Sunday 30th May 2010, Shenstone & Upton Warren

On the evening I popped to Shenstone & good numbers of House Martin (20+) and Swift (40+) were seen over Stanklyn Lane. A ♂ Kestrel was present on Butts Lane, as were 2 Swallows. A Bank Vole was along Back Lane.

In the morning, I popped to Upton Warren again today to see the 3 first-summer Little Gulls that are still present on the Moors Pool. The birds were again performing well and I managed to take a couple of photos this time.

Also present on one of the Islands were two Avocets, one of which appeared to be sitting on eggs. After a while the Avocet got up to see off a Common Tern that had come a bit to close and I could clearly see, in my scope, one of the beige/stone coloured dark spotted eggs.

Little Gulls - Upton Warren 30th May 2010:

Saturday 29th May 2010, Shenstone

The Common Tern was again present on Captain's Pool after not being seen for a few days. The bird was continually harassed by a Black-headed Gull (TS).

Thursday 27th May 2010, Arley & Trimpley

For a change, I decided to pop to Arley and do a walk along the River Severn to Trimpley Reservoir and back this afternoon. Many Garden Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and a Common Whitethroat were all in song. On the river there were 2 drake Mandarin ducks and a ♀ Mandarin with 6 young.

Good numbers of Banded Demoiselle damselflies were seen with 9 (7♂ & 2♀) counted along the walk. On returning to Arley I sat and watched 14+ House Martins continually collecting mud from the rivers edge for nest building.

Wednesday 26th May 2010, Shenstone & Holt/Grimley

A Garden Warbler was singing along Stanklyn Lane, as were 2 Common Whitethroats. 5 Mistle Thrushes (4 Juveniles) were in Heath Lane paddock. A Pied Wagtail was also present there.

After visiting Shenstone, I decided to pop to Holt & Grimley. The Pink-footed Goose was again at Holt Sling Pool. 8 Little Ringed Plovers (4 chicks) were at Wagon Wheel Lane Pits. 2 Common Tern were on the raft at Grimley Old workings Island Pool.

4 Common Tern were using the islands at Grimley New Workings. The Oystercatchers there were feeding two chicks on donut island and a Little Ringed Plover was present at the north end. I also saw a ♂ Common Blue butterfly along the causeway and a Stoat along path back to Camp Lane.

♂ Common Blue Butterfly - Grimley 26th May 2010

Tuesday 25th May 2010, Shenstone and Upton Warren

Things are getting pretty quiet around Shenstone at the moment, the only warblers I heard singing today were Chiffchaff & Blackcap. A flock of 60+ Starling were feeding in a field along Stanklyn Lane. 2 Buzzards and a ♂ Kestrel were also present. A ♂ Orange Tip and Small & Large White Butterflies were also seen.

In the afternoon I popped to Upton Warren Moors Pool to catch up with the 3 Little Gulls that had arrived earlier that day. I wasn't disappointed and was treated to great views of them performing well over the water. I always think, whenever I see Little Gull, what fantastic agile and Tern-like (is that a proper expression?). Upton Warren certainly seems to be the Jewel in Worcestershire's crown this Spring.

Monday 24th May 2010, Belvide

Spent a few hours at WMBC's Belvide Bird Reserve today. Of note were, a drake Garganey that has been present for a while now, 7 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 2 Redshank and 1 Little Ringed Plover. Good numbers of Sedge Warbler & Garden Warbler were present, as were Tree Sparrows.

For membership info/permits for Belvide -

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Sunday 23rd May 2010, Shenstone

A very quiet evening. The Little Owl was again present on Heath Lane and a Hare was seen in a field along Witch Lane.

Dorset, 16th to 22nd May 2010

Last week my wife (Bev) and I went to Dorset for a break. The week was a mixture of birding and other holiday pursuits (there is an award winning Real Ale pub in West Lulworth after-all !). In this report I will try and summarize the birding/wildlife highlights.

Sunday 16th May - Worbarrow Tout and Stoborough Heath:
Visited Worbarrow Tout which is a small headland on the Lulworth Ranges (access only available at weekends) had great views of a number of Rock Pipits, Shag, Kittiwake and Sandwich Tern. On the afternoon we popped over to Stoborough Heath and had great views of Stonechats and Sika Deer.

Monday 17th May - Radipole Lake RSPB, Portland Bill & Lodmore RSPB:
Radipole lake was a very quiet place, although we did see the Hooded Merganser that has been kicking around down there for the past couple of years (ok so its not really a tick but its a smart looking bird all the same). Portland Bill was also pretty quiet although did have 6 Turnstone, 2 Spotted Flycatcher and 4 Wheatear (all tending towards the Greenland variety and having a brick red hue to them). Lodmore gave us good views of a Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 8 Dunlin.

Tuesday 18th May - Brownsea Island:
What can I say, Brownsea is always worth a visit - even if to just seeing the fantastic Sandwich Tern Colony, which is only a few metres away from the hide. Wasn't lucky enough to see the Roseate Tern that has been visiting the lagoon but did have a Sanderling, 2 Mediterranian Gulls, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit and 4 Dunlin. Elsewhere on the island we saw a roosting Tawny Owl and Sika Deer. The highlight came from the hide overlooking the lakes in the centre of the island, a quiet place where me and Bev decided to have lunch. Whilst eating our rather limp and warm sarnies, a Jackdaw came down in front of the hide and flushed a Nightjar, which in turn flew up and landed on a log in the open (see below photo). We didn't see any Red Squirrel until heading back to get the last ferry from the island, when we saw 4.

Wednesday 19th May- Stoborough Heath:
Popped back to this quiet stretch of Heath early evening and was rewarded with cracking views of ♂ Dartford Warbler collecting insects.

Friday 21st May - Arne RSPB:
Highlights seen on both the Coombe heath and Shipstal trails at Arne were 2 Spoonbill, many Little Egret, Dartford Warbler, Stonechats (inc juveniles), Spotted Flycatchers and Tree Pipits. Broad-bodied Chaser and Four-Spotted Chaser dragonflies were also seen.

All in all, Dorset was a really enjoyable place to go birding and, although we didn't have any rarities whilst down there, it was great to catch up with species that we don't get in Worcestershire or only in small numbers on passage. 90 species of bird were seen in total.

Male Stonechat - Stoborough Heath 16th May 2010

Spotted Flycatcher - Portland Bill 17th May 2010

Sandwich Terns - Brownsea Island 18th May 2010

Nightjar - Brownsea Island 18th May 2010

Saturday 22nd May 2010, Shenstone

After returning from my weeks holiday, I decided to have a quick scoot around Shenstone on the evening and was rewarded with a ♂ Black-tailled Godwit flying north over Heath Lane. 2 Red-legged Partridge were down on Butts Lane and many of the arable birds were in song, otherwise, the evening was pretty quiet.

I would like to thank Terry Hinett & Tony Smith for keeping me up to date on whats been happening around Shenstone whilst I have been away.

A trip report for my vist to Dorset will be posted on here soon.

Thursday 20th May 2010, Shenstone

A Great Crested Grebe was seen carrying a single chick on Captains Pool (TS).

Wednesday 19th May 2010, Shenstone

A pair of Tutfted Duck were present on Captains Pool until Friday 21st May (TS).

Tuesday 18th May 2010, Shenstone

A single Wheatear was present on Witch Lane Shenstone (TMH). There were no further sightings of Wheatear around Shenstone after this date, so it looks as though this spring's Wheatear passage may have finished.

A Common Tern was fishing on Captains Pool at 8pm, also present were a Grey Heron and a Mute Swan sitting on nest (TS).

Monday 17th May 2010, Shenstone

A Wheatear still present at Stanklyn Lane & 2 Garden Warblers (TMH).

Sunday 16th May 2010, Shenstone

A single Wheatear was still present on the patch (TMH).

Saturday 15th May 2010, Shenstone

1 Wheatear still present along Stanklyn Lane (TMH).

Friday 14th May 2010, Shenstone

2 Tufted Ducks on Captains Pool this morning and a Common Tern this afternoon (TS). 2 Wheatear (1♂) still present at Stanklyn Lane paddocks (TMH).

Little Owl was again present this evening as was a Tawny Owl that was showing well. Tawny Owl is actually a first for me on the patch so it was a very good evening.

Thursday 13th May, Shenstone & Wyre Forest

There was no sign of the ♀ Whinchat this morning, and only the ♂ Wheatear was seen at Stanklyn Lane paddocks. Many Common Whitethroats were singing around the patch today as were Linnets, Yellowhammers, Skylarks and a single Willow Warbler.

I heard 5 singing Wood Warblers in the Wyre Forest with one showing exceptionally well below the disused railwayline. I also heard 1 singing Pied Flycatcher and saw 3 Tree Pipits. Along Dowles Brook I only had a single Dipper today but I have heard that 2 pairs succesfully nested there this year. Garden Warblers were very much in evidence with good numbers singing during the walk round and reasonable views were obtained of 2 of the birds.

Wednesday 12th May 2010, Shenstone

Not much in the way of change from yesterday, with the ♀ Whinchat still at Back Lane and 3 Wheatear (1♂ & 2♀) still located at Stanklyn Lane. ♂ Orange Tip and Small Tortioseshell Butterflies were also seen along Back Lane as was a ♀ Scorpion Fly (Panpora Communis).

Female Whinchat - Shenstone 12th May 2010

Panpora Communis Scorpian Fly - Shenstone 12th May 2010

Tuesday 11th May 2010 - Shenstone

Today was a much better day on the patch, with three new arrivals this morning. A ♀ Whinchat (TMH) was along Back lane perching on the posts and dropping into the rapeseed field. A ♀ Wheatear (TMH) was in the paddock on Heath Lane and another ♀ Wheatear was located in Stanklyn Lane Paddocks.

This afternoon there was a fall of another 3 Wheatears (2♂ & 1♀) (TMH) at Stanklyn Lane paddocks. These three birds appear to be of the Icelandic race. A Fox was present along Stanklyn Lane this evening.

Female Whinchat - Shenstone 11th May 2010

Male Wheatear - Stanklyn Lane 11th May 2010

Monday 10th May 2010, Shenstone & Hartlebury Common

Very quiet around Shenstone this morning, with no sign of any Wheatear. The Little Owl was again present at what seems to be its regular spot and a Garden Warbler was singing along Heath Lane.

Hartlebury Common was surprisingly quiet, people wise, and many warblers were in song. During my circuit around the top section I heard 9 Willow Warbler, 7 Common Whitethroat, 4 Chiffchaff, 4 Garden Warbler and 3 Blackcap singing. I heard a distant Cuckoo & 4 Common Buzzard were soaring above. Other species seen were: Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Dunnock, Green Woodpecker, Jay, Linnet, Magpie, Robin, Woodpigeon & Yellowhammer. A Fox was seen in a clearing between the gorse. The highlight of the walk was seeing a ♂ Emperor Moth quickly fly past over the heather. The only butterflies seen were Speckled Wood, Peacock & Small White.

Sunday 9th May 2010 - Belvide, Upton Warren and Shenstone.

In the afternoon I decided to pop to Belvide for a change of scenery. Had a great afternoon there and saw 1 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Arctic Tern, 2 Hobby, 10+ Common Tern, 2 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Oystercatcher, 4 Little Ringed Plover, ♂ Goldeneye, ♂ Wigeon and 2 Shellduck. There were also good numbers of Garden Warbler and Sedge Warbler present. Not being a regular there, and only visiting periodically, I would like to thank the lads there for being so welcoming.

Early evening, my wife (Bev), and I popped to Upton Warren to see the Long-eared Owl that was roosting at the edge of the Moors Pool reedbed. Great views were had (see below photo) and we were also treated to the 3 Greenshank that flew overhead calling loudly as they left the Moors.

Finally, on my way home, I popped into my local patch of shenstone...I couldnt let a day slip with out visiting. The Little Owl was still present along Heath Lane and a ♂ Wheatear was seen in Stanklyn Lane paddocks.

Long-Eared Owl - Upton Warren 9th May 2010

Saturday 8th May 2010, Shenstone

Went around the patch early afternoon today, conditions were wet, cold and pretty grim. The only real highlights were a fly-over Yellow Wagtail at Stanklyn Lane and a single ♂ Wheatear that was still present. Both ♂ & ♀ Green Woodpecker were also seen in the paddocks.

Friday May 7th 2010, Shenstone & Wyre Forest (at dusk)

There are now 5 Wheatears in/on the bank behind the paddocks along Stanklyn lane this afternoon. The 3 birds (2♂ & 1♀) that have been present for a number of days now have been joined by 2 new birds (1♂ & 1♀).

A Hare was again present in the large cereal field on Heath Lane. The only butterfly I saw on the wing this afternoon was a ♂ Orange Tip along Heath Lane.

Shortly before dusk, myself, Tony Smith and Brian Rickett went to the Wyre Forest to try and catch up with roding Woodcock. On arrival at the clearing above the disused railway line, there were a number of Willow Warblers and 2 Tree Pipits singing. As dusk approached, and all but the Robins were singing, we had 2 Woodcock roding in the area. As the light fell a Tawny Owl was heard calling.

Thursday 6th May 2010, Shenstone

3 Wheatears (2♂) still present in paddocks along Stanklyn Lane this morning. Also seen along Stanklyn were 2 Common Whitethroat, a ♂ Blackcap, 1 Pied Wagtail, 2 Common Buzzard and a flock of 40+ Starling. Singing in the area were Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Skylark, Linnet and Yellowhammer.

4 Curlew seen flying over Heath Lane towards Stone. 2 Common Whitethroats singing in hedge row near model aircraft field. A Common Buzzard and a Brown Hare were seen in the field opposite the Islamic School.

On returning to Shenstone this evening, 2 Wheatears were still showing on Stanklyn Lane, a Fox was seen crossing Back Lane and a Little Owl was seen perched in a tree on Heath Lane. This is the first sighting of Little Owl I have had in the area since August 2009, when the resident pair disappeared from Stanklyn Lane.

Common Buzzards - Shenstone 06/05/2010

Tuesday 4th May 2010, Shenstone & Upton Warren

3 Wheatear (2♂) still at Stanklyn Lane in the paddocks this morning and Garden Warbler still in hedgerow. Garden Warbler has been a scarce bird at Shenstone over the years, with the only previous sighting being one day bird in April 2009. On the evening, there were still 2 Wheatear showing plus 4 Corn Buntings and 5 Yellowhammers (Craig Reed).

Visited Upton Warren late morning and spent a couple of hours, to start with, at the Moors Pool. Very quite in terms of passage, even though 14 Artic Terns (TMH) had passed through earlier that morning. I had at least 3 Cetti's Warbler singing, 1 Common Tern, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Oystercatcher and both Sedge and Reed Warbler.

The Flashes were also quiet with highlights being Lesser Whitethroat in hedge along track to hide, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Redshank and of course, the mixed blessing that is, the Avocets. Although interestingly enough, the Avocets seem to be tolerating Black-headed Gulls nesting on the same islands.

It also seemed that there has been an increase in the numbers of Sedge Warbler present. It certainly seems that this year it is a good Sedge and Garden Warbler generally year in Worcestershire.

Sedge Warbler - Upton Warren Moors Pool 04/05/2010

Monday 3rd May 2010, Shenstone, Holt & Grimley

A ♀ Whinchat between in ploughed field along Stanklyn Lane this morning and re-located in paddocks this afternoon and 4 Wheatear (3♂) (TMH).

A single ♀ Wheatear was in the pig pens just past Holt Church. 1 Common Tern, 2 Redshank, 2 Little ringed Plover, 2 Oystercatcher and 2 Common Sandpiper at Grimley New Workings. There were 2 Sedge Warbler singing on/by the causeway. Also seen were a Moorhen with 6 chicks and a pair of Canada Geese with 7 goslings.

2nd May 2010, Shenstone

2 Wheatear (1♂) still present along Stanklyn Lane this afternoon. 2 Green Woodpeckers showing well in paddocks. Good numbers of Sky Lark, Linnet, Yellowhammer and Corn Bunting singing around the Shenstone area.

Thursday 29th April, 2010 - Shenstone & Elmley Lovett

Whinchat (♀) on fence at rear of Stanklyn Lane paddocks this afternoon (JC) and 3 Wheatear (2♂).

2 Wheatear (1♂) at Elmley Lovett in sheep field.

♂ & ♀ Wheatears - Elmley Lovett 29/02/2010

Tuesday 27th April 2010 - Shenstone

4 Wheatear (3♂) between along Stanklyn Lane this evening and a late Fieldfare.

Monday 26th April 2010 - Shenstone

2 Wheatear (1♂) in paddocks along Stanklyn Lane this morning and Garden Warbler (TMH).