I can start with excellent news this month, in that a male cygnet ringed at Christleton Pit in 2012, GREEN CDY6 was seen at Salford Quays Manchester on 19th October 2019. This is the first sighting of one of our cygnets that I’ve heard of for several years, and I have also been sent a list of other sightings of this swan during its lifetime.
Ringed at Christleton 23rd August 2012 and seen at;
Hoole Canal 21st January 2015
Salford Quays 12th August 2015
Pomona Docks Manchester 24th January 2016
Crompton Lodges Farnworth 14th April 2016
Budworth Mere Northwich 12th August 2016
Pomona Docks Manchester 11th December 2016
Salford Quays Manchester 19th October 2019.
Other news this month is that a male peregrine falcon appeared in a local garden in early March. I’m sure many of you will have spotted a buzzard which seems to have taken a liking to the area around the “Cheshire Cat”, being seen virtually everyday sitting on a telegraph post, or flying across from the area of Rowton Grange towards the canal. I’ve also seen three kestrels in the parish in the last week, which is a great improvement on previous years. Several sparrowhawks have also been recorded, as have a pair of tawny owls, so the birds of prey situation is looking up. A water rail and at least two cettis warblers were heard calling at Hockenhull at the beginning of the month, whilst many redwing & fieldfare are still to be seen, feeding on the ground near the Sports Club, or on trees along Hockenhull Lane.
We’ve been delighted with the regular sighting of a pair of coal tits and parties of 8-12 long tailed tits on our bird feeders, and friends in Haslin Crescent report a superb male black cap in their garden a few days ago. I haven’t heard a chiff chaff yet, or seen a passing wheatear or sandmartin , but I’m told that they are in the country and on their way to us.
Incidentally the Dee estuary is a great place to see wintering migrants at present, especially on an incoming high tide, and several recent visits have produced thousands of small waders along the tide line at Red Rocks & West Kirby, including oystercatchers, turnstone, dunlin, knot, sanderling, redshank, curlew, godwits and on one occasion at least a 100 ring plovers. I was also delighted to see a flock of 600+ Brent geese, with several coming very close to the shore at Red Rocks to feed. I understand that this particular flock come from Iceland, and like the thousands of pink footed geese are coming to this area to winter in even greater numbers. As I haven’t seen the geese for a week or so I suspect that they have now flown back to Iceland and Greenland for the breeding season.