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Sunday, 8 January 2012

Bean Goose, Caspian Gull and Red-throated Diver

4th winter CASPIAN GULL at Prisorlee Lake

  At Prisorlee Lake I checked to see if any of the two Caspian Gulls that have been around for te last few days were present. There were a large number of gulls on the lake and as i scanned to my left I got the 4th winter bird. Out all 4 Caspian Gulls that I've seen, 2 were in Shropshire and I got a 2nd winter at Rainham, January last year.

  There were two birds I wanted to see in Shropshire that arrived in November last year. TUNDRA BEAN GOOSE at Prisorlee Flash and at Chelmarsh, RED-THROATED DIVER.  The goose was only a few minutes up the road from my parents house and on arrival I could see the flock of Greylag Geese that it hangs out with. The geese were on the far side and you could easily pick out the Bean from them. I moved to the otherside of the flash and found an adult Yellow-legged Gull with some 200 Lesser-black backed Gulls.
  The only other Bean Goose that I've seen, and I think, to be recorded in Shropshire, was also a Tundra that was a one day bird found by Rob Dowley at Venus Pool in March '97.

Adult Yellow-legged Gull at Prisorlee Flash

  Half an hour drive to Chelmarsh with Andy Lathem found the RED-THROATED DIVER in the center of the reservoir and then it swam to the far side of the res. The guy who found the diver was Martin Owen and he joined us both at the small gull roost which held 2 adult Yellow-legged Gull. It wasn't long until the diver made it's way towards us and for a good 15 minutes it performed at very close range. sometimes a few meters away, diving under the pier that I was standing on. Unfortunately the light was disappearing fast and photography was out of the question. This bird was first seen in Worcestershire before making the short flight up the River Seven and ending up at Chelmarsh.
  There are not many Shropshire records of Red-throated Divers and the last sighting was an oiled bird that both Andy and I found on the sailing Lake, Venus Pool, Feb '96. The following day, Pete Nichols twitched the diver and discovered the first county record of Green-winged Teal at Venus Pool.

RED-THROATED DIVER at Chelmarsh taken by the finder Martin Owen

  And what about second division Swindon's shock win over Wigan in the third round of the FA cup. Paolo Dicanio, the Swindon manager, said that it was the best moment in his life! He went on to say that 'This was for my family and friends, my dog, err, my goldfish, err, my next door neighbours dog, err, and for my dad'
Also, Shrewsbury were very unlucky to go out to a 1-0 defeat away to Middlesbrough.

Paolo celebrating with a punch in the air after Swindon scoring their second goal

A great rack by Frazey Ford 'If You Gonna Go'


  1. Thats one area I need to improve on......... Gulls.I have probably looked at a few Casps in the years gone by. Only seen one in Kent although they seem to be plenty around.

  2. I love looking at flocks of gulls, because you have a good chance of finding something good. I still want to see a 1st winter Casp Gull.

  3. Look out Shropshire, Spider has come home. You want to get into Staffs and see some descent birds, errrm well that is if we had any, besides you could grip Higgo off.........

  4. Staffs? You get some cracking birds Martin. I still do believe that's it's all to do with coverage. When I lived in Salop, over 15 years ago, there were only a few keen birders in the county. Now, there finding good birds left, right and center because there are keen birders all over the shop. It's all good stuff