Thursday 1st January, Coppice Hill, Cannock Chase, 9:20 - 11:30
As Bono used to say, "all is quiet on New Years Day". Well, it was when I left home, but I can't say the same about the couple of hours I spent on the chase this morning. Actually, it's a new area of the chase for me.
It was quite an eventful wait before the Hawfinch eventually appeared (a county tick). Including cars parking up, containing birders, and blocking the view for the rest of us who decided to park further away and stand at a reasonable distance. And a happy new year to them too!
Other birds in the area included Willow Tit, Yellowhammer and a couple of flyover Siskins.
Doxey Marshes, 11:45 - 13:20
Due to the conditions there is very little water exposed on both Tillington and Cresswell flashes at Doxey today. Perhaps it wasn't a surprise not to see any White-Fronted Geese. But there was a calling Water Rail (squeal piggy!), 2 Snipe, 3 Goosander, 2 Stonechat.
On arrival back at my car, I was tucking into my roast beef and horseradish butties and thinking of heading to Uttoxeter Quarry, when the phone rang. It was Blurred Martyn. "If you're interested Stuart and I have 3 Bewick's Swans at Whitemoor Haye!"
Instead of returning to Uttoxeter to see if the goose flock containing the recent Brent might have reappeared, I decided to jump on the Bewick's bandwagon! (You see, don't put silly comments on your blog. It'll only come back to bite you on the bum!)
Whitemoor Haye, 14:00 - 15:00
Voila! Well, two of the three Bewick's Swans anyway.
It's a really good record these days. In days of yore, "when I were a lad", there was a regular herd of about 40 Bewick's Swans in the Whitemoor Haye/Croxall area, every winter without fail. It doesn't happen very often at all these days. Also at Whitemoor Haye were 2 Whooper Swans and good numbers of Corn Buntings and Tree Sparrows.
It was well worth it considering the torrent of abuse, and accusations of suppressing the Brent Goose, that I received! All in good humour though. But I really really haven't been to Uttoxeter today, blame the Hawfinch! I promise I'll check tomorrow, see if that goose flock have returned.