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Post Info TOPIC: Shropshire


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RE: Shropshire


Whixall Moss 12.00-15.30

1f Marsh Harrier, 4 Kestrels, 4 Ravens, 6 Stonechats and 1 Grey Heron.

Large numbers of Fieldfares, mixed with lesser numbers of Redwings were gathering on trees in the SW corner

of the moss as I was leaving.

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Charles Sinker Fields - Shropshire Wildlife Trust Reserve

This relevantly recent reserve, is on the southern edge of Whixall Moss and has, since 17 August, played host to a female Red-backed Shrike. Missed out on it today by an hour. The bird had been spooked by something and flew out of the hedge it had been in towards a dead tree, a few hundred yards to the north west. This from a photographer who had seen and photographed the bird earlier.

The Shropshire Wildlife Trust people had delayed some maintenance work around the reserve, once they learnt of the birds presence but recommenced this work today. There was a lot of noise with them shouting to each other and a number of strimmers doing their stuff. Possibly this had spooked the bird, so it was good to see that the shrike had been relocated late afternoon by the dead tree.

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Attended my nephews wedding on Sat 13th August at Bishop's Castle Shropshire staying at a nearby B & B in the stunning countryside & upon arrival was treated to fantastic views of two resident Red Kites drifting little more than tree height above us occasionally landing on telephone posts - I had my binoculars but due to the busy schedule I decided to leave my camera at home as obviously birding would not be on the menu - absolutely furious with myself as this was a lifer sighting for me with a few  opportunities for some excellent pics. I tried my best with my mobile with the expected very poor outcome despite being less than 50 yds away from one, but nevertheless enjoyed the spectacular close up views from my binoculars.



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A return visit to Whixall Moss this morning and I arrived at 05:30, as I wanted to catch the dawn chorus. It didnt disappoint with 2 or 3 Cuckoos calling, along with numerous warblers in song.

Out on the moss I experienced the usual calling Curlews, along with good numbers of Stonechats, Reed Buntings, Willow Warblers (abundant) and Whitethroats.

Highlight was a very showy singing male Redstart and I didnt bump into anyone else during my 11KM walk



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Along with my wife, we did a nice 12KM walk on here this afternoon. As usual it was the Willow Warbler capital of England, with birds singing, wherever there was any tree cover. Also had my first Common Whitethroats of the spring with 3 singing birds. Other migrants included 2 male Wheatears and a singing Garden Warbler, which again were year ticks.

Out on the vast mosses, several Curlews were calling, along with good numbers of Stonechats and Reed Buntings. Also of note was a Red Kite, Common Buzzard and Raven, all scrapping in the air together.

Bird of the day was a confiding Marsh Tit, which I watched for a few minutes down to just a few feet, which was feeding on flowering tree buds and intermittently singing



-- Edited by Neil Blood on Monday 18th of April 2022 07:24:55 PM



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With another day off (after an hour at work just to help out!) I decided to make the short trip down to Whixall Moss near Wem.

On arrival on the approach road I could see a gathering of birders on the other side of a set of tall metal barriers so i drove on, parked in a layby and walked back only to find them all leaving! This usually means that 'the bird' has flown, but on asking I was told that they were being 'thrown off' the site

The fact was they were the other side of barriers stopping access to a site where a new hide was being built and as such being on a 'building site' there were health and safety implications and so had been asked to leave. I totally understood and started to view from the roadside. Here I got excellent views of the Grey Phalarope that is present on the small pool being developed as a scrape for the nature reserve. The bird was asleep at first but later became active, feeding along the shore and then in typical phalarope fashion by 'spinning' on the water! Whilst watching we also saw a Green Sandpiper drop in very briefly but that headed off without lingering at all. As usual several birding friends were present and after a chat I headed home.



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Whixall Moss 10.00-15.00

3 Ravens, 1 Buzzard (Oddly the only raptor seen), 1 Linnet, 3 Meadow Pipits (Still doing display flights), 6 Stonechats (2 family groups),

3 Jays and 10 Lapwings (Mobbing something on the ground).

Numerous Reed Buntings and Common Whitethroats still singing.

Black headed Gulls making it quite clear the still have youngsters around some of the mossland pools.

Insect repellent strongly advised, and even then the mosquitos and clegs attack, but none decided to bite.

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Weekend spent in Church Stretton, staying in an AirBnB.

 
Saturday: 12KM walk over Caer Caradoc and Hope Bowdler, quite a few singing Redstarts along with plenty of Willow Warblers, in the wooded areas. Also checked out Helmeth Hill, which looked promising for the outside possibility of Pied Flycatcher and Wood Warbler, but no joy.
 
Sunday: Another 12KM walk this time over Long Mynd. Again both singing Willow Warbler and Redstarts were evident. The real stars however, were 2 singing Whinchat along Carding Mill Valley!


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Early morning 12KM walk on Whixall Moss this morning, parking by the Llangollen Canal at SY13 2PH.

Most common bird encountered was Willow Warbler with 34 singing birds. Other singing warblers were Chiffchaff, Blackcap and 3 Common Whitethroat. Also abundant Stonechats and Reed Buntings, plus several Lesser Redpolls.

Waders encountered on the vast moss land were Curlew, Snipe and Lapwing.



-- Edited by Neil Blood on Sunday 18th of April 2021 02:20:47 PM

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Being in Tier 2 and with Shropshire in Tier 2 I decided to spend the day at Chelmarsh Reservoir today before tomorrows reassessment of Tiers by the Government. A lovely day, sunny and still and not cold either.

I parked at a spot given to me by a local birder which meant that I had the shortest walk along footpaths to the reservoir. It was still a good walk and required wellies but I was soon at the 'causeway' at the the NE end of the water. I was the only birder present and immediately I could see the juvenile Great Northern Diver (pic 1) in the bay, pretty close to where I was stood, showing really well. Another birder arrived and we scanned and searched the reservoir but only came up with 2 Goosanders, 2 Great Crested Grebes, a Cormorant and a few Mallards. As we watched 2 Kingfishers put on an excellent show, flying around and perching up. I found a nice Marsh Tit in the alders too, a few Long-tailed Tits were also here. A Redwing was also in the alders and a Song Thrush flew along one of the tracks. I was about to go for lunch back at the car when a new birder stated that the Great Northern Diver had just flushed the long-staying Pied-billed Grebe (pic 2) out of hiding! A sort search eventually revealed it keeping unusual company in the shape of a small group of Mallards. It then showed continuously, at first at the edge with the Mallards and then out in the middle of the water with the 2 Great Crested Grebes.

With the afternoon getting on and having had no food I retired to the car to eat. Having heard that the M6 north was shut due to a 4 lorry smash I decided to head home, using the excellent A49 route. This was a new site for me and one I'll return to after COVID smile



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Black redstart seen at work on the yard at battlefield just north of Shrewsbury town centre.


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Whixhall Moss 11.00-15.00

Mossland : 2 Kestrels and 1 male Stonechat, whilst a flock of 93 Lapwings flew over heading SW.

Also just beyond Morris's Bridge on the South side of the canal, a Corn Bunting sat on a telegraph pole whilst a Sparrowhawk

circled overhead.

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Two peregrine falcons (1 male, 1 female) have been flying around my work's roof and stack structures at Battlefield, just north of Shrewsbury, for the last few days. They are continually circling and looking for potential nest sites according to a chap at work, the retired super twitcher Jason Buckley.

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whixall moss today to walk off the Christmas excess with the family. Only did the short circuit incorporating the canal. Didn't spend a great amount of time birding but still managed to see a willow tit amongst the usuals. Left just as the starling murmuration was starting to build.

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Visited Venus Pool for the first time today, some six miles south east of Shrewsbury. This is a site owned by the Shropshire Ornithological Society. The reserve consists of a decent sized pool with islands, shoreline and fringed by a small reedbed. There is also a small amount of woodland with a feeding station, nice hedgerows, grassland and a large arable field. All in nice undulating countryside with distant views of the Wrekin, standing at 1335 ft asl.

The main reason for our visit was to try and see the Red-necked Grebe that has been present for a few days on the adjacent fishing pool. This is a large fishing pool, a fair bit larger than Venus Pool itself and, as we approached, news from a local birder was not good, in so far as it was not around. Undeterred, we carried on to the very western edge of the pool and there it was, as close to the limited pathway as it could get. We watched it for a good hour or so and managed a few half decent photos.

There was nothing particularly exciting on Venus Pool, although 35 Snipe were noteworthy. There were plenty of Teal together with Wigeon, Gadwall, Shoveller, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Pied Wagtail, Canada Goose and Greylag Goose. There were three Great Spotted Woodpecker at the woodland feeding station along with Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Nuthatch and various Tits. A walk around the large field added Kestrel, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Linnet, Redwing and Fieldfare.

A lovely little reserve that has a bird list of around 180. I can imagine a visit in late Spring/early Summer being very productive.

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Whixall Moss

This place is huge and in places has a feel of walking a large Breckland heath! Parked at Roundthorn Bridge by the canal, where we then started a 6 mile circular walk.
 
Bird wise: Marsh Harrier, being mobbed by breeding Curlews, Hobby, Willow Tit, Willow Warbler (abundant, 70+ singing), Spotted Flycatcher, Stonechat (several family groups), Crossbill and Reed Bunting (Common in damp areas), plus all the common stuff.
 
Real gem the place and well worth a visit: http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/65041

 



-- Edited by Neil Blood on Sunday 19th of May 2019 07:59:38 AM

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Clunton Coppice


Following last weeks failure to find Wood Warbler in Powys, today I headed to Clunton Coppice in Shropshire (Wildlife Trust reserve).

The following were encountered in the Coppice and the surrounding area, as part of  a 5 mile walk: Red Kite, Marsh Tit, Wood Warbler (3 singing), Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Pied Flycatcher (3 singing), Spotted Flycatcher, Redstart (5 singing), Tree Pipit (1 singing by car park), Dipper (River Clun) Yellowhammer (5 in surrounding farm land), plus all the usual woodland species.

Fab spot/walk and well worth the 70 mile drive from Cheshire:

https://www.shropshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/nature-reserves/clunton-coppice

 

Walks:

http://www.bishopscastle.co.uk/portal/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/CL5-Clunton-Coppice-and-Sowdley-Wood.pdf

 



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RE: Shropshire


Grasshopper warbler heard and seen (by someone else!) at work in Battlefield energy recycling facility in the surrounding scrub.

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Living in Cheshire has its advantages for striking out southwards! A nip down the A49 saw me on the outskirts of Shrewsury this morning. A short search near Atcham Bridge with a local birder revealed no sign of the reported White-fronted Goose. He decided to give up but I walked along the side of the River Severn a fair distance to the NW. Initially nothing, but on my return walk I re-found the Greenland White-fronted Goose feeding in fields on the other side of the river from the B4380 at SJ535097. I grabbed a couple of hand-held phonescoped shots through some bushes. I returned to the car for my camera but on return the bird had again disappeared, the field being full of dips and hummocks and it being a huge area too. Not far away I added another species to my yearlist with 2 Grey Partridges in a roadside field.

record shots attached, through the branches of a bush!



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Had a short walk around whixall moss today with the family. Was a lovely day and have not been around here for a while. Not many birds about but a nice walk nonetheless. Shropshire wildlife trust have cleared the former scrapyard site save a large steel tank and the concrete flooring. Many shovelers were on the flooded fields adjacent to the canal along with wigeon and mute swan. A fair few lapwings were also present around the shoreline of the flood. A few cormorants were perching in the surrounding trees. On the moss itself there were two kestrels hunting, two buzzards displaying and a flushed snipe from a pathside ditch. The birch wood scrub gave up the usual tit, finch species and the 2nd bumblebee I've seen this year.

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Rob Creek wrote:

Vicky Harper wrote:

Does anybody have any news on the reported possible Snowy owl being spotted in Shropshire? Reported on bird guides.





Yeah saw the report Vicky but can't find anything on Twitter etc. One was reported yesterday evening too near a railway underpass near York.



I saw the one reported in York. As neither of the stafford or shropshire one's have been confirmed I'll have to hope it turns up in Manchester sometime soon. I can dream!!

-- Edited by Vicky Harper on Wednesday 14th of March 2018 08:35:38 PM

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Vicky Harper wrote:

Does anybody have any news on the reported possible Snowy owl being spotted in Shropshire? Reported on bird guides.





Yeah saw the report Vicky but can't find anything on Twitter etc. One was reported yesterday evening too near a railway underpass near York.

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Does anybody have any news on the reported possible Snowy owl being spotted in Shropshire? Reported on bird guides.

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Still eleven Hawfinch at St Peters Church, Adderley village, at 10.30am this morning

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Eleven Hawfinch at St Peters Church, Adderley Village, this morning between 11.30-12.30

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Six Hawfinches at St Peters Church Adderley Village yesterday afternoon at 14.30pm - thanks to Phil Stockton for the sighting

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Four Hawfinch still at St Peters Church Adderley Village this morning...

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16 Hawfinches in the trees at St Peters Church Adderley village at 08.25am this morning

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Sightings from 3pm to 3.15pm
There are now 6 Pink-footed Geese along with the single ringed Barnacle Goose at Tittenley (in amongst Greylags and Canada Geese). Joined today by a pair of Egyptian Goose and a male Pochard

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Four Pink-footed Geese and one Barnacle Goose amongst 100+ Greylags at Tittenley Pool at 1pm this afternoon. Barnacle is ringed (left leg) but I was unable to see the ID.

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Great White Egret still present and settling down to roost at southern end of Tittenley Pool tonight around 20.15pm

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Great Egret still there showing well and easy to see from the road this morning from 07.15 to 09.00am, along with both Little Egrets. Occasionally its getting some rough treatment from the local Grey Herons.
Also a pair of Hobby's in the area

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Great White Egret on Tittenley Pool today (Shavington Estate, near Market Drayton/Adderley). Has been there since 08.00am and was still there at 20.20pm this evening. Two Little Egrets also. Tittenley Pool is private access only but the Great Egret has been at the southern end of the pool most of the day and is visible from the road.

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Mike Chorley wrote:

A skeleton crew today, with only myself and Mike A, but a good day none-the-less, starting with a good local year tick for me as a Ring-necked Parakeet flew over the car as we were parked on The Coppice planning our trip. Despite some unexpected diversions and delays due to road works, road closures and recalcitrant parking machines, we made it to The Dingle by 9.40 to find the Night Heron lurking in a low conifer, but almost all in view. We watched it almost continuously for 50 minutes and, as people have said, it gave some very good close views. Apart form a short period when it went and skulked under the boardwalk. biggrin I was pleasantly surprised to get some reasonable shots on my trusty second-hand Olympus.

We took the roundabout route to East Anglia today, to give the rest of the group a view of the bird. Not as obliging as recently, as it was skulking on the island, but luckily it did so in one of the few gaps in the vegetation.biggrin





For some reason yesterday Tthe text of my May 21st post ( 1st para) became attached to yesterday's post (2nd para)confuse

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A skeleton crew today, with only myself and Mike A, but a good day none-the-less, starting with a good local year tick for me as a Ring-necked Parakeet flew over the car as we were parked on The Coppice planning our trip. Despite some unexpected diversions and delays due to road works, road closures and recalcitrant parking machines, we made it to The Dingle by 9.40 to find the Night Heron lurking in a low conifer, but almost all in view. We watched it almost continuously for 50 minutes and, as people have said, it gave some very good close views. Apart form a short period when it went and skulked under the boardwalk. biggrin I was pleasantly surprised to get some reasonable shots on my trusty second-hand Olympus.

We took the roundabout route to East Anglia today, to give the rest of the group a view of the bird. Not as obliging as recently, as it was skulking on the island, but luckily it did so in one of the few gaps in the vegetation.biggrin



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Night Heron still present at the Dingle 0830-1015hrs today



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Finally got round to seeing the Black-crowned Night Heron today in Shrewsbury. It was showing ridiculously well upon arrival, allowing great photographs. I stayed for one and a half hours before retreating to a local hostelry and thereafter the train home. A few photographs attached.

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Tuesday 23rd of May 2017 05:39:26 PM

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Tuesday 23rd of May 2017 05:51:09 PM

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Tuesday 23rd of May 2017 05:59:22 PM

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Tuesday 23rd of May 2017 10:39:17 PM

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A skeleton crew today, with only myself and Mike A, but a good day none-the-less, starting with a good local year tick for me as a Ring-necked Parakeet flew over the car as we were parked on The Coppice planning our trip. Despite some unexpected diversions and delays due to road works, road closures and recalcitrant parking machines, we made it to The Dingle by 9.40 to find the bird lurking in a low conifer, but almost all in view. We watched it almost continuously for 50 minutes and, as people have said, it gave some very good close views. Apart form a short period when it went and skulked under the boardwalk. biggrin I was pleasantly surprised to get some reasonable shots on my trusty second-hand Olympus.

-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Sunday 21st of May 2017 10:14:05 PM

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Dingle Gardens in the Quarry, Shrewsbury.

Third visit to see the Black Capped Night Heron and third time lucky, On arrival the bird was visible feeding in the undergrowth around the perimeter of the pond and supprisingly mobile flying across the pond to feed in different areas, At times affording very close views

Record Phonescoped image attached


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After seeing the news coming out for weeks and weeks, a call from a long time twitching mate who I used to go out with spurred me on to visiting Shrewsbury today. Neither of us had seen a Night Heron for a couple of years and given the photo opportunities that this one seems to give I accepetd his offer of a morning out with open arms. With the routefinder on my pc flagging it up at only 45 miles away too, it was a no-brainer smile We contacted each other at 5.30am, he drove to me for 7am and we were at Quarry Park, Shrewsbury, walking to The Dingle at 8.30am. This all coincided with a massive parkrun in the park, at least 1000 people and loudspeakers blaring out, lots of folk mulling around in The Dingle, but amazingly the adult Night Heron was sat on the edge of the pond by the path, just a couple of metres away

We took lots of pictures and I was glad when it flew a bit further away so I could digiscope the whole bird rather than just its head!! I even phonescoped it through my scope with passers-by's phones for them, as they were really interested in the bird. As I say lots of runners & their supporters came in, so lots had a look through my scope and I took them a photo too biggrin We decided to leave as several more birder/photographers were turning up and as we did the bird flew over to the island & disappeared into cover, then it started spitting with rain - perfect timing! Were were home by 11am, mission accomplished smile

On the journey home, in answer to the post below, I spotted a Red Kite being mobbed by corvids by the side of the A49. This was in the general area of Hadnall, c.5mls NNE of Shrewsbury if that helps, Curt. Also I have lots of birding mates in Shropshire, many around Shrewsbury and they do see Red Kites quite regularly smile



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Saw a red kite at eye level yesterday up on the roof at work (battlefield just north of Shrewsbury) first one I ve seen here but don't know if it's unusual for the area?

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I also enjoyed superb views of the Night Heron yesterday between 9 and 10 am as it sat atop of a bush in full sun. It spent sometime sleeping but it also preened at time.  I went by train and its only a 15 minute walk to the Dingle from the station.  What super area the Dingle is.

A super smart bird and well worth the effort although some birders have been and have not seen it but that's birding.

Go get it!

 



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Fabulous views of the Night Heron sat out in the open at 12.15 today at Dingle Gardens, Shrewsbury biggrin, a lifer for me. Thanks to the previous 2 posters for spurring me to go and see the bird.
Cheers Ian

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Wednesday 17th May. 17.00 hrs.

With Ian Lyth.

Re Night Heron.

I think the bird must have finished reading the "Night Heron Behaviour Manual" between Chris G's departure and our arrival as it was nowhere to be found on two circuits of the pond.

Ian eventually found it skulking under the bushes on the island ... fortunately he had also carried his scope round with him which allowed us to get good views of the bird preening for around 20 minutes before it retreated farther in and out of sight.

Roger.

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Finally succumbed to temptation,and headed down to Shrewsbury,to show my wife the beautiful Dingle Gardens in Quarry Park.Imagine my surprise,when,there was the long-staying Night Heron sat under an Azalea bush about three feet from the path! wink                                                                                                                                                                            What a spectacular looking bird,which was initially so close,the long-lense photographers had to go round to the other side of the lake to get their pictures!  The heron was awake and alert at all times ( approximately 2pm, it obviously hasn't read the books, which mainly describe it as a crepuscular species! ). Eventually, it noticed some small fish topping on the other side of the lake, and it flew over to the opposite bank. For such an elegant bird, it's fishing technique appeared somewhat clumsy - yet effective.....after a few moments stalking,it lunged forwards, plunging it's head and neck under the water....it's wings flailing wildly on the surface, apparently grasping the bank side vegetation with it's feet. Seconds later, it emerged with a nice 5" roach, which it quickly swallowed head first.

Easily the best views of this species I've ever had in the UK. If anyone gets the chance, and the bird sticks around, I would thoroughly recommend a visit to Shrewsbury, to see this remarkable bird in somewhat surreal surroundings.

Cheers Chris



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Whixhall Moss (10.30-14.30)

1 Cuckoo, 1 Snipe, 1 Kestrel, 1 Buzzard, 1 Curlew, 1 Song Thrush, 4 Reed Buntings, 2 Meadow Pipits, 3 Shoveler, 6 Teal and 2 Jays.

Black Headed Gulls constantly patrol the moss and appear to trying to set up a small colony on a pool by the public path.

Small groups of Swallows were moving across the moss throughout my visit, all appeared to be heading South.



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Monday 2nd Jan 2017
Called on at Venus Pools NR on way back from Gloucestershire with Simon Gough and Chris Chandler.

Thought we may have had the Pine Bunting at one point and 2nd opinions that were sought on site seemed to point to it being our target, but it turns out it wasn't, thanks for your help on that one Ian.

Birds of note...
C100+ Yellowhammer
C40-50 Reed Bunting
4 Corn Bunting
1 Brambling
1 Bullfinch male
Plenty of Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Greenfinch around too
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker



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Whixall Moss

Visited this NNR reserve for a couple of hours today, first visit in pleasant, sunny weather. Walked down the canal and then on to Whixall Moss itself, staying on public paths as we are not permit holders. We probably only touched less than ten per cent of the total NNR area. It's huge.

Not an ideal time for birding and to be honest it was very quiet with only an adult Hobby (prolonged views), a couple of Kestrel and several Buzzard of note along with Greylag Goose and Canada Goose on flooded fields/pools on the other side of the canal.

Still, several Butterfly and Dragonfly species were seen and it was a useful reccy for a future visit.

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Whixhall Moss

10.00-16.00

1 juv & 1 adult Hobby, with the youngster perched on post and making frequent sorties to catch insects then returning to the post to eat its catch.

Also, 2 Kestrels, 1 juv Yellow Wagtail(Along the margins of mossland pool), 3 Ravens, a flock of 5 Meadow Pipits, 3 Reed Buntings, 2prs Stonechats + 1m,

10 Lapwings (Flushed off a pool by a crow).

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a couple of pictures of the Iberian chiffchaff from myself this morning.
a lifer & as rob says this bird was notably different from the one in preston. a lovely bird & worth the trip smile



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