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December 2014 Diary
Sightings, news and photos from Chasewater and surrounding areas.
Scroll down to view the whole month.

For latest bird news in the local area see Staffordshire Bird News (external link)

 

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Mon 1st An adult Caspian Gull and 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls roosted.
Tues 2nd No records.
Wed 3rd No records.
Thurs 4th On the Swag there were 60 Wigeon, 4 Shovelers, 6 Teal and 5 Pochard. An adult and a 1cy Caspian Gull, 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls and the white-winged adult Herring Gull roosted, whilst the Starling roost over Norton Bog continues to impress (GE).
Fri 5th 3-4000 Starlings roosted and 2 (adult, 1cy) Caspian Gulls, 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls and an adult Mediterranean Gull were present.
Sat 6th Awkward viewing in light winds tonight but 3 adult Yellow-legged Gulls and a 2cy Caspian Gull were noted.
Sun 7th
An adult Iceland Gull, 1cy Caspian Gull, adult Yellow-legged Gull and the white-winged adult Herring Gull were in the roost along with increased numbers of Common, Great Black-backed and argentatus Herring Gulls after a day of north-westerlies. The Iceland Gull could very well be the returning bird first seen during the 2008/9 winter.
Sparrowhawk looking for its supper (PTr).
Mon 8th
 
Goosander (GE) Swan Lady and friends.  
The monthly Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) produced the following totals: 63 Mute Swans, 49 Canada Geese, 65 Wigeon, 2 Gadwall, 4 Teal, 123 Mallard, 6 Pochard, 202 Tufted Ducks, 5 Goldeneye, 5 Goosanders, 3 Grey Herons, 15 Little Grebes, 21 Great Crested Grebes, 11 Cormorants, 42 Moorhens, 936 Coot, 153 Lapwings, 18 Snipe and 2 Jack Snipe.  Eight Red Deer were on the north heath and 3 Buzzards were over the dam. The very impressive gull roost held the adult Iceland Gull, adult Caspian Gull and the white-winged Herring Gull which appears to be a sub-adult as it has a dark sub-terminal mark on the bill and is almost certainly the same bird seen and photographed in Sheffield from November 17th-21st (GE).
Tues 9th An adult Bewick's Swan was on the south-shore during the late afternoon (CR). This is the first record for several years of this increasingly scarce winter visitor.
Wed 10th No records.
Thurs 11th An adult Caspian Gull and adult Yellow-legged Gull were present in the roost (GE).
Fri 12th No records.
Sat 13th In the roost there were two 2w Caspian Gulls, an adult Yellow-legged Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull.
An interesting bird seen off the South Shore with features of Ring-billed Gull or hybrid was observed and photographed from the South Shore by the NGB and is being much discussed. See Facebook Group for more details (threads dated 13-14th Dec, Craig Reed, Zac Hinchcliffe, Matthew Bruce et al).
Sun 14th A juvenile Great Northen Diver was present (MR) and the gull roost held an adult and 2w Caspian Gulls, 3 adult and a 2w Yellow-legged Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull.
Yesterday's hybrid gull is thought to have roosted at Belvide along with the white-winged Herring Gull.
Mon 15th The juvenile Great Northern Diver was present throughout the day, mainly very actively diving in the middle of the lake. A Chiffchaff was near the Sailing Club and 12 Goldeneye were also present (GE). The gull roost held 2 (1cy, 2cy) Caspian Gulls and 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls.

Diver at dusk (GE).


Otidia Leporina (PT)
The list of Ascomycetes has now been updated to a total of 194 species including another species, Otidia Leporina of which there are possibly only 2 other records in Britain. Peter has also now provided some early data for Basidiomycetes, these being mushrooms, brackets, puffballs, club fungi etc, most of which have English names (PT).
Tues 16th The Great Northern Diver has relocated to Ryder's Mere where it has provided close views (CM). The putative hybrid Ring-billed x Lesser Black-backed Gull was again present in the roost along with a 2cy and probable adult Caspian Gulls, 3 adult Yellow-legged Gulls and an adult Mediterranean Gull (CR). Prior to flying to the main lake to roost, a 3cy Yellow-legged Gull was on Jeffrey's Swag along with the 2cy Caspian Gull (GE).
2cy Caspian Gull on The Swag (GE) 3cy Yellow-legged Gull on The Swag (GE).
Wed 17th The Great Northern Diver remained at Ryder's Mere throughout the day apart from half an hour around midday when it flew south to perhaps have a look at Stubber's Green (PW). A brief look at the gull roost till 15:30 produced an adult Caspian Gull, an adult Yellow-legged Gull and 12 Common Gulls (GE).
Thurs 18th The Great Northern Diver was still on Ryder's Mere at midday.
Fri 19th Adult Caspian Gull, three adult and a 3w Yellow-legged Gulls, 3 adult Mediterranean Gulls and the white-winged Herring Gull in the roost. The all white Black-headed Gull was also present.
Sat 20th

Great Northern Diver at Ryders Mere (HK)

Adult Med Gull at Stubbers Green (HK)
Ring No PNU5

Three adult Yellow-legged Gulls, two adult Mediterranean Gulls and the leucistic Black-headed Gull were in the roost.
Sun 21st The gull roost held 3 Caspian Gulls (adult and 2 2w), 4 Yellow-legged Gulls (3adult and 2w) and an adult Mediterranean Gull.
Mon 22nd No records.
Tues 23rd The roost held 2 (2cy, adult) Caspian Gulls, 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls and an adult Mediterranean Gull along with 5600 Lesser Black-backs, 4300 Herring Gulls, 190 Great Black-backs and uncounted thousands of Black-headed Gulls.
Sadly a Barn Owl was a road casualty last night just south of Chasewater.
Wed 24th The Great Northern Diver was still present at Ryder's Mere, Pelsall.
Thurs 25th
An adult Iceland Gull was picked up in the roost this evening along with 3 Caspian Gulls (ad, 2w and 1w), adult Yellow-legged Gull, 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls and the white winged Herring Gull.
Fri 26th Rain turning to snow created difficult conditions to examine the gull roost but at least the adult Iceland Gull, adult Caspian Gull and 2 (1cy, adult) Yellow-legged Gulls were present.
The Great Northern Diver is still present at Ryder's Mere (CM).
Sat 27th The gull roost was widely spread and difficult to cover but there were at least 4 (2cy, 3 adult) Yellow-legged Gulls and an adult Mediterranean Gull present.
Sun 28th A 1cy Caspian Gull and 3 adult Yellow-legged Gulls roosted along with the putative hybrid Lesser Black-backed x Ring-billed Gull and a leucistic Black-headed Gull with dark primaries.
Mon 29th During the morning a Chiffchaff and a Water Rail were below the dam and 2 Willow Tits were at the feeding station. The gull roost held 470 Great Black-backed Gulls, the white-winged Herring Gull and 2 (1cy, adult) Caspian Gulls.
Tues 30th The Great Northern Diver is still at Ryder's Mere, Pelsall.
Wed 31st The roost held 3 (1cy, 2cy, adult) Caspian Gulls and 4 (1cy, 3 adult) Yellow-legged Gulls.