Thursday 9th April 2020
Another nice Spring day with a temperature of 10C when I left home, rising to 19C in mid-afternoon. I started at Mobberley SQ where the pair of Mandarins were showing well, spending some time perched in an oak tree at the back of the pools (they nest in holes in trees of course). One of the trees has a large owl box attached, this would be ideal for Mandarins! I turned left at the first stile and, after crossing two other fields, arrived at the field pool, visited by Wendy and Jayne recently. It's bigger than I remember it from previous visits; two Shelducks and five Tufted Ducks were on the water, behind on the grass a pair of Oystercatchers were feeding (and later copulating). A fine male Yellow Wagtail flew in and made it's way along the muddy perimeter picking off insects, later it was joined by a female - very promising. Jayne's two Plovers were also still there, on opposite sides of the pool. Difficult to see against the sun but eventually one flew across to join it's companion and I could see it had no wing bars, so after conferring with Jayne and looking at a picture she took, we decided they were in fact Little Ringed Plovers. Inland nesters which, many years ago, nested at Mobberley SQ about 30" flight away - again very promising!
Later in the day I had two phone calls from Len Mason. In the first he told me he was watching a pair of Grey Wagtails at the confluence of Pedley and Marthall Brooks. He was quite animated during the second, and why not, as he was enjoying good views of a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - the iconic Lesserpecker! That's something you don't see every day!
Jayne Davies covered the same ground as me but was on the go a little earlier.
The highlight of my walk today was a yellow wagtail, by the area of water where I believe Wendy saw one a couple of days ago. After talking to Tony, it seems that the ringed plovers I saw there yesterday are in fact little ringed plovers, which is even better as far as I'm concerned, I hope they stay. I couldn't see them at all at first this morning, but as I moved along the track, hoping for a better view of the yellow wagtail, I caught a glimpse of one, just its head visible. I also heard two singing yellowhammers during my walk today, first I've heard this year. In my garden the blue tits are still active round the nest box, the hedgehog puts in an occasional overnight appearance on my trailcam, and there was an orange tip butterfly on the lawn this afternoon.
Alan Booth has been amongst the Warblers on Knutsford Moor again.
Lovely walk in early sun with no other walkers
All the usual water birds plus reed bunting at least 8 chiffchaff and a singing black cap
No reed or sedge warbler yet, although both at Neumann this morning.
It was nice to hear from Phil Hampson this morning, no hirundines for him yet in Manchester.
Just a quick one from Gtr Mcr. We live within yards of Cheshire border.
Today, Song Thrush, daily occurrence now and female Blackcap. No hirundines yet though of any species.
Regards ............. Phil
A reminder from Steve Barber about his favourite webcam!
After Tuesday evenings riches, nocmig was very quiet last night with just a calling Lapwing to report. The main purpose of this email is to say that the auks are back on the Shetland cliffcam and showing well!
Derek Pike gives us an alternative view of events this year - what's not appeared!
Our report is different it is birds we usually have seen in the garden and around Lilac Ave not seen yet this Spring Sand Martin, Swallow, Songthrush and GS Woodpecker.
What we have seen is loads of people going past we have never seen before bikes , kids.
Last but not least a Tatton update from Darren Morris including the first Common Sandpiper of the year.
Good to see a pair of swans nest building on the Mill Pool after some work was recently carried out there. As I was there a pair of mandarin dropped in on the pool.
While passing the Allen Hide I noticed a kingfisher perched on the fence that runs into the mere.
Over on Tatton Mere, 14 pairs of herons still doing well. A Common Sandpiper rested on the concrete jetty, three oystercatchers noisily circling the mere. I couldn't see any goldeneye and again sand martins thin on the ground.
Lots of peacock butterflies and a brimstone too. A sparrowhawk soaring above Dog Wood was nice to see too.
The Hebridean lambing is going well but no Soay lambs yet. The deer are still getting into trouble though with a pricket ( young Male fallow deer) running around with a plastic bag on its head and a full grown stag wandering around in Dog Wood on the wrong side of the fence!
Stop press!! The Blamires, late again with some dodgy records for their lockdown list! - thanks Team.
Did a shorter walk today bur took in new area. Moss lane, footpath across to Gauntlet Centre (thank you to Jude for the tip off), through Fryers, all Green Lane, all Moss Lane back home (just under 5km). It was good that opposite Roebuck Farm on A50, in 2 ploughed fields, total 8 Lapwings (and loads of Woodpigeons and few Stock Doves). Moss Lane few Blackcap and Chiffchaff. New species for our Lockdown List: Tree Sparrows with the Llamas are along Moss Lane, then African Harrier Hawk (Gymnogene), Steppe Eagle, 6 Red/Black Kites, and a White-backed Vulture!!!!!! J
Thanks again folks - any records from the Northwich and Warrington areas - we know you're out there!
I've put a new webpage on 10X50.com that will contain links to copies of these emails, so they're saved for posterity. Future historians won't believe it!