Friday, 1 January 2016

New Year cruise

A familiar start to the new year with a cruise around some of the 'cool spots' of Shropshire. Where the shire is concerned, caution where the term 'hotspot' is advised! A 7.30 start, teaming up with Yvonne and Venus Pool first stop....
A dependable location for a kick start to the local year and 47 species were duly ticked in a lazy first 90 minutes. Mostly 'usual suspects' so no long list to bore you. No real highlights, more about disappearing acts with the long staying Pintails having an away day (or just plain gone!). The two female Goldeneye were still loving the place! A single Brambling near the gate in the top field was the highlight of a subdued finch flock with plenty of Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting in evidence. Several Redwing and Fieldfare feeding in the meadow but where's a Song or Mistle Thrush when you need one! A single Brambling eventually gave itself up as we neared the car park and a Nuthatch there reminded us we hadn't ticked Treecreeper by the feeder station but a revisit put that to rights! With 47 species in the bag, we headed off, stopping a short way down the road for an obliging Goldcrest plus VP trickies - House Sparrow and Collared Dove!

One of the bogey birds of any bird race is Jay and in the next 30 minutes we had four individuals from the car plus the first Kestrel.
Shirlett was pretty quiet except for the occasional call of Crossbills and a group of 12 flew overhead to make the diversion here worthwhile.
Chelmarsh produced a few easy birds we needed: Bullfinch, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Raven plus a pair of Green Woodpecker. Amongst the 1,000 + Lesser Black-backed Gulls were single figure figure Herring Gulls and a couple of 1w Great Black-backed Gulls. The tally now on 62....
After adding Red-legged Partridge en-route to Telford, Priorslee lake provided a few Pochard, fly over Stock Dove and then a single Yellow-legged Gull at the crem (thanks Kriss!)
The short day meant an extensive search in the North of the County was not an option and what a disaster the Mere proved to be with just Common Gull added. Nothing new was added at Wood Lane or Whixall floods so there we go.... 67 species to start the year. Could have done better but a pretty enjoyable day which wasn't the usual wash out it's been for the past couple of years!

Oh and congratulations to this Corncrake picked as the favourite from the December poll

Here's to a few more decent images during 2016 and wishing a brilliant years birding to you all!!

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