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April 2012 Diary
All the latest sightings, news and photos from Chasewater 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
20 Sand Martins, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 30 Tufted Ducks and 6 Lapwings were present and 5 pairs of Teal were on Fly Pool. The gull roost numbered 400 Black-headed Gulls, 96 Lesser Black-backs, 10 Herring Gulls and 3 Great Black-backs (GE).
At around 18:00, what sounded very much like a crane was heard twice but a scan from the water's edge of the South Shore produced nothing, leaving me wondering what could have been the call's source! 23 Sand Martins were over the main lake (GE).

Around 18:30, a Common Crane was seen flying low over and around Kingswood Lake (IW).

27 Sand Martins, a Ringed Plover, a Wigeon and 2 Teal were present. 6 Little Ringed Plovers were on the South Shore with two pairs now on territory.

Galliford Try has now practically finished the work on the dam and should be off-site in a day or so.

A cold and windy day with snow flurries made it difficult to observe the gull roost but there was a very probable 3cy Yellow-legged Gull, 310 Black-headed Gulls, 240 Lesser Black-backs, 4 Great Black-backs and 70 Herring Gulls, mainly 2cys including a very pale winged individual with only the outer 3 primaries showing any mid-brown and with a similar toned thin secondary bar (GE).
7 Swallows, a House Martin, 8 Sand Martins, 12 Little Ringed Plovers, an Oystercatcher, a Wheatear, 2 Red-legged Partridges, 3 Willow Warblers, 10 Chiffchaffs, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Green Woodpecker, 2 Buzzards, 2 Kestrels and a Grey Heron were noted. The gull roost numbered 510 Black-headed Gulls, 145 Lesser Black-backs, 17 Great Black-backs and 52 Herring Gulls (GE).

2 Tree Pipits were seen on No Man's Bank (IW).

The Common Crane has been relocated at Radford Meadows, Stafford.

In the Swag/Norton Bog area there were 21 Tufted Ducks, 4 singing Willow Warblers and both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers (GE). 40 Linnets were present and 2 Willow Tits and several Bullfinches were at the feeding station (GR)

On No Man's Bank there were 2 Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk and at least 5 Meadow Pipits (GE).

An Oystercatcher was on the shore and 45 Sand Martins and at least 3 Swallows were over the main lake (GE). 7 Shovelers and 3 Wigeon were also present (GR).
The WeBS count produced 23 Mute Swans, 18 Canada Geese, 101 Mallard, 2 Gadwall, 5 Teal, 30 Tufted Ducks, 8 Great Crested Grebes, 53 Coot, 1 Moorhen, 3 Grey Herons, 12 Little Ringed Plovers and 4 Lapwings. Also present were 2 Wheatears, 30 Sand Martins, a Swallow, a Blackcap, 4 Willow Warblers and a leucistic Black-headed Gull with completely white wings and easily mistaken for a Mediterranean Gull at long range (GE).
Leucistic Black-headed Gull.
A quick evening look from the dam after a rare day of rain produced little of note with just 2-300 Black-headed Gulls and 100+ large gulls gathering on the shores of the main lake (GE).
Another quick look from the dam produced a Little Ringed Plover by the pier and another displaying over the Sailing Shore where 1-2 wind-surfers had parked their cars on the shore well away from the launch site used by the Sailing Club. There needs to be an agreed single access route to the water's edges, otherwise the plovers will have little chance of success on this shore where at least 4 pairs bred successfully last year. 20 hirundines were over the main lake and 2 Willow Warblers were singing in the Nine-foot Pool area where removal of newt fencing has revealed the presence of several Smooth Newts and an immature Great Crested Newt. A recent night survey by the ecological consultants Penny Anderson Associates also proved the continued presence of the large non-native Red-eared Terrapin that has been seen irregularly for many years and, no doubt, having accounted for the loss of a great number of newts, tadpoles and dragonfly nymphs. An informative article from the Independent regarding the problems posed by such 'escapes' can be found here (GE).
80 Sand Martins, 2 House Martins, 10 Swallows and 2 Buzzards were noted. Two Green Woodpeckers were by the Sailing Club and a pair of Little Ringed Plovers was on territory near the club's slipway. A Common Lizard was on the Anglesey basin heath (GE).
A Grasshopper Warbler was 'reeling' on Cuckoo Bank (DO).
A Common Sandpiper was on the shore of the Swag and at least 10 Willow Warblers and 4 Blackcaps were singing in the Norton Bog/Swag area. 2 Oystercatchers and 6 Lapwings were on the shore of the main lake and there were totals of 32 Tufted Ducks, 2 Gadwall, a Cormorant and 2 Stock Doves. A pair of Little Ringed Plovers was displaying near the pier and a Green Hairstreak was on the Anglesey Basin heath (GE).
Green Hairstreak (GE)
Two Greylag Geese briefly settled on the lake before flying off to the north-west. A Common Sandpiper, 50 Sand Martins, 8 Swallows and 2 House Martins were also present and there are now three pairs of Little Ringed Plovers on the South Shore (GE).
No Records.
  A Curlew, Common Sandpiper and a Wheatear were noted (GR). A Curlew, Common Sandpiper and a Wheatear were noted (GR).
A redpoll and Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were present at Norton Bog (GE).

80 hirundines were over the lake (GE).

No Records.
During the evening there were 60 hirundines over the lake and around 50 mixed gulls were present (GE).
80 hirundines were present (GE).
An amazing record of 2 Black-winged Stilts at Clayhanger where a Black-tailed Godwit was also present (AS, CM, SHi, et al).
A Common Sandpiper and Wheatear were present and a Curlew flew over (GR).
A Red Kite flew west over Clayhanger (per CM).
An Arctic Tern was present during the morning (GR) and 5 Common Terns, a Common Sandpiper, 80 Sand Martins and 20 Swallows were present in the evening (GE).
No Records.
9 Common Terns and 80 hirundines were present (GE).
4 Common Terns and 100 hirundines were present and I had brief and distant views of a large brown raptor or perhaps skua over the lake but it disappeared before I could latch onto it (GE).
2 Shelducks were on the lake but flew south at 18:05 and 80 Swallows, 75 Sand Martins, 5 House Martins and a Swift were present (GE).
A Cuckoo was calling near the Swag (DG), 6+ Little Ringed Plovers, 3 Common Sandpipers, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 White Wagtails, 11 Swifts, 5 Common Terns, 3+ Wheatears and a pair of Gadwall were also seen (PW, MS).
No Records.
9 Wheatears, a Cuckoo, Swift and 2 Gadwall were noted (GR).
A very wet and windy day and a brief visit produced only 2 Swallows, 2 House Martins and 5 Lesser Black-backs over the lake (GE).
A Hobby flew through at 11:15 and also seen were 5 Little Ringed Plovers, 4 Wheatears, 15+Swifts (GH) and 2 Common Terns (GR).