Monday 4th October 2010 - Shenstone

Received a call this afternoon of fellow local birder and proprietor of Tony's Cafe (Tony Smith), informing me that there was strange goose with the Canadas on Captains Pool. I popped down to have a look and saw a small goose that was about the size of a Ross's Goose with a white head, vermiculated frosty blue/grey body, small pink bill and orange legs. To be honest I was stumped and all I cold think was that it was a possible Pinkfoot x Ross's Goose hybrid. I took some photos and emailed former county recorder Brian Stretch (Worcester Birding) to ask his opinion. Brian had indeed seen one of these geese before (at his local patch of Grimley) and he informed me it was an Emperor Goose. This bird, although un-ringed, is undoubtedly an escape as they are an Alaskan and Eastern Russian species. An Emperor Goose, quite possibly the same bird, has been recorded in Worcestershire before at Clifton Pits and Grimley. Although this is a so called 'plastic' goose, its a nice looking bird all the same (see photo below).

Emperor Goose - Captains Pool, 4th Oct 2010:

Also on Captain's Pool were c.100 Canada Geese, 2 Black-Headed Gulls, 5 Great Crested Grebes (4 juvs) and the usual Mallards and Moorhens. Of note in the trees along the pool were 2 Jays, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and 2 Coal Tits. A Grey Wagtail was heard calling as it flew over.

Elsewhere on the patch there were 3 Jays and a mixed flock of c.60 corvids (Rooks & Jackdaws) along Stanklyn Lane. Also along Stanklyn Lane were 2 Common Buzzards. Another Jay, a light-phase Common Buzzard and a Kestrel were seen at Heath Lane paddock. 4 Skylarks flew North over Heath Lane and a Meadow Pipit flew South West.

Due to the unusually mild sunny weather today it was a good day for butterflies with 2 Red Admirals, 2 Small Coppers, 1 Comma, 3 Speckled Woods and 6 Small Whites all seen along Heath Lane. Also noted were a Hornet and a Migrant Hawker Dragonfly.

Red Admiral - Shenstone, 4th Oct 2010:

Comma - Shenstone, 4th Oct 2010:

Black-headed Gull - Shenstone, 4th Oct 2010:

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