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Thursday 24 December 2015

The Ghost of Whixall Moss

Unfortunately the ghost was always drifting away from me when ever I observed it on the moss  

 Over A week ago, Andy Lathem had a male Hen Harrier at Whixall Moss.. I thought I would like to see the harrier, but I had to wait until yesterday to go when the weather at last had improved as the rest of the week was shite! It was 08.30 when I got on to the Fenns and Whixall Moss and thirty minutes of being there I connected with the male Hen Harrier as it hunted in the NW corner. In the center of the moss there was a female Merlin perched in a small spruce. Most years a Great Grey Shrike winters in the area, but despite there being one in October there has not been anymore records since. The mosses is a vast area of peat bog bordered by birch and alder and is under watched. So there could be a spot where a shrike could be hiding. I gave it my best shot of walking most of the moss, but came away with 5 Stonechat, a single Raven and better views of the harrier. There could be two shrikes wintering on the moss and you could easily overlook them.

Fenns and Whixall Moss

This male Hen Harrier could be the same individual that has been wintering on the moss for the last few years.

Scanning the moss and picked out this female Merlin near to the center

No sign of the Cetti's Warbler on the floods just before the car park. However, with over 250 Canada Geese was this interesting darker individual. (Todds maybe?) Also on the floods were 23 Shoveler, 50+Teal and 30+Wigeon

Another adult Yellow-legged Gull at Trench Pool

This 4th winter yellow-legged Gull was at Prisorlee Lake

There are up to 11 Great-crested Grebe on Prisorlee Lake

Tom morello and Kris Kristofferson singing 'Working Class Hero' at John Lennon's 75th Birthday Benefit Concert at NY recorded at the beginning of December. Note how Kris asks Tom for the first line of the song to get him started as he's forgot it. At 80 he's just about to start touring again after just finishing a world tour earlier this year. Both these political activists have worked with each other a few times before.  

Wednesday 16 December 2015

CETTI'S WARBLER at Prisorlee Lake A Salop tick!

As it was showing well, I was hopping to get a pic of my first CETTI'S WARBLER for Shropshire. However, that didn't happen and it's another pic of a different cracking adult Yellow-legged Gull at Trench Pool instead

  From a crap day yesterday at the meres to a Shropshire tick today! This morning I arrived at Prisorlee Lake to see all the gulls at the far end. So I walked all the way along the west end of the lake and scanned from the NW platform. I had only been there for a few minutes when a CETTI'S WARBLER gave itself away with a call just to my left. This was a Salop tick for me and I ain't going nowhere until I see it. A few meters later, below me, there was some movement and the waebler started to perform really well, but there was always vegetation in front of me to focus on the bird with the camera. It flew across the path I was standing on and dived into the cover. While putting the news out, it called once more and I didn't hear it again for another hour when it gave a burst of song. In that hour I also had Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, 2 vocal Water Rail, one showing well and a single Kingfisher. On the water there were 3 Great-black backed Gull and there were now 12 Gadwall.
  I discovered while talking to Ashley on Birdnet that he had a Cetti's on the Shropshire side of Whixall Moss three weeks ago and a local birder I bumped into, told me that the Prisorlee Cett's has been heard, but never seen, for the last two weeks. I was lucky enough to observe it briefly at close range and my aim now is to try and get a pic of it next time I see it.

There were 2 Jay at Prisorlee and a small flock of Long-tailed Tit moved through

Yesterday, in a rather large gull roost including, 200+Common Gull were a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull with 5 Yellow-legged Gull (1st and 3rd winter and 3 adult)

Two adult Yellow-legged Gull at Trench Pool on the 14th, included a different bird from the two adults I had here on the 11th

 I've had argentatus Herring Gull at Trench Pool

Over 2000 Black-headed Gulls are roosting at the latter site and so far I've had three different adult Common Gull. However, the large gulls don't stay and move on somewhere else to roost. 


This cracking male Kingfisher showed superbly at Venus Pool a few days ago. Later on I saw singles at both Trench Pool, Prisorlee Lake and Flash. Also at Venus Pool of note were 23 shoveler, 2 Lesser Redpoll and 1 male and 4 female Pintail.  

Large numbers of Fieldfare around at the moment including over 600 at Baggy Moor

4 of the 6 Brambling that were with a 150+Chaffinch at Isombridge.

Smoke Fairies is a British dream pop duo comprising Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies. In 2007, Smoke Fairies toured the UK in support of Bryan Ferry and the following year they released their debut single, "Living with Ghosts", on Music for Heroes. Richard Hawley, who I've played on my blog a few times, was an early supporter of the act, saying they were "frankly the best thing I have heard in years". They supported Hawley on his True Love’s Gutter Tour of the UK in October 2009.

Friday 11 December 2015

Yellow-legged Gulls at Trench Pool

Just arrived in Salop and go to Trench Pool and get 2 adult Yellow-legged Gull. This was followed by a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull up road at Telford Crematorium. 

While scanning the pool, this adult Yellow-legged Gull flew in 

Five minutes later another adult flew in. Both birds flew off NE and an adult Common Gull appeared

There were over 1000 gulls at the Telford crematorium and the only bird of interest was this 1st winter Mediterranean Gull. There were also 8 Gadwall at nearby Prisorlee Lake

Current Swell is a Canadian indie rock band from Victoria, British Columbia. To date, the band has released a total of five albums;So I SayTrust Us NowProtect Your OwnLong Time Ago, and UlyssesIn 2011, Current Swell placed first at Vancouver’s Peak Performance Project, winning the $100,500 top prize. The band also played one of the largest concerts of its kind in Victoria at a Canada Day concert for 45,000 people at the B.C. Legislature. The band's sound combines the musical styles of folkrockrootsbluesreggae, and ska. The band’s sound has also been described as “surf rock.” In 2014, it was announced that the band would be releasing their fourth studio album on May 6, entitled Ulysses. The album was produced by Nathan Sabatino (Dr. Dog, White Rabbits) at Vancouver's Greenhouse Studios. The first single was the third track on the album, called Rollin'. Rollin' is also featured in TGR's 2015 feature unReal.