Sunday, 27 November 2011

Wish you were here

There was the thought of a twitch to Chew Valley Lake this weekend. But in the end as a famous twitcher once said, I couldn't be bothered, but stayed closer to home instead.

Yesterday began at Uttoxeter Quarry for the morning. Looks like the Red-crested Pochard has now moved on, but present were 284 Golden Plover, 6 Snipe, 7 Curlew, 1 Green Sand, 2 Goldeneye, 3 Goosander, 5 Pochard, 2 Shoveler and 25 Wigeon.

The afternoon was spent at the gull meccas of Stubber's Green and the roost at Chasewater, with the Azorean Yellow-legged Gull being seen again at Stubber's in the week. Not a large number of gulls at Stubber's during the couple of hours I was there, and the wind really started picking up. But there was an adult Caspian Gull in, and an adult Med Gull.

Heading over to Chasewater, the presumed/putative/probable (any other words beginning with P?) Azorean Yellow-legged Gull was on the water.

I've never been to The Azores but I can't imagine it being anything like Chasewater. But it must be happy enough in it's stay. At one stage, and completely missed at the time, it was briefly accompanied by an adult Med Gull. Didn't notice that until looking through my photos, although the Med Gull was seen a bit later on.

Also around were 2 "ordinary" adult Yellow-legged Gulls and a Whooper Swan.

Onto today. Not much change at Uttoxeter Quarry, with Goosanders increased to 10. The rest of the time was spent at Blithfield. Not a huge amount out of the ordinary, and the reservoir really could do with some rain to fill Tad Bay and Blithe Bay. As a result, with the exception of Teal there's not a lot of duck in.

24 Dunlin in Blithe Bay. Tad had 58 Golden Plover, 1 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 2 Shelduck, 4 Goosander, 5 Goldeneye and 2 Ravens. And incidentally, this is the feeding station in Stansley Wood.

Plenty of food in the feeders, but no birds using them. Perhaps due to the mild autumn and plenty of natural food still around? Maybe, but look closer and there could be another explanation!

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