10 Apr 2011

Finishing where I started.

A good week for migrants locally this week starting with an Osprey over the Gowy water meadows Monday evening. The bird appeared to come into roost about 1/2 mile away from where I was on the canal towpath just as the light was fading. Sunday morning I got another one being mobbed by Carrion Crows over the house!

I occasionally check out a local pool along the road to the municipal recycling centre as I keep saying this will be where I'll get my first local Cetti's Warbler. A Bittern took up temporary residencee during the winter cold spell. Dropping some glass off at the recycling centre I stopped to view the pool and listen. The first bird I heard? A Cetti's Warbler. They seem to be colonising Cheshire along the Manchester Ship Canal and this site is really close to that corridor.

I've been back since and heard the Cetti's again so hopefully it'll find a mate and stay to breed. The pool also hosted a pair of Gadwall and  7 Tufted Ducks and later in the year will also be home to Reed & Sedge Warblers. All in an urban environment!

Plenty of activity in Stanney Woods with a few Blackcaps & Chiffchaffs already on territory and a couple of passage Willow Warblers singing. Willow Warblers have also made it  to the garden and this week two have been heard singing early morning. Star bird in Stanney though was this Treecreeper valiantly trying to manoeuvre twigs twice its length into its nest site behind some loose bark. I found the nest as I was walking Molly and went back later with the camera.

Hilbre was the focus of attention Saturday and an early morning trip showed promise as a south easterly had been blowing all night and there was a slight mist over the Great Orme. Sure enough there were migrants  on and over the Islands with the star bird being a male Redstart found by Frank on the cliffs at the south east corner. Other birds on the island included Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and this Grasshopper Warbler retrapped from the previous day. It's obviously refuelling before continuing its journey and was found to have gained weight.

Passage overhead was strong with Redpolls, Goldfinches hirundines and lots of White / Pied Wagtails. Amongst these was my first Yellow Wagtail of the year and my first Whimbrel. A few finches were attracted by the feeders and two Redpoll's were ringed.

One of the hightlights of the week was attending a talk given by Martin Garner - Martin's enthusiasm for birds extends from finding rarities to studying commoner species and trying to identify races in the field. His talk was excellent combining just the right amount of thought provoking hard facts and humour. His impression of a Manx Shearwater in flight compared to Yeukolan Shearwater was hilarious!


johnnicklin345 said...

Hi Phil
Where is the Pool that you found the Cetti's,because I have looked in the area of the Recycling Centre,but could not find it,so I presume that I'm looking in the wrong place.

Cheers Denzil

willybob said...

I really like your Tree Creeper pics Phil, and that was amazing as regards the Cetti's, excellent.
My cousin lives on the wirral. Mill lane Greasby. ans on 2 occations now she has seen a pure white gull on the nearby rooftops. pure white with red bill. She thinks it could be an albeno Black-headed, have you heard or seen anything. Thanks Gordon.

Phil Woollen. said...

From roundabout off motorway (Sainsbury's / Chehsire Okas exit of M53) take minor exit (not A5117or motorway)past car delaers. Road bears right over canal and pool is about 300m on right opposite row of new industrial units. There are large stones on the grass verge to stop the gypsy's setting up camp.

Phil Woollen. said...

There are a fair few leucsitic / albino B H Gulls in this area! A mate of mine photographed one on the grass opposite Asda at Bromborough a couple of months ago.

johnnicklin345 said...

Hi Phil
Thanks very much for the directions.
It looks an absolutely superb Pool which is a carbon copy of Shotton Pools NR,except for the fact that there are 3 very similar Pools at Shotton.
There are definitely more reports of Cetti's Warblers coming through locally,and I know that Jay and Frank picked up at least 1 bird at Frodsham last year,although sadly for me I've not personally managed to find one this side of the Welsh border thus far.

Cheers Denzil