Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Various Sites near Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK

Another day with UK Birds.

Jayne and all three of her sisters arranged a days shopping at Telford town centre and as tempting as it was to join them I was talked out of it by a friend and spent a day visiting some of my old birding haunts when I live in Shropshire. John Morgan kindly gave up a days work so that we could catch up on things and do some birding, we met at Priorslee lake which is just off junction 4 of the M54 on the edge of Telford new town. While we were there I picked up another very common species in the UK which I had not seen for some time a Herring Gull (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus). In the far corner there was a largish flock of Tufted Ducks (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula) and Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), along with a single Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor), several Mallards (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus).
We then went towards Shrewsbury and called in at Venus Pool, one of the best sites in the county but today it was fairly quiet. From the main hide the highlight was a single Marsh Tit (Carbonero Palustre / Poecile palustris) which was feeding on the dried out heads of Teasels along with several Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis). Out on the pool the commonest duck was Eurasian Wigeon (Silbón Europeo / Anas Penelope), closely followed by Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata) and Common Pochard, with a pair of Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta) and a single Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna). I was quite surprised to find just a single Greylag Goose (Ansar Común / Anser anser) as in the past there were usually large flocks of both them and Canada Geese (Barnacla Canadiense / Branta canadensis) present. We then had a walk to the woodland hide where several feeders hang and large numbers of passerines come to take advantage along with several Grey Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis). Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Great (Carbonero Común / Parus major), Marsh and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) were all there along with Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), several Dunnocks (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) and Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula). Later we had a walk along the hedges of the top field towards the fishing pool, here we picked up good numbers of Yellowhammers (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella), Tree Sparrows (Gorrión Molinero / Passer Montanus) and a single Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus). Other species seen here included Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus), Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba subsp yarrellii).
We then carried on towards a small pool just on the out skirts of Shrewsbury called the Mere hoping for some views of some reported Goosanders (Serreta Grande / Mergus merganser). They were almost the first birds we saw, 3 males and 5 females were swimming on this quite unlikely site in the middle of a housing estate along with Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor), Canada Geese (Barnacla Canadiense / Branta Canadensis), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata).
On our way back towards Telford we stopped on the verge to look at a flock of Swans some way off on a Beet field, all but one were Mute but there was a single adult Whooper (Cisne Cantor / Cygnus Cygnus) amongst them.
Our final stop was at our starting point at Priorslee Lake for the Gull Roost, the best bird turned out to be an adult Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis). Not very exciting for me and I was much happier watching the few Herring Gulls there, accompanied by hundreds of Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus).
What had been a great day had come to an end all too quickly and John dropped me back to Albrighton, Thanks John for a great day.
Photographs from the top: Grey Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), Goosanders (Serreta Grande / Mergus merganser), Canada Goose (Barnacla Canadiense / Branta Canadensis), Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Whooper Swan (Cisne Cantor / Cygnus Cygnus) middle bird.

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