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Chelmarsh

A large reservoir situated close to the River Severn and with quite varied habitats in the surrounding area. With large reedbeds, marsh, farmland, and woodland on the site, a good mix of birds is inevitable.

Jack Snipe

If it wasn't for the problem of access (latest situation at the end of this overview), this site would undoubtedly yield more good records. Apart from the all too few, local regular birders plus the local ringing fraternity, it remains underwatched!

A hard Winter pays dividends....

As the water rarely freezes completely in Winter, there is always open water to attract large numbers of Wildfowl, impressive counts of Goosander and a huge Gull roost that yields a mega every now and then. White winged Gulls including Kumlein's and Caspian Gulls have turned up here. Occasional Divers have been seen in recent years: Great Northern (2012), Red-throated (2011)and Black-throated (2005). Potential remains and always a chance of Common Scoter or Black-necked Grebe! Gannet (2012) and Arctic Skua (2011) were present briefly. Kingfishers are present most of the year and winter counts of Goosander and Great-crested Grebe are impressive!

The Scrape area in Winter is good for Redpoll and Siskin which together with Finches, Marsh Tits and Reed Buntings, will be found feasting on the Alders around the hide there.

Water Rail

It's certainly one of the best Shropshire sites to see Water Rail - anywhere on the scrape margins and if you leave the hide door open, they may scuttle along outside and give incredibly close views!

Common Snipe are often present out on the scrape in large numbers and with luck - there is a chance of Jack Snipe? My best ever encounter with this species took place during December 2008 here, with a very obliging bird in front of the hide!

Spring sees the influx of Warblers and this is as good a place as any in Shropshire for close views of Reed and Sedge Warbler, especially from the causeway near the scrape.The water level of the scrape can be controlled for optimum exposure of mud and waders are soon on the scene. Oystercatchers, Lapwing and Little ringed Plover may breed here and Common Sandpiper, Dunlin and Ringed Plover (Little Stint if you're feeling lucky) are seen on passage.

From June onwards, double figure counts of Green Sandpiper are possible on the scrape and there is a chance of Wood Sandpiper (pictured right) during the Summer months!

Wood Sandpiper

Cuckoo's make the most of Warbler foster parent presence and the offspring can be seen well from the causeway or hide. Hobby can turn up just about any time during the Summer months either hawking for dragonflies on the scape or chasing the numerous hirundines over the reservoir.

Common Terns and Black Terns can linger over the reservoir on passage and Osprey have been seen, most recently a ringed bird in August 2013,

The habitat around the scrape is ideal for Cetti's Warbler and it was no surprise for this County rarity to turn up in 2009. Grasshopper Warbler have also been heard and ringed in recent years?

Speaking of local (Shropshire) rarities, the potential is awesome; the dam has produced Turnstone, Rock Pipit and Purple Sandpiper in the past, Smew or Slavonian Grebe would be no real surprise on the reservoir and a Spotted Crake or mega wader on the Scrape??

It is important to stress there is no access to the reservoir, dam or banks and viewing is limited to public rights of way adjacent to the reservoir only. eg Jack Mytton way or the bridleway between reservoir and scrape. Access to the scrape is by permit issued through Shropshire Ornithological Society.


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