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December 2015 Diary
Sightings, news and photos from Chasewater and surrounding areas.
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For latest bird news in the local area see Staffordshire Bird News (external link)

 

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Tues 1st The Shag and Ring-necked Parakeet were present again. The gull roost held 2adult Caspian Gulls, 3 adult Yellow-legged Gulls and an adult Mediterranean Gull.
At Stubber's Green there was an adult Caspian Gull (KC).
Wed 2nd The Ring-necked Parakeet was around the Waterski Club at dusk and the Shag was around the ski-ramp. The gull roost held what appeared to be the smaller Caspian Gull present earlier at Stubber's Green (GE).
Where's 'Polly'? (GE) Shag on the ramp (GE)

At Stubber's Green there was an interesting selection of gulls including these two adult Caspian Gulls (GE).
A rather small and short legged bird with a striking 'Thayer's type' p10 but features average out as a good Caspian.
The larger bird below has a more typical p10 and general primary pattern with grey tongues. It has a paler iris but again overall traits point to a good Caspian (GE).
White headed argentatus Herring Gulls (below) add to the confusion!
 

Thurs 3rd The Ring-necked Parakeet was again around the Waterski Club at around 15:10 before flying to roost somewhere along the west shore (CM, JJH). The Shag was on the raft where at one time it was pinned down by a Great Black-backed Gull and forced to regurgitate a fish. The roost held 2 adult Caspian Gulls and 3 (2 adult, 1cy) Yellow-legged Gulls.
Fri 4th A Great Northern Diver was present, the Shag was on the nearby raft and a Shoveler was by the island. The Ring-necked Parakeet was again by the Waterski Club. The gull roost held 2 adult Caspian Gulls and 4 (3 adult, 1cy) Yellow-legged Gulls.
The most recent copy of the Chasewater Rangers newsletter can be found here (courtesy of Brownhills Bob and his blog).
At Stubber's Green there was an adult Yellow-legged Gull and an adult Herring Gull with black ring J2689 (GE).
Sat 5th The Great Northern Diver was seen to fly east at 10:30 and the Shag was still on the raft but there was no sign of it during the late afternoon. A good crowd at the gull roost produced 2 adult Caspian Gulls, 3 (2 adult, 2cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and a 2cy Mediterranean Gull.
A Short-eared Owl was seen over No Man's Bank at 15:45.

Adult Caspian Gull and 2cy Mediterranean Gull
Ring-necked Parakeet (Phil Jones and Julian Allen).

At Stubber's Green there was an adult Caspian Gull, adult Yellow-legged Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull (JA).
Sun 6th The Ring-necked Parakeet flew in at 15:30 and the gull roost held 2 adult Caspian Gulls and 2 (adult, 1cy) Yellow-legged Gulls.  Both a Short-eared Owl and Barn Owl were seen over the north shore heath at around 16:00.
Mon 7th The Short-eared Owl was hunting over the north shore heath just before dark (GE, GJM). The Ring-necked Parakeet was seen at 16:00 and 2 (adult, 3cy) Caspian Gulls were in the roost.
At Stubber's Green there was a 1cy Yellow-legged Gull (GE).
Tues 8th The Short-eared Owl was seen ove the north shore during the late afternoon. An adult Caspian Gull and adult Yellow-legged Gull were seen in the roost.
At Stubber's Green there was an adult Yellow-legged Gull and a possible 2cy Caspian x Herring gull hybrid (GE).

A 2cy bird showing many Caspian features but more of a Herring Gull build - a good proportion of our Caspian type gulls are likely to originate from the mixed southern Baltic colonies where hybridisation with argentatus Herring Gulls is frequent (GE).
 
Wed 9th The Short-eared Owl flew across the lake at 14:00 to hunt over the west shore and the Ring-necked Parakeet was seen at 15:50. The gull roost held at least 5000 large gulls including 4 (2 adult, 3cy, 2cy) Caspian Gulls and 3 (adult, 2cy, 1cy) Yellow-legged Gulls. The vast majority appear to be arriving from Cannock where at least 3000 are feeding at the Poplars Tip.
At Stubber's Green there were 2 (adult, 1cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and an adult Lesser-black Backed Gull with red ring PYC; this bird has been a regular visitor since 2009 (GE).
1cy Yellow-legged Gull (GE) Adult Yellow-legged Gull (GE)
Thurs 10th Poor viewing conditions produced just 2 adult Caspian Gulls in the roost.
At Stubber's Green there was an adult Caspian Gull and adult Yellow-legged Gull (KC).
Fri 11th The monthly WeBS count produced totals of: 74 Mute Swans, 2 Greylag Geese, 26 Canada Geese, 40 Wigeon, 8 Gadwall, 102 Mallard, 1 Shoveler, 8 Pochard, 321 Tufted Ducks, 32 Goldeneye, 1 Goosander, 11 Cormorants, 1 Grey Heron, 12 Little Grebes, 14 Great Crested Grebes, 22 Moorhens, 938 Coot, 120 Lapwings and a Kingfisher. Also present were 2 Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel, a Raven, 13 Fieldfares and a Willow Tit (GE). The Ring-necked Parakeet was heard at 15:30 and the large gull roost held 2 adult Caspian Gulls, an adult Yellow-legged Gull and a 2cy Mediterranean Gull.
Sat 12th A 4cy Caspian Gull and an adult Yellow-legged Gull were seen in the roost during very wet conditions.
Sun 13th The Short-eared Owl was over the west shore before flying over the M6 Toll. The roost held 2 adult Caspian Gulls.
Mon 14th A Red-crested Pochard was seen on the Swag at 12:50 (SBi) and the Short-eared Owl was on the west shore. The large gull roost, containing around 7400 large gulls, held 4 (2 adult, 3cy, 1cy) Caspian Gulls and 2 (adult, 2cy) Yellow-legged Gulls, all of which had been seen previously in the roost this winter.
At 11:20 80-90 Pink-footed Geese flew over Burntwood towards Chasewater (PW).
Tues 15th At least 36 Goldeneye and 6 Goosanders (including 3 in Anglesey Basin and 2 on Plant Swag) were present but there was no sign of the Red-crested Pochard and Tufted Duck and Wigeon numbers had fallen since the 11th. The Ring-necked Parakeet was near the Waterski Club around 15:40 and the gull roost held at least 2 adult Caspian Gulls and an adult Yellow-legged Gull (GE).
At Stubber's Green there were 2 Goosanders, 2 adult Caspian Gulls and an adult Yellow-legged Gull (GE).
The larger and smaller adult Caspian Gulls at Stubber's Green (GE).
Wed 16th 2 (adult, 1cy) Caspian Gulls and an adult Yellow-legged Gull were seen in the roost.
Thurs 17th The roost held 3 (2 adult, 1cy) Caspian Gulls and 2 (adult, 1cy) Yellow-legged Gulls.
Fri 18th Two pipistrelle bats were flying around the west shore wood. Two adult Yellow-legged Gulls and 3 (adult, 2 1cy) Caspian Gulls roosted including a new large male 1cy bird showing clasic features.
Sat 19th The Ring-necked Parakeet was along the west shore at 15:30. The roost held an adult Caspian Gull and an adult Yellow-legged Gull.
Sun 20th The Ring-necked Parakeet was again along the west shore from around 15:30. An adult Iceland Gull, adult Glaucous Gull and 2 adult Caspian Gulls were in the roost.
Mon 21st
At Stubber's Green there was an adult Caspian Gull (HK).
Tues 22nd The Ring-necked Parakeet was seen at 15:30. An adult Iceland Gull, 4 ( 2 adult, 3cy, 1cy) Caspian Gulls and 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls roosted.
Wed 23rd The Ring-necked Parakeet was around at 15:30 having flown in from over the M6 Toll. The adult Iceland Gull, 4 Caspian Gulls (2 adult, 3cy, 1cy) and 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls were in the roost.
Thurs 24th At Stubber's Green there was a Polish ringed Mediterranean Gull and 2 (adult, 1cy) Yellow-legged Gulls (KC).
Fri 25th No records
Sat 26th The Ring-necked Parakeet was calling along the west shore and the roost held an adult and 1cy Caspian Gulls (JA).
Sun 27th An adult Caspian Gull roosted (JPM).
Mon 28th Two adult Caspian Gulls and an adult Yellow-legged Gull roosted and a Short-eared Owl hunted over the west shore at 16:34 (JA).
At Stubber's Green there was a 2cy Mediterranean Gull (JA).
Tues 29th The Ring-necked Parakeet was present around the west shore from 15:30 and at 16:40 the Short-eared Owl flew from the north of the lake towards Brownhills. The gull roost held an adult Glaucous Gull, 2 (adult, 1cy) Caspian Gulls and 3 (adult, 2cy, 1cy) Yellow-legged Gulls.
At Stubber's Green there was an adult Caspian Gull from 13:55 and 14:02 (IM).
Wed 30th The Ring-necked Parakeet was present at 15:25. An adult Caspian Gull and 2 (adult, 1cy) Yellow-legged Gulls roosted but very wet conditions made viewing difficult.
Thurs 31st More heavy rain affected viewing but a Stonechat was on the north heath and the Ring-necked Parakeet appeared at 16:10 and the roost held an adult Caspian Gull, 3 (2 adult, 1cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and 2 (adult, 2cy)) Mediterranean Gulls.