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November 2010 Diary and News
All the latest sightings, news and photos from Chasewater, Cuckoo Bank and surrounding areas
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All records and photos (jpegs) are welcome, please send them via our comments page. Home Key to Contributors
1st
 
No records.
2nd
 
17 Cormorants were present (PW).
3rd
 
A Golden Plover was with the Lapwing flock (JT, VT).
4th
 
An adult Mediterranean Gull was seen (JT, VT)
5th
 
Signs of activity - 'digging trial pits in swampy areas'.
Will it be these trees' last autumn?
The water level has now almost reached the level of the canal (144 AOD) and a large area of mud has reappeared separating three lakes. 62 Snipe were feeding on the open shore along with 330 Lapwings, a Dunlin, 26 Teal and 200+ Starlings. 27 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Goldeneye and a Goosander were also present (GE, PW). The gull roost held an adult Yellow-legged Gull and a probable 1cy Caspian Gull (PJ).
6th
Sat
 
There are probably record numbers of Snipe on site at the moment as the highest count was of 70 during the 1974-5 winter. At least 45 were feeding on the newly exposed mud and 21 were at the usual sites where a Jack Snipe and 2 Common Darters were also seen. 3 Cormorants, 7 Goosanders, 17 Pochard, a Goldeneye and 70 Linnets were also present (GE).
Common Darter G Evans
At dusk many hundreds of gulls, mainly Black-headed, were flying over Gentleshaw Common towards Blithfield, implying that they are now starting to find the reduced area of water at Chasewater not to their liking or perhaps they were just escaping the noise of fireworks (GE).
7th
Sun
 
2 Golden Plovers and 2 Dunlin were with 347 Lapwings and several Snipe on the mudflats. 14 Cormorants, 2 Goosanders, 2 Goldeneye, 23 Teal and 50+ Linnets were also present (GE).
Boardwalk Heath G Evans
8th
 
No records.
9th
 
18 Dunlin were present on the mudflats (unconfirmed reports of 40 being present) along with 19 Snipe and 300+ Lapwings. Other counts included 24 Goosanders, 6 Goldeneye, 32 Teal, 27 Great Crested Grebes and 3 Little Grebes (GE, PW).
10th
 
No records
11th
 
A flock of Linnets, also Lapwings, Pochard, Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, 7 Goldeneye, 10 Goosander, 40+ Snipe, 8 Dunlin, Great Crested Grebes and 1 Little Grebe (AB, CB).
12th
 
42 Great Crested Grebes, 11 Goldeneye, one Goosander and 373 Lapwings were on and around the main lakes. Large numbers of gulls gathered as if to roost including an adult Yellow-legged Gull and 15 Great Black-backs but most large gulls departed to the north. 12 Common Gulls and up to 4000 Black-headed Gulls were present half an hour before dusk but less than 2000 Black-headed Gulls appeared to roost (GE).
13th
Sat
 
10 Cormorants, 8 Dunlin, 35 Snipe, 300+ Lapwings, 100 Starlings and 50 Linnets were on the shore. On the Swag there were 39 Wigeon, 10 Gadwall, 21 Pochard, a Kingfisher and an adult Yellow-legged Gull and at the Slurry Pool there were 4 Pochard, 2 Little Grebes, 8 Red Deer and a very late Red Admiral (GE).
Red Deer G Evans
North end of the 'Lake' G Evans
Slurry Pool G Evans
Slurry Pool G Evans
14th
Sun
 
The WeBS count produced totals of 37 Mute Swans, 17 Canada Geese, 33 Wigeon, 13 Gadwall, 25 Teal, 311 Mallard, 40 Pochard, 143 Tufted Ducks, 15 Goldeneye, 18 Goosanders, 4 Little Grebes, 39 Great Crested Grebes, 24 Cormorants, 3 Herons, 315 Coot, 10 Moorhens, 358 Lapwings, 9 Dunlin, 1 Jack Snipe, 47 Snipe and a Redshank. Around 3000 Black-headed Gulls roosted but only small numbers of large gulls stayed (GE). The relocated Feeding Station, at the end of Fly Bay, attracted a Willow Tit and 30 Goldfinches were nearby (NS).

A distant gull at first looked good for Yellow-legged and I quickly took this photo before it flew off to the west. The photo shows it to have a thin pale lemon bill with red gonys spot on lower mandible, small dark looking eye, long pale pink/grey legs and white tipped p10 all pointing to adult Caspian Gull (GE).
A female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was seen at Park Lime Pits (PJ).
15th
 
The contract for the repair to the dam officially started today.
16th
 
Common Snipe G Evans
View from the South Shore G Evans
A Peregrine flew over just before midday causing general panic (PW) but otherwise there has been little change with counts of 9 Dunlin, a Redshank, 40+ Snipe, 300+ Lapwings, 40 Pochard, 27 Teal, 37 Wigeon, 11 Gadwall and 5 Goosanders. Two Red Deer stags were on the west shore. The gull roost gathered with counts of 620 Lesser Black-backs, 16 Great Black-backs, 120 Herring Gulls, 8 Common Gulls and 3000+ Black-headed Gulls but from 16:20 there was a continual northerly exodus and by 16:45 there were no more than 50 gulls left. Most of these gulls wouldn't reach Blithfield until after dark but the total size of its roost must be very impressive (GE).
17th
 
The CWG were shown the agreed plans for the work on the dam and one good thing was that the families living on the dam will be able to remain in their homes and the trees around the houses will not have to be felled.
18th
 

Preparation for more bore-holes within the SSSI G Evans

25 Dunlin and 2 Redshanks were present (PW). 46 Wigeon and 13 Gadwall were on the Swag and a quick look at the gull roost before the rain came produced an adult Mediterranean Gull and adult Yellow-legged Gull (GE).
A two hour Winter Atlas survey on Cuckoo Bank (SK01 -F) produced only 33 species with 24 during the first hour on the farmland and only 18 during the second hour on the heath and woods. Two Willow Tits and 41 Skylarks were the most notable sightings (GE).
19th
 
Little was seen in the dense fog but both Redshank and Dunlin were heard (PW).
20th
Sat
 
An adult Mediterranean Gull was on the Swag (IW).
On Cuckoo Bank there were 40 Snipe and 3 Woodcocks (IW).
21st
Sun
 
14 Dunlin and 300+ Lapwings were being disturbed by a juvenile Peregrine. An adult Mediterranean Gull was present and 53 Pochard were on the Swag (PW, GE).
22nd
 
No records.
At Stubbers Green there was a 3cy Iceland Gull (EGP).
23rd
 
The 3cy Iceland Gull appeared in the gull roost at around 16:00 to join 4 (2 adult, 4cy, 1cy) Yellow-legged Gulls, 20 Great Black-backs, around 500 each of Herring and Lesser Black-backs and 5000 Black-headed Gulls. 4 Redshanks, 8 Dunlin, 11+ Goldeneye and 30+ Great Crested Grebes were also present and at 15:40 2 high flying swans, heading east, were almost certainly Whoopers (GE).
Spot the Iceland Gull (GE)
24th
 
The 3cy Iceland Gull, adult Mediterranean Gull and an adult Yellow-legged Gull were in the roost (IW).
25th
 
At the new Feeding Station there was a Willow Tit, male and female Bullfinch and 16 redpolls were in the trees between the Sailing Club and the dam (PS).
The roost held the 3cy Iceland Gull, adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 (adult, 4cy) Yellow-legged Gulls, 60 Great Black-backs, 550 Herring Gulls, 450 Lesser Black-backs, 12 Common Gulls and 5000 Black-headed Gulls. A Golden Plover was with the Lapwings and a late flying Buzzard made a good impression of an owl (GE).
Two images of the Iceland Gull and one of the 4cy Yellow-legged Gull amongst the throng (GE).
26th
 
A drake Mandarin Duck was on the Swag (JT, VT) along with 67 Pochard, 62 Wigeon and 11 Gadwall. This is only the 5th record of Mandarin at Chasewater and the first for over 8 years. 27  Goosanders were on the main lake (GE) and the Iceland Gull, adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls and a probable adult Caspian Gull were seen in the roost (IW, PJ).

 

Mandarin Duck G Evans

At Stubbers Green the 3cy Iceland Gull was showing well and could well be a returning bird from last winter (see photos taken on 19th December 2009) (GE, PW).

 

3cy Iceland Gull G Evans

27th
Sat
 
The 3cy Iceland Gull roosted along with an adult Yellow-legged Gull and the adult Mediterranean Gull (JA). Also seen were 20 Redwings, 8 Fieldfares, 14 Goosanders, 28 Canada Geese, a Sparrowhawk (GE) and a Buzzard (CM).
The first snow of the winter G Evans
At Stubbers Green the 3cy Iceland Gull was present and the adult Caspian Gull from last night's roost showed very well (PJ).
28th
Sun
 
Start of the exodus G Evans
Fox G Evans
The drake Mandarin Duck was still amongst the 'duck soup' on one of the two small ice-free pools on the Swag (CM). Only two small patches of open water remained on the main lake and the gulls gathered on the ice till 15:30 when the majority took flight and headed north, presumably to roost at Blithfield. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was the only bird of note and a count just prior to the exodus produced 35 Great Black-backs, 265 Lesser Black-backs, 225 Herring Gulls and 6 Common Gulls but many other birds flew over from the south without stopping. Other counts included 200 Mallard, 8 Goldeneye, 2 Great Crested Grebes and a Fox was on the South Shore (GE, JA).
The 3cy Iceland Gull was at Highfields South landfill at 14:30 (PJ) and an adult Yellow-legged Gull was at nearby Stubbers Green (JA).
29th
 
The Mandarin Duck was still on the Swag (BG).
The 3cy Iceland Gull was reported at Stubbers Green (per BS).
30th
 
Its going to be difficult to catch the fish! G Evans
Swag G Evans
A very inhospitable scene with only a small patch of open water on the main lake and Swag yet despite there being no Gadwall or Wigeon left there were 430 Mallard. The Mandarin Duck wasn't seen and there was a steady stream of gulls passing over to the north. 4 Willow Tits, 15 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Buzzards and a Kestrel were also noted (GE).
Anglesey Basin G Evans
Slurry Pool G Evans