To:KOS update Usher Tony <>
Sent:01/05/2020 20:15
Attachments:Treecreeper.jpg (image/pjpeg, 56 KB), Nuthatch_web_WS.jpg (image/pjpeg, 35 KB)
Subject:Knutsford Nature News #37
Please send any sightings or observations to me via email or text.

emails -  or

texts also ok to 07710 508 544
Friday 1st May 2020.
I'm not the only one to struggle with Blackcap / Garden Warbler song as Alan Booth seems to have the same problem!
My daily walk over the moor has not produced any new species for several days.  I am still stuck on 43 with no hirundines. However this morning produced great close views of whitethroat, blackcap pair and garden warbler. I always try to be sure of blackcap or garden warbler when only heard but over the years I have often got it wrong when the bird is eventually seen! This morning I had great views of the Garden warbler after identifying by song.

The forecast rain never arrived this morning, although the ground was quite wet after overnight showers. 12°C at mid-day. I did a walk around the Fox Harbour area of Mobberley before retuning home via the field pool. There's still a shortage of Willow Warblers in this part of the world but plenty of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. Whitethroats have retuned in good numbers and, at two locations, I watched birds busy nest building. One of these spots was at the fishing lake where a Reed Bunting was in song and the pair of Coots have the water to themselves this year.
The female Goosander remained at the Field Pool for a second day; also there, two pairs of squabbling Canada Geese, the pair of Shelducks and regular visits from the resident Yellow Wagtails. No Oystercatchers today, I fear they were nesting in a field that has been ploughed in the last couple of days and their efforts have been in vain.
The work being done on the path by the farmer is an attempt to improve access, he's just laying down rubble before re-covering with soil. Nothing to do with putting visitors off. Len Mason knows him well and apparently he's planning to make the sand pit in the next field safer by getting rid of the sheer drop, where Sand Martins once bred, and forming it into a more gentle slope. (safer for his cattle not just humans!)
The St. Mark's flies were out in their thousands and the local Starlings were taking full advantage, collecting beakfuls of these obviously delicious insects, which they carried back towards their nest sites in the village.
Four Wheatears were still on the field behind Gleavehouse farm. 

A possible Hobby for Peter Dawson.
Hi Tony

A completely different direction for me today. Through Knutsford, past the cemetery, Swain's Walk, Moss Lane and home via the Moor. Highlights as follows:
  • Swifts over the town.
  • Swains Walk - swifts, swallows and a tree sparrow on the dung heap. No wagtails. Also a possible hobby flew over. I didn't get a great look and couldn't see any markings against the sky. Also it didn't flap its wings once so I couldn't be sure whether hobby or kestrel.
  • Moss Lane -  swallow, a martin (probable house), cormorant over and great spotted woodpecker heard.
  • Knutsford Moor - two reed warblers, two reed buntings, one lesser black backed gull and a grey lag goose.


That looks a very precarious Treecreeper's nest that Geoff and Sheila Blamire found.

A brilliant morning! Did a walk just over 8km to Rostherne and surrounds. Little Mere: Sedge Warbler still in full voice. Cicley Mill (angling) Pool: good and close views of Grey Wagtail, Blackcap and singing Sedge Warbler. Great Crested Grebe still on its nest. 6 Swallows overhead. Arriving at Rostherne Mere there was a Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Cetti's Warbler all were competing to make the most noise! No hirundines over the mere (no Swifts either!). Moved onto Wood Bongs and we were lucky to find a Treecreeper's nest behind some bark! See the cropped photo - can you see one of the birds? We saw both adults, but obviously were still incubating, with no chicks hatched - YET!  Because we spent so long watching the Treecreepers we completed our walk at a very brisk pace! But before we had another species for our Lockdown List (must count this up!). Walking through a field of rape a Skylark rose up and started singing! We've walked the 2 fields with rape many times, but this time we were there at the right time. So in a very good mood we walked back along Cicley Mill Lane, along Mereside Road, and back home J 

Cheers.....Sheila and Geoff

Wendy Stratford poses a question.

Hi Tony, 

Apart from a trip to the post office I have been watching nuthatches most of the day. We have a mirror placed in the bay window so we can watch the box without being seen, and the trail cam was on the roof rack so there are some pictures!  

It was difficult to work out what the bird(s) was doing. For long periods (10 - 15 mins) the bird was on the box - considering the entrance hole, or sitting on the box. It even stayed put when people were going in and out (the box is near the front door). I don't know whether the other bird is in the box, and the bird outside wasn't carrying food. Later in the day a bird flew out of the box - whether it was the one that had been outside or not I don't know, but there isn't a picture of a bird going in. Any ideas? 

Thanks .....Wendy

I think they're incubating Wendy


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.