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October 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
Generally very quiet and water-levels are rising rapidly due to the torrential rain. There was a Wheatear, several Chiffchaffs, 2 Swallows, 5 House Martins, a Willow Tit at Willow Vale (PJ) and 4 Snipe on the South Shore (EO).
5 Cormorants were present (PW).
At Stubbers Green there were over 800 large gulls amongst which were 6 adult Yellow-legged Gulls, 150+ Herring Gulls, 5 Great Black-backs, 5+ intermedius Lesser Black-backs including JP09 and a Green Sandpiper (PJ).
A casual dog walk around the lake after heavy rain produced the usual Linnet and Goldfinch flocks, a few redpolls, 1-2 Green Woodpeckers, a Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk (GE).
At dusk there were 40+ Pied Wagtails on the South Shore and the gull roost numbered over 3000 Black-headed Gulls and 1100 large gulls, half of which flew in from the south after 19:00 when they were little more than silhouettes. Of the 500+ large gulls seen well there were 60 Herring Gulls, 1 adult Yellow-legged Gull, a Great Black-backed Gull and 550 Lesser Black-backs (GE).
19 Wigeon and 2 Little Grebes were on the Swag (EO). Over 2165 large gulls roosted including 8 (4 adults, 3 4cy, 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and 4 Great Black-backs. There was an adult Mediterranean Gull in active wing moult, a white winged Black-headed Gull, 4 Common Gulls and a Common Sandpiper (PJ).
On a wet and boggy Cuckoo Bank there were 3 Stonechats, about 5 Snipe, a male Peregrine, a Buzzard, a Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrels, Green Woodpecker, 4 Swallows and 12 Skylarks (EO).
A new adult Mediterranean Gull and 2 1cy Common Gulls were amongst the 4000 Black-headed Gulls. At least 6 (3 adult, 2 4cy, 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls, a Great Black-back, up to 2000 Lesser Black-backs, 20 Lapwings and a Common Sandpiper were also present (PJ, GE). 
The gull roost was at least as large as last night's and included an adult Mediterranean Gull, 6 Yellow-legged Gulls and a Great Black-backed Gull. A Peregrine was seen flying along the A5 towards Chasewater and was probably the cause of a mass disturbance a few minutes later (PJ, GE).
A juvenile Gannet was present until around 14:00 when it appeared to fly out to the north-west (VT, JT). This is only the second ever record of Gannet at Chasewater. A Common Sandpiper was also present. The gull roost held 2740 large gulls including 9 (4 adults, 4 4cy, 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and 2 Great Black-backs. The adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 Common Gulls and a summer plumaged Black-headed Gull were also present and a juvenile 'Commic' Tern was briefly seen (PJ).
Juvenile Gannet JT, VT
1 Redshank, 1 Wheatear, 15 Snipe, 12 Cormorants, 24 Wigeon and 41 Redwings were recorded (PW).
At Stubbers Green there were 475+ large gulls including 4 adult Yellow-legged Gulls, 11+ Herring Gulls, 5 intermedius Lesser Black-backs and 5 Great Black-backs. A 3cy Common Gull was also seen (PJ).
The monthly WeBS count produced 41 Mute Swans, 53 Canada Geese, 28 Wigeon, 7 Gadwall, 3 Teal, 180 Mallard, 1 Shoveler, 1 Pochard, 100 Tufted Ducks, 1 Ruddy Duck, 10 Little Grebes, 9 Great Crested Grebes, 10 Cormorants, 3 Herons, 5 Moorhens, 460 Coot, 210 Lapwings and a Kingfisher (NS).
On Cuckoo Bank there was a Raven and a Tawny Owl (PW).
6 Cormorants were seen (PW).
The gull roost held an adult and 4cy Caspian Gulls along with 11 (5 adults, 3 4cy, 3 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls (PJ). 6 Goldeneye and good numbers of Teal were also present (PW).
At Stubbers Green there was a 4cy Caspian Gull (photos R Clay).

2 Avocets were amongst the gulls with at least one staying till dusk. This is only the 3rd record for Chasewater. Also present were the adult Caspian Gull, a probable 2cy Caspian Gull, 8 (5 adults, 2 4cy, 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and an adult Mediterranean Gull (JA, PJ, GE).
Probable 2cy Caspian Gull GE
2 Lapland Buntings were found on the Sailing Shore. The only previous records at Chasewater were of single birds in 1948, 1973 and 1987. Also present were several Snipe, a Jack Snipe, Goosander, 7 Cormorants,  200 Linnets and 200 Starlings. The gull roost was very impressive but only partly scrutinised with 2 Yellow-legged Gulls, an adult Caspian Gull and a probable 4cy Caspian Gull being seen (GE, PW, PJ, CM, RC et al). All photos Phill Ward.

.... and two efforts from me! ( GE)

A single Lapland Bunting was being generally elusive (PW). 3 probable Pink-footed Geese flew west at 18:00 and the gull roost held the adult Caspian Gull, adult Mediterranean Gull and 9 (5 adults, 2 4cy, 2 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls (PJ, JA).
Totals included 31 Wigeon, 5 Gadwall, 2 Shovelers, 4 Pochard, 1 Ruddy Duck,12 Cormorants, 20+ Snipe, 2 Jack Snipe, 3 Buzzards, 3 Sparrowhawks, a Kestrel and 50 Linnets. Several Common Darters, a Migrant Hawker and a probable Common Hawker were also seen (GE, PW)
The gull roost held the adult Caspian Gull and 4 (2 adult, 2 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls (JA).
About 10 Cormorants, the flock of Linnets (PW) and a few redpolls were noted (JT, VT).
The gull roost was rather small but held 2 (adult, 1cy) Mediterranean Gulls and 11 (6 adult, 3 4cy, 2 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls (PJ).
Up to 20 Golden Plovers and a possible Ruff were present (CM). Other totals included 14 Cormorants, 26 Canada Geese, 44 Wigeon, 3 Gadwall, 2 Shovelers, 6 Teal, 3 Pochard, 1 Ruddy Duck, 1 Dunlin, 160 Lapwings, a Buzzard and 2 Siskins (CM, PW, GE). The smallish gull roost held a new large adult or near adult Caspian Gull, 9 ( 6 adults, 4cy, 2 3cy)) Yellow-legged Gulls and an adult Mediterranean Gull (PJ).
Dunlin P Ward
Highlight of the day was a Leach's Storm-petrel that posed for many admirers just off the South Shore and was still present at 18:35 (PW et al). Unfortunately it was harassed by the gulls for around 25 minutes before dark and it may not see the light of day: it will be interesting to see if it is still present tomorrow. This is only the seventh record for Chasewater with previous sightings in 1952, 57, 62, 85, 87 and 89, the latter one being found dead on Christmas Eve and is still in Phill's freezer! Little else was noted today apart from a Dunlin, an adult Yellow-legged Gull (GE) and an adult Mediterranean Gull (PJ).

Leach's Storm-petrel G Evans

Leach's Storm-petrel G Evans

 ........... and now for some of Phill's


Phill Ward

Not surprisingly there was no sign of the Leach's today; let's hope it flew out under the cover of darkness. 2 Goldeneye and a Goosander were present and 150 Fieldfares flew over the dam during the early morning. Tonight the gull roost held 3 (2 adults, 4cy) Yellow-legged Gulls, an adult Mediterranean Gull and a new adult Caspian Gull which also roosted on 20th (making 2 for that night) when its identification wasn't quite clinched (PJ). At 21:30 an unidentified owl flitted across the Hednesford Road from the west shore area (GE).
An adult Mediterranean Gull (JA), 238 Lapwings, 13 Cormorants, 15 Lesser Redpolls and 2 Common Darters were noted (GE).
At Stubbers Green there were 500 large gulls, including 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls, 164 Herring Gulls, 9 Great Black-backs, 5 intermedius Lesser Black-backs with JP09 still present and 5 Common Gulls. A Barnacle Goose and Goosander were also present (PJ).
In the gull roost there were 3 (adult, 2 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and an adult Mediterranean Gull (JA).
Norton Bog G Evans
Slurry Pool G Evans
A sunny day followed quite a heavy frost resulting in the few remaining Common Darters having to search for unfrozen water for egg-laying. There were 43 Tufted Ducks and 3 Pochard on the Slurry Pool and 8 Snipe and 2 Jack Snipe were on the North Heath (GE).
Two adult Mediterranean Gulls roosted but Yellow-legged Gulls have declined this week with only a 4cy bird being recorded tonight (PJ).
3 Dunlin, 15 Cormorants (PW) and 4 Goldeneye were noted and at dusk a large flock of many hundreds of Starlings gathered over the Norton Bog reed beds (GR, GE). The gull roost held at least 5000 Black-headed Gulls, an adult Mediterranean Gull, an adult Caspian Gull and 4 (adult, 2 4cy, 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls (PJ, GE).
14 Goosanders, 13 Cormorants, 28 Teal and over 200 Fieldfares were present. On Jeffrey's Swag there were 31 Wigeon, 4 Gadwall, 2 Shovelers and 9 Pochard (GE, CM, PW). The gull roost held the adult Caspian Gull, an adult Yellow-legged Gull, 10 Great Black-backs, 400 Herring Gulls and 1-2 intermedius were amongst the Lesser Black-backs. What is likely to be 'our' Franklin's Gull has turned up at Foremark Res in Derbyshire so it will be well worth checking for its return over the next few weeks (GE).
In the No Man's Bank/Biddulph's Pool area there were 50 Redwings and 2 Buzzards and it was pleasing to see there are still good populations of Cranberry, Bogbean, Marsh Cinquefoil, Bog Pondweed, Floating Club-rush and Lemon-scented fern (GE).
Bogbean on No Man's Bank (GE)
7 Herons were together (VT). The gull roost held the adult Caspian Gull, 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls and 4 (2 adults, 4cy, 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls (PJ).
An adult Mediterranean Gull, 10 Common Gulls and 2 Goldeneye were present (GE).
8 Goosanders, 5 Goldeneye, a Kingfisher and good numbers of Redwings were noted. There was a  much larger roost than recently with over 3100 large gulls including an adult Caspian Gull and 3 (adult, 2 4cy) Yellow-legged Gulls. Two adult Mediterranean Gulls were also seen (PJ).