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March 2016 Diary
Sightings, news and photos from Chasewater and surrounding areas.
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 Tues 1st 30 Goldeneye were present (GE). The Ring-necked Parakeet roosted but the gull roost was smaller than recently with only 1800 large gulls and nothing of note (PJ)
Wed 2nd 3 Yellow-legged Gulls (adult and 2 3cy) and a 2cy Caspian Gull were present in a roost that showed well despite the weather (PJ)
Thurs 3rd The Ring-necked Parakeet roosted and around 1800 large gulls roosted including 2 (adult, 2cy) Yellow-legged Gulls, 35 Great Black-backed Gulls and 350 Herring Gulls with the rest being Lesser Black-backs. (PJ)
Fri 4th No records
Sat 5th No records
Sun 6th In Jack's Wood there was a pair of Nuthatch, a Treecreeper and a pair of Buzzards whilst around the old vicarage there was another Treecreeper and a Willow Tit.  A large adult Glaucous Gull came late into a roost of 2800+ large gulls. 4 Yellow-legged Gulls were also present (2 adult, 2 3cy) (PJ).
Mon 7th At least 3500 large gulls roosted including 3 (2 adult, 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and a 4cy Caspian Gull.
Tues 8th The Ring-necked Parakeet was along the west shore and an adult Kittiwake roosted.
At Stubber's Green there was a sub-adult (4cy) Yellow-legged Gull, the pale 3cy Herring Gull, 2 Oystercatchers, 17 (6 drakes) Goosanders and 87 Jackdaws, one of which showed a pale collar and resembled the 'Nordic' race (GE).
 
4cy Yellow-legged Gull (GE)
Wed 9th A good sized roost held a very interesting dark, velvety 2cy bird that could prove to be an American Herring Gull. It was also present last night.Also present were 4 (2 adult, 3cy, 2cy) Yellow-legged Gulls.
Thurs 10th The interesting 2cy gull that could well prove to be an American Herring Gull was again present in the roost although only seen at long range and in poor light. The following shots, however, give an impression of the bird's distinctive appearance. A brief flap showed mid-brown outer primaries, paler inner primaries and a darker secondary bar but the rump and tail were not seen tonight but the rump and under-tail coverts have been clearly seen to be heavily barred and the tail completely dark (GE, PJ, IW).
Also present was this rather small 3cy Mediterranean Gull which raised thoughts of possible hybrid origins, the pale 3cy Herring Gull and the Ring-necked Parakeet (GE).
Fri 11th An Avocet was swimming amongst the Black-headed Gulls in the middle of the lake during the afternoon (GE) and stayed till dusk despite being harrassed by the gulls. A Shelduck and the Ring-necked Parakeet were also present. No sign of the possible American Herring Gull tonight in the large roost which did hold a smart 2cy Caspian Gull, 4 (2 adult, 4cy, 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls, the pale 3cy Herring Gull and better views were had of the odd Mediterranean Gull and it's now felt that it is actually an adult Mediterranean x Black-headed Gull (PJ, GE et al).

Avocet (GE)


Record shot of 2cy Caspian Gull (SN)
At Stubber's Green there were 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls (GE) that later roosted at Chasewater.
Sat 12th The Ring-necked Parakeet roosted as did 3 (adult, 2 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls. A Noctule was seen at dusk.
Sun 13th A new, pale 2cy Iceland Gull roosted along with a 4cy Yellow-legged Gull. The Ring-necked Parakeet and an Oystercatcher were seen at dusk.
Mon 14th The monthly WeBS count produced 86 Mute Swans, 32 Canada Geese, 4 Gadwall, 1 Teal, 76 Mallard, 2 Pochard, 181 Tufted Ducks, 45 Goldeneye, 5 Goosanders, 8 Cormorants, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Little Grebe, 17 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Moorhens and 254 Coot. A Willow Tit was at the feeding station along  with several Bullfinches, Greenfinches, Chaffinches and Reed Buntings (GE).
Tues 15th A Redshank was on the dam (GR). Just an adult Yellow-legged Gull was present in a roost of over 2400 large gulls (PJ).
Wed 16th No records
Thurs 17th A roost of over 3000 large gulls and 2500 Black-headed Gulls but nothing of note was seen.
Fri 18th A 3cy Yellow-legged Gull roosted amongst around 3500 large gulls.
Sat 19th Two (adult, 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls roosted, 54 Goldeneye were counted and the Ring-necked Parakeet was present at 17:25. A Red Kite was seen over Burntwood (DHa).
Sun 20th Two adult Yellow-legged Gulls and an adult Mediterranean Gull were in the roost. A Shelduck was on the North Shore and the Ring-necked Parakeet was present at 17:15. A Red Kite was seen over Burntwood (N).
Mon 21st A drake Ring-necked Duck was showing well in Fly Bay and remained till dark (PJ). This is only the second site record of this North American duck, the first being on November 5th 2005. To add to the fun a Red Kite flew over the Sailing Club at 17:05 and was followed by 3 Common Cranes flying north-west at 17:10! The Ring-necked Parakeet was heard at 17:20 as it flew in from the west.
Tues 22nd The Ring-necked Duck was in Fly Bay during the early morning (GE) but it flew to The Swag around 09:00 returning to the main lake at 16:18, first in Fly Bay and then near the Island (IBu) and was still present at dusk. Two Grey Wagtails and a Chiffchaff were present and during the evening 5 Sand Martins were over the lake and an adult Yellow-legged Gull was in the roost.
Drake Ring-necked Duck (GE).
Wed 23rd

The Ring-necked Duck was present in Fly Bay from 07:20 till 08:40 when it flew to the west end out of sight. It reappeared on The Swag where it spent much of the day (KS, KW). There was a passage of hirundines with maximum counts of 10 Sand Martins and 3 Swallows. Two Willow Tits were in the west shore wood.



Ring-necked Duck (KS)
Thurs 24th During the morning the Ring-necked Duck was on the main lake, north of the Island (N) but had flown to the Swag by mid-afternoon. It was still present at dusk along with up to 40 Sand Martins. Two Buzzards, 7 Cormorants and a duck Goosander were also present (CM).
Fri 25th The Ring-necked Duck was in Fly Bay early this morning (KW) but it flew to Norton Bog Lagoon (Slurry Pool). Three Chiffchaffs were singing (CM).
Sat 26th The Ring-necked Duck was on Norton Bog Lagoon (Slurry Pool). A Wheatear, 2 Blackcaps, up to 100 Sand Martins and 3 Chiffchaffs were also present.
Sun 27th
The Ring-necked Duck was on the south side of Norton Bog Lagoon (Slurry Pool) at 08:50 (RSw) where it appeared to spend the day. A Little Ringed Plover, 2 House Martins, 3 Swallows, at least 175 Sand Martins and 6 Chiffchaffs were also present (PJ).
Image by Keith Whitehouse  
Mon 28th The Ring-necked Duck was still present on Norton Bog Lagoon and 2 Sandwich Terns were on the raft before flying off during the early afternoon (PJ, THa). A Peregrine, over 300 Sand Martins, 6 House Martins and 6 Swallows were present at dusk when the gull roost held 3 (2 3cy, 4cy) Yellow-legged Gulls. Three Greylag Geese were also seen.
Tues 29th No sign of the Ring-necked Duck today. A 3cy Yellow-legged Gull was seen at dusk.
Wed 30th A Willow Warbler was on the North Heath and a Willow Tit was in the west shore wood. 55 Tufted Ducks and 14 Goldeneye were on the Swag. Up to 300 Sand Martins and a few Swallows were present at dusk, presumably preparing to roost in the Norton Bog reedbeds and 1-2 Redwings were heard. The Ring-necked Parakeet appeared at 19:10 and a 3cy Yellow-legged Gull roosted along with over 300 Lesser Black-backs, 10 Herring Gulls and 600 Black-headed Gulls (GE).
Thurs 31st Willow Tits were heard singing near the feeding station and on the north side of the Swag (PJ).