Sunday, 15 January 2017

Sunday January 15th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: After a nine day absence a Great White Egret was at Gilman's Pool with 12 Little Egrets (Roy Smith).

Coton Lakes 
The adult Mediterranean Gull roosted with two Great Black-backed Gulls (Pete Sofley).

Hams Hall
The ringed 'Siberian' Chiffchaff at the outfall, seen today, seems to be a rather more classic tristis than the one previously photographed there. ( See January 4th and 9th Blog entries) per Dave Hutton. The bird which seems settled behind the Wincanton building was seen yesterday (Steve Cawthray). Also today, 12 Common Chiffchaffs at the outfall and 10 Bullfinches near the road bridge (Dave Hutton).

Kingsbury WP
Otter Pool: 214 Lapwings, 42 Cormorants, inc a colour-ringed bird from Essex, first seen here on February 26th 2015 (Steven Pick).

Middleton RSPB
Warks: Two Stonechats were following cattle in the south meadow.
Staffs: Four Shelduck and the hybrid thing were at Jubilee Wetland (all info Steven Pick).

West Mids: The Stonechat is still on the straw bales (Carl Hiles).

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Saturday January 14th

Coton Lakes
A small group gathered for the roost but no sign of the Glaucous Gull. However, slightly more birds came in apart from fewer Herring Gulls. The adult Mediterranean Gull was found early on. Totals were 208 Shovelor, 254 Lesser Black-backs, 72 Common Gulls and a Yellow-legged Gull. Also three Water Rails near the hide, Kingfisher and Cetti's Warbler (Carl Hiles, Tom Perrins, Steven Pick and SMH).

Kingsbury WP
At the model boat pool, 25 Little Egrets were present in the afternoon. On Swann Pool the Red-crested Pochard and Black Swan were still present (Steven Pick, Julian Allen).

Friday, 13 January 2017

Friday January 13th

A bright day, although breezy, and a covering of snow after a night with temperatures around zero. Perhaps there will be some movements as a result.

Warks: I forgot to include that the two Barnacles were still in with Canadas on Monday 9th (Bob Duckhouse). Today, a Stonechat was near Railway Pool and it has been around for a week (Roy Smith).

Coton Lakes
A surprising find today was a second-winter Glaucous Gull, which was found by Alan Dean at 1509hrs, allowing me to get there in good light before it left with other Gulls. Fortunately it returned after 45 mins and was still present at dusk along with adult Mediterranean Gull, 268 Lesseer Black-backs, 114 Herring, 66 Common Gulls and two adult Yellow-legged Gulls.
Alan has commented that "although the eye appears dark, there is a small pink area at the extreme tip of the bill, while 'freckling' on the upperparts is uneven. These features, together with very creamy appearance in January, indicate a second-winter bird."

The Glauc by Alan Dean
This bird is the first at the Coton roost since two individuals in January 2011 and there was a bird at Fisher's Mill around the same time. After almost writing off this winter's Gull roost in Tuesday's Blog, we were very pleased to see this bird and will continue to do it with renewed enthusiasm in November/December.

Hams Hall
Two 'Siberian' Chiffchaffs were along the river today; the ringed bird was at the outfall and the other was still behind the Wincanton building. The snow and fall in temperatures resulted in 18 Common Chiffchaffs being between the outfall and the Ladywalk double gates. A Firecrest is now overdue (John Harris).

Ladywalk NR
The Redpoll sp on the 4th has not been seen again but an image of a bird elsewhere from Graham Catley on Twitter, and reproduced below is apparently a very good likeness (per Pete Sofley).

Middleton RSPB
Warks: Our man did the Egret roost and saw a Great White Egret and 34 Little Egrets at the Hall heronry (Steven Pick).

Wishaw: Golden Plover make a welcome return for Carl Hiles who estimated 297 amongst winter wheat at Wishaw Lane this morning.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Thursday January 12th

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Great White Egret, three Stonechats, 45 Wigeon, 80 Teal and 30 Shovelor at Jubilee Wets and 102 Teal at North Pit.
Warks: Brambling at Gallows Brook, eight Bullfinch, 20 Siskin and 10 Redpoll. Fisher's Mill: 100 Golden Plover over and 21 Pochard, 35 Shovelor, ten Goldeneye (Katie Thorpe).

West Mids: Stonechat still (Carl Hiles).

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Wednesday January 11th

Not much to report today after a blustery day

Shustoke Res
A Raven and a Jack Snipe nearby in a brief visit by Pete Forbes.

West Mids: The Stonechat is still present from yesterday (Carl Hiles).

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Tuesday January 10th

Coton Lakes
A good grilling produced five Shelduck and a drake Pintail on the Lea Marston side. On the Coton Hall side, 56 Pochard, 105 Shovelor, Cetti's, Chiffchaff and Water Rail. The Gull roost has been poor this winter and continued to underwhelm today. The roost generally disperses in mid-January, so this winter is going to be one of the most disappointing we have seen; not entirely unexpected now that open landfill sites are no longer prevalent in the north of the county. The roost held 185 Lesser Black-backed, 110 Herring, two Great Black-backed, two Yellow-legged, 34 Common and ca.3000 Black-headed Gulls (Alan Dean).

Hams Hall
A total of 11 Common Chiffchaffs were between the outfall and Ladywalk double gates today. Also the ringed 'Siberian' Chiffchaff was at the outfall and a second bird was in thick riverside scrub behind the Wincanton building (John Harris). At Sainsbury's, 80 Redwing were on the pyracantha and they roosted in willows by the river (Pete Sofley).

by Pete Lichfield

Kingsbury WP (south end)
The usual adult Yellow-legged Gull remains on Bodymoor Heath Water and on past performance it will depart in the next couple of weeks. The Red-crested Pochard is on Swann Pool with five Goldeneye. Three Goosanders, 18 Little Egrets and 17 Lesser Redpolls were all in the same area (Alan Dean).

Ladywalk NR
Peregrine, ca.100 Teal and 50 Wigeon (Pete Lichfield) 25 Stock Doves roosted with the Cormorants (Pete Sofley).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Great White Egret on Jubilee Wetlands (RSPB).

West Mids: A Stonechat was at the bottom of Wishaw Lane nr the playing field (Carl Hiles).

Monday, 9 January 2017

Monday January 9th

It appears that the weather scuppered any chance of birding today as after trawling the usual blogs, Twitter and internet sites I haven't come across much news. Apart from the following:

Ladywalk NR
18 Little Grebes roosted in the calm waters at the junction of the Blythe and Tame and 18 Meadow Pipits were on the marsh (Pete Sofley).

Shustoke Res
After a remarkable absence recently a Great Crested Grebe has returned with 14 Little Grebes, 47 Pochard and 91 Tufted Ducks (Pete Forbes).


I know that several people tried to get the Chiffchaffs at the weekend, with varying levels of success. To keep the Blog topical, Alan Dean has again offered some images and comment - Thank you, Alan.

Comparison of 'Siberian Chiffchaff' type with 'fulvescens traits and Common Chiffchaff of nominate form collybita.
Note generally tristis-like grey-brown upperparts and off-white underparts of 'fulvescens' bird, lacking the overall more-colourful, olive and yellow appearance of collybita.
However, the 'fulvescens' bird also has pronounced yellowish-olive fringes to remiges, rectrices, coverts and lower scapulars plus a yellow tinge above the eye.


Yesterday marked the anniversary of the discovery of three, increasing to four, Lapland Buntings, at the now-named Richard's Meadow at Kingsbury WP. On January 8th 1978 and until February 26th, when two remained, these birds were enjoyed as part of a mixed flock of 250 Yellowhammers and up to 150  Reed Buntings. Something there for you to dream about....

Incidentally for many years I gave no thought as to how Richard's Meadow came to be named, only recently discovering it is simply named after Richard White, who grazes sheep there from time to time. Richard lives on the A5 at Grendon and runs a very conservation friendly farm there.