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Image of Sparrowhawk

Hankelow Online Noticeboard


Information about the South Cheshire village of Hankelow

Birdlife

Many species of birds can be seen in and around Hankelow:-

  •  Everyday year-round birds:-
    • wood pigeon, collared dove, house-sparrow, wren, blackbird, song thrush, mistle thrush, buzzard, kestrel, sparrowhawk, crow, jackdaw, magpie, jay, raven, blue tit, great tit, long-tailed tit, coal tit, robin, pied wagtail, pheasant, chaffinch, greenfinch, goldfinch, goldcrest, linnet, starling, nuthatch, tree-creeper, greater-spotted woodpecker, little owl, barn owl, tawny owl ...
  • Common water birds:-
    • Mallard duck, moorhen, coot, grey heron, cormorant, canada goose, pinkfoot goose, greylag goose, mute swan, widgeon, tufted duck, little grebe, various seagulls ...
  • Regular summer vistors:-
    • swallow, house martin, swift, chiffchaff, willow warbler,  blackcap, whitethroat, etc..
  • Regular winter visitors:-
  • Less common sightings:-
    •   kingfisher, green woodpecker, lesser-spotted woodpecker, tree sparrow, yellowhammer, oystercatcher, lapwing, red kite, red-legged partridge, skylark, whooper swan, great crested grebe, gadwall...

If you can add to the lists or you see anything unusual, please tell us about it! Email nature@hankelow.org.uk,  and please attach pictures if you have them.

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Grey Herons

Heron fishing near Hankelow Mill, April 21st 2021
Heron fishing near Hankelow Mill, April 21st 2021

Herons are often seen in Hankelow, and are a common sight along the side of the canal. They are also to be seen on the side of the village pond from time to time, when thay will take new-born ducklings as well as fish.

You can find out more about Herons on the RSPB website here.


Kingfishers

Kingfishers can be seen by the river Weaver or the Shropshire Union canal, but they have also been seen on the village pond in Hankelow.

There were frequent sightings over several days in December 2020 and January 2021. Taking pictures have been difficult as they move quickly, but here are a few.

Kingfisher on the village pond 1, January 4th, 2021
Kingfisher on the village pond 2, January 4th, 2021
Kingfisher on the village pond 3, January 4th, 2021
Kingfisher on the village pond 4, January 4th, 2021

Canada Geese

Canada Geese grazing in the maize stubble, October 2nd 2020
Canada Geese grazing in the maize stubble, October 2nd 2020

Canada Geese are plentiful, and can frequently be seen on the pond by Woolfall Farm, and on the fields near Overwater Marina.

They also commonly fly over the area in large, noisy flocks

 


Mallard Ducks

Mallard Ducks are plentiful in Hankelow, and there are resident populations on the village pond and the pond by Woolfall Farm.

Every spring they pair off, among much noisy squabbling, and find nest sites in the gardens around the village. The pair in the photo above were behind the Green Farm in 2020. The same pair (probably) returned in 2021.

First brood of Mallards, April 19th 2020
Ducklings on the pond, May 2nd 2020 Second brood August 2020 Second brood August 23rd 2020 Second Brood growing up, September 7th 2020

Click on the images to see an enlarged version with caption

Here are a couple of Nature Camera videos from April 29th, 2021, of a new Mum with her Ducklings, which hatched by Derek and Rose's front door. Here she is setting out for the pond with her two newly hatched ducklings - but one is missing! Better try again!

Masie in the Blueberry bushes, early May

Ashleigh sent some video clips of ducklings which hatched behind Ball Farm in May 2021; you can download them here, here and here . I can't figure out how to make them play automatically yet! Ashleigh thinks the family have now moved on the the ponds at Hankelow Hall.

Also Kim J. has sent the picture on the left, of "Masie" on a nest in her blueberry bushes in May.


Sparrowhawks

Sparrowhawk at Maplewood House
Sparrowhawk at Maplewood House

Sparrowhawks can sometimes be seen hunting in Hankelow. The one in pictured in the header is a frequent visitor to the garden of Maplewood House in Hall Lane, and is apparently happy to pose for photographs.

You can find out more about sparrowhawks on the RSPB website here.


Whooper Swans

Whooper swans are mainly winter visitors; they can be distinguished from a mute swan by the shape and colour of the bill. They are high flyers - a flock of whooper swans were seen in 2015 flying at an altitude of 29,000 ft!

You can find out more about Whooper Swans on the RSPB website.

Whooper Swan at Woolfall Mere, March 25th 2021, picture by John Vickers

Pictures supplied by John Vickers - click on the images to see an enlarged version.

All media are copyright.


Wrens

Wrens are plentiful in Hankelow, but being very small and fast moving, they can be difficult to spot. Their song is quite distinctive, however, and very loud.

The pictures below were taken at the end of February 2021; three or more wrens were foraging in the same tree over several days.

You can discover more about wrens here.