I guess the open aspect and the 100+ Greenfinches regularly present are contributory factors. A small thrush roost on the north bank then disgorged 24 Redwings and 8 Fieldfares, though we still await a really major arrival of thrushes. A quick jaunt onto No.4 bed to check water levels and then we were back on No.3 bed. Sightings of interest included: a female Pintail under the footbridge, 3 Bramblings, a Woodcock flushed from the east bank, 2 Siskins, 2 Lesser Redpolls, 3 Cetti’s Warblers, 10 Black-tailed Godwits, 1 Snipe and another 80 Fieldfare which dropped into the centre of the bed. Finally, as I was leaving, I checked out the two Goosanders (see photo)found by Carey Randall near the Penny Ferry. All in all, an excellent morning. Cheers David Bowman (with David Spencer)

Submitted by: David Bowman


A nice few hours on Number 3 bed with a large group of long tailed tits moving about, 2 goldcrests small flock of fieldfares flying over, 3 buzzards enjoying the thermals, a kestrel flew right in front of the Morgan hide at speed, a few godwits in front of the hide with one snipe in front also.

Submitted by: Keith Gallie