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February 2017 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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Wed 1st An influx of new birds this evening resulted in 4 (2 adult, 4cy, 3cy) Caspian Gulls and 8 (2 adult, 5cy, 4cy, 4 3cy ) Yellow-legged Gulls roosting.
Thurs 2nd The Velvet Scoter and a Pintail were present and 4 (adult, 5cy, 2 4cy) Caspian Gulls, 5 (3 adult, 2 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and a well hooded adult Mediterranean Gull were seen in the roost.
A Little Egret was again present along Crane Brook, off Wharf Lane, near The Triangle.
Fri 3rd The Velvet Scoter was off the South Shore. The gull roost held 2 (4cy, 2cy) new Caspian Gulls, 6 (3 adult, 3 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and an adult Mediterranean Gull. An impressive total of 8 individual Caspian Gulls has been recorded this week (PJ, JA et al).
On Cuckoo Bank there were over 30 Skylarks, 2 Stock Doves, a few Meadow Pipits and Reed Buntings and 4 Song Thrushes and one Mistle Thrush in song (GHa).
Sat 4th The Velvet Scoter was still present, a Water Rail and Stonechat were on the North Shore and a Chiffchaff was at Norton Bog. A 4cy Glaucous Gull and a 3cy Iceland Gull roosted along with a 2cy Caspian Gull, 3 (2 adult, 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and 4 adult Mediterranean Gulls (SR et al). A Tawny Owl has been regularly hooting near the Swag recently (RG).
Sun 5th The Velvet Scoter, a Little Egret and a Kingfisher were present (CM). A 3cy Glaucous Gull, 6 (3 adult, 5cy, 2 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls, 3 adult Mediterranean Gulls and the hybrid putative Ring-billed x Lesser Black-backed Gull were in the roost (PJ, CM et al).
Mon 6th A Shelduck and 2 Goosanders were present (PW).The rain made viewing difficult but 4 (3 adults, 2cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and an adult Mediterranean Gull were seen.
Tues 7th The Velvet Scoter, 32 Goldeneye, a Goosander, 5 Pochard, 8 Teal, 5 Wigeon, a Gadwall, a Kingfisher and a pair of Stonechats were present (GE, JA). The gull roost held 4 (2 adult, 2 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and an adult Caspian Gull before all the birds on the lake were cleared by a high powered bird-scaring laser emanating from the Water-ski Club compound. Some people seem to have the wrong idea of what a Site of Special Scientific Importance actually means - it's not a playground for boys and their high-tech toys.
Wed 8th The Velvet Scoter and a Shelduck were present till dusk. A 3cy Caspian Gull, 3 (2 adult, 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and an adult Mediterranean Gull came in to roost but the bird-scaring laser again cleared the southern section of the lake of birds.
Thurs 9th The Velvet Scoter was near the Island at dusk. The gull roost held a 3cy Caspian Gull, 3 (adult, 2 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls.
Fri 10th The monthly WeBS count produced 76 Mute Swans, 21 Canada Geese, 118 Mallard, 2 Pintail, 32 Wigeon, 9 Teal, 4 Gadwall, 440 Tufted Ducks, 6 Pochard, 32 Goldeneye, 1 Goosander, the Velvet Scoter, 8 Cormorants, 1 Grey Heron, 492 Coot, 24 Moorhens, 14 Great Crested Grebes, 9 Little Grebes and 11 Lapwings. The feeding station was full of activity with at least 10 Reed Buntings, 8 Bullfinches, 10 Great Tits and 10 Long-tailed Tits but no Willow Tit was seen, the only record I've heard of this year coming from the west shore wood (GE). Two Kingfishers and a Chiffchaff were at the Swag. The gull roost held 2 (4cy, 3cy) Caspian Gulls, 6 (5 adult, 2cy) Yellow-legged Gulls, an adult Mediterranean Gull and the putative hybrid Lesser Black-backed x Ring-billed Gull but unfortunately the bird-scaring laser was again used and this has been reported to the Staffordshire CC Rangers who are determined to stop this activity as a damaging operation on a SSSI.
A rather poor record shot of the hybrid gull which has been a frequent visitor to the roost. I reserve any judgement since I've never had better views than this distant and dusky one (GE).
Sat 11th An Oystercatcher flew over the south shore at 11:30 and a female Merlin flew north at 15:30. The Velvet Scoter and 2 Pintail were at the north end of the lake. The gull roost held fewer large gulls than recently but over 15000 Black-headed Gulls was noteworthy.
Sun 12th The gull roost held a 2cy Glaucous Gull, a 2cy Iceland Gull and a 4cy Caspian Gull.
Mon 13th A 2cy Glaucous Gull, 3cy Caspian Gull, 3cy Yellow-legged Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull roosted.
Tues 14th The Velvet Scoter was near the Island at dusk and a 2cy Glaucous Gull, 3 (2 adult, 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and an adult Mediterranean Gull roosted.
On a murky Cuckoo Bank there were 4 Skylarks, 9 Meadow Pipits and single Jay, Fieldfare and Buzzard (GHa).
Wed 15th A Ringed Plover was on the Sailing Shore (GR) but heavy afternoon rain reduced sightings to a count of 86 Lapwings on the Water-ski Club jetty (GE). Rain cleared in time for the gull roost, in which 2 (2cy, 3cy) Glaucous Gulls were present but the 3cy bird flew north-east at 16:45. Also present were 2 (adult, 4cy) Caspian Gulls, 5 (adult, 5cy, 2 3cy, 2cy) Yellow-legged Gulls and a 2cy Mediterranean Gull.
Thurs 16th A 2cy Glaucous Gull, 2 4cy Caspian Gulls, an adult Yellow-legged Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull roosted and the Velvet Scoter was present.
Fri 17th The Velvet Scoter, 5 Shelducks and 2 Pintail were at the north end of the lake. Only around 1000 large gulls roosted, including 2 (adult, 4cy) Caspian Gulls and 3 (adult, 2 5cy) Yellow-legged Gulls.
Sat 18th The Velvet Scoter was present for its 82nd day. The gull roost held a 3cy Caspian Gull and 2 (adult, 4cy) Yellow-legged Gulls.
Sun 19th The Velvet Scoter and 2 Pintail were present. A 2cy Glaucous Gull, 4cy Caspian Gull and a 4cy Yellow-legged Gull roosted.
On Cuckoo Bank there were about 15 Skylarks, 5 Lesser Redpolls, a Meadow Pipit, Green Woodpecker, Jay and 2 Ravens (GHa).
Mon 20th The Velvet Scoter and 2 Pintail were present. A 2cy Glaucous Gull, 4cy Caspian Gull and a 4cy Yellow-legged Gull roosted.
On Cuckoo Bank there were about 15 Skylarks, 5 Lesser Redpolls, a Meadow Pipit, Green Woodpecker, Jay and 2 Ravens (GHa).
Tues 21st An Oystercatcher was in the south-west corner. Two sub-adult Caspian Gulls and 4 (3 adult, 2cy) Yellow-legged Gulls were in the roost which, as last night, showed an increase in immature Herring Gulls, which are now equal in number to Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
Wed 22nd The Velvet Scoter, 2 Goosanders and several Goldeneye were on the lake (GE). The roost held 2 (adult, sub-adult) Caspian Gulls and 4 (2 adult, 2 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls.
Thurs 23rd Storm Doris made observations difficult but the Velvet Scoter was seen and the gull roost held at least a 4cy Caspian Gull and 3 (2 adult, 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls.
Fri 24th The Velvet Scoter and 2 Pintail continue to be present. A very smart 2cy Caspian Gull roosted along with 6 (3 adult, 4cy, 2 3cy ) Yellow-legged Gulls.
Sat 25th The Velvet Scoter was north of the Island at dusk. Three (adult, 4cy, 2cy) Caspian Gulls were seen, the 2cy flying off to the north-east at 16:30 and the other two staying to roost along with 5 (3 adult, 4cy,3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls.
Sun 26th The Velvet Scoter was with Goldeneyes off the south-shore at dusk. The roost held 3 2cy Caspian Gulls and 5 (3 adult, 5cy, 4cy) Yellow-legged Gulls along with increased numbers of 2cy Herring Gulls, argentatus Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls.
Mon 27th The Velvet Scoter and 2 Pintail were present and the roost held an adult/sub-adult Glaucous Gull but no Caspian or Yellow-legged Gulls had been seen by 18:15.
Tues 28th The Velvet Scoter, 9 Little Grebes (CV), 7 Gadwall and a pair of Stonechats (PW) were present. At least 6 (5 adult, 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls roosted along with an increase in large gulls from last night including another influx of Herring Gulls.
On Cuckoo Bank there were over 40 Skylarks, 27 Lapwings, 5 Reed Buntings and a Yellowhammer (GHa).