Sunday, July 25, 2010

Patch Perspectives

I was looking back through old records the other day, trying to get a feel for the comings and goings of waders at various nearby sites, when I was suddenly struck by just how close some of these sites are to the patch. The local hotspots by a mile were unsurprisingly Frodsham / Weaver Bend and Woolston Eyes, but what hadn't really clicked was how 'right-bang-in-the-middle' of the flyway between these two sites the patch actually is...

The Patch - yellow area

...AND just how close they were to the patch. Turns out, as the wader flies, each is pretty much 5km from either end of the patch...

The yellow X marks Halfway House

The Patch (shaded) delimited at the West (yellow X) by Halfway House and the East (blue X) by the Eastern Reedbed in relation to Woolston Eyes

This is all very encouraging! Given the amount of stuff that's turned up at these two and a few other (Hale, Gatewarth, Astmoor etc) adjacent sites over the years, the potential for getting stuff on the river looks very good indeed. Not that I need much encouragement tbh... the river at Halfway House has, at the moment, a rather mysterious pull it seems. I'm finding it extremely easy to ignore the rest of the patch with the exception of Norton Marsh Pool and Pumphouse Pool, (see below) both of which, my ever expanding holiday gut tells me, will get something good dropping in soon.

Looking west - the whole patch except for the Eastern Reedbed

I have this vision of a dainty wader in a checked shirt spinning around on Norton Marsh Pool, spitting out little gobs of chewing tobacco and humming a Dolly Parton tune... fingers crossed!!!

Redneck Phalarope

PS bad news is that 15 minutes away, in my front garden, the Wrens in the Juniper appear to have been predated, either that or they have suffered a premature evacuation - no sign of parents these past few days and the nest is empty. Alas, too soon, I fear for them to have fledged successfully...


  1. A lot of hard work and thought has gone into that post. Nothing quite like a local patch is there?

  2. You know what Phil... there's nothing better! All the small-scale movement of stuff is super cool. It's quite mind boggling when you stop to think of it - the way birds are passing through such a tiny patch of land from all over the place... the way things change from day to day... the fact you never know what's gonna turn up... the way something will just drop in, then move on. It's a very special kind of birding indeed.