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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Long-tailed Duck at Trench Pool, Shropshire

1st winter male Long-tailed Duck at Trench Pool

I arrived in Telford late last night and first thing this morning, I went to look at the 1st winter male Long-tailed Duck at Trench Pool that turned up over two weeks ago. I used to look at part of the pool, every morning, from my bedroom window when I was a kid. From the wooden jetty I immediately found the duck on the far side diving close to the bank. I sprinted down road and the duck was showing down to a few meters! Although Trench Pool is only up the road from my house, I only started watching it when I left home at sixteen. I had 22 Black Tern on there once and found Scaups, YL Gulls and more recently, Glaucous Gull.

This was my forth Shropshire Long-tailed Duck. I found one that wintered at Colemere, 100 years ago! Geoff Holmes discovered one at Crosmere and before these two records, an individual wintered on the Sailing Lake, Venus Pool. I hope this duck sticks around for a while so I can return on a brighter day. 

  However, the best bird I discovered on Trench Pool was a Shropshire mega! On Christmas day I walked our dog, Sam, around the pool. All I had was me bins and in the center I spotted a SHAG on a floating platform!! As there had never been a twitchable Shag in Shropshire before, everyone needed a Shag for the county! I raced home, and went straight to the phone in the hallway. As I came through the door, mum said, dinners ready. As I was dialing the first number, god it seemed to be forever as you watched and waited for the dial to come back, I shouted, I can't, I've just had a Shag on Trench Pool. I didn't even think of what I was saying and I could hear my mum starting to giggle. That's how I said it to the 10+birders that I rang. 'Geoff, get to Trench Pool as quick as you can. I've just had a Shag!' or 'Lathem, You won't believe this, but I've just had a Shag on Trench Pool! Can you believe it!?' Not one of them laughed, proving that they ain't got a sense of humour. No, they reacted like any other birder would of. 'Shit! I can't go today. It's Christmas Day!' But I have just had a Shag!
  Boxing Day morning and a small convoy of cars left my house to go to Trench Pool, as some of them didn't know how to get to Trench Pool. I was so relieved when we all got a Shag on Trench Pool!
  This is still the only Shag twitched in Shropshire and I believe that there has only been one record after this sighting. Correct me if I'm wrong though. And I don't want any silly, immature comments like 'No it's not, I'm sure I saw one last night as I passed a lay by next to Wrekin'

Founded by Iowa natives David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey, indie-roots band The Pines surprisingly actually met in Arizona, where they both lived in a Mexican barrio and first began playing together. Forming The Pines, they returned to the Midwest, moving to Minneapolis, a city that has launched many folk and rock acts from Bob Dylan to The Replacements to The Jayhawks. Like these Twin Cities legends, The Pines weave together many musical styles to create their own unique sound that is hip and haunting. 

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