Monday, 21 January 2013

12th & 13th Jan 2013

Saturday 12th January

At Stubbers Green early doors, an adult Caspian Gull didn't disappoint, despite the gathering of gulls being very small on this occasion. A classic specimen of Caspo, no question. No Iceland though and we didn't hang around.

Also here, 5 Great Black-backed Gulls and 1 Common Gull, 5 Goosander and the omnipresent flyover Lesser Redpoll.

Next, a return to one of the local haunts; Croxall Lakes. 6 Redshank clung to the river scrapes, whilst 2 Little Egrets were on the main lake with 13 Goldeneye and around 60 Pochard.

Things were looking up when a drake Scaup dropped in...

Dodgy Aythya Hybridy Thingumy - Images courtesy Martyn Yapp

Unfortunately upon closer inspection it became apparent that this 'Scaup' was not the full shilling. Not only was it rather small, lacking robust Scaup-type jizz, it also lacked a small black nail on its bill, in fact having a very extensive but poorly defined black bill tip. There was also some dark streaking to its white flanks. 

Presumably Tufty x Scaup hybrid? It was displaying to some of the female Tuftys, so perhaps more Aythya ID headaches cometh...

35 Golden plover were in the field opposite the Alrewas war memorial.

Little Egret - Image by Martyn Yapp

Next the fields at Whitemore Haye where we were lucky enough to have a female Merlin, although views were a little fleeting... Little Owl was present and around 10 Yellowhammer, 4 Tree Sparrow, 1 Reed Bunting and the Golden Plover flock that was now 500+ strong.

Elsewhere in the Trent Valley we had 3 Jack Snipe.

Sunday 13th January

Martyn and I spent most of the day at Ladywalk, hoping to better get to grips with the Tristis Chiffchaff that we located on New Year's Day along with Ian. Now the tick-happy days of early January had been exhausted, quite a crowd gathered along the path  at Ladywalk. The Siberian Chiffchaff had been seen and heard again in recent days.

Unfortunately the bird was elusive today and I only had a brief view and alas this was in strong sunlight, therefore not allowing for observation of the plumage tones. The bird called very occasionally, but generally wasn't playing ball.

However since then it has been confirmed that there are actually 2 Tristis Chiffchaff present and they have been much more obliging at times! Here are some images by Dave Hutton...

Tristis Chiffchaff - Image Courtesy of Dave Hutton

The 2 Tristis together - image courtesy Dave Hutton

Also 1 or 2 regular Colybita Chiffys were noted and many Goldcrest were around the reserve. A single Waxwing commuted from the area behind the car park to berries in the Sainsburys depot. 3 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Reed Bunting, GS Woody, 2 Siskin, Buzzard and Grey Wagtail were all noted.

At the outflow at Edison Road 6+ Chiffchaffs showed well, however none of the Siberian variety. Firecrest was also absent here, however we did have a Green Sandpiper.

Chiffchaff - Image courtesy Martyn Yapp

Later in the day, Lea Marston & Coton. A Long-tailed Duck was still viewable from the road bridge and in the gull roost we had an adult Med Gull. Other notable species included Shelduck, Water Rail (h), Sparrowhawk and Goldeneye.

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