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July 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
1st
Sun
 
Bee Orchid
Bog Pimpernel
Southern Marsh Orchid
The April /June period has been the wettest on record and water levels are now around the same as they were during the drought of  1976. In that year there followed the wettest winter on record and the reservoir was full by May 1977.

A Cuckoo (GR), 50 Swifts and a Common Tern were present and the 3 sitting Little Ringed Plovers on the South Shore were still on their nests and the pair with young, near the pier, were very alarmed by a Kestrel which had landed on the shore but appeared to fly off without any prey. 16 Bee Orchids were in flower, as was the small patch of Bog Pimpernel on the South Shore (GE).

2 Siskins flew over the White Horse Estate from the direction of Chasewater (GE).
2nd
 
A Cuckoo, 3 Grey Herons and a Sedge Warbler were seen (GR).
3rd
 
2 Ringed Plovers, several Little Ringed Plovers and 4 juvenile Mistle Thrushes were seen. One Little Ringed Plover was trying to distract 3 Crows away from its nest on the Sailing Shore (GR).
4th
 
6 Common Sandpipers, 9 Common Terns and 77 Canada Geese were present. At least 2 of the 3 pairs of South Shore Little Ringed Plovers were still sitting on nests (GE).
5th
 
No records.
6th
 
A day of yet more torrential rain; it only clearing during the evening when 26 Common Terns were present along with a Curlew, 16 Lapwings, 180 Lesser Black-backs, 2+ Herring Gulls, 3 (2 3cy, 4cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and 330 Black-headed Gulls. One of the South Shore Little Ringed Plover nests is now empty with no sign of young but the other two pairs are still sitting (GE).
After the rain
7th
Sat
 
2 adult Oystercatchers, 10+ Common Terns, 4 Grey Herons, 16 Lapwings, 26 Tufted Ducks, 71 Canada Geese,11 Great Crested Grebes and 70 Coot were noted. 1-2 Ringlets and Meadow Browns appeared during a brief spell of sun. The Little Ringed Plover nest half way along the Sailing Shore is empty with no sign of young but another pair are sitting on 3 eggs and the Sailing Club has been notified of its location. There are no warning signs along this shore and a very concerned dog walker had no idea about the plovers or the Dog Walkers' Code of Conduct. 30 youngsters on the shore, presumably from the Outdoor Education Centre, didn't exactly help the situation. The fast disappearing island along the West Shore holds a pair of Little Ringed Plovers with at least one juvenile which appears to be several days old and hopefully can fledge before the island is completely submerged. Unfortunately, 1-2 Little Ringed Plover territories north of the 'Island' are now under water (GE).
Going, going.....
North end of lake
8th
Sun
 
 The Friends of Norton Bog work party attracted the usual team of friends and work continued to enhance the habitat and facilities on this wonderfully diverse site. Birds noted included 4 Common Terns, 2 Buzzards, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 9 Lapwings, singing Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Reed Warblers and Whitethroats. Ringlets, Meadow Browns, Small Heaths, Speckled Woods and Large Skippers were on the wing (GE).
Part of the team

 

Step 1
Step 4
Crane Brook
Common Spotted Orchid
Bilberry x Cowberry or Cannock Chase Berry

A Ring-necked Parakeet was reported from a Norton Canes garden.

9th
 
11 Common Terns were present and the 2 remaining South Shore Little Ringed Plover nests continue to be incubated (GE).
10th
 

At dusk, 14 Common Terns, a Ringed Plover and 80 Swifts were present. The Little Ringed Plover nest on the South Shore is now empty and no birds were present but the nest near the pier wasn't checked (GE).
11th
 
At dusk there were 21 Common Terns, a Common Sandpiper and 8 Little Ringed Plovers. The Little Ringed Plover nest on the Sailing Shore is now empty and deserted but the one near the pier is still active (GE).
12th
 
A quick walk over the 'Balcony' shore a dusk produced 23 Lapwings, 7 Common Terns and only one Little Ringed Plover, implying that the 3-4 territories are now abandoned (GE).
13th
 
No records.
14th
Sat
 
During the evening there were at least 5 Oystercatchers, 113 Lapwings, a Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, 52 Tufted Ducks, 14+ Common Terns and 67 Canada Geese. Up to 200 large gulls arrived to roost including 9 (2cy, 4 3cy, 4 4cy/ad) Yellow-legged Gulls. It was good to see that the Little Ringed Plovers on the West Shore island have at least 2 nearly fledged juveniles, perhaps indicating that the breeding failure elsewhere on site has been down to lack of protection rather than the bad weather (GE).
15th
Sun
 
6 Oystercatchers, a Dunlin, a Common Sandpiper and 4 Common Terns were present. Hopefully the Little Ringed Plovers on the West Shore island have fledged as there was no sign of them but the Lapwings still have young and were mobbing a Magpie. At least one 3cy Yellow-legged Gull was present along with a near adult Herring Gull and several Lesser Black-backs (GE, JO, TB).

16th
 

No records.

17th
 
2 (3cy, ad) Yellow-legged Gulls were on buoys whilst the main gathering of large gulls were in the distance on the end of the Island. An Oystercatcher and at least 4 Common Terns were present. The Little Ringed Plovers are no longer sitting near the pier but behaviour indicated that they may have chicks and it is clear that the original pair has been successful in rearing 2 fledged young (GE).
Yellow-legged Gull (GE)
Juvenile and ringed adult Common Terns (GE)
18th
 
3 Common Terns were present (GE).
19th
 

No records.

20th
 
3 3cy Yellow-legged Gulls were on the pontoon with about 15 Lesser Black-backs and 3 Common Terns were present (GE).
On Cuckoo Bank there was a Raven, Little Grebe with young, a Reed and Sedge Warbler, 2 Pheasants, 2 Buzzards and a Skylark feeding young (GR).
21st
Sat
 
No records.
22nd
Sun
 
76 Tufted Ducks were present along with 6 Common Terns and a Black-tailed Skimmer (GE).
23rd
 
A brief appearance was made by a Spotted Redshank during the afternoon despite the large amount of disturbance (GR).
24th
 
Two juvenile Little Ringed Plovers were near the pier and a Yellow Wagtail flew over. Essex Skippers were along the West Shore railway-line and the conservation pool near the main entrance where there was also a male Black-tailed Skimmer (GE). Good numbers of Emerald Damselflies were on the pool near Chasewater Heaths station (MS). An Oystercatcher was also present (GR).
On Gentleshaw Common there was a pair of Stonechats and an impressive display of Bog Asphodel (GE).
A Nightjar was churring on Hednesford Hills (GE).
25th
 
Around 100 large gulls were on the lake during the early evening (GE).
26th
 
A Hobby was over the North Heath at 15:30 (GR), 4 Common Terns, 3 Cormorants and 40 House Martins were present and amongst 150 large gulls there were at least 4 (3 3cy, 1 adult) Yellow-legged Gulls and 4 juvenile Lesser Black-backs (GE).

On Gentleshaw Common there was a Marbled White (only previously recorded in the south-west of the county), 2 Grasshopper Warblers (one reeling), a Cuckoo, a pair of Stonechats and excellent areas of Bog Asphodel, Cranberry and Round-leaved Sundew. 30 Crossbills were drinking from the pools near the entrance to Castle Ring (GE).

Marbled White (GE)
27th
 
 A Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers, 4 (3 juvs) Little Ringed Plovers and 48 Lapwings were present. At 18:45 a Little Egret joined the gulls on the pontoon, eventually settling in Fly Bay. The roost of 300 large gulls held at least 3 (2cy,3cy,adult) Yellow-legged Gulls, 8 Herring Gulls and the rest being Lesser Black-backs including 2 adult intermedius (GE, PW).
 Little Egret and intermedius Lesser Black-back (GE)
On Cuckoo Bank there were 2 Hobbies (PW).
30 Swifts were still over the Pelsall breeding colony (GE).
28th
Sat
 

The gull roost held 715 Black-headed Gulls and 450 large gulls including at least 3 (2cy, 3cy, adult) Yellow-legged Gulls (GE).

29th
Sun
 
2 Common Sandpipers, an Oystercatcher, 5 Grey Herons and 30 Swifts were present. The gull roost was around the same size as last night and included 12 Herring Gulls and 5 (3 2cy, 3cy, adult) Yellow-legged Gulls (GE).
A Hobby was on Cuckoo Bank (PW).
30th
 
A Sanderling, 4 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Common Terns and 30 Swifts were present. The gull roost was impressive as it gathered as a silhouette against a beautiful sunset (PW, GE).
31st
 
2 Common Sandpipers, a Ringed Plover and a Common Tern were present and there is now confirmation that the second pair of Little Ringed Plovers that nested near the pier successfully hatched young with at least one unfledged juvenile present today along with one adult (PW). A brief look through 200 large gulls during the early evening produced at least 5 Yellow-legged Gulls including 2 2cy, 1 3cy, 2 3/4cy and a probable juvenile (GE).