Saturday 24 December 2016

Whittington, Staffordshire, Chelmarsh, Shropshire and Belvide, Staffordshire.

Flicking between sites for some good local rarities and an evening of Carols.

The Ironbridge.
Sharon, John and I picked Brian up and went to a site not to far from his house in a wooded valley next to an old style open sewage where we were looking for a wintering Yellow-browed Warbler (Mosquitero Bilistado / Phylloscopus inornatus) which had been around for a while. During the time we were looking for the bird we recorded good numbers of Goldcrests (Reyezuelo Sencillo / Regulus regulus), Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), a couple of wintering Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), both Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii), Treecreeper (Agateador Norteño / Certhia familiaris) and a couple of Song Thrushes (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos) which appear to be doing a bit better than when I left the UK as we saw these birds and several the day before in Derbyshire. After a while we found the Yellow-browed and heard it calling several times as it moved quickly along the row of Hawthorns that lines the sewage works and feed in a large Hazel bush, it was a cracking little bird and I hope it makes it through the approaching cold spell.
The Carol service on the bridge.
We crossed the boarder into Shropshire and up to Chelmarsh Res and down to the end near the scrape, on the way there we had Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Rook (Graja /  Corvus frugilegus), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs).
Once we were at Chelmarsh we scanned the waters near the scrape where we saw Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula) and several Goosander (Serreta Grande / Mergus merganser). We walked along a public foot path to a high point above the main lake and dam area where we scanned the fields and dam walk finding the 6 Tundra Bean Geese (Ánsar Campestre rossicus / Anser fabalis rossicus) which had been around as well as several Greylags (Ansar Común / Anser anser) and calling Bullfinch (Camachuelo Común / Pyrrhula pyrrhula).
Ironbridge High Street.
We walked back to the car and drove across country through Telford and along the A5 to Belvide Res and out to Scot Hide where we sat and waited to see what turned up. We satrted off with good numbers of Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Goldeneye (Porrón Osculado /Bucephala clangula), Lots more Tufted DucksGreat Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Canada Geese (Barnacla Canadiense /Branta canadensis), Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) and just in fornt of the hide in the reeds a couple of Water Rails (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) chased each other and a Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) fed low over the water in the reeds. The Gull roost started to build up with Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Great Black-backed Gull (Gavión Atlántico / Larus marinus), Common (Gaviota Cana /Larus canus) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) being joined by a single adult Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).
We finished the day with views of a wintering Eurasian Bittern (Avetoro Común / Botaurus stellaris) which sat nicely in the reeds just to the left of the hide but it did not move around much and was difficult to see in the wind at times.
Late in the afternoon John and Sharon dropped me back in Albrighton and then Jayne and I headed off down to Ironbridge for an hour of Carols on the bridge with Jayne's Brother David and his wife Pauline who we were staying with for Christmas. A very nice evening with Fish and Chips at a nearby Restaurant.

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