Sunday 22 January 2023

Whitemore Hay, Tucklesholme Nature Reserve, Barton / Branston Gravel Pits and Chasewater, Staffordshire, UK.

Another days birding with Sharon and John.

A Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus) in the frost.
As usual with my trips back to the UK they get rushed at the end so I was very pleased to have another day out birding with good friends Sharon and John so I drove over to their place where we had some breakfast before heading up the A5 and then the A38 to Whitemore Hay area.
Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus).
We parked along Barley Green Lane where we checked the frost covered hedges for some reported Tree Sparrows (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), as we searched we saw Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and then a group of around 18 Tree Sparrows flew into the Hedge and then into the trees surrounding a nearby garden.
Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula).
Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula).
John walked back to get the car whilst Sharon and I walked to a parking spot a bit further along the road, from here we walked around the fields and gravel workings on what was the old road, as we went we added Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), a large flock of 38 Egyptian Geese (Ganso del Nilo / Alopochen aegyptiaca) and several European Brown Hares (Lepus europaeus).
Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
We continued on adding Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Greylag Geese (Ansar Común / Anser anser), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Redwing (Zorzal Alirrojo / Turdus illacus), Fieldfare (Zorzal Real / Turdus pilaris) and good numbers of Yellowhammers (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella) and a few Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus).
European Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus).
Egyptian Geese (Ganso del Nilo / Alopochen aegyptiaca).
We turned around after a while and walked back towards the car finding Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) and a distant flyby Great Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba).
Yellowhammer (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella).
Yellowhammers (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella).
We eached the car and after a very welcome hot coffee  we headed for Branston Gravel Pits, on the way we checked a flock of Mute Swans for a couple of
Bewick Swans (Cygnus columbianus / Cisne chico) but without any luck, as we continued on we picked up Rook (Graja / Corvus frugilegus) and Pheasant (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus) and during a very brief visit to Tucklesholme Nature Reserve Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula), Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Goosander (Serreta Grande / Mergus merganser).
Yellowhammer (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella).
Yellowhammer (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella).
We arrived at Branston and we walked out to a couple of the pits, we saw Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Canada Geese (Barnacla Canadiense /Branta canadensis), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata), Stock Dove (Paloma Zurita / Columba oenas), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), 2x Bullfinch (Camachuelo Común / Pyrrhula pyrrhula) and a calling Common Treecreeper (Agateador Norteño / Certhia familiaris).
Mute Swans (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor).
We decided to head for Chasewater and to a spot there were we saw a large Tit flock which included Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Willow Tit (Carbonero sibilino / Poecile montanus) both new for the day and out on the main lake from the area called the balcony we had the Great Northern Diver (Colimbo Grande / Gavia immer) and Shag (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis) that had been around for a while.
Goosander (Serreta Grande / Mergus merganser), Tufted Ducks (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula) and Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus).
We walked down to the Swag and back again seeing Tufted Ducks, Goosander and adding Goldeneye (Porrón Osculado /Bucephala clangula), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Great Black-backed (Gavión Atlántico / Larus marinus) and Common Gulls (Gaviota Cana / Larus canus) and just before we were about to leave we got a call that the adult Iceland Gull (Gaviota Groenlandesa / Larus glaucoides) had just flown in and landed a little way back down towards the Swag so we went down and were soon watching the bird in amongst the lage assembled Gull flock. 
Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula) male.

Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula) female.

After getting views of the Gull we headed back to Sharon and John's and then I headed back to Albrighton for my last night. 

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