Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Staffs, Scoters and Waxwings

The weekend of 10th/11th November involved a regional day, followed to a jaunt to Wales with Martyn.

Saturday 10th November 

Stubbers Green 

First up; Stubbers Green, albeit briefly. It was more of a quick look in for Iceland Gull, rather than a dedicated gulling session, although that will no doubt be soon on the cards. No Iceland, or anything really on the scarce gull front. 4 GBBG, 4 Common Gull were present. A Green Sand was heard but sadly not seen and Shoveler and Pochard were noted, as well as a flyover Redpoll. 

Croxall Lakes 

We arrived at Croxall about 10.00am. Most notable here 2 Redshank, 1 Common Snipe, a flock of c100 Golden Plover, 1 Kingfisher and a Little Egret. Wildfowl included 55 Teal, 35 Pochard, 1 Goosander and 1 Shelduck .

There was also up to 80 Redwing present, but only the odd Fieldfare.    

Cannock Chase 

Then a saunter on the Chase, around Tackeroo down to the shooting butts. It was a liitle quiet, but a nice sunny afternoon.

Noted 1 Stonechat, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper and common tits, finches etc.

Coal Tit - image courtesy of Martyn Yapp. Would make a nice RSPB Xmas Card


The day ended with a little gull roosting and surprisingly the adult Iceland Gull was in the roost early, but it then flew north. An adult Med Gull was also noted.

Sunday 11th November


Time to have another go for Surf Scoter. Up to 3 drakes are once again being regularly seen off Llandullas and we were on the scene from 7.30am scanning the Scoter flock. This was going to be hard work with a lot of the Scoter at this stage little more than little black dots.

A bit later we relocated at an elevated point on the cycle track and this made all the difference. Some of the Scoter had drifted a lot closer and Martyn picked out a fine drake Surf Scoter at the front of the pack. We got some quite good views on it, by cranking up the zoom; a tick for me too.

Also noted on the sea; 5 Velvet Scoter , c3,000 Common Scoter, around 20 Red-throated Diver, Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Fulmar, 2 Kittiwake, 20 Oystercatcher and many Guillemot.


Following this, a little light relief was needed and we visited the car park of MFI in Llandudno. Or should that be Llan-dude-no?

Personally, I never tire of these beauties. Up to 200 Waxwings around MFI, B&Q etc. There were also some grockle queries to answer about 'exotic birds'.

Here is one of Martyn's

A flyover Grey Wagtail was also noted here.

Conwy RSPB

Finally Conwy RSPB. A couple of Firecrest have been around, but we don’t have much luck with these lately....

Noted here 2 Chiffy, Siskin, Little Egret, Redshank, Curlew and 13 flyover Golden Plover.


  1. I've been with Alan and Ruth from The Biggest Twitch and still failed on Firecrest at Conway... and a Yellow-browed.

  2. It was unfortunate really, as we spent ages on the tit flock along the paths, to then miss one up by the visitor centre.