Shog or Deep?

I parked on a bridge that goes over the M56.  It was noisy, as you’d expect.  As I walked up a track to begin my exploration of Frodsham Marshes a Great tit was attempting to compete with the traffic noise.  I preferred his noise.

Frodsham Marshes are squeezed in-between the M56, and the Manchester Ship Canal and Weaver River Estuary, which both join the Mersey.  It is not a pretty area.  It’s not at all pretty.  With the motorway, a refinery and all of the Mersey industry on the skyline.  So why bother?  Because birds like it.


There are huge lagoons, agricultural fields, ponds, ditches, and as the name suggests marshy bits.  There are also enormous wind turbines everywhere you look, which add drama to the otherwise rather flat landscape.


Just as I began my meander, the sun went home and here came dark grey skies. It made it rather hard work to identify birds in the distance, as everything became drowned in grey, all colour gone.  But a good afternoon’s birding I had regardless.

Waders included large flocks of Godwit, black-tailed I believe, Dunlin and Redshank.  Waterfowl were a few Whooper swan families with lovely yellow bills, Shelduck, tons of Teal, a few Tufted ducks, Mallard snoozing on the banks, a small flock of Canada geese who had their own private pond, and one exceedingly glamorous Pintail (duck).  I saw good  numbers of Raven, and when I couldn’t see them I was reminded of their presence by their constant gentle chatter.  I watched a short but elegant Starling murmuration.  A Kestrel preening on a tree-top ignored them. Goldfinch did magical disappearing acts among the swathes of teasel.  While silhouetted Long-tailed tits flew overhead, their shape and size too distinctive to be anything else.

I’m not great on warblers. I’ve yet to master them. I may have seen and heard Cetti’s warbler and Willow warbler. What are they doing here in February?!

Disturbingly, I came across a few cute Moorhen pottering about around an area clearly signposted as being toxic. Obviously they can’t read! Oh, and I also made friends with a Shog. Or maybe a Deep…  But seriously, would you want to eat the lamb that are reared around this?

End of a happy walk.  It was great to adventuring again on my lonesome. Loaded with camera and bins. No agenda. It’s been too long. Time to go home, write blog, and snooze.



About Olivia N Masi

From art college drop-out, to office space-planner, to back-packer, to air stewardess, to brolly babe, to model agent, to wildlife conservationist. How? I've always believed in jumping at every opportunity that comes my way. This has taken me along some bizarre career paths. None of which I regret. I have been to amazing places and met fascinating people. And having worked in the motor sport industry I've sadly experienced too many beloved friends take one adrenalin step too many. I think of them always. I've hung out with pop-stars, sports personalities, and millionaires. I reached a point when nothing but VIP would do. And then something happened. My pops passed away and I felt the need to reconnect with my Italian side. Whilst in Italy, I learnt to be resourceful, to recycle everything, to listen to the valley, to grow my own veg, to catch and tame feral cats, and to follow my heart. My heart led me to a desire to save this beautiful Earth, and all the wonderful life upon it. And so I read, and then I studied with the Open University. I suddenly found myself accepted on a BSc in Wildlife Conservation, having left school with pitiful qualifications. So here I am. A qualified Wildlife Conservationist. A scientist I suppose. I love nothing more than to listen to birdsong, and watch, learn and photograph wildlife. So here is to me getting the perfect job where I can contribute to saving one of Earth's beautiful species. Do I miss the glamour of the old life? The VIP lifestyle? The petrol-head adrenalin? The buzz of being a successful business owner? Only occasionally. Though it seems more like the distant dreams of a previous life.
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