Friday, 23 December 2016

Beeley, Derbyshire and Chasewater, Staffordshire.

A lifer for my old British List and a few other good species.

Sharon, John and I headed North from their house and were soon on site in a very cold village called Beeley in Derbyshire looking for a Dusky Thrush (Zorzal eunomo ??? / Turdus eunomus) which had been around for a few weeks. John and Sharon had aready seen this bird but were kind enought to go up again and look for it again even though it was freezing. We arrived and soon started finding Thrushes including Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Fieldfare (Zorzal Real / Turdus pilaris), Redwing (Zorzal Alirrojo / Turdus illacus), Song (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos) and Mistle Thrushes (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) as well as Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Rook (Graja /  Corvus frugilegus), Goldcrest (Reyezuelo Sencillo / Regulus regulus), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Siskin (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Treecreeper (Agateador Norteño / Certhia familiaris), Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) and Pheasant (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus).
Eventually whilst we were checking a small orchard a little further along one of the lanes Sharon noticed that everyone had gone from the wall where we had been looking so we walked back and found that the Dusky Thrush had been found out on the fields quite a walk away and typically up hill from where we were. Once on site I stood for a minute to get some air into my burning lungs and to stop the pains in my legs before having a further 10 to 15 minutes watching this cracking little Thrush on the far side of the field. It was quite a way away from us which meant the shot were rubbish but the views through the scope was great, the bird was chasing other species off from the spot where it was feeding until all the birds flew up and away. There were many more birds in the flock made up od 100+ Redwings with other Thrushes mixed in, we dd not relocate the bird again so decided to head south again calling in at Croxall on our way to Chasewater in Staffs.
On the way to Croxall we picked up Greylag Geese (Ansar Común / Anser anser), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and at the pools and fields at Croxall we found Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus).
We moved on down to Chasewater where Sharon dropped us at the Dam and later picked us up on the far side near the railway station, in between we had good views in bad light of a female Red-breasted Merganser (Serreta Mediana / Mergus serrator), Goosander (Serreta Grande / Mergus merganser), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Goldeneye (Porrón Osculado /Bucephala clangula), a female Velvet Scoter (Negrón Especulado / Melanitta fusca), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Canada Geese (Barnacla Canadiense /Branta canadensis) and later as the light dropped even further towards dusk the Gull roost 
built up and John and I managed to find Black-headed, Common (Gaviota Cana /Larus canus), Herring (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Great Black-backed (Gavión Atlántico / Larus marinus), Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and with the help of a local Gull expert who I do not know the name of we had views of adult and 1st winter Caspian Gulls (Gaviota Cáspica / Larus cachinnans) before dark.
We then headed back to Sharon and Johns ready for our evening meal and a second days birding tomorrow.

Photographs from the top: A distant Dusky Thrush (Zorzal eunomo ??? / Turdus eunomus), 4x Fieldfares (Zorzal Real / Turdus pilaris), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Greylag Goose (Ansar Común / Anser anser), female Red-breasted Merganser (Serreta Mediana / Mergus serrator) and a Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor).

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