Saturday, 23 February 2008

February 23rd.

A quick visit this morning, overcast damp south west breeze.
Viewed from the car park at 8-30, still 82 Wigeon feeding at the western end off the main pool, also 3 Goosanders (1 drake & 2 redheads), 15 Pochard and 12 cormorant. A grey Wagtail was in front of the car park along the shore, and 27 Fieldfare flew north east.
(S Seal).

Friday, 22 February 2008

February 22nd.

South west wind 4/5 , overcast but mild, 13-30 to 14-45.
The resent cold snap has braught a few more Wigeon back onto the reservoir with 82 feeding around the main pool . Other wildfowl numbers are down with just 18 Pochard, 30 Tufted Duck,
45 Coot, 33 Mallard, 5 Moorhen, 2 Greylag, 3 G C Grebe and 4 Little Grebe. A steady stroll around i saw very little, 3 Siskin and 2 Lesser Redpoll were still feeding low down along the northern bank, also 4 Coal Tits and 3 Goldcrest and 7 L T Tits. Kingfisher again by the waterfall and Green Woodpecker feeding on the short grass at the back of the small pool, 2 Gt S Woodpeckers by the fishing cottage and a Mistle Thrush on the lawn. Along Bixhill Lane 144 Lapwing , 2 R L Partridge, 2 Song Thrush and a Linnet. By the Horse Paddocks a Tree Sparrow and 12 Chaffinch but no sign of any Redwing.
(S Seal).

Monday, 18 February 2008

Recent Highlights.

Some recent records from this small reservoir.
Apr 01......Red-necked Grebe .
Sept 02.....Spotted Redshank .
Apr 03......Little Gull (9x adults) , Sandwich Tern , Bar-tailed Godwit .
Sept 04.....Grey Plover .
Jan 05.......Water Pipit .
Feb 05......Whooper Swan (15x birds) .
Mar 05......Brent Goose .
Apr 05......Waxwing (58x birds) , Garganey (drake) .
May 05......Little Tern , Arctic Tern (140x birds) .
Oct 05.......Leach,s Petrel , Red-breasted Merganser .
Nov 05.....Grey Phalarope , Arctic Skua .
Apr 06......Common Scoter ( 8x birds) .
May 06.....Whimbrel .
Aug 06......Wood Sandpiper (2x birds) .
Sept 06.....Black-necked Grebe (2x birds) .
Dec 06......Leach,s Petrel .
Sept 07.....Grey Phalarope .
(S Seal).

February 17th.

Freezing conditions with overnight tempratures down to -7 the main pool was 95per cent frozen over, with the small pool completly frozen. Still a small group of 12 Wigeon feed around the small pool, and 18 Pochard and a pair of Goosanders found the only piece of water on the main pool. Two Snipe were between the two pools and 4 Grey Wagtails by the car park, along Bixell Lane 100+ Redwing and 1 Tree Sparrow around the horse paddock.

Friday, 15 February 2008

February 15th.

A stroll around the pond late afternoon, a cold north east breeze and overcast conditions, more like February now. Water levels are still dropping along with the duck numbers, Pochard down to 26 now but still 6 Wigeon hanging on. A Willow Tit was a nice find feeding around the main car park, and a Grey Wagtail along the shore. Wildfowl counts were 32 Tufted Duck, 63 Mallard, 67 Coot, 11 G C Grebe, 13 Little Grebe,and a female Ruddy Duck. Along the far side 15 Siskins and 2 Lesser Redpolls in the alders, along with 5 Goldcrest and 3 Coal Tit.A Buzzard drifted east/west and a Green Woody was around the small pool, 5 male Bullfinches along the stream and a Kingfisher by the waterfall, 3 Red-legged Partridges were along Bixell Lane also a Mistle Thrush and 12 Linnet.Around the horse paddocks were 2 Tree Sparrows, 14 Redwing and several Goldfinch and Chaffinch, good numbers of Gulls were flying in before i left mainly Black headed but 18 Common Gull and 47 L B B Gulls were noted, and just before dusk 16 Goosanders flew in from the west (4 males).
(S Seal).

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

February 13th.

Goosander (Redhead).....Photo (Midland Bird Images).
18 Goosanders came into roost this evening, 5 adult drakes, 2 sub-adult drakes and 11 redheads.
These birds feed during the day on the nearby rivers Tame and Blyth, and also can be found on Ladywalk NR, they then use Shustoke Res to roost. Goosanders are winter visitors to the regions larger lakes and reservoirs, and are very mobile frequently moving from one water to another. Numbers are greatest during hard weather, with influxes coming from the southern North Sea coasts, especially the Netherlands.
(S Seal).

Sunday, 10 February 2008

February 10th.

Dunnock (Midland Bird Images).
Siskin (Midland Bird Images).

A late afternoon visit with clear skies and a warm day, is it realy February. Nothing different on the duck front still 35 Pochard and the 6 wigeon on the small pool, 2 Gt Spotted woodpeckers along the river, 18 Sikins still in the alders, a Grey Wagtail in front of the car park.The only other birds of note were 2 Tree Sparrows around the horse stables and 4 Red-legged Partridge along bixell lane, also 27 Redwing and 13 Fieldfare, 2 Buzzards and 7 Goosanders came into roost at 17-10 (3 males).
(S Seal).

Friday, 8 February 2008

February 8th.

A walk around the pool this afternoon with clear skies and a light south west breeze was quite nice, my target was to try and find some elusive Siskins i new were feeding somewhere amongst the alders along the northern bank. I found a small flock of 12 birds (7 males and 5 females) feeding quite low down, nicely in range for some photos. Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers were along the stream, along with a Willow Tit, Kingfisher and 4 Treecreepers. A sparrowhawk flushed the Willow Tit but the Siskins never moved, on the pool were 68 Mallard, 29 Tufted Duck, 62 Coot, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 16 Little Grebe, 24 Canada Goose, 2 Greylag Goose, 35 Pochard and Wigeon now down to just 6 birds . Both Heron and Cormorant were fishing on the small pool, and a Green Woodpecker searching for ants along the bank. Several Coal Tits were heard but only 2 seen, and 8 Pied Wagtails on the eastern shore. I would have stayed longer but a phone call from (S Haynes) telling me there was a Great White Egret next to where i live , i didnt hang around.

(S Seal).

Thursday, 7 February 2008

February 7th

Around the main pool late afternoon, Grey Wagtail along the shore in front of car park, 3 Goosander one male and two redheads western end, 30 Pochard, 21 Wigeon, 5 Siskin feeding in alders northern bank , Kingfisher along the river and 2 Green Woodpeckers eastern end.(BLK).

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

February 5th.

Twenty Five Goosander roosted at the western end this evening, came in at 16-40.(BLK).

Shustoke Terns.

Black Tern (juv).......Sept 06.
Terns can be found at Shustoke on passage during spring / autum. Five species have been recorded with Common Tern the most frequent as it breeds at nearby Kingsbury Water Park, and birds can be found most days hawking over the reservoir.

Arctic Terns are more regular in spring as they move northwards through the country, a passage of 140 birds was recorded on 4th May 2005.

Black Tern being the only marsh tern found at Shustoke, with small numbers passing through most years. Usually staying a few days before moving on, a total of 29 birds were seen together on 23rd Aug 1994.

Their have been only three records of Little Tern.




And just five records of Sandwich Tern.




17-09-02 (2 birds)


We are still waiting for the first record of Caspian and White Winged Black to appear.

(S Seal).

Monday, 4 February 2008

Shustoke Waders.

Whimbrel ...May 2006

Anyone taking a casual look at the main pool would not expect many species to come down and feed, with no muddy shoreline just steep concrete banks. But the purity and alkalinity of the water produce plenty of aquatic life and a suprising number of species. At present 27 species of wader have been recorded,and one missing undocumented report of a Curlew Sandpiper 1980,s.
1 Oystercatcher
2 Little Ringed Plover
3 Ringed Plover
4 Golden Plover
5 Grey Plover
6 Lapwing
7 Knot
8 Sanderling
9 Little Stint
10 Dunlin
11 Ruff
12 Jack Snipe
13 Snipe
14 Woodcock
15 Black-tailed Godwit
16 Bar-tailed Godwit
17 Whimbrel
18 Curlew
19 Spotted Redshank
20 Redshank
21 Greenshank
22 Green Sandpiper
23 Wood Sandpiper
24 Common Sandpiper
25 Turnstone
26 Grey Phalarope
27 Red-necked Phalarope.

(S Seal).

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Past Wildfowl Totals

Wildfowl numbers seem to be down this year at most Warwickshire waters, and Shustoke is suffering the same , below is list of past Tufted, Wigeon and Pochard records.
Jan 04 (179) ,
Jan 05 (98) ,
Jan 06 (160) ,
Jan 07 (113) ,
Jan 08 (67) .
Jan 04 (38) ,
Jan 05 (217) ,
Jan 06 (49) ,
Jan 07 (86) ,
Jan 08 (71) .
Tufted Duck....
Jan 04 (182) ,
Jan 05 (132) ,
Jan 06 (86) ,
Jan 07 (154) ,
Jan 08 (29) .
During the late 1980,s and early 1990,s around 300 Wigeon could be seen regular and in Jan 1985 a count of 1,600 Tufted Duck was recorded, and during Nov 1996 at total of 1,250 Pochard. These figures above show just how much our wildfowl are disappearing from midland waters.
(S Seal).

Saturday, 2 February 2008

February 2nd

Wigeon feeding along the northern bank.

With overnight temperatures down to -4 and a light dusting of snow an early start found that the Wigeon had moved of the small pool and were feeding along the northern bank. Numbers totaled 58 which was 9 down on yesterday. Other wildfowl included a male Gadwall new in from the day before, 60 Pochard, 24 Mallard, 9 Little Grebe, 9 G C Grebe, 42 Tufted Duck, 4 Moorhen, 17 Canada Geese, 1 Greylag Goose, 2 Cormorants fishing on the small pool, and a Great Spotted Woodpecker along the stream. A Kingfisher was fishing by the waterfall and around the paddock area 2 Tree Sparrows, 14 Goldfinch, and several Redwing. No sign this morning of any Siskin. (SS)

Friday, 1 February 2008

February 1st

Very strong westerly winds today with clear skies, made birding very difficult and most of the wildfowl could be found sheltering on the small pool. A flock of 27 Siskin were feeding on the alders along the northern shore, also 2 Coal tits, 14 Long-tailed tits, and several Redwing. A sparrowhawk was hunting along the railway line, and a Green Woodpecker was along the eastern bank. Wildfowl counts were, Canada Goose 20, Greylag Goose 2, Mallard 48, Coot 85, Tufted Duck 29, Wigeon 67, Pochard 71, Little Grebe 10, Great Crested Grebe 8, Mute Swan 4, Moorhen 7. One lone Tree Sparrow was found in the horse paddock with a small finch flock mixed with Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Greenfinch and a flock of 37 Wood Pigeon.(SS)