Woolston Eyes Monthly Sightings


David Bowman

2019-02-16

It was the Wetland Bird Count at Woolston Eyes this morning, which meant wandering down, through beds 2 and 1, to Bollin Point. The clear skies always promised an interesting morning and it started well, with the shadowy shape of a Curlew on the Morgan Hide scrape as we arrived. Curlews are scarce migrants at Woolston, usually noted flying over and this was the first, to our knowledge, to actually land on the scrape. This spell of unseasonal warmth has also brought in a good number of Black-headed Gulls to the colony, with at least 350 present and calling raucously, while a passing Oystercatcher also dropped in. Other sightings of interest over the morning included 5 Lesser Redpolls, 6 Bramblings, the resident Peregrine pair on Thelwall Viaduct, 19 Great Crested Grebes on the Ship Canal, 1 Goldeneye, 62 Pochard and 220 Tufted Ducks. The link is to a video clip shows the transition from an icy mid-January to the current balmy spell and features: Bramblings, Reed Bunting, Teal, Goldeneye, Black-headed Gulls, Great Black-backed Gull, Curlew, Peregrines, Shoveler, Oystercatcher, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Gadwall and Coot. https://youtu.be/BkHMzArsTP0 Photo of a Peregrine Falcon from this morning. Cheers David Bowman (with David Spencer, Helen Wynn, Alan Warford, Sue Haddock, Brian Baird and Les Jones)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2019-02-13

Another spring-like day with plenty of birds in song. Reserve-wide totals included 93 Robin and 17 Song Thrush. A Barn Owl on No.1 bed was a good sighting. A variety of finches were at the feeding station on No.3 bed and amongst the Chaffinches and Greenfinches were a single Brambling and a male Bullfinch. Tufted Duck totalled 414 and 66 Gadwall included 41 on the Loop of No.4 bed. Pochard numbers continue to increase and exactly 100 were counted including 40 on No.3 bed and 38 at Bollin Point. About 30 Black-headed Gulls were on the water on No.3 bed, no doubt the beginning of the annual colony.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

David Bowman

2019-02-11

Photo of the view looking over the Weir Basin from No.2 bed.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2019-02-11

View west over the Weir Basin

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2019-02-11

Photo of the Morgan Hide today.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2019-02-11

Photo of a drake Teal from today.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2019-02-11

Photo of a drake Pochard from today.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2019-02-11

Beautiful weather today, sunny, warm and with brilliant light. Plenty of birds were in song, including Willow Tit, Cett’s Warbler, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Robin, Song Thrush, Chaffinch and Dunnock. Highlight for me was the arrival of a flock of 50 Pochard, flushed off the Ship Canal by a passing ship, which flew into No.3 bed to join 7 which were already there. Total wildfowl counts between No.3 bed and the river to the north of No.2 bed, included: 1 drake Goldeneye, 57 Pochard, 220 Tufted Duck, 200 Teal, 8 Shelduck, 20 Gadwall and 40 Mallards. The 75 Black-headed Gulls, mainly on the Weir Basin, were probably early returners to the No.3 bed breeding colony.

Photo of a drake Goldeneye from the Weir Basin today Cheers David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2019-02-09

When David Spencer, Helen Wynn, George Dunbar, Diane Shepherd and I arrived on the car park at Woolston Eyes, at 7.15 am this morning, we got the kind of reward which birding at first light sometimes brings. A Bittern came beating across the Ship Canal from the south, passed over our heads and dropped into No.3 bed. They are now a scarce annual visitor to the Reserve, with most sightings, like this one, being of birds in flight. After such a good start it turned into a relaxed morning, with the wind slowly easing and highlights of: 1 Bittern, 1 Raven, 1 Pink-footed Goose and 6 Bramblings.

Photo of the view over the reed-bed from the east bank of No.3 bed

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

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

Dave Hackett

2019-02-06

There was certainly plenty of interest today, starting with 2 Great Black-backed Gulls and a Herring Gull at Latchford Locks. Walking along the canal bank Robin, Dunnock, Song thrush, Chaffinch and Greenfinch were all in song and spring was definitely in the air. A large flock of Tufted Duck was at Bollin Point and 2 Woodcock were flushed from the top of Butchersfield Tip. Along the river to the north of No.1 bed 2 Grey Partridge were a good find and the resident Little Grebe was again trilling at the Fish Refuge. There were some good totals of wildfowl with a minimum of 650 Tufted Duck (probably 770), 28 Pochard, 36 Shoveler and 78 Canada Geese. A total of 55 Robins was also a good count, most of which were in song. Photo; Scarlet Elf Cup on No.4 bed (there were also some beneath the Frank Linley Hide)

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

John Bradford

2019-02-03

Starling Murmuration Saturday

Submitted by: John Bradford

 

John Bradford

2019-02-03

Starling Murmuration Saturday

Submitted by: John Bradford

 

John Bradford

2019-02-03

Starling Murmuration Saturday

Submitted by: John Bradford

 

John Bradford

2019-02-02

Starling Murmuration Saturday

Submitted by: John Bradford

 

2019-02-02

Well, that was a long but rewarding day, starting at dawn on No.3 bed, then counting the birds along the Mersey from Woolston Weir eastwards and finishing by hosting forty visitors for the No.3 bed Starling roost at dusk. Highlights along the Mersey included: 6 Goldeneye, 6 Little Grebes, 16 Fieldfares, 4 Meadow Pipits, 2 Goldcrests, 2 Coal Tits, 265 Tufted Duck, 32 Gadwall, 50 Mallard, 16 Teal, 10 Shoveler and 2 Pochard. No.3 bed was dominated by 640 Teal, all working hard to keep a small pool open, with a few Shelduck, Shovelers, Mallards and Coot for company. As dusk approached, c.12,000 Starlings put on a good display for our visitors, with a Peregrine and several Sparrowhawks cutting through the flock. Finally, a few Redwings coming in to roost were scattered by a dashing Merlin. By close of play, we’d walked nine miles, recorded 58 species and it was definitely time to put my feet up. Cheers David (with David Spencer, Brian Martin, Helen Wynn, Al Warford, Brian Baird and Dave Steel)

Submitted by: David Bowman