To:KOS update Usher Tony <>
Sent:07/05/2020 21:26
Subject:Knutsford Nature News #43 - part 2
Sorry to bother you again but I'd been out for the 8pm applause and forgot to check for late Emails - there were 2 including one from the Hon Sec - so this is the finished article!
Please send any sightings or observations to me via email or text.

emails -  or

texts also ok to 07710 508 544
Thursday 7th May 2020.
The Hon Sec is thinking of taking up bowling again. He was never any good at that either!

So this is the last Newsletter, it has been very informative and enjoyable reading plus a lot of hard work for Tony (stops him watching TV).

This newsletter is based on general looking around garden and our walk down to the Moor this morning.

We went too late for birding all the garden contractors were about mowers etc a lot of noise, especially on Hillside Road area!  We even called in at the Cranford Bowling Green where Swallows, Swifts are seen and Pied Wagtail not today

Never the less here is our list  Dunnock, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Wren, Robin, Goldfinch ,Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff Sedge/Reed Warbler, Greylag, Heron, GCGrebe Coot, Moorhen, Mallard ,Canada Goose, Magpie, Jackdaw Carrion Crow. Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Starling BHGull,

Blue Tit, Great Tit, Buzzard, 

You will note what is missing House Martin, Swallow, Swift, and Songthrush around the roads, gardens and maybe Sand Martin over the Moor. No Nuthatch. Long Tailed Tit Coal Tit in garden 

Yesterday a Magpie swooped across the garden chasing a small bird and emerged from bushes carrying a Goldfinch which it made off with. 

Well been waiting all day now 19 30 hrs and still no Swift, I have decided to take up CG bowling might have more luck with that!!! 

From Hon Sec and Mrs Brookes

A final update from Jude Halman.

Hi Tony, Just to say a very big thank you for all your hard work
during our lock down, it has been very interesting to read everyone's
sightings and where we walk maybe on different paths, I can't wait to
venture further a field and join my rambling friends.

Miles done 114
Birds 59
Butterflies  9
Flowers 13
Odds  including
Red arrow, Chinook RAF C17.  Pakistan airliner's lot's.
Great time under very trying circumstances.

Keep safe and well.
See you on the other side.

Jude x

From yesterday - Phil Hampson has noticed more Swifts. Better late than never.
6 May, having had single swift for almost a week more arrivals today.
Regards  ............ Phil 

A well-earned Hobby for Peter Dawson today!
Hi Tony

Swains Walk for me today. I was hoping to get something good and, surprisingly, managed to!
  • Tabley Rd - having just left town, a raptor flew purposefully across in front of me - a hobby! Just what I was hoping for. It was heading in the direction of Tatton Park. Also, about were an oystercatcher, whitethroat  and skylark.
  • Green Lane - another whitethroat was singing in the small wood by the fishing pool.
  • Moss Lane - a skylark was singing, two swallows were over the house by the fork and a lapwing in the fields.
  • Two swallows were flying around near the church and a reed bunting was singing in the adjacent field.
  • Swains Walk - a whitethroat, two swallows and a kestrel were at the old A556 end. Single yellow and pied wagtails were around the dung heap. A hare crossed the path a bit further on.
  • Back in town I stopped for a short break at the Moor and managed to find two swifts and two swallows. A willow warbler was singing from somewhere in the reeds. First one I've heard there. Reed warblers and buntings were around as usual but again no sign of the grasshopper warbler. Maybe it's moved on. The only raptor I could find was very high up and probably just a buzzard.
Another great morning out in great weather. Thanks again Tony for issuing these daily reports. It's been a real eye-opener for me and I've found a number of new areas to visit and will continue to do so even once we're back to normal, whatever that may be! 



A nice long walk today for Jayne Davies and the first dragonfly of the season.

Hi Tony,

No reports from me for a few days - I have been out and about, but have been a bit distracted as my Mum has been in hospital. Anxious times, made harder by the ban on hospital visitors. Fortunately she is back home now.  So here is my contribution for the final edition of Nature News. I've really enjoyed reading everyone's reports - thanks, Tony, for setting this up and compiling the emails.

I headed out for a longish, ambling walk in the sunshine this morning, starting out along Smith Lane, where the regulars were singing: blackbird, robin, chiffchaff, wren, great tit. I counted nine lapwings on the ground in the field to the left.

I turned along Slade Lane. One notable absence from my lockdown list has been the goldcrest. Everyone else seems to be have been reporting them, but they have been eluding me. I remembered that Tony heard them in the conifers on Slade Lane, so I stopped to listen. This was the cue for the arrival of dogs, horse riders, walkers….. I gave up on the goldcrests and carried on to Hobcroft Lane, then out towards the airport, with lots of singing blackcaps and whitethroats along the way. The footpath near the end of the runway passes a small pool where I stopped for a while, watching three house martins overhead. There were butterflies too: orange tip, brimstone, peacock.

Along Lady Lane I passed a garden with a lot of large trees, and decided to try listening again for goldcrests - success! First I heard one, then saw it flitting amongst the oak leaves overhead. Moving on, there were two swallows over Dairy Farm and two mistle thrushes in the field next to Mobberley churchyard.

As I headed towards Mobberley Pool, a tractor was ploughing the field to the left, which was busy with carrion crows and at least forty lesser-black backed gulls. Two buzzards overhead, two shelduck on the pool, and I caught a glimpse of two little coot chicks, on the main pool but hiding in the hedge that crosses it. I also saw my first dragonfly of 2020 - how the year has moved on since my first muddy lockdown walks back in March. Out to Fox Harbour, then to the fishing pit where reed buntings were singing, before heading for home via Gleavehouse Lane.


David Cogger explores the area, soon to be built on, at the back of the Parkgate industrial estate. That's probably the last time we'll have Whitethroats there.

Walked across fields between Parkgate Industrial Estate and Shawheath Plantation.  Area soon to be built on but alternative footpath notice in place where the path crosses the stream which goes down to the sewage works.
Several Whitethroats singing from scrubby brambles; pr Reed Buntings and at least one Reed Warbler in shallow pool. And the usual Wrens, Chiffchaffs, Blackcap singing from the woods, Woodpigeons, Jackdaws, Crows.



Our man-on-the-Moor Alan Booth is still searching for his first knutsford Moor "Gropper"!

Hi Tony. Thanks for your hard work in running this project. Every day it has been an interesting read . I have been scanning all moor visits with an eagle eye to see what I have missed. The only species I have never seen or heard on the moor was Grasshopper warbler. It was also heard last year but again not by me.
Both pairs of great crested grebes have so far been successful both females are carrying juvs. on their backs. All warblers present and correct this morning with the Whitethroat for once showing very well.
First Swift over Middle walk on 5 May but still only one so I hope a few more turn up.
Regards and thanks again

Another cracking morning for Jacquie Ledward over in Northwich.
Hi Tony

A good mornings birding today.  I walked via Budworth Mere which was very quiet.  Two Shelducks flew over the Mere and their bright plumage showed well in the morning light.

I continued through Big Wood where a Great Spotted Woodpecker drummed in the distance.  The woodland birds were busy calling and searching for food. 

I crossed the canal bridge and headed for Dairy House Meadows.  It's at this point on my walk that I begin to hear Willow Warblers and Common Whitethroat (no sign of the Lesser Whitethroat).  I decided to go to Hayden's Pool which is almost dry.

I continued to Witton Brook where I heard and saw a Sedge Warbler (my first of spring)  calling and displaying.  Lovely.  Two Swifts flew overhead and I heard it what seemed like two Cuckoos calling. One from Haydn's Pool and one from Neumann's Flashes.  I read later that two Cuckoos had been displaying over Neumann's!  I missed that one.

I had lovely views of approximately 20 Swifts hunting for insects over Ashton's Flashes.  I sat there a while watching the Swifts and enjoying the moment.  They really fascinate me.  A Redshank called out in the distance and I briefly caught sight of it in my binoculars.

I had three Ringed Plover on Neumann's Flashes, two Shovellers, Swan, Tufted Ducks,  Reed Warblers calling and a female Mallard with five young.

On the way back I had two Bullfinches, perfect.

All in all a fabulous six weeks birding for me and it's been great that I could share my sightings/walks and enthusiasm.  I've really enjoyed reading everyone else's birding reports too.  I'm very much looking forward to the next KOS walk/meeting and getting back to some semblance of 'normal'.........

Thank you Tony!



Sheila and Geoff Blamire recorded 79 species in their walk up to Lindisfarne!!
And we've even got some video!

We did a 8km walk to Rostherne and surroundings. At Little Mere the Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting were still singing, 2 female Mallards had brood of 12 ducklings between them, and another Mallard with a brood of 5 ducklings. I don't think there any pike or any other predators in the mere! Still loads of Canada Geese (no young seen), a single Mute Swan (is the female on a nest out of sight?) and 1 Great Crested Grebe (ditto). Then up Mere Mill Lane, across the fields to the back of Cicley Mill (angling) pool. Sedge Warbler still singing, heard Cetti's Warbler once and Reed Buntings still about. The Great Crested Grebe still sitting tight. Pair of Mallards with 5 ducklings (sometimes see the male stays with the female, but not usually) and pair of Canada Geese with a brood of just one! Oystercatcher was on the field looking for worms. Every time we go one or two Grey Herons fly off making a real racket. Then up Cicely Mill Lane to Rostherne and into Wood Bongs. The Treecreepers' nest was still intact though heard a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming close by - just hope it doesn't find it. Both Treecreepers were actively feeding the nestlings and occasionally taking a faecal sac away to get rid of it some distance from the nest. Geoff took a short clip of video on his small camera and has put it on Youtube - here's the link:   Having spent a lot of time there we walked at a brisk pace through the rape fields, along Cicley Mill Lane, along Mereside Road and back home. 

Unfortunately, we didn't see any new species so our Lockdown List is stuck on 79! No Swift, no Yellowhammer - I could go through the more 'common' species we could have seen, but 79 is still good. I haven't included the Red Kite over the garden because it might be an escapee from the Gauntlet Centre. Our 'Dodgy List is an incredible 15 species! Both looking through spyholes in the fence at Gauntlet Centre and the wildfowl collection at Over Tabley House. Since lockdown we have walked an astonishing 195 miles or 313kms. If we'd walked them 'end to end', going south we would now be in Southampton and going north we would be on Lindisfarne!! J 

What has been good over the last few weeks?

1.    Meeting so many people - some we knew, but mostly people we came across, whether walkers, farmers, fishermen, etc

2.    Seeing cyclists in a new different light - most were very friendly and courteous.

3.    Doing some birding every day, even though just part of exercise. Seen so many fabulous sights, obviously the Treecreeper and Long-tailed Tit nests, finding new site for Cetti's Warbler, Great Crested Grebe 'humbugs' on the back of their mother - I could go on.....

4.    Reading reports from other people - some whom we've yet to meet! Some very amusing, some envious-producing, some from new places we never been to - yet!

5.    Last, but not least, a very BIG THANK YOU to Tony for coming up with the idea of a daily report and putting so much time and effort into producing them. I'm sure that a lot of people will re-read these archived reports. 

Cheers.... Sheila and Geoff

Wendy Stratford looks back at her highlight (so far) this year.
Hi Tony, 

Last night I walked down Smith Lane and the lapwing field is now fully ploughed smooth, and I assume planted. There were 6 lapwings on the ground and 1 in the air. If you know who the farmer/contractor is maybe we should try and work out with him a way of moving and replacing eggs/chicks next year? I'd be happy to get involved.

Today we did the Pavement Lane, Gleavehouse Lane (swallows), diverted footpath to the south (reed bunting at fishing lake), footpath to the barns (buzzard), over Pedley brook, field pond and SQ (linnets and heron) circuit. The shelduck were back at the field pond, and 6 Swallows were collecting mud from the shore and heading back towards Gleave House with it.

I'm not a list person really, but today I made a lockdown list of the birds I've seen, 57 - didn't think it would be that high! Highlight is definitely the ring ouzel (likely the only one I'll ever see), and lowlight is not seeing the little owl during lockdown (I know others have, and I look every time on Pavement Lane).

Thanks so much for organising the nature emails Tony, it's been such a pleasure to read about what other people are seeing during their walks! See you soon no doubt. 



It's a good idea to liaise with the farmers wrt the Lapwings Wendy, unfortunately I'm not known for diplomacy, so I'll leave that to others!

Yes, we look forward to seeing you in the future Wendy. You've met just a few of our KOS crew and it doesn't seem to have put you off so far but you may want to wait until you meet some of the others before you decide whether to join us!!

I walked over to the field pool early this morning, the usual species en route - Tree Sparrows, Skylarks, just one lapwing and a couple of Yellow Wagtails. The pair of Shelduck were on the water, together with the Coot family, Swallows were "bouncing" off the surface, breast first - rather than drinking, before doing a few more circuits, then dropping down and collecting mud from the margins.
OK that's the last of these compilations, many thanks to all who have sent reports - #37 individuals and over 300 emails in six weeks! It may have helped to keep our KOS members and friends in touch during a very strange episode in our club's history!
I'll continue with the "Latest news" section of the website, so all reports will be gratefully received. Also have a look at the overall list of species seen, currently #87 and let me know if you have any to add, I'm sure we can make the 100 mark.
Stay safe .................... Tony

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.