38 Whooper Swan on the floods at Edgerley were the most I've ever seen in Shropshire by 7 birds. We also broke the Shropshire record of Pintail again with a total of 1500+!
After Tom Lowe finding an adult Caspian Gull on the floods at Edgerly with 24 Whooper Swan two days ago, I had to get back out there after what I also observed in the area two days before Tom. Jim Almond joined me and at 09.30 we were scanning the floods from Hayes farm towards Edgerly. Jim immediately found a Pink-footed Goose with 200 Greylag Geese. Could be the only one seen in the county this year, That soon swam to the right out of sight. The ducks stayed put when one of the male Peregrines flew through, but two police helicopters flying over put most of the wildfowl up. They all touched down and settled on the water again. I thought there were less wildfowl on here to what I had a few days ago. However, that was not the case with totals including, 30 shoveler, 12 Gooseander, 900+Wigeon and 1200+Pintail.
I said 'They're are 100's and 100's of gulls in the air to the north west' Jim's reply was, '100's, don't you mean 1000's' I scanned to the WSW and there were well over 3000 Lesser-black backed Gulls and they all returned to the floods towards Melverly/Edgerly area.
1000's of ducks on the floods at Edgerley
We went looking for the gulls in hope in relocating Tom's Caspian. There were LBBG everywhere and with them were also 1000's of Black-headed Gulls. The gulls are here feasting on drowned worms but not a single Common Gull or Great-black backed Gull and only a handful of Herring Gull. If you just go up road you can see 100's of Common Gulls at the Meres. While we were observing 4 Yellow-legged Gull together, we could hear Whooper Swan. They were close by out of sight and as try as we might, we just couldn't get close enough to see them because of the flooded roads. We covered as much as the floods as we could and had more Wigeon, Pintail and Goosander. Through Pentre, past the Royal Hill pub and through gateway looking over the flood produced an adult and 3 juvenile Whooper Swan at very close range. We had finally got them and there were more. As I scanned behind the swans there were, including these birds in front of us, 31 birds. Then more whoopers starting calling behind a tall hedge to the right of the ones that we in view, A walk further up road found 7 more and in the end we got 38 Whooper Swan in total! The most that both Jim and I had seen in the county. There were also a flock of 58 Gooseander and 9 Shelduck on the same floods.
We saw up to 9 Yellow-legged Gull including this Adult and 2nd winter.
A good looking white-winged gull from a distance turned out to be an adult albino Lesser-black backed Gull
The floods where the Whooper Swan hang out
An hour before dark and after hearing them throughout the day, we had finally found them.
1500+Pintail (Shropshire record)
1200-Wigeon (Shropshire record)
38 Whooper Swan 33 adult and 5 juvenile (personal record)
1 Pink-footed Goose
3 Tufted Duck
9 Yellow-legged Gull 2nd, 3rd, 4th winter and 6 adult (personal record)
5000 Lesser-black backed Gull (personal record)
What another great day spent on the Seven floods again. It's probably the best site in Shropshire at the moment. Over 20 years ago, Matthew Webb and I used to watch this area almost every week if it was flooded and was rewarded with some good birds including, Ruddy Shelduck (during influx year in '96) pair of Scaup, 11 White-fronted Goose, 10 Bewick Swan, 500+Pintail and a single Grey Plover with 12 Dunlin.
I did find my own Caspian at Prisorlee Lake on the 1st Jan. The following day I relocated the 3rd winter Caspian Gull with 1000+Herring, 200+Lesser-black backed and 60+Great-black backed Gull at Telford Crematorium. also had up to 3500 Black-headed Gull roosting at Trench Pool with 2 Common Gull
Martin James Ford Craft (18 January 1976) is a musician and songwriter who lives and works in London. Craft was a founding member of the Australian rock band Sidewinder. When they split up he relocated to London where he followed a career as a solo artist under the name M.Craft. He has also spent several years playing rhythm guitar with Jarvis Cocker. He has been compared to widely disparate artists, most frequently Neil Young, Elliott Smith and Serge Gainsbourg.