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September 2018 Diary
Sightings, news and photos from Chasewater and surrounding areas.
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S 1st
A moulting adult Black Tern was present along with 3 juvenile Dunlin, 3 (2 adults, 1juv) Ringed Plovers and a Common Sandpiper (PW).
Back of the camera image of the Black Tern (PW).  

S 2nd Three Ringed Plovers were present (NS).
3rd One Ringed Plover was seen (PW).
4th No records
5th
Three juvenile Ringed Plovers, a juvenile Dunlin, a Common Sandpiper, 1 Wigeon, 8 Greylag Geese, 137 Canada Geese, a Redstart, 2 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler and a Treecreeper were noted along with 2 Migrant Hawkers and a very white leucistic Grey Squirrel (GE).
  Migrant Hawker (GE)
6th No records
7th No records
S 8th
Sunrise (GE) Two juvenile Curlew Sandpipers in the rain (GE).

The 24 hour birdwatch started at midnight whilst a presumably stolen car burned on the south shore and loud music blasted out from the Watersports Centre; a perfect demonstration why Chasewater isn't everyone's favourite venue for connecting with nature. However, a peaceful dawn eventually cast first light over a calm lake and the species list started to grow. Many of the sites taking part in the event were nature reserves being worked by teams of several observers but we never had more than three at any time and, of course, no hides to shelter from the increasingly frequent and saturating rain. By midday we were down to two observers but 69 species had been recorded and we had high hopes of achieving our target of 80 species. The incesent noise from the Watersports' PA system and water-skiers along with the weather challenged our resolve but at 14:00, the discovery of Chasewater's first Curlew Sandpipers for many years was encouraging but the failure to find a single House Sparrow and a general lack of passerine migrants resulted in the final total for the Chasewater and Cuckoo Bank area being 79 species. Two Ravens,1-2 Swifts, 200 House Martins, 120 Swallows, 1-2 Sand Martins, a Nuthatch and a Cetti's Warbler were amongst those recorded whilst the monthly WeBS count produced 58 Mute Swans, 8 Greylag Geese, 137 Canada Geese, 7 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 2 Gadwall, 264 Mallard, 6 Shoveler, 361 Tufted Ducks, 1 Cormorant, 3 Grey Herons, 17 Little Grebes, 20 Great Crested Grebes, 28 Moorhens, 670 Coot, 40 Lapwings, 5 Ringed Plovers, the 2 juvenile Curlew Sandpipers, 1 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper, 6 Snipe and a Kingfisher (CwS, PJ, GE).
Cuckoo Bank contributed a further 12 species to the 67 seen at Chasewater with a Tree Pipit, a Goosander, a Green Sandpiper and a Willow Tit being noteworthy (CwS).
S 9th The 5 Ringed Plovers and 2 Common Sandpipers were present but there was no sign of the Curlew Sandpipers (PW).
10th The 5 juvenile Ringed Plovers, at least one Swift, several hirundines and Chiffchaffs (PW) were present along with 4 Shovelers, 7 Wigeon and 2 Little Grebes on the Swag (GH). Twelve Wigeon, over 30 Lapwings, 3 Little Grebes, a Great Black-backed Gull, 4 Linnets and a Willow Warbler were also noted (JK).

On Cuckoo Bank there were 8 Meadow Pipits, a Whitethroat, Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff (GH).
11th The 5 Ringed Plovers and 2 Common Sandpipers were present (PW).
12th A Little Egret was present along with the 5 Ringed Plovers, a Common Sandpiper and several Chiffchaffs (PW).
13th Three juvenile Ringed Plovers were on the Sailing Shore (GE).
14th The Little Egret, a Common Sandpiper and 4 Ringed Plovers were seen (PW).
S 15th On Cuckoo Bank there was a Redstart and many Chiffchaffs (N).
S 16th No records
17th Six (1 adult, 5 juveniles) Ringed Plovers were present (PW).
18th A Kingfisher flew over the Swag and 5 juvenile Ringed Plovers were on the Sailing Shore (GE).
19th A Wryneck was present at The Poplars Landfill, Cannock (SBi).
20th Three Ringed Plovers (GR) and good numbers of hirundines were noted (PW).
21st A juvenile Ringed Plover was present (PW).
S 22nd A 1cy Grey Phalarope was present throughout the day. It spent most of the time out near the middle of the lake and could be observed from the dam. This is the first site record since a 1cy in October 2001 and the long-staying adult bird in November-December 2003. Two Black-tailed Godwits, a Ringed Plover and 3 Common Sandpipers were also present and during the evening 2 Common Terns and an Arctic Tern roosted on the Island (CwS).
On Cuckoo Bank there were 5 Whinchats and a Wheatear (CwS).
On No Man'sBank there was another Whinchat (CwS).
At Kingswood there were 4 Whinchats and 2 Stonechats (CwS).
S 23rd
The Grey Phalarope was still present throughout the day. Around 400 hirundines (one less after a Sparrowhawk attacked the flock) were over the lake comprising roughly 150 Swallows, 250 House Martins and a few Sand Martins. A Common Sandpiper and 1-2 Grey Wagtails were also present (GE, NS, CwS). At 18;42 18 Pink-footed Geese flew south and a 1cy Mediterranean Gull and a Common Gull were present (CwS).

On Cuckoo Bank there were again several Whinchats and a good passage of Meadow Pipits (N).
  First-winter Grey Phalarope (GE)
24th The Grey Phalarope was feeding in the middle of the lake during the morning and still present at dusk (CwS).
Previous records of Grey Phalarope at Chasewater have been of singles on 7-9th October 1976, 16th October 1987 (The Great Gale), 28th September 1988, 9th January 1994, 13-15th October 2001, and 4th November to 5th December 2003 (GE).
25th There was no sign of the phalarope from the dam during the morning (CwS).
On Cuckoo Bank there was a Stonechat, Whinchat and a Wheatear (GH).
26th

A sunny but very quiet day with just 40 bird species recorded in two and a half hours during the morning. Thirteen Teal were in Fly Bay and 3 Small Coppers, a Small Heath, Migrant Hawker and Common Darters were on the wing. The poor year for Vanessa butterflies was reflected by the total lack of Red Admirals on the ivy covered derelict house at the north end of the dam. The low water-levels have produced a very attractive shoreline for waders but dog disturbance is, as usual, almost constant (GE).

 
Small Heath (GE)
 
Small Copper (GE)
 
Plenty of Ivy but no Red Admirals (GE)
 
Sailing Shore (GE)
 
West Shore embankment repairs (GE)
 
North Heath (GE)
27th A juvenile Ringed Plover was present (DL).
28th No records
S 29th A Ringed Plover was present (CwS).
S 30th A Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper were present (CwS).