March 2020 Sightings

Details of March sightings  compiled by John Thompson will appear on the Monthly Sightings page.


  1. John
    31st March 2020

    Macon Meadows the past two days: Kingfisher, GS Woodpecker x 2 ( drumming today – first time I heard them since 18th Feb. & that was at The Flashes ), these two were chasing each other around – it looked territorial and not courting! Also noted: my pair of Grey Wagtails. Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Nuthatch on or at a nest. Still only one Chiffchaff singing, also Song Thrush, Greenfinch and Goldfinch singing.

    In my garden, a pair of Magpies have been nest building – now adding a roof, when not bombing a neighbours inquisitive kitten. A Woodpigeon & Robin collecting nesting material, the latter seen copulating.

  2. Nigel Henderson
    31st March 2020

    Congleton – River Dane – between the Rood Hill road bridge and Congleton Park.
    Dipper x 2
    Congleton – River Dane walkway from the Rood Hill road bridge.
    Male Goosander
    Congleton – Steamboat car park.
    Grey Wagtail

  3. Nigel Henderson
    30th March 2020

    Congleton – River Dane – between the Rood Hill road bridge and Congleton Park.
    Grey Wagtail (at least 2), Kingfisher flying downstream.
    Congleton Park: Mistle Thrush

  4. John
    30th March 2020

    23 – 29 Mar
    EHF/PHF: Garganey, Oystercatcher, LR Plover, Bl-t Godwit, Snipe, Redshank, GW & L Egret, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler & Blackcap
    FF: Jackdaw & redwing
    FFF: Mallard ducklings, Goosander, Bl-t Godwit
    Astbury: LR Plover, S-e Owl, Brambling
    Astbury Mere: Sand Martin, Chiffchaff & Blackcap
    Basford: Reed Bunting
    Bradwall: Tree Sparrow & Yellowhammer
    Congleton: Kingfisher, Dipper
    Crewe GC: Mistle Thrush
    Doddington: Goldeneye, Water Rail, Oystercatcher, Red Kite, Sand Martin, Wheatear, Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting
    Holmes Chapel: Swallow
    Lawton Lake/Woods: Mandarin, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail
    Mow Cop: Peregrine
    Middlewich: Osprey
    Quakers Coppice: Tawny Owl
    Sandbach: Black Redstart
    Scholar Green: Mandarin, Green Woodpecker, Kestrel, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Yellowhammer,
    Weston: Snipe, Kestrel, Chiffchaff, Bullfinch, Greenfinch
    Wistaston: Peregrine
    Wrinehill: Barn & Tawny Owl

  5. John
    29th March 2020

    Macon Meadows this morning: a noticeable stiff, cold wind!
    ‘My’ pair of Grey Wagtails were picking flies from the edge of a drying-up flooded area by the footbridge; the busy Treecreeper was again noted and similar to Colin’s experience, I had a duet of Mistle Thrush – but it’s not a competition? One by the bowling club, the other in the direction of the old MMU campas

  6. Colin Lythgoe
    29th March 2020

    Back from my usual daily exercise walk down to the golf club at Haslington. Very quiet with no golfers and little bird activity (a cold east wind blowing) but it was a pleasure to sit and listen to a Mistle thrush in full song. Best count was a total of 14 Moorhens on the various ponds but no sign of any young yet.

  7. Nigel Henderson
    29th March 2020

    Congleton: R. Dane – Aldi Roundabout to Congleton Park: Dipper
    Rood Hill road bridge: Kingfisher
    Biddulph Valley Way: Goldcrest
    Lapwing Hall Pool, Chelford: Redhead Smew, Black Necked Grebe

  8. John
    28th March 2020

    I cycled to Quakers Coppice and back via the stream behind Crewe Business Park before lunch:
    On the pond at the entrance to Electra Way, a Moorhen with at least 4 very small chicks, others heard in deep cover. Later a I saw a Long-tailed Tit carrying food. The odd Chiffchaff singing all along the route and in QC, what was noticeable was the lack of any GS Woodpeckers!
    Back home, the female Blackcap was drinking again from my bird bath this morning

  9. John
    27th March 2020

    On Macon Meadows after lunch: Kingfisher, Rook, a singing Mistle Thrush and a pair of Grey Wagtails.
    The highlight for me was a singing Treecreeper near the culvert. Later I saw another Treecreeper by the college grounds, firstly with nest material in its beak. Then I watched it fly to another tree and in behind a gap in the bark.

    Back home, I watched a female Blackcap fly down from the hedge to drink from my bird bath.

  10. John
    26th March 2020

    Quakers Coppice this evening: one female Tawny Owl calling softly.
    A couple of minutes later a male close by also began calling. Within a minute, two other male Tawny Owls joined in.
    I estimate the others were within the area between the railway lines and Crewe Green, but probably closer.

  11. John
    25th March 2020

    Ooo – forgot to mention – my first Brimstone Butterfly too

  12. John
    25th March 2020

    Macon Meadows after lunch – along the stream I saw Blue and Great Tit plucking small black flies out of the air. Also, a Grey Wagtail criss-crossing the brook at 20 feet, so presume it was also catching flies. Later I saw a female Grey Wagtail with nesting material at the culvert. Just the odd Chiffchaff so far.
    Still some pockets of mud where it’s in shade for most of the day that the Redwing are attracted to. Perhaps they are delaying their migration plans until after the forecasted cold snap this weekend?
    4 Buzzards together, kettling.

  13. John
    24th March 2020

    While out on my only-one-a-day exercise walk on Macon Meadows, I had a pair of Grey Wagtails on the stream. I first saw them last week, so it’s good to see them sticking around and hope they breed again this year?
    Also while out this morning, there was a Buzzard above Crewe Town Centre and it stooped while I was watching it.
    In the afternoon I was in the back garden and noted 2 Buzzards kettling. One had a couple of primary feathers missing off the right wing.

  14. Mike&Andy
    23rd March 2020

    A Water Rail flew to the island at Doddington this morning,showed briefly on landing.Our first 2 Sand Martins were feeding low over the pool and also noted were,Oystercatchers,Reed Bunting,Meadow Pipits,G.S.Woodpecker,both winter Thrushes,2Shelduck with Goldeneye down to single figures.Always satisfying to see the crossover of winter and spring visitors.

  15. John
    23rd March 2020

    16 – 22 Mar
    EHF/PHF: Whooper Swan, Mandarin, Goosander, Oystercatcher, Bl-t Godwit, Snipe, Common & Green Sandpiper, Redshank, Common Gull, GW & L Egret, Kestrel, Peregrine, Skylark, Sand Martin, Chiffchaff, Grey & White Wagtail
    MGT: Snipe, GW & L Egret, Skylark, Cetti’s Warbler, Chiffchaff, Stonechat
    Towpath: Skylark, Blackcap, Meadow Pipit, Tree Sparrow,
    FF: GS Woodpecker, Chiffchaff, Treecreeper, Reed Bunting
    FFF: Grey Wagtail
    WLF: GC Grebe, Chiffchaff
    Alsager: R-l Partridge, Peregrine
    Astbury: R-l Partridge, Stock Dove, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Yellowhammer,
    Astbury Mere: Mandarin, Goosander, L & GC Grebe, Common Gull, Kestrel, Sand Martin, Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting
    Congleton Park: Goosander, Dipper, Grey Wagtail
    Doddington: Pintail, Goldeneye, L Owl, L & GC Grebe, Oystercatcher, Chiffchaff, Mistle Thrush,
    Lea Forge: R-l Partridge, Stock Dove, Raven, Chiffchaff, Meadow Pipit, Linnet
    Hassall Gn/M6: Red Kite
    Mow Cop: Snipe, Raven, Kestrel, Skylark, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, L Redpoll
    Sandbach: Sparrowhawk, Raven
    Smallwood: Green Woodpecker & Chiffchaff
    Wall Hill: Shelduck, Oystercatcher

  16. Bill Fox
    22nd March 2020

    The Chiff Chaffs are certainly back. Jan heard one in Smallwood on the 20th, and I heard calls at three different places in Smallwood this afternoon. Also a Green Woodpecker calling.

  17. Mike&Andy
    22nd March 2020

    Best birds at Lea Forge this morning were 3x Chiffchaff ,Bullfinches ,Raven,Goldcrest ,Linnet,Meadow Pipit,R- l Partridge and Stock Dove.

  18. Graham
    22nd March 2020

    In a 5 minute spell just past high noon, whilst enjoying lunch on the south-facing patio, 2 Raven, Sparrowhawk (second sighting today), and a lone Buzzard. And this over the southern area of building works at Abbeyfields, Sandbach.

  19. Nigel Henderson
    19th March 2020

    Congleton – River Dane – between the Rood Hill road bridge and Congleton Park.
    Goosander male x 2; Dipper x 2; Grey Wagtail x 2

  20. Mike&Andy
    19th March 2020

    Fairly quiet at Doddington,the Little Owl showed and still 20 plus Goldeneye.Shelduck down to 2,2 pairs of Oystercatchers,Sparrowhawk through,G.S.Woodpecker,Nuthatch.Coal Tit and a Mistle Thrush in full song,little and G.C. Grebe were the best we could muster.I also noted the garrulous gulls this morning at Dunelm in Crewe John.and my thoughts were the same as yours.

  21. John
    19th March 2020

    I drove passed Dunelm in Crewe earlier this morning – very noisy! Lots of gull activity.
    Birds perched on the roof, others flying above the building.
    Will this be an extension to the local gull breeding colony?

  22. John
    18th March 2020

    Ooops! – I forgot to include Sandbach Flashes

    9 – 15 Mar
    EHF/PHF: Mandarin, Shoveler, Gadwall, Pintail, Goosander, Water Rail, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Bl-t Godwit, Snipe, Redshank, Common & Iceland Gull, L Egret, Sparrowhawk, Kingfisher, Kestrel, Peregrine, Skylark, Sand Martin, Chiffchaff, Mistle Thrush & Reed Bunting
    MGT: Water Rail, Jack Snipe, Common & GBl-b Gull, GW & L Egret, Peregrine, Chiffchaff, Stonechat & Meadow Pipit

  23. John
    16th March 2020

    Astbury Mere: L Grebe, Kestrel, Chiffchaff, Mistle Thrush
    Borrow Pit Meadows: Greylag, Kestrel, Chiffchaff
    Brereton Heath LNR: G C Grebe, Lapwing, Coal Tit, Greenfinch
    The Cloud: Kestrel, Raven, Skylark, Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Meadow Pipit, L Redpoll,
    Doddington: Goldeneye displaying, Shelduck, T & L Owl, Chiffchaff
    Lawton Woods: Chiffchaff
    Mow Cop: Lapwing, Kestrel, Raven, Skylark, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting
    Rode Heath: L Egret
    Sandbach: Sparrowhawk
    Scholar Green: Green Woodpecker, Linnet
    Wall Hill: Oystercatcher, Skylark, Tree Sparrow, Meadow Pipit, Yellowhammer
    Warmingham: Barn Owl

  24. Mike&Andy
    16th March 2020

    Our first sighting of the year for Little Owl at Doddington this morning.

  25. Mike&Andy
    13th March 2020

    With only moderate numbers of Goldeneye recorded at Doddington this week,I think that the courtship display, alluded to by Colin,meant they were spending less time diving and more time up top,so a count of 27,with females at 15, males 12 this afternoon was very pleasing.

  26. Colin Lythgoe
    13th March 2020

    Notable birds at Doddington this morning included 7 shelduck still present, 15 goldeneye with much chasing and displaying, littleowl perched in the tree, tawny owl calling and my first singing chiffchaff of the spring.

  27. Colin Lythgoe
    11th March 2020

    On the hill at the back of Mere Moor Fisheries this afternoon a total of 46 greylag, 4 canadas and 2 mute swans.

  28. Graham
    10th March 2020

    9.30 this morning. Female Sparrowhawk purposefully at rooftop height over the Redrow site huts on Abbeyfields development, Sandbach. Perfect view from my driveway. Perhaps confirms a possible Sprawk a few weeks ago, that time heading north towards Middlewich Road, but maybe 150m away.

  29. John
    9th March 2020

    2 – 8 Mar
    EHF/PHF: Greylag, Shoveler, Gadwall, Pintail, Goosander, Water Rail, L & GC Grebe, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Bl-t Godwit, Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Redshank, Med, Common, & Caspian Gull, L Egret, Sparrowhawk, Kingfisher, Kestrel, Peregrine, Skylark, Chiffchaff, Mistle Thrush
    FFF: Chiffchaff
    MGT: Jack Snipe, Iceland Gull, GW & L Egret, Cetti’s Warbler, Stonechat
    Rookery Bridge/towpath: Kestrel, Merlin, Stonechat, Tree Sparrow, Brambling, Bullfinch, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting
    Astbury Mere: L Grebe, Common Gull, Chiffchaff, Mistle Thrush, Bullfinch
    Bathvale: Dipper
    Borrow Pit Meadows: Goosander, Meadow Pipit, Linnet
    Congleton Pk: Sparrowhawk, Raven
    Doddington: Gadwall, Pochard, Goldeneye, L & GC Grebe, Oystercatcher, L Owl, Kestrel, Peregrine, Raven, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting
    Lawton: Mandarin, L Redpoll, Yellowhammer
    Lea Forge: Skylark, Song Thrush, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail
    Rode Heath: Stonechat
    Wall Hill: Oystercatcher, Skylark, Tree Sparrow, Meadow Pipit, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting

  30. Colin & Sylvia
    6th March 2020

    A really good morning at Doddington in the lovely warm spring sunshine. The Little Owl was showing well in the dead tree and then flew to the beech tree. Even better, in the sailing club car park we watched a male stonechat for several minutes flitting between perches. I did manage a few photos on the phone, hopefully good enough to put in the Gallery soon. Also 2 kestrels, 4 meadow pipits and 30 lapwing. On the water 7 shelduck flew in to the main pool and on the back pool there was a male gadwall and 4 pochard. Also in total a very high count of 173 tufted duck. Could this be spring?

  31. John
    5th March 2020

    A more leisurely walk on Meremoor Moss today than I take when doing a SWaBBS: getting out of the car and hearing the beautiful, yet mournful song of a Mistle Thrush nearby. The bitter NE wind made it feel like it was still below zero but there was going on. Over 100 Fieldfare with the cattle in a muddy field with 60+ Chaffinch plus a handful of Redwing. Other birds singing in the sunshine were Skylark ( at least 3 ), Goldcrest, Song Thrush, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Reed Bunting. In the fisheries, there was a pair of noisy Oystercatchers, while in a flooded field on the Moss, two Swans minus the immatures. Perhaps they are now free to breed? Overhead were a pair of Kestrel, taking it in turns to hunt while the other perched on a pylon. In the distance, on a wire fence were a pair of Stonechat. Are they resident or just passing through?

  32. Mike&Andy
    4th March 2020

    Sightings from the past couple of days at Doddington included,Peregrine , Raven,Oystercatchers,Reed Bunting,G.S.Woodpecker,Nuthatch,Goldeneyes,Pochards,Shoveler,Wigeon,Little and G.C. Grebes and Tufted Ducks.At Lea Forge,2 Grey Wagtails,Skylark,Meadow Pipits ,Greenfinches and Song Thrush.Still good numbers of winter Thrushes at both sites.

  33. John
    2nd March 2020

    24 Feb – 1 Mar
    EHF/PHF: Gadwall, Pintail, Goosander, Water Rail, L & GC Grebe, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Bl-t Godwit, Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Redshank, Common, Kumlien’s, Caspian Gull, Sparrowhawk & reed Bunting
    FF: Woodcock, Tawny Owl
    WLF: GC Grebe, Oystercatcher, Curlew
    Astbury Mere: Goosander, L Grebe, Common Gull, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Mistle Thrush
    Bathvale: Dipper
    Borrow Pit Meadows: Goosander, Meadow Pipit, Linnet
    Doddington: GC Grebe displaying
    Quakers Coppice: Tawny Owl
    Wall Hill: Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Yellowhammer

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