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February 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
The sub-adult Iceland Gull was in the roost (PJ).
Totals included 134 Teal, 44 Wigeon, 3 Gadwall, 6 Pochard, 6 Goosanders, 7 Goldeneye, 11 Cormorants and 2 Green Woodpeckers. Another large gull roost held the sub-adult Iceland Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull (GE, IW).
Mediterranean Gull
The sub-adult Iceland Gull was at Stubber's Green along with the large pale winged gull that was also seen two days ago. A very striking bird, probably 3cy, and likely to have some Glaucous genes, at least. It's not a million miles away from looking Glaucous-winged-like (GE, JAt).
Iceland Gull
Long-billed gull!

The heavy overnight frost had frozen the lake but many gulls gathered on the ice, including the sub-adult Iceland Gull and 2 Caspian Gulls; a 4cy bird and the adult with the dark mark above the gonys spot that was photographed by MG at Stubber's Green last week (PJ). A Fieldfare spent the day in a garden next to Jack's Wood (AWh).
A Buzzard was on a lamp-post along the by-pass but little of note was seen during the morning on the largely frozen main lake (GE).

The sub-adult Iceland Gull was at Stubber's Green (GE, SR, JA et al) but only 400 large gulls were noted in the Stubber's Green /Highfields landfill area (PJ).

The sub-adult Iceland Gull Interesting 4cy gull again (GE)
A Snipe was in Fly Bay and 3 Willow Tits were noted (IW, N). The gull roost began to gather with around 500 large gulls present at one time but a Fox tip-toed onto the ice, probably scavenging regurgitated bones, and eventually practically all the gulls departed to the north. The only gulls of note had been a well hooded adult Mediterranean Gull and a 3cy Yellow-legged Gull (GE, JA).

At Stubber's Green the sub-adult Iceland Gull and large adult Caspian Gull were present along with a pale 2cy Herring Gull (GE, JA, SHe).

Iceland Gull Caspian Gull Pale 2cy Herring Gull
Two Grey Plovers on the Sailing Shore were a pleasant surprise but the scavenging Fox again disturbed the gull roost although many appeared to stay, including the sub-adult Iceland Gull and a 4cy Caspian Gull. The 'curlew-billed' Herring Gull photographed at Stubber's Green on 2nd was also present (GE, PJ).
Grey Plover
At Stubber's Green the sub-adult Iceland Gull was present along with an orange-ringed Herring Gull (HV8T) which was ringed by the North Thames Gull Group (GE).

The Bittern was seen to walk along the edge of the reeds in the Norton Bog Lagoon at 13:30 (SM) and was seen again at 15:45 as it flew in low from the north-east and settled in the reeds in the south-west of the lagoon, where it was present until at least 16:25. A Woodcock also put on a good show over the marsh (GE, SM). 50 Siskins were near the Feeding Station (PS). The gull roost was again badly affected by the Fox and most left to the north and another Woodcock flew along the South Shore at dusk (PJ).

Around this day a Great Grey Shrike was reported by experienced birders, 'near the Rugby Club' (per DG).

Twice shy once Bittern! (GE)
At Kingswood over 1200 large gulls were on the frozen lake including a 2cy Caspian Gull, an adult Yellow-legged Gull and the 'interesting' 4cy gull last seen at Stubber's Green on 4th. A flock of 40 Lesser Redpolls were also present (GE).
2cy Caspian Gull
Adult Yellow-legged Gull
Around 09:30 only 150 large gulls were in the Stubber's Green/Highfields South Landfill area and nothing of note was present (GE) but the sub-adult Iceland Gull was present at 12:45 and again at 14:00. Also, orange-ringed Herring Gull HV8T, blue-ringed Herring Gull JCH6 and Lesser Black-backed Gull WB9V were noted (KC).
There was no sign of the Bittern today but up to 20 Red Deer were on the Norton Bog Heath including a stag with its antlers covered in netting (LAW).
At Kingswood Lake there were fewer gulls on the ice than yesterday amongst which was a Lesser Black-back with a black ring and white lettering possibly 0JF (GE). 3 Golden Plovers were present (per GE).
Up to 10 Hawfinches have recently been reported from the Fishley Park end of Cadmans Lane, Little Wyrley; probably taking advantage of several feeders at the Kennels and Cattery which today had attracted good numbers of finches and tits but no sign of the Hawfinches (GE, ESC).
No records.
The Bittern was briefly seen in flight at around mid-day but it was not seen later (per PJ). At 16:30 only one Lesser Black-back and 16 Black-headed Gulls were present on the largely frozen lake and clearly the roost wasn't going to develop (GE).

2 Ravens were over the west shore and 2 Goldeneye were on the small patch of open water (IW). The gull roost didn't gather, partly due to the presence of the now limping Fox, and the pre roost gathering of around 250 large gulls all departed to the north (GE, AH).
At Kingswood there were at least 1500 large gulls including 3 (2 adults, 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls (PJ, JA, GE).
At Stubber's Green there were 259 Canada Geese and 350 large gulls including ringed Lesser Black-backs blue with orange ALL (also seen in November 2009) and black with yellow T6TK and a 3cy Herring Gull with red with black PT8T (GE).
The Norton Bog work-party didn't encounter the Bittern but sightings did include 2 Ravens, 6+ Jays, 40 Siskins, and Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers. The WeBS count included a Woodcock, Snipe, 2 Jack Snipe, 20 Teal and a Heron (GE, NS, IW, JSn).
A rough dam has been 'built' to ..
.. force water through the new culvert!
Crane Brook
Friends of Norton Bog


At Kingswood Lake there were 147 Lapwings on the ice, a Little Grebe, 52 Canada Geese and 240 large gulls including a 4cy Herring Gull with a black ring J1515 (GE).
Dark 4cy Herring Gull
Norwegian ringed J1515
7 Goosanders and 3 Goldeneye were on the main lake which is still largely frozen but the gull roost was growing well with at least 2000 Black-headed Gulls and over 600 tightly packed large gulls, including a 3cy Yellow-legged Gull by 17:30 (GE).
At Stubber's Green the gulls to the right were showing well and many hundreds more were over the Highfields South landfill (GE).
5cy Iceland Gull
Icelandic ringed Herring Gull JCH6
Interesting 4cy Herring Gull again.
The main lake now appears to be ice free but no records were received for the day.
At Stubber's Green Herring Gulls JCH6 and PT8T were seen again (GE).
29 Teal were on the South Shore and 6 Goldeneye on the main lake. Nothing of note was seen in the gull roost (PJ, GE).

A female Merlin was on the west shore (N, PS) and a Water Rail was at Fly Pool (GR). 12 Goldeneyes and 4 Goosanders were on the main lake (GE). An adult Mediterranean Gull (IW) was the only gull of note in the roost which also held 31 Common Gulls (GE, PJ).

An adult Caspian Gull type was present during the afternoon and 32 Common Gulls were in the roost (GE).

A juvenile Peregrine flew over Stubber's Green (GE).

Two Iceland Gulls were in the roost; the regular 5cy and a pale 2/3cy bird. A 3cy Yellow-legged Gull was also present (MG, KC, JA et al).
Iceland Gull (GE)
At Stubber's Green there was a 2cy Yellow-legged Gull and a possible hybrid 3cy Caspian x Herring Gull (MG, KC et al).
Around midday, an adult female Peregrine flew north-west over the Swag and was joined by a male bird, resulting in an aerial display over No Man's Bank. 54 Wigeon were on the Swag and other counts included 2 Buzzards, 25 Teal and 9 Goosanders (GE, PDH). A juvenile Iceland Gull was present until around 16:00 (PJ, IW, PDH) when it flew north and it was seen at the Blithfield roost, along with what were probably the two Iceland Gulls from yesterday. The Chasewater roost held around 4500 Black-headed Gulls and the 'interesting' 4cy Herring Gull type last seen at seen at Stubber's Green on 13th (GE).
Norton Bog
A visit to the Beaudesert Old Park area produced Great Grey Shrike, singing Woodlark, 50 Bramblings, 2 Crossbills and a pair of Ravens (GE).

The gull roost included 4800 Black-headed Gulls, 28 Common Gulls, 52 Great Black-backs, 580 Lesser Black-backs and 400 Herring Gulls (PJ, IW, GE).

At Stubber's Green there was a Great Black-backed Gull with an orange ring with black YC8T which was ringed as a 3cy at Pitsea landfill site, Essex, on 3rd December 2011 (KC).

A disappointing gull roost with many hundreds deciding to fly north to Blithfield. Only around 1200 Black-headed Gulls appeared to stay and most of the remaining 150 large gulls appeared to be late arrivals from the south, presumably Stubber's Green (PJ, GE).
Very little of note was seen in the gull roost/pre roost which peaked at around 400 large gulls (PJ).
Very mild this morning. 2 Willow Tits were present at the feeding station. 5 Red Deer hinds were on the north heath. 60+ Lesser Redpolls (some may have been Mealy) plus a few Siskin were feeding amongst the Alders to the north of the Slurry Pool. Reed Buntings were singing in the Typha beds of Fly Bay and one at the Slurry Pool (KM). The gull roost peaked at around 1200 Black-headed Gulls, 120 Lesser Black-backs, 25 Great Black-backs, 25 Herring Gulls and a Common Gull but many birds were departing to the north again (GE).
10 Goldeneye were present on the main lake. The evening gull gathering was very mobile again with many flying north and peak numbers on the water were around 35 Great Black-backs, 40 Lesser Black-backs, 25 Herring Gulls and 900 Black-headed Gulls (GE).
On the Swag there were 24 Wigeon and 30 Tufted Ducks. Many gulls flew to the north leaving around the same totals on the water as last night (GE).
An Oystercatcher, Grey Wagtail and 2 Gadwall were present (GR).
2 Shelducks were on the main lake along with a Goldeneye and 4 Great Crested Grebes whilst 4 Goosanders were on Norton Bog Lagoon. At the feeding Station there were 12 male Reed Buntings (no females), a Willow Tit and several Bullfinches (GR).
A Redshank was present (IW) and a pair of Buzzards were on the by-pass lamp posts (GR).
On Cuckoo Bank there were Little Grebes on two pools, 6 Goosanders, 2 Gadwall and 12 Tufted Ducks. There were also 26 Red Deer on site (GR).
Around 180 large gulls appeared to be roosting and 80 Lapwings were on the shore (GE).