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June 2011 Diary and News
All the latest sightings, news and photos from Chasewater, Cuckoo Bank and surrounding areas
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2 Ringed Plovers were present and the Little Ringed Plover by the castle is still sitting (GE).
A Sanderling, 2 Ringed Plovers and an Oystercatcher were present (PW). 4 Herons were at the Swag during the early morning and a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling on the north shore (GE).

On Cuckoo Bank an intensive study has identified at least 25 Grasshopper Warbler territories this breeding season but there has been no evidence of Stonechats breeding this year (DO). A Dingy Skipper was seen near Eights Wood (GE).

Cuckoo Bank G Evans
Dingy Skipper G Evans
2 Ringed Plovers were seen but there was a great deal of disturbance with two quad bikes over the north end of the lake bed and a dozen children playing on and around the Little Ringed Plover nest-site near the castle (PW, DG).
 A Hobby was hunting over Cuckoo Bank (DO).
On Cuckoo Bank the Hobby was present (DO).
5 Oystercatchers and 79 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were present and despite all of the disturbance of the past few days the Little Ringed Plover is still sitting near the castle. Little Grebes have 3 chicks on Chatty's Pool (GE).
Poppies G Evans
Orange Foxtail G Evans
Cyperus Sedge G Evans
Today was the predicted day for the fledging of the first Little Ringed Plover chicks and sure enough Wilbur and Orville, the two surviving young from the brood at the north end of the lake bed, were preening and wing-stretching prior to Orville making a short, low level flight. The brood of three are also very close to fledging and another very young brood of three has appeared along with two Lapwing chicks. The only known loss of young from these pairs to the north of the island have been the albino and one of its siblings (GE).
Early in the morning Grasshopper Warblers were reeling on the translocation heath and North shore where 2 male Cuckoos were calling and a female was 'bubbling'. A Little Grebe was trilling on the Slurry Pool where Reed Warblers and a Sedge Warbler were feeding young and 8 Cormorants flew around at 05:30. The Little Ringed Plover nest near the castle has unfortunately, but not surprisingly, been abandoned. The Bog Pimpernel is starting to flower and there are several plants of Pale Flax on the Raceway Heath (GE).
Norton Bog Orchid G Evans
Norton Bog G Evans
Pale Flax G Evans
Bog Pimpernel G Evans
No records.

A recently fledged brood of Willow Tits was at the end of Fly Bay. Two Cuckoos were chasing around the North Shore and 33 Lapwings, 71 Canada Geese, 2 Buzzards, an Oystercatcher, 31 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Common Tern were present (GE).

Cotton Grass and orchids G Evans
Marsh Cinquefoil G Evans
Ragged Robin G Evans
Bog-bean G Evans
A Dingy Skipper and 1-2 Common Blues were on the Raceway Heath where there is an extensive patch of Pale Flax which is only known from two other sites in the vice-county (GE).
Rain stopped play!
The WeBS count produced the following totals: 52 Mute Swans, 98 Canada Geese (plus 2 hybrids), 144 Mallard, 6 Tufted Ducks, 1 Pochard, 95 Coot, 2 Moorhens, 8 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Cormorant, 2 Herons, 36 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 3 Herring Gulls, 7 Black-headed Gulls, 1 Common Tern and 8 Lapwings. The Little Ringed Plovers were not counted but there must be over 30 present. On the Slurry Pool the Great Crested Grebes have 3 chicks and a Cuckoo was calling (GE).
A Quail was calling from a field at the top of Cuckoo Bank (DO).
A Cuckoo was on the North Shore (GR).
Both male and female Cuckoos were present (GR).

Probably the pair of Little Ringed Plovers that was nesting near the castle has re-laid 3 eggs about 30m away. The photo shows just how amazingly camouflaged they are and so easily trodden on by accident. Its remarkable that so many pairs have successfully hatched young (PF, GE).

The first Bee Orchid for many years has appeared.

Bee Orchid G Evans

A pair of Little Ringed Plovers has two fairly well grown young down from the pier (PF). Anyone walking from the south shore across the dam needs to be very careful not to disturb this pair and the one on eggs nearby.
At Stubbers Green there were 180 Lesser Black-backs, 1 Herring Gull and 12 Black-headed Gulls (GE).
Chasewater was pretty quiet today with 88 Canada Geese, 2 Oystercatchers, 5 Little Ringed Plovers, a Buzzard, a Jay and a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling on and off during the early afternoon (CM).
On Cuckoo Bank there were Little Grebes on three pools and a Hobby, Kestrel, Buzzard and Yellowhammer were also noted (GR).
On Gentleshaw Common there were 2 Grasshopper Warblers reeling, a pair of Stonechats feeding young and Little Owls at nearby Chorley (GE).
On Cuckoo Bank there was a Dabchick with 2 chicks (GR).
A pair of Lapwings have 2 half-grown chicks at the Swag (GE).
Quail were calling from 3 locations on Cuckoo Bank, a Tree Pipit was singing at the south end, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were present, a pair of Lapwings had young and there were several pairs of breeding Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. At Biddulph's Pool there were Four-spotted chasers, a male Emperor Dragonfly and good quantities of Bottle Sedge, Bog Pondweed and Floating Club-rush (GE).
Biddulph's Pool G Evans
Bottle Sedge G Evans
Four well grown but not yet fledged Little Ringed Plover chicks were present near the pier (PF). A brief, distant and rather late look at the gull roost produced 185 Lesser Black-backs and 65 Black-headed Gulls but there could easily have been more interest amongst the gathering (GE).
No Tree Pipit or Quail were encountered on a rather cool and breezy Cuckoo Bank during the CWG meeting but 1-2 Grasshopper Warblers, a Garden Warbler, Meadow Pipits, Skylarks, Reed Buntings, Little Grebe, Buzzard and Tawny Owl were noted (GE, GR, TH, TW, PS).
A new young brood of 3 Little Ringed Plover chicks was on the south shore, near the Water-ski Club and a pair on the Balcony Shore clearly also had young from their distraction and injury feigning behaviour. 12 pairs have now hatched a minimum of 36 chicks and there is at least one pair sitting on a replacement clutch of eggs. As suspected, the gull roost holds a fair amount of interest with at least 2 Yellow-legged Gulls, 2 Herring Gulls and 120 Lesser Black-backs which included a ringed (pale green) intermedius type (GE).
3cy and probable 2cy Yellow-legged Gulls GE
3cy Yellow-legged Gull moulting its inner primaries GE
A ringed probable intermedius Lesser Black-back GE
A Hobby flew past my window whilst I was updating the diary and disappeared over Chasewater (GE).
No records.
2 Oystercatchers, a Common Tern, 33 Mute Swans and 92 Canada Geese were present and the gull roost held 98 Lesser Black-backs (GE).
Bog Asphodel on Gentleshaw Common GE
The Little Ringed Plover is still sitting on the south shore nest and a Common Sandpiper was heard (GE).
The first juvenile Black-headed Gull of the summer was with two adults on the shores of the Swag along with a Common Tern, a Little Ringed Plover, 3 Lapwings and 5 noisy Oystercatchers and probably 3 different Oystercatchers were around the South Shore. The gull roost wasn't scrutinised but up to 150 Black-headed Gulls were present with smaller numbers of large gulls (GE).
Sunset GE
The gull roost held 2 (3cy 4cy) Yellow-legged Gulls, 120 Lesser Black-backs and 115 Black-headed Gulls (GE).