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May 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
 
2 Common Terns, 100 Swifts and 3 Wheatears were present (GR).
2nd
 
A Black-tailed Godwit flew around at 18:20, at least 80 Swallows, 15 House Martins and 35 Sand Martins were over the lakes and 13 Tufted Ducks were on the Swag (GE). A Common Sandpiper, 3 Wheatears, 4 Common Terns and Sedge Warbler were present and Willow Tits are nesting near Fly Bay (GR, PW).
3rd
 

2 Ruff, including a full breeding plumaged male, flew in during the evening (GR) and a Common Sandpiper, Cormorant, 7 Teal, a Yellow Wagtail, 240 hirundines, mainly Swallows and Sand Martins (GE), a Wheatear and 2 Grey Partridges were also present (PW).

A Whinchat was on Cuckoo Bank (BM).
4th
 
A male Whinchat was at Norton Bog and 4 Wheatears on the North Shore (GR). Four Common Sandpipers were present (VT, JT) and during the evening there was a Sanderling, Dunlin, Ringed Plover and 6 Little Ringed Plovers on the South Shore (GE).
5th
Sat
 
Sanderling (GE)
The Sanderling was still present along with a Common Sandpiper, 2 Wheatears, a Common Tern and 15 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (GE, PW).
6th
Sun
 
A different Sanderling from yesterday's was present until mid-afternoon when it fell victim to a passing Sparrowhawk! Also present were several Little Ringed Plovers, a Ringed Plover, 2 Oystercatchers, 3 Common Terns, a Yellow Wagtail, Cuckoo and 1-2 singing Reed Warblers around Norton Bog Lagoon where a pair of Great Crested Grebes have two young. 14 Tufted Ducks, 4 Great Crested Grebes and a brood of Mallard was on the Swag (GE, NS, PW).
Sanderling (GE)
Little Grebe Pool
On Cuckoo Bank there was a reeling Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, 3 Whitethroats and a Little Grebe. The only reed-bed on site has been badly affected by grazing (GE).
The reed-bed
7th
 
In Jack's Wood there was a Tawny Owl and a Nuthatch was heard. A Grasshopper Warbler was reeling on the North Shore heath (NS).  2 Wheatears on the south shore showed characteristics of the race leucorhoa in being large, very upright and dark toned with the male particularly deep 'peach' on the throat and upper breast. A Yellow Wagtail and 60 Swallows were noted but perhaps the most unpredicted occurrence was that of one of two Jackdaws actually landing on the shore; something I can't remember having seen at Chasewater in 44 years of watching! Three pairs of Little Ringed Plovers were on the south shore but there was little evidence to indicate they were still on active nests (GE).
8th
 
Another Sanderling was present along with 3 Ringed Plovers and a total of at least 19 Little Ringed Plovers. There would appear to be at least 12 pairs with territories. 2 Red-legged Partridges were on the shore, a Willow Tit was carrying food on the west shore and 2 Common Terns, a Yellow Wagtail and 2 Wheatears were also present (GE, PW).
9th
 
A Lesser Whitethroat was in the scrub at the end of Fly Bay and an Oystercatcher, 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 Common Terns, a Cuckoo and a Wheatear were also seen (PW).
10th
 
No Records.
11th
 
Up to 4 Dunlin were present along with a Common Sandpiper and 3 Common Terns (PW, GE). A Dingy Skipper was seen on the embankment between the Swag and Norton Bog Lagoon (RD).
12th
 
A Cuckoo was frequently calling over Norton Bog whilst another called as it flew high and directly south over the lake. A Sedge Warbler was singing in the inundated willows north of the 'Island' and 150 Lesser Black-backs and 1-2 Herring Gulls gathered to roost. 3 Red Deer were on the North heath where a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling. A Wheatear and 2 Red-legged Partridges were on the Sailing Shore and 14 Little Ringed Plovers were present along the shore between the causeway ad the dam (GE). A Tawny Owl was heard calling at night near the Swag (JHop).
13th
 
An Osprey was seen flying over to the north of the lake at 09:05 and soared high, leaving to the north-west at 09:08 (GT). The Friends of Norton Bog work-party attracted a good turnout and birds noted onsite were 10 Red Deer, 2 high flying Ravens, a singing Garden Warbler, 7+ singing Reed Warblers, 3+ Green Woodpeckers, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Cuckoo, 2 Buzzards, 40 Swifts, a calling Little Grebe and the Great Crested Grebes still have two youngsters (GE). Green Hairstreaks were seen on the heath near the OEC and a Tawny Owl was in Jack's Wood (NS).
The three pools at the south end of Cuckoo Bank all held several teneral Large Red Damselflies (NS).
On Gentleshaw Common there was a male Stonechat and 41 Red Deer were in the fields behind the Redmore Inn (GR).
14th
 
A Whimbrel flew off the 'Island' to the south at around 19:00, 2 Wheatears were present (PW) and on the South Shore there were 3 Ringed Plovers, a Dunlin and 4+ Little Ringed Plovers and a Common Sandpiper was on the Sailing Shore (GE).
15th
 
Counts included single Sanderling, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper and Oystercatcher, 2 Common Terns, 160+ Lesser Black-backs, 6 Herring Gull types, 100+ hirundines, 3 Garden Warblers and a singing Goldcrest (GE, NS, PW, TH, BSm, JHop, TW).
16th
 

A Hobby, a Sanderling, a Dunlin, an Oystercatcher,  2 Common Sandpipers, 6 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Common Terns and 4 Wheatears were noted (PW, CM).

17th
 
An Oystercatcher, 2 Ringed Plovers, a Wheatear were noted and a breeding plumaged Grey Plover was present until at least 16:30 (PW).
18th
 
A Dunlin and a Ringed Plover were on the South Shore where 2 Carrion Crows mobbed a passing Cuckoo (GE).
19th
Sat
 

During the morning there were 3 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover and 8 waders, probably Ringed Plovers, flew through (PW). A Sanderling, 2 Dunlin, 3 Common Terns and 200 hirundines/Swifts were present during the afternoon (GE).

Dunlin (GE)
Sanderling (GE)
20th
Sun
 
Tawny Owl (NS)
A Grey Plover was present on the Sailing Shore during the very early morning, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin and a Ringed Plover were also present and a Tawny Owl was in Jack's Wood (NS). Over 100 Swifts and 2 Common Terns were over the lake but the 3 pairs of Little Ringed Plovers on the South Shore were being constantly, and innocently, disturbed by dog walkers from the 'Wet Noses and Waggy Tails Canine Awareness Day' who had not effectively been made aware of the breeding Schedule 1 birds immediately adjacent to the showground. The only attempt to inform the public was an insert to the event programme which advertised the show sponsors and on the back referred to 'Sensitive areas at Chasewater' in which Little Ringed Plovers were vaguely mentioned but so were the Nightjars nesting in the heather! (GE).
Grey Plover (NS)
21st
 
2 Common Sandpipers, a Dunlin, a Ringed Plover and 2 Common Terns were present (PW). The evening gathering of 260 large gulls on the West Shore included 26 Herring Gull types of which at least 7 (2 2cy, 5 3cy) were Yellow-legged Gulls. 2 Great Black-backs and 24 Black-headed Gulls were also present (GE).
On Cuckoo Bank, ten pairs of Grasshopper Warblers have been located so far (DO).
22nd
 
A Ringed Plover and the usual Little Ringed Plovers were present but there were many dog walkers on the shore (PW).
23rd
 
A Cuckoo and 4 Common Terns were present and the pair of Little Ringed Plovers on the West Shore were seen to mate. The evening gathering of about 140 large gulls included at least 4 (1 2cy, 3 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and a 2cy Great Black-backed Gull. 36 Black-headed Gulls were also present (GE). Both Large Red and Blue-tailed Damselflies were seen at Norton Bog (EO).
24th
 
A Grey Plover was flying around at 19:40 and an Oystercatcher arrived at 20:20. 5 Common Terns were present but no large gulls had gathered by 20:30 (GE).
25th
 
A Dunlin flew through during the morning (PW) and a Sanderling was present during the evening along with 2 Common Terns (GE).
Sanderling (GE)
26th
Sat
 
Sanderling (GE)

Another Sanderling was present along with 2 Ringed Plovers, 4 Common Sandpipers and a Common Tern. A Common Blue and Dingy Skipper were by the 'Newt Pool' and several Red-eyed Damselflies and Blue-tailed Damselflies were at Anglesey Basin where there were also only small patches of Round-leaved Sundew and Deer Grass; both need careful monitoring and management (GE).

27th
Sun
 
A Ringed Plover, 3 Common Sandpipers and a Common Tern were present and 16 Little Ringed Plovers were counted without covering the South Shore where there are usually 3 pairs attempting to nest. Two Cuckoos were calling and 'bubbling' on Norton Bog where there were 15 Dingy Skippers, 6 Four-spotted Chasers, several Large Red, Azure and Common Blue Damselflies and a Brimstone. 2-3 Green Hairstreaks were still on the North Shore and Sailing Shore heaths and 2 Dingy Skippers were on the old Raceway. Small Heaths, Common Blues, Speckled Wood, Orange Tip, Peacock, Green-veined White and Small Whites were also on the wing (GE). An Eyed Hawkmoth was also found on the dam wall (JWo).
Eyed Hawkmoth
(J Woodcock)
28th
 

A Dunlin, Ringed Plover and 2 Common Terns were present (PW).

29th
 
3 Oystercatchers and 3 Common Terns were present (PW). During the evening a Redshank was present and 3 (2cy, 2 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls were amongst a gathering of 22 Lesser Black-backs (GE).
30th  
5 Ringed Plovers were noted, including 3 that flew through (PW). A very late evening visit produced 98 Black-headed Gulls but only around 10 large gulls (GE).
31st
 
4 Ringed Plovers (PW), 5 Common Terns, a Cuckoo, 38 Canada Geese, 100 Swifts and a pair of Lapwings with 3 chicks were present. The gull roost held 103 Black-headed Gulls, 150 Lesser Black-backs, a 2cy Great Black-back and 2 poorly seen Herring Gull types (GE).