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May 2019 Diary
Sightings, news and photos from Chasewater and surrounding areas.
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1st The adult Kittiwake, 2 Common Sandpipers and 4 Common Terns were present (CwS).
2nd The Kittiwake was still present along with a Wheatear, Dunlin and 4 Common Terns (CwS).
3rd Four Shelducks and 2 Common Terns were present (CwS).
S 4th A total of 85 bird species was recorded during the day at Chasewater (74) and Cuckoo Bank (67). A team of 4 (but never more than 3 in the field at any one time) put in many hours and walked and cycled many miles. Perhaps the most magic period was before the dawn chorus when a lone songster could show off its musical powers against a background of silence: a night-singing Sedge Warbler at Norton Bog particularly comes to mind. The one drawback of the day was that the weather just wasn't right for bringing down birds on migration, so by 10:00 a total of 79 species had been found and the rest of the day became a slog looking for rogue Treecreepers and Green Woodpeckers rather than indulging in the hoped for exciting spring passage of terns, waders and passerines. Because of this there were only a few highlights with Chasewater producing a Yellow-legged Gull, an Arctic Tern, Cuckoo and Kingfisher whilst Cuckoo Bank had a surprisingly late Fieldfare, a Redstart and a Peregrine.(GE, PJ, N, CwS).
Other sites may have had Cormorants, Greylag Geese and Gadwall but they are a 'boar' compared to this surreal encounter! (GE)
S 5th A Whimbrel was on the north shore (PW).
6th A Dunlin, 3 Common Sandpipers, 2 Oystercatchers, a Common Tern and a 2cy Great Black-backed Gull were recorded CwS).
7th 2 Ringed Plovers were present (PW).
8th Overnight rain, south-westerly winds and heavy showers throughout the day created the perfect conditions we all hoped had occurred on Saturday. Goodness knows what was present prior to the very early dog walkers disturbed the shorelines but by 08:30 a summer plumaged Knot and Grey Plover were present followed by 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Ringed Plovers, a Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, Shelduck and 2 Common Terns. By late morning a Turnstone and a mixed flock of 30 Common/Arctic Terns had arrived which at lunchtime consisted of at least 25 Common and 2 Arctic Terns (CwS). At 14:20 the Knot was on Target Point and a flock of 20 waders, consisting of 2 Redshanks, 10 Ringed Plovers and 8 Dunlin flew from the sailing shore and departed over the north end of the dam. Two Greylag Geese flew in, 30 Common Terns, 2 Oystercatchers and 60 Swifts were also present but as the weather improved the Knot departed (GE, PW, CM). Further showers during the evening brought down another (more blotchy) Knot, a Little Stint, 7 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plovers, a Greenshank flew through and 19 Common Terns were present (CwS, PW). Wader totals for the day were at least 15 Ringed Plovers, 1 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Knot, 2 Redshanks, 1 Greenshank, 16 Dunlin, 1 Little Stint and 1 Turnstone. At least 11 bird species were recorded that were not seen on the All-day birdwatch and 99 species have now been recorded so far this month.
Another day of heavy showers but a more north-north-easterly breeze. During the early morning there were 10 Dunlin, 7 Ringed Plovers, 7 Oystercatchers, a Whimbrel and 2 Common Terns. By mid-day there were 3 Whimbrel, 2 Sanderlings and a Turnstone, reduced numbers of Dunlin and Ringed Plovers and up to 1000 Swifts (CwS). By mid-afternoon there were 9 Common Terns, 6 (rising to 9) Dunlin, 5 Ringed Plovers, 5 Oystercatchers, a Whimbrel, Turnstone, 2 Sanderlings, a Yellow Wagtail, a Hobby, a 2cy Yellow-legged Gull, 2cy Great Black-backed Gull but only 150 Swifts and 400 hirundines. At 17:15 a Whimbrel appeared to fly in and land on the Island (GE, PW). During the evening a Whimbrel and 2 Sanderlings were still present, Dunlin had increased to 14, Turnstones to 2 and 4 Black Terns flew through at around 20:00 (CwS, N, JA). The Black Terns, Hobby, Yellow Wagtail and Sanderlings were new for the month making the monthly total an impressive 103, despite the constant shoreline disturbance by dog-walkers and nowhere to shelter in the rain!
Whimbrel (GE)  
Bar-tailed Godwit (GE) Sanderling (GE) Dunlin (GE)

At 05:30 a Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Dunlin and an Oystercatcher were on the Sailing Shore, a Sanderling appeared at 06:00 but the godwit flew out at 06:20 (GE). Around midday there was an adult Little Gull (JT, PW), summer plumaged Grey Plover, 2 Ringed Plovers, 3 Common Sandpipers, 4 (2 3cy, 2 2cy) Yellow-legged Gulls, a Yellow Wagtail and 300 hirundines (CwS, GE). The Grey Plover remained throughout the heavy afternoon thunderstorm that didn't appear to bring anything down but disappeared as dog-walking activity increased on all the shores. The Little Gull was on the Island during the early evening along with a White Wagtail (CwS).
S 11th 06:00-07:00 Whilst scanning from the dam, a party of 10 grey geese were seen on the Island, all were assumed to be Greylags but on approaching from the Swag end of the lake it became clear that one was a Pink-footed Goose. The flock had gathered along the north shore and the low sun made viewing difficult and at 07:00, as I walked towards the causeway to get better views, 2 pairs of Greylags flew out and the Pinkfoot had also disappeared (GE). A 3cy Mediterranean Gull was also present during the morning (CwS). The Mute Swans on the Swag have two cygnets.
Pink-footed Goose with Greylags in early morning haze (GE)
S 12th A drake Pochard and 27 Tufted Ducks were on the Swag. A Common Tern, 2 Oystercatchers and a Cuckoo were also present (JK).
At Clayhanger there was a Cattle Egret (CM).
13th No records

Norton Bog Lagoon (GE)

Norton Bog (GE)

Floating Club-rush (GE)

Female Orange Tip (GE)
A pleasant walk around the Norton Bog area failed to find any dragonflies on the wing but there was a Large Red Damselfly and several tadpoles were amongst the county rarity Floating Club-rush (GE).
Large Red Damselfly (GE)
15th No records
16th A Turnstone, Sanderling, 3 Ringed Plovers, 2 Common Sandpipers and 2 Common Terns were present (PW).
Sanderling and Ringed Plover (GE) Sanderling (GE)

A Black Tern and an Arctic Tern were present at 06:10 with 15 Common Terns, a Greenshank, Sanderling, Ringed Plover, 2 Oystercatchers and a Common Sandpiper also seen during the day and probably a different Black Tern was present during the late afternoon (GE, PW, CM). The WeBS count also included 7 Canada Geese, 55 Mute Swans, 68 Mallard, 17 Tufted Ducks, 2 Little Grebes, 10 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Grey Herons, 4 Moorhens and 80 Coot (GE).
S 18th No records
S 19th Little of note was present (PW).
20th A Cormorant and a Green Woodpecker were new for the month and 4 Common Terns were present (PW, GE).
21st A Red Kite was seen over Burntwood (GH).
22nd A Dunlin was present (PW).
23rd Four Ringed Plovers and a Dunlin were present (PW).
Green Hairstreak (GE)  Burnet Companian (GE)
Bog Pools  Red-eyed Damselfly (GE) Common Blue Damselfly on a swan's back (GE) 
S 25th Two Dunlin were present (PW).
S 26th No records
27th No records
28th A Dunlin was on the sailing shore (PW).
29th No records
30th No records
31st A Sanderling, 2 Ringed Plovers and 2 Dunlin were present (PW).