Tuesday 21st Sept 2010 - Chelmarsh & Clee Hill

I decided to have a change of scene and a break from the patch today and headed off across the county boundary out of Worcestershire into Shropshire.

My first stop was Chelmarsh Reservoir near Bridgenorth. This is a seriously under watched/reported site that consists of a large reservoir and a smaller reserve at the North West corner that are split from each other via a causeway. The Scrape itself was very quiet with the only notable birds being 1 Dunlin and c.40 Teal. From the reserve I then viewed across the main body of water from the causeway. From here I picked up a Little Egret along the West shoreline.

I then followed the track that runs parallel to the West side of the reservoir to the hide that looks over the water towards the dam. Just before getting to the hide I had great views of 3 Willow Tits flitting around in the damp woodland. I was really chuffed to see these as they are a species that are virtually extinct in Worcestershire. From the hide I picked up an adult Mediterranian Gull with large numbers of Black-headed Gulls. 21 Goosander were counted whilst they were all sat up on the dam wall. Seen on and around the water were Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Cormorants, Grey Heron, Great Crested Grebes, Little Grebes, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Gadwalls, Tufted Ducks, Mallards, Coots and Moorhens.

Also seen during the visit were 1 Reed Bunting, 3 Chiffchaffs and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. A Grey Partridge was heard calling from the field behind the parking area.

A number of butterflies were on the wing today and i recorded 1 Small Copper, 4 Comma, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Peacock, 2 Speckled Wood and a Small White.

View across the scrape at Chelmarsh:

Comma - Chelmarsh, 21st September 2010:

Mid afternoon I headed across from Chelmarsh to Titterstone Clee Hill. At the summit I did a walk around and I picked up a female/immature Merlin sweeping over the short grass and putting up a flock Linnets. There were at c.60 Linnets present in the area. I also had great views of 3 Wheatears near the summit car park. Other birds of note included 6 Kestrels, 3 Common Buzzards and 3 Ravens. c.200 House Martins passed through heading SSE and along the road to the summit there were at least 300 Meadow Pipits present.

All in all an enjoyable days birding and a welcome change of scenery, although to be honest I kept thinking "what if there's something good at Shenstone?" ah well.

Wheatear - Titterstone Clee, 21st september 2010:

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