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March 2019 Diary
Sightings, news and photos from Chasewater and surrounding areas.
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1st A smart adult Kittiwake was a pleasant addition to the roost which also held the 2 (adult, 3cy) Glaucous Gulls, a 3cy Yellow-legged Gull, around 1000 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 5000 Black-headed Gulls. A Tawny Owl was also heard (CwS, PJ, GE, AJE).
S 2nd The larger, clean-headed adult Iceland Gull reappeared in the roost along with the 2 (adult, 3cy) Glaucous Gulls, a 3cy Caspian Gull and 3 (adult, 3cy, 2cy) Yellow-legged Gulls (CwS).
S 3rd The stormy conditions added to an enjoyable roost which held the 2 (adult, 3cy) Glaucous Gulls and an adult Yellow-legged Gull (CwS).
4th Sand Martins have been reported from several West Midland sites over the past few days and Chasewater had its first record today at 15:30 when one flew over the dam (PDH). Many of the gulls in the roost were gathered close in to the west shore providing great views of the 2 (adult, 3cy) Glaucous Gulls, 2 (4cy and a new 2cy) Caspian Gulls and 2 (5cy, 3cy) Yellow-legged Gulls (CwS, PJ, PDH).
5th Two 3cy Yellow-legged Gulls were the only gulls of note in the roost (CwS).
Another showery day with the torrential evening rain and associated rainbow appearing to put most of the gull roost to flight before eventually settling but the only birds of note were 2 (3cy, 2cy) Yellow-legged Gulls. On the Swag there were 6 Goldeneye and 7 Shovelers and during the morning 53 Meadow Pipits were on the north heath (CwS, GE).
7th Around 40 Sand Martins flew through at 17:00 with just 2 present over Target Point at 17:30. Three Chiffchaffs were singing along the west shore and a Blackcap was in a horse paddock hedge. The gull roost held a 2cy Caspian Gull and a 3cy Yellow-legged Gull (CwS).
8th A Redshank was on the north shore and 4 (5cy, 3cy, 2cy) Yellow-legged Gulls roosted (CwS).
S 9th Three Oystercatchers, 3 Sand Martins and 2 singing Chiffchaffs were present but nothing of note was seen in the reducing gull roost (CwS).
S 10th Five Oystercatchers and 4 Sand Martins were present during the morning. The gull roost held an interesting 3cy Iceland Gull type that showed a grey outer webs to the primaries when preening and could prove to be a L. g. kumlieni or even a Thayer's Gull (CwS).
Yesterday's interesting gull was again present in the roost. It showed fairly well and the impression is that it is certainly a dark individual and tending more towards Thayer's Gull. It would be greatly appreciated if more observers could assist in gaining as much detail as possible of this gull which could even be a returning individual, as a 2cy Thayer's type was seen exactly one year ago (CwS, PJ).
  A greatly cropped image of the gull (CwS)
12th The interesting gull was again present but still not providing sufficient detail for a certain identification. Two (3cy, 2cy) Yellow-legged Gulls were also seen (CwS, GE).
13th The interesting gull was present again and better images were obtained allowing a more detailed analysis of plumage details to be made. It would appear that the general concensus is that non of the bird's features rule out a 3cy argentatus Herring Gull although it is clearly not typical. It's always a frustration to ponder whether these apparently atypical birds are of a random occurrance or are actually typical of certain discrete, probably northern, populations. The roost also held up to 5000 Black-headed Gulls and 1500 large gulls but many were still arriving after dusk. A Curlew attempted to land on the island but was disturbed by gulls, an Oystercatcher was on the north shore, 21 Goldeneye, 3-4 Sand Martins and a Chiffchaff were also present (CwS, GE, PJ, KW).
14th A Redshank was on the island and 2 Sand Martins were briefly present. A 3cy Mediterranean Gull and 2 3cy Yellow-legged Gulls roosted (CwS).
15th Four Sand Martins were present and 2 Greylag Geese flew to the west, A 3cy Yellow-legged Gull roosted (CwS).
S 16th Three Crossbills flying north along the west shore were new for the year. Two Oystercatchers and a Redshank were also present and the gull roost held a 3cy Yellow-legged Gull and an influx of argenteus Herring Gulls with 750 present by 17;30 (CwS).
S 17th Two Curlews circled overhead before flying north and 6 Sand Martins were present. The roost held the 2cy Glaucous x Herring Gull hybrid, a 2cy Caspian Gull, a 4cy Yellow-legged Gull and 2 pale argentatus Herring Gulls (CwS, N).
18th The first Little Ringed Plover of the year was present along with an Oystercatcher and a Curlew. A Brambling was in the west shore wood. The gull roost held the 2cy Glaucous x Herring Gull hybrid and a 2cy Caspian Gull (CwS).
19th The 2cy Glaucous x Herring Gull hybrid and a 3cy Yellow-legged Gull roosted (CwS).
20th During the evening there were 3 Oystercatchers on the Island (CwS).
21st Fourteen Goldeneyes were present at dusk and the ever reducing gull roost held around 800 Black-headed Gulls and a 3cy Yellow-legged Gull flew to the Island (CwS, N, GE).
Male and female Bullfinches at the feeding station (GE)

The monthly WeBS count produced the following totals: 22 Canada Geese, 58 Mute Swans, 6 Gadwall, 11 Wigeon, 53 Mallard, 10 Teal, 102 Tufted Ducks, 14 Goldeneyes, 5 Goosanders, 5 Little Grebes, 14 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Cormorant, 20 Moorhens, 178 Coot and 4 Lapwings. A gathering of gulls on the Island included over 20 Great Black-backed Gulls and a 3cy Yellow-legged Gull. A Brambling was on the South Shore, 7 Sand Martins, 5 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Tit, 3 Grey Wagtails, 4 Buzzards and a Kingfisher were amongst the 62 bird species recorded during the morning and early afternoon. A tight flock of probable Sand Martins appeared high over the dam briefly, and distantly, but didn't appear to descend (GE).

2cy Great Black-backed Gull and 3cy Yellow-legged Gull (GE) 2cy Herring Gull (GE)
S 23rd A Little Ringed Plover, 2 Oystercatchers, 4 Goldeneye and a Willow Tit  were present  and an Egyptian Goose was on the Island (CM) - This is the first record of Egyptian Goose since a flock of up to eight was present from May to October 2007 (GE).
S 24th No records.
25th A Willow Warbler was calling along the railway, 2 Oystercatchers were on the Island and the 3cy Yellow-legged Gull roosted (CwS).
26th Around 600 Black-headed Gulls were on the lake during the morning, 2 Oystercatchers were present and 2 Blackcaps were in song (GE, DW). The 3cy Yellow-legged Gull roosted again (CwS).
27th No records
28th On the North Heath there were 5 Chiffchaffs, 2 Reed Buntings, 11 Bullfinches, a Siskin, 2 Buzzards, 6 Stock Doves, 3 Jays and a Tawny Owl (AB).
29th No records
S 30th A Common Sandpiper was on the dam (CM). Two adult Mediterranean Gulls and a 3cy Yellow-legged Gull roosted and a Noctule and pipistrelle were in flight at dusk (CwS).
A Red Kite was over Brownhills Common (CM).
S 31st Two Little Ringed Plovers, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Oystercatchers and at least one Swallow were present (CwS).