To:KOS update Usher Tony <>
Sent:21/04/2020 21:21
Attachments:frogs.jpg (image/pjpeg, 23 KB), Merecat.jpg (image/pjpeg, 24 KB), Stile.jpg (image/pjpeg, 44 KB)
Subject:Knutsford Nature News #27
Please send any sightings or observations to me via email or text.

emails -  or

texts also ok to 07710 508 544
Tuesday 21st April 2020.
Jane McHarry asks about bird song apps for her iphone
I'm impressed at how much you all know, I need to learn some bird song.
Any one know a decent app I could use on my iPhone?
I did have a Greenfinch "I think " on my feeder the other day
Greenfinches are common on the feeders locally Jane. The females can be quite dowdy looking but you can usually see a streak of yellow on the wings. You'll not see much of them in the breeding season but they should re-appear in the Autumn.
As for apps, it's not something I know much about but perhaps others have more experience of them and can make recommendations.
Nevertheless I do have an iphone and had a look today. I downloaded a freebie called "Aves Vox" from the app store and it's very good indeed. I've not had time to delve too deeply into the facilities but it has the songs and calls of thousands of species. It appears that you can restrict it to the species you'll find in the British Isles and also save a range of favourites. Well worth a try.
There's a review here.  
Don't forget our own website has a section on birds sounds  it has a few local species on it but was an experiment many years ago and has been overtaken by much more sophisticated websites - still we did it first 25 years ago!

A knowledge of bird calls and songs is a great advantage for any birder and no better example than this timely post from Steve and Gill Barber received today.

Hi Tony,

A three-way big day today - bin day, shopping day and, best of all, a calling Whimbrel over the house at c0820hrs!!!  Other than that, a brief wander round the village resulted in sightings of a pair of Red-legged Partridges looking very chummy and a fine-looking male Kestrel hunting - we've not seen the female for a few days and are hopeful she may be nesting. 

Cheers Steve

This might work! -

In Crosby Barrie Armitt predicts Thursday for the first Swifts

Hi Tone
I had predicted Swift for luck. Rather blustery tomorrow and Wed so going with Th/Fri...excellent conditions currently forecast...
Some good counts recently.
All the best

Dave and Issy Butterworth have a warning for us!

Hi Tony,

Coming to a bird feeder near you!

We are still loving the delights of all the finches, tits ,blackbirds and the like arriving at the feeders but are concerned over new trends. magpies are now hovering and bombing the feeders and a new, much more sophisticated threat, the ring-necked parakeet. 

First there was just one but now up to three of these agile , confident squawky little bu—ers likes to park themselves on the feeders for prolonged periods of time. Only our nut job territorial robin bombs them off his patch. 

The future is iridescent green and bird feeder designers will need to do a rethink!

Thanks for the satellite info, a lovely clear night last night with great views for us of about ten satellites over twenty minutes .

Dave and Issy

None here yet folks but I'm guessing it won't be too long!

I wonder if Jayne Davies has found an alternative nest site for the LRPs. I hope not, that field will be ploughed up soon.
Hi Tony

Back on foot today, with the usual visit to the field pool. Just mallards and a coot there when I arrived, I couldn't see the ducklings anywhere. A yellow wagtail put in a brief appearance, and then eight house martins arrived.
No LRPs by the field pool, but then to my surprise I found them in the field before Gleavehouse Farm - as I climbed over the stile into the field they flew up from the wet muddy area just to the left.


Are Geoff and Sheila Blamire predicting a potato glut this year? There won't be any unless it rains soon. 

We did the same 7 km walk as yesterday, ie Rostherne area. The wind was a problem and didn't see/hear any Willow Warblers or Whitethroats, but had a Garden Warbler and of course "usual" Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs. The Cetti's Warbler was vocal in Cicely angling pond. Even more potatoes have been planted around Mere and Rostherne - definitely won't run out of crisps! Here are 2 amusing photos: one of an enormous Meercat (or rather a Merecat!) and second of a frog birdwatcher. 

One thing I forgot to mention from yesterday, was when we were walking back home along Mereside Road we came across 2 men walking a couple of dogs. Nothing unusual you might say, but their breed was unusual - Dogue de Bordeaux. Have you seen the film "Turner and Hooch' (with a very young Tom Hanks)? Well, Hooch was a Dogue de Bordeaux. Such a strange coincidence - we only saw the film for the first time 2 days ago!!! 

Cheers..... Sheila and Geoff





Derek and Jean seem to have had a bit of a struggle today - no problem for an athlete like you Mr Hon Sec!

Hi Tony,

We decided to approach where Katrina had Willow Warbler and Common Whitethroat from the other end which was a big mistake!!

We walked down Sudlow Lane to thatched cottage keepers cottage and took the footpath Tabley Inferior no 6 to Knutsford. See photo, the old sign post being rather grand, after that downhill first stile - not user friendly. First field pasture ok, then over small wooden bridge ok, then where do we go? Lucky we had map and have walked this path before 30 years ago it was rough then! We then had to crawl under cow wire was it electrified? don't know and a few yards further same procedure, across rough field to a another stile - not fit for purpose and then we saw part of Cheshire path sign - first since start, up and over M6 then Bexton FP1 so anyone going to this area please go via Blackhill Lane even if Bexton F1 does not follow map.

Birds a total of 22 species including a magnificent male Yellowhammer no Whitethroat or Willow Warbler

There were 3 Lapwings prospecting  over Redrow site must be rich birds looking for a home here  starting prices according to net £465000. 


Jacquie Ledwards had an excellent sighting of Black Terns yesterday at Budworth with an update expected tonight but nothing so far!

Hi All

I've seen the Black Terns early this morning and evening (from the Marston end of the Mere) in between work.   I had lovely views this evening and the light was just right.  I didn't see the other sightings of the gulls. 

I didn't get chance to email you tonight  Tony as it was too late.

I'm going to try my luck again tomorrow.


I had a pleasant walk this morning taking in the west side of Mobberley. 10C when I set off, with a stiff easterly wind but lovely and warm in the more sheltered spots. 33 species again with a Common Whitethroat being #67 on my lockdown list. Numerous Swallows around Broad Oak Farm but for how long? The farmer has given up and the farmhouse and buildings are up for let by the owners - Tatton Estates aka Monkton Properties. .

There are two bridges over the railway and they make good vantage points. From one I could look across three large fields each of them has a big manure heap in one corner, this will soon be spread over the field before ploughing and the planting of crops, the Lapwings that are nesting there will once again have their nests trashed.


I've put a new webpage on that will contain links to copies of these emails, so they're saved for posterity. Future historians won't believe it! 
Tony Usher.