Its days like today that make local patch birding all the more worth while. On the face of it what seemed to be a completely dead day turned out to be anything but with me picking up a Shenstone mega and patch tick.
I was unable to get around the patch until early afternoon at just before 2pm along Witch Lane I saw all the Large Gulls go up from one of the ploughed fields. I raised my bins and scanned for a possible raptor. Indeed there was one gliding low across the field with its wings held in a shallow V and on seeing its white upper tail coverts and barred tail I knew I had a female/immature Hen Harrier (or 'Ringtail' as they are commonly known). This is not the first Hen Harrier I've seen in Worcestershire but to get one on my patch...I was elated. The bird then flew in an ENE direction towards Chaddersley Corbett and Bluntington when I lost sight of it.
This is the second record of Hen Harrier for Shenstone with the previous one being recorded some years before by fellow local birder John Cox along Heath Lane.
Also of note around the patch were c.120 Large Gulls (Herring & Lesser Black-backed Gulls) that settled in a ploughed field the other side of Witch Lane after the Harrier went through. Also along Witch Lane were a ♂ Kestrel and 2 Pied Wagtails. A single Meadow Pipit flew over Butts Lane and there was no sign of any Lapwings today in the field that they had been favouring along the A450.