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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

3rd Caspian Gull for Trench Pool

In the last two nights, the 4th winter Caspian Gull has been roosting at nearby Trench Pool

 The 4th winter Caspian Gull is still present at Hortonwood for it's forth day and not surprising, I relocated it roosting across the road at Trench Pool for the last two nights with over 2000 Black-headed Gull, 12 Goosander and the adult HerringxLBBG. 
  While just a five minute walk from Trench Pool in Trench itself, a Marsh Tit was a total surprise as it was a first for the garden! No doubt brought in with the harsh conditions. Other birds visiting the garden for the same reason were Redwing, Fieldfare, 15+Long-tailed Tit and only the forth record of Goldcrest!

The Caspian Gull Roosting last night on the ice

And this evening on the water

A close up of the Caspian Gull at Hortonwood

3 Buzzard together flew over the heads of the gulls resting on the roofs and put them all up

Only a handful of Herring Gull were also at Hortonwood

While there have been up to 250 Lesser-black backed Gull

Over 2000 Black-headed Gull are roosting at Trench Pool. These were all taken just across the road at Middle Pool 

Blue Tit from the morning light in the garden

Some 15+Long-tailed Tit moved through the garden with a rare sighting of a single Goldcrest


The track on the west side of Trench Pool

I think I play of Mark Lanegan on my blog than any other artist!

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Caspian Gull at Hortonwood, Telford

The 4th winter Caspian Gull was showing a lot better this afternoon on the snow covered roofs at Hortonwood with the 3 Yellow-legged Gull

  The snow didn't stop me from making the mile drive from my parents home to Hortonwood to see if the Caspian Gull was still present. There were a lot more gulls, 250+Lesser-black backed Gull and after picking out the 2 adult Yellow-legged Gull from yesterday, it didn't take long to relocate the Caspian Gull. All the gulls were resting on the roof of a meat factory and show very well when a wagon comes in and they start flying around. I returned at 15.30 and now there were 3 Yellow-legged Gull with the Caspian still present.

The gulls hanging out on the roof of the meat factory. I guess it's a great place to meat up!!


The only other Caspian Gull that I've observed at close range like this, is the 1st winter I found two years ago just two minute up road at Trench Pool. That individual stayed around for two week and showed superbly during it's stay!  

A new adult Yellow-legged Gull joined the 2 adults from yesterday
There were well over 250+Lesser-black backed Gull with 15+Herring Gull including a single HerringxLBBG

There were only some 20 Black-headed Gull

The snow covered garden today and not a single sparrow or Starling in sight! Where have they all gone!? However, there were 2 Song Thrush but over 25 year ago, we used to get 7 in the garden all the time! 

Over fifteen year ago, I never recorded Wood Pigeon in the garden except flying over. Now, you can see up to 25!

Patrick Watson (born 1979) is a Canadian singer-songwriter from MontrealQuebec. It also refers to the eponymous band formed by Watson, whose blend of cabaret pop and classical music influences with indie rock has been compared to Rufus Wainwright,[1] Andrew BirdNick DrakeJeff Buckley and Pink Floyd for its experimental musicianship. Patrick Watson's album Close to Paradise was awarded the Polaris Music Prize in 2007.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Caspian Gull at Hortonwood, Telford

I got surprise when I found this 4th winter Caspian Gull at Hortonwood, Telford with 2 adult Yellow-legged Gull

  This afternoon, I was on my ways back from the shops in Donnington and thought that I would check out the gulls at Hortonwood. It's kinda of hit and miss here as I found out when I looked in November before I went to Morocco and there was not one gull in sight! However, last winter when I looked there were the odd Yellow-legged Gull there. The gulls hang outt on the roofs at the south end of the industrial estate and on arrival I could see Lesser-black backed gulls. I parked and immediately found a adult Yellow-legged Gull followed by another. You can't see all the gulls as they can hide on the otherside of the roofs out of sight. I was just leaving after ten minutes and the 60+Lesser-black backed Gull got up to come back down again. With my naked eye I could pick out the 2 YLG and then I spotted what I thought might be a hybrid until I put my bins on it. Bloody ell! A Caspian Gull! It took me totally by surprise! It stayed front on for a while until pushed off only to return and settle down again. The light was crap and at 16,00, I thought I'll drive just two minutes up road to Trench Pool to see if it roosts there. It didn't but I'm guessing, that the adult Yellow-legged Gull that did roost on the pool was one of the birds from Hortonwood. There were also over 600 Black-headed Gull roosting, 2000+last night, and 10 Goosander.
  Earlier on the day, there were 20 Redwing in the garden and a new species for the garden, 2 Jay. Although I did have two fly over high nearly thirty year ago.

2 adult Yellow-legged Gull

This 4th winter Caspian Gull was a surprise while coming back from shopping in the bad light and it was always distant! 

There were some 60 Lesser-black backed Gull also hanging out on the roofs

Adult Yellow-legged Gull roosting at Trench Pool

  Two day ago I went to south salop to look for Crossbill. I didn't get there until mid-day after seeing 20 Gadwall at the sailing Lake, Venus pool. I tried out where my nan was born first, Black Hill, Clun. Maybe I might see the Great Grey shrike that has been wintering up here for the last five years. It was seen last month but instead I got a single Hawfinch fly past. I picked it up on call first before I observed it disappear low behind the pines. The only other birds of note were 20 Snipe and for me, a Green Woodpecker mobbing a Buzzard.
  At Bury Ditches nearby, I immediately heard and then saw 7 Crossbill in flight. They kept to the top of pines with 30+Siskin and the odd Lesser Redpoll and at least 3 Willow Tit moved through with a large tit flock

There were only 7 Crossbill at Bury Ditches and as you can see, they stayed pretty high. As I expected, I didn't get what I was looking for but hopefully someone else will this winter.

I saw more Red Kite than Buzzard!

Did anyone watch Panorama last week? What a load of rubbish!! It was about 'Where's our aid money going?' They focused on the large company 'Global Fund' who have spent almost £15 billion fighting Aids, malaria and tuberculosis. But its inspector general was sacked for 'unsatisfactory' performance after exposing corruption, and reports revealing how aid money went missing have been delayed. Well of cause there's corruption involved, Bono, Clinton and Blair were supporting it!! It's funny how they're involved in it! You got corruption written all over their three faces! I'm surprised that Kofi Annan wasn't taking part as well.  But t
hat's not my point. When I read the title of the program, I thought, are they going to talk about the 200 million that goes to The White Helmets and Syrian Police in Syria? That we, the tax payer funds and those funds have gone missing and our government and BBC promote The White Helmets. The UK government is heavily involved in where that money goes! But, no, instead the BBC Panorama choose a big wealthy company instead of where are tax money is disappearing to! Your tax money goes to jihadi groups including ISIS! The White Helmets is also a scam!! 

The Guardian logo

BBC in row over 'false claims' of cash for Syrian police being paid to jihadists

The Guardian logo The Guardian 3/12/2017 5:00:00 Daniel Boffey
Al-Nusra Front members near the northwestern Syrian city of Ariha.© ReutersAl-Nusra Front members near the northwestern Syrian city of Ariha.
The BBC is facing a backlash against what are said to be false claims to be aired by Panorama that British taxpayers' money intended for the unarmed western-backed Free Syrian Police force has ended up in the hands of jihadis linked to extremist groups.
The report, Jihadis You Pay For, will claim that Foreign Office money paid to the FSP reached people with links to the extremist group al-Nusra Front.
The allegations have been described as "entirely inaccurate and misleading" by Adam Smith International (ASI), which manages the British-funded Access to Justice and Community Security (Ajacs) scheme that supports the FSP in rebel-held areas of Syria. An internal review found that of $20m in funds for the FSP, only $1,800 unwittingly fell into the hands of FSP officers with links to extremist groups, and the cash was not British taxpayers' money but from other state donors.
ASI has called on the BBC to amend the title of its programme, which has been described on the corporation's website as an examination of "how some of the cash has ended up in the hands of extremists and how an organisation we are funding supports a brutal justice system".
Andrew Mitchell MP, the former international development secretary, said it was inevitable the FSP would come into contact with extremist groups and that complexity should not deter the UK from involvement.
Mitchell warned against the BBC jumping on an "anti-aid bandwagon" and not taking into account the risks and difficulties faced in trying to offer communities policing outside of the control of the Assad regime.
"This is an extremely important project devised with the aim of strengthening the FSP in dangerous areas where jihadi groups are in operation," Mitchell said. "That is the whole point. The people involved in the project are extremely brave and should be praised, not pilloried. The BBC have been told that there is no evidence of British taxpayers' money going to jihadi groups.
"I hope they reflect on the information provided to them ahead of broadcast and don't fall into the trap of criticising something without understanding all the facts and complexities of the area and the work being done. This work is too important to fall victim to an anti-aid narrative."
Panorama is expected to claim that ASI failed to respond quickly enough when links were discovered between two FSP stations and courts run by al-Nusra. It is claimed that two officers were present at a stoning in 2014. ASI says the incident cited by Panorama occurred five weeks after it started working on the scheme in October 2014, and that the two men at the stoning were not formal officers and had not received any cash through the scheme.
Support for the police stations in the area was suspended the following February because of the heavy presence of extremist groups, ASI said.
Among Panorama's other claims are that stipends paid to officers have continued even when they have died, the money going to the men's families or relatives who replaced the officers. ASI says that a review last year found that this had happened in 14 cases.
General Adeeb al-Shallaf, founder of the FSP, a force of 3,300 mostly unarmed officers in the rebel-held areas of Aleppo, Idlib and Daraa provinces, accused Panorama of irresponsible journalism.
Al-Shallaf, who once held a senior position within Assad's Syrian government police force before defecting when his superiors ordered him to shoot at demonstrators during the popular uprisings in the country, said: "We, the Free Syrian Police, are present on the ground despite all the challenges, be it the armed groups and the daily shelling - in the last shelling they hit our police centre in Al-Atarib and killed 13 police officers, in addition to civilians."
The Foreign Office, which funds the Ajacs with five other governments, said the scheme was important for Britain's national security but that it had suspended the funding while investigations continued. "These schemes, also supported by international partners, are intended to make communities in Syria safer by providing basic civilian policing services," it said.
"We believe that such work in Syria is important to protect our national security interest but, of course, we reach this judgment carefully, given that in such a challenging environment no activity is without risk."
The BBC said it "is confident in its journalism and the investigation will be broadcast in full".

UK Colunm News goes into more depth about 'Where's our aid money goin' and this was shown the day before the Panorama program. Well worth watching as they take on 'Fake News' including the BBC.