Monday, 24 December 2012

Chelmarsh- Black-Necked Grebe

Following on from visiting the Waxwing flock at Rowberrys, we then did a cross county drive into underwatched Shropshire, to visit what is one of my favorite local birding sites.
Chelmarsh Reservior
This place always looks like it could attract come serious birds, and the last few years have produced Arctic Skua, Bean Goose, Red-Throated Diver. This obvious rarity potential is only added upon when you relalise the numbers of Goosander that turn up at the place, and being so close to the river it could produce anything! Surrounded by decent farmland also add's to the interest, as farmland birds also feature of the species that can be encountered, having seen large flocks of Yellowhammer, Linnet, Goldfinch, Redpoll etc. And even further than that, there is the Gull roost, which, as any Gull lover would know, can produce anything Larus related from around the globe!

We had intended to visit as a Great-Northern Diver had been found there. We were going to head there on Saturday for it, but with no news, we didnt. Which is a decision i regretted later, as news emerged that the bird had still be present!
And to cut it short, it had now gone!
However, a nice flock of Gulls had started developing, and it didnt take much for me to start sifting through them! At 2:30, with about 1000 Gulls down, i picked out a adult YELLOW-LEGGED GULL, not exactly the 'crippler' i was hoping for, but enough to satisfy my Gull needs. I also spent time scanning the Coots and Little Grebes, of which there were many, and it was while doing this with my bins that i picked out a strikingly Black and White Grebe. I had connected with the BLACK-NECKED GREBE! The bird wasnt close, however it was a nice lesson as i now know that i am able to picked out these 'rare' grebes on large reserviors, as every one of my previous BNG's and my only 'Slav' were always at fairly close range.
Black-Necked Grebe:

Slavonian Grebe:

The bird then swam away to the northern end of the lake and we only had incredibly distant views of it thereafter!
However, the bird is reported still there, so it may make a nice 'tick' in the new year!



Pam said...

You did well sifting patiently through the Gulls and also connecting with the Black-necked Grebe Craig!
Well done and Merry Christmas!

midlands birder said...

Thankyou Pam. I really enjoy time scanning through Gull roosts.
I know its late, but i hope you had a nice Christmas, and hope you have a good new year!