Friday, 20 January 2017

Friday January 20th


Coton Lakes
The Red-crested Pochard was on Lake 2A still. An Oystercatcher was seen by others (Alan Dean).

Hams Hall
The ringed 'Siberian' Chiffchaff was at the outfall with nine Common Chiffchaffs. Along the river a further nine Chiffchaffs and a Common Sandpiper still (John Harris).

Ladywalk NR

photo Pete Lichfield
A Goldcrest was nicely photographed but seems to have a dodgy leg. Other sightings were Shelduck, c200 Teal, 75 Wigeon, 50 Shovelor, six Pochard, three Goosander and three Little Egrets (Pete Lichfield).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Great White Egret on Jubilee Wetland and also 21 Snipe, 200 Lapwing, 150 Teal, and 80 Wigeon.
Warks: 20 Pochard and 10 Goldeneye on Fisher's Mill (RSPB).

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Thursday January 19th


Alvecote Pools
Warks: A cracking nine Whooper Swans (three juveniles) on Mill Pool was a great find on another dull misty day. Also Great White Egret still (Roy Smith). There was a small movement across our area today with 21 at Blithfield Res too; these birds arriving at 1550hrs.  

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Nine Shelduck, Stonechat and Cetti's Warbler were the highlights (Steve Atkinson).

The future of the Tame Valley 

Enormous credit is due to the naturalists that have been visiting The Valley since the end of the gravel extraction period, commencing at the south end around 1970. Their records have been kept, often in private notes, but also in a form that is accessible such as the WMBC Reports and the monthly BTO Wildfowl Counts (WEBS). Occasionally the importance of these records (or lack of them) is underlined when someone tries to achieve some form of protection for the area we all take for granted.

Over the past few weeks Tracey Doherty of Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Project has been in touch as she is trying to obtain designation of the whole valley as a 'Local Wildlife Site'. Tracey has said that threats to the area will undoubtedly arise from HS2 (definitely) and the Coleshill Neighbourhood Project, amongst others. A Local Wildlife Site, once designated, has to be considered and mitigated for to show no biodiversity loss during any planning process.

The birders that contribute counts to the Blog and ultimately to the Annual Bird Report are vital protectors of the habitats we enjoy. Without these counts we cannot substantiate the data we can now put forward to planners and others that seek to develop sites in and around the Tame Valley.

With reference to https://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/webs/data/species-threshold-levels we have been able to provide counts from birders in the Tame Valley and show that certain species are present here that are in numbers of national (UK) significance. These are Gadwall, Shovelor, Tufted Duck, Coot, Little Egret, Cormorant and occasionally Pochard.

So please make an effort to safeguard these valuable habitats. Some of The Valley is in good hands but we must be on guard to protect some other areas from development.

Your records in the form of a count are vitally important. Any help here is really appreciated. At least one count a month of the key species will assist me in maintaining records, which can ultimately make an important difference.


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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Wednesday January 18th


Alvecote Pools
WEBS count highlights on Monday: Mallard 95, Tufted 82, Goosander 15, Gadwall 26, Teal 32, Scaup 1, Shelduck 1, Canada 66, Mute Swan 37, Great Crested Grebe 10, Little Grebe 13, Coot 53, Moorhen 18, Little Egret 13, Lapwing 70 (Bob Duckhouse).

Coton Lake
The Red-crested Pochard has returned to Lake 2A, with 110 Pochard there too. The Gull roost has started to disperse and rather quickly, if tonight is anything to go by: The adult Mediterranean Gull remains though LWHG (Large White-headed Gulls) are down to just 96 Lessers, 66 Herring and a Yellow-legged Gull.
Lea Marston side: A hybrid drake Pochard x Tufted Duck (All of these sightings - Alan Dean)

Kingsbury WP
An early Curlew was a surprise today and one was also recorded along the Blythe Valley; Spring has sprung. The early return of good numbers of Shelduck in the valley since late- November has also been a feature of this Winter. Also 180 Lapwing, seven Little Egrets, 13 Goldeneye and three Goosanders (Steve Cawthray).

Ladywalk NR
Around 70 Lesser Redpolls were evident after being elusive since the, still to be nailed, pale bird accompanied them (Pete Sofley).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: 145 Golden Plovers, eight Shelduck and the hybrid, two Cetti's Warblers (Steve Atkinson).


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Tuesday January 17th


Alvecote Pools
Staffs: A female Scaup on The Pigs (Bob Duckhouse).

Hams Hall
The 'Siberian' Chiffchaff behind the Wincanton buiding was showing very well and calling today. As observed by John Harris, it appears to be an unringed bird, which strongly resembles the bird featured by Alan Dean in photos on the Blog of January 4th and 9th. This confirms that we now have three birds with the ringed, 'classic', tristis, now residing at the outfall, as blogged on January 15th. Now we have much milder conditions only four Common Chiffchaff were observed between the outflow and Ladywalk double-gates (John Harris). Just the odd Goosander here and there on the river again today.

Ladywalk NR
There is a report of the 'Siberian' Chiffchaff near Hide A again on Birdguides , this evening.

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: A first -winter Mediterranean Gull was on Jubilee Wetlands with a Great Black-backed and 69 Lesser Black-backed Gulls this afternoon (Katie Thorpe). Also, six Shelducks, five Pintail (briefly), two Stonechats (Karl Sargent). 80 Golden Plover and a Common Chiffchaff were also in the area (John Harris).

At Dosthill NR, the Scaup has re-appeared (Geoff Williams).

Monday January 16th


Alvecote Pools
Warks: A Great White Egret still with 14 Little Egrets on Gilman's Pool (Roy Smith).

Ladywalk NR
The WEBS count today in horrible conditions produced 279 Teal, 30 Little Grebes, which included 18 together on the river at dusk, six Shelduck, 136 Gadwall , Common Sandpiper on the river and 242 Cormorant roosting. Also a 'Siberian' Chiffchaff seemed to roost near Hide A (Pete Sofley).

Middleton RSPB
The highlights of the WEBS count here: Pochard 26, Mallard 169, Goldeneye six, Shelduck 10, Greylag 268 (Katie Thorpe et al).

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).

Wishaw
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).