Chasewater Chat -2007
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26th December 2007

Message No.24 

Please find 'attached', another Videograb of the 2nd Winter Caspian Gull, which I filmed on
Christmas eve morning at Stubbers Green pool.
I went specifically for the adult Mediterranean gull - which was absent.
I also filmed 2 No. Common Gulls and a 3rd Winter Great Black - backed Gull.
I hope you had a great Christmas.
Regards, Phil Parsons.


5th December 2007

Message No.20


Still newish to birding - and still working part-time, as I've mentioned to Phil on the odd occasions we have bumped into each other at Chasewater, I don't get the time I'd like to improve as much as I would like !

So not being a gull expert at all yet, can anyone confirm whether (or probably not !) the attached bird is one of the current Glaucous Gulls. This was 4.30 Monday afternoon this week.

It's the darker bird in the centre of the more distant shot that was 'standing out from the crowd', with the white buoy being not far from the water-ski ramp. In the close up attachment, you will it see it 'bottom left'.

Any thoughts

Andy Russell (Lichfield)


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5th December 2007

Message No.22

A reply to message 20


Hi Andrew,
Thank you for your post, we seem to be getting a few more posts lately which is great. I've put it onto the comments page for you and have shown your pics to my husband who does the gull roost on a regular basis.
Sadly you're pics don't show the glaucous gull; your bird is most likely to be a herring gull (if we're all looking at the same bird). The glaucous gull is a more bulky/stocky bird, creamy coloured with pale primaries (the bit non-birders often think is the tail). There are a couple of pictures of the glaucous gull on the diary and the comments page but what you'd probably find more useful is to head down to the West (or sometimes South) shore late afternoon around 3.30 to 4pm and look out for any birders doing the roost. They're all friendly and have been an invaluable source of information and help to me. The glaucous was there tonight from around 4pm amongst a roost of about 10,000 birds; good fun to pick out.

All the best, Natalie Ward

18th December 2007
 Message No.23
A reply to message 22


Hi again everyone
Many thanks to Natalie for putting me right on my earlier query, reference potential Glaucous Gull. My school report will do well to even say "could do better ! "
But I'll keep learning and thanks again.
Andy Russell

Please find 2 No. more 'Videograbs' of the 'suspect' 3rd Winter Caspian Gull? - filmed at Stubbers Green.
You will also find 4 No. 'Vidgrabs' of an odd looking Blackheaded Gull filmed at Sandwell
Valley - while looking for Med gulls. The bird is in the foreground.
I hope the Chasewater gull experts find it interesting.
Regards, Phil
4th December 2007

Message no.18


5th December 2007
Message no.19
A reply to message 18


Thanks for the photos Phil,
The shots of the Herring type gull are frustrating in that the legs and rear end are not shown and the overall structure of the bird is hard to see. We are left with the head and tertials as the main ID features to consider. There seems nothing in the head shape, bill shape (quite a strong gonys angle) and size to discount argenteus Herring Gull. Mild winters appear to be encouraging early body moults in many gulls (your Black-headed photos show this) and this could account for the gull's whitish head but the eye does seem to be dark which certainly is not typical for a 3rd w Herring and good for Caspian. The barred tertials are far more typical of Herring than Caspian.
The Sandwell gull is really fascinating in that it does show features of Bonapartes Gull, especially if the bill and the developing hood really are black. The legs look identical to the Black-heads, as does the tone of grey in the mantle and wings. Did you see it fly? If so, what was the underwing like? Runt Black-heads do occur and your bird is at least a good lesson and at best a very good find!

6th December 2007

Message no.21

A reply to message 19


Thanks to Gray for his analysis of the pictures of the Herring Gull and the 'small' blackheaded gull.
I have emailed another videograb of the Blackheaded - to confirm its identity.
Regards, Phil Parsons


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1st December 2007

Message no.17

The darker bird when it was just down from the speedboat club at 15-20hrs

Cheers, Nick Smith

26th November 2007

Message no.15

Hi Gray
I was on the top fields today. Saw two men hunting with hawks. They were using a dog to put up prey. In the distance I saw one bird kill what looked like a Partridge. The one man had what looked like a gun in a bag. Any idea if this is legal or who might know?
25th November 2007

Message no.14

Thanks to Paul Greeves(?), please find 3 No. 'Videograbs' of Caspian Gull filmed today at Stubbers green.
Two of the'grabs' show the second winter bird, the other 'grab' shows, what appears to me as a 3rd winter Caspian - please comment.
Regards, Phil


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29th November 2007
Message no.16
A reply to message 14
From further examination of the 3rd 'Videograb' of the suspect 3rd winter caspian gull - the bird appears to be a Herring Gull?
The person I met at the Stubbers Green site was Paul Jeynes not Paul Greeves.
Regards, Phil Parsons
22nd October 2007
Message no.12
I see the Red Deer cull is still ongoing at Cuckoo Bank according to the October log. Are they trying to wipe them out completely?
25th October 2007
Message no.13
A reply to message 12
Dear Graham,
The two stags were shot on Wednesday the 3rd of October according to the rangers diary.
John Williams
3rd September 2007

Message no. 10

Thanks for the pictures of the Slavonian Grebe on the website. They have enabled me to confirm that I did see it today off the north shore.
Liz Bolton
20th August 2007

Message no.8

The photos labelled as YL Gull on 13rd August are mostly Herring Gulls (Argentatus). Mantle Colour, Lack of Yellow Legs + Big White Mirrors in primaries, and non-stout bill indicate H Gull. The immature bird may be a First Winter YL Gull.

Regards, Tom Perrins, Julian Allen


21st August 2007

Message no.9

A reply to message 8


At last someone has responded! Thanks Tom and Julian, I've been longing to have someone to discuss the gulls that have been so fascinating for the whole summer, yet no-one else seems to be giving them any time. I've added a few more photos to the main Diary that you may find interesting. I can assure you that the birds on August 13th had yellow legs but as they are now in 'winter' plumage the bill and legs are more subdued and they have dusky flecking around the eye, ear coverts and rear of crown. Due to moulting earlier than argentatus the adult bird has very fresh and unworn primaries. The full adult was no larger than the Lesser Black-backs which also points towards Yellow-legged rather than argentatus.
The young bird is more likely to be a second winter due to the grey in the mantle and second generation tertials, showing more white fringes than a 1st w, and most of this year's birds will still be in juvenile plumage rather than 1st winter.
It would be great to see you at the roost soon. Please keep the discussion going and it would be great to encourage others to do likewise.
All the best,
6th June 2007

Message No.4

Can someone please tell me the name or species of the enclosed photograph I took the photo on the 3rd of June 2007 at Chase water.
Kind Regards
Tom Dicken


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8th June 2007
Message No.5
A reply to message 4
Hi Tom, he's one of an assortment of domestic ducks resident at Chasewater. A couple of weeks ago there were a whole brood of youngsters; each with a little white bib.
Regards Natalie
9th June 2007
 Message No.6
A reply to message 5
Hi Natalie
Thank you for your reply much appreciated.
Regards Tom.
19th Sept 2007
Message no 11
A reply to message 6
To Tom Dicken The so called house hold duck on the E-Mail page
I think this is a Muscovy Duck they seem to have lots of pattens no one the same
Look them up on internet hope this helps
Yours Tony
5th June 2007 Message No.3
I just want to say thank you for the Chasewater Web site.  I appreciate all the time and effort that is put into it. 
3rd June 2007

Message no.2



Gulls 2 and 1


Gull 1 showing long necked and long, narrow billed appearance!


Gull 1 -Short necked and deep billed appearance!

5        6   

Gull 1 on the buoy, Gull 2 on the water


Gull 2 longer, thinner, paler bill, rather Caspian Gull like!



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Despite the time of the year, up to 250 gulls are roosting on the lake most nights. Most are immature Lesser Black-backs but over the past couple of days two herring gull types have been causing me headaches! They look good for Yellow-legged but there are times they can look very Caspian-like. Perhaps you reckon they're just Herring Gulls. I'd love to hear your opinions. It would be good to get a discussion going.

17th June 2007

Message no.7

A reply to message 2


Gull 3 2nd summer

Gull 4 habitually pecked at the buoys. Its large size is clearly shown against the Lesser Black-back.

Gull 4 1st Summer



On Sunday morning there were 247 large gulls loafing on the lake despite both waterski and sailing activities. Although the gulls were reasonably close in, the back lighting made them very difficult to photograph. These two presumed 2nd summer Yellow-legged Gulls, their dark bills clearly showing them to be different from last weeks birds, again show some features of Caspian Gull. Oddly they were the only gulls that appeared to have see-through nostrils!


29th May 2007


Message no.1

What a great idea to replace the old Chat with this email version. Let's hope that readers will realise how easy it is to use and will start sending their observations and opinions.
Let's also hope that the weather picks up and we can get back into the dragonflies, butterflies and moths. Particularly, look out for Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries around the Fly Bay area; there were rumours of them last year during June.
Graham Evans