Monday 15th November 2010 - Shenstone

I finally got back around the patch today (after my most recent dose of a man cold) and it didn't disappoint. As the morning moved on the mist burnt off leaving clear blue sky and sunshine.

I started at Captains Pool (well... Tony's Cafe to be honest) where the 4 Shoveller (3 drakes) were still present. Also of note on the pool were a Great Crested Grebe and 15 Black-headed Gulls. A tit flock passed through the trees at the edge of the pool and with it was a Goldcrest - not thick on the ground around the patch (I believe last years cold winter didn't help matters).

From Captains pool Tony and I visited the Butts/Back Lane area next. In the large tree next to the pull-in were 2 Corn Buntings looking rather resplendent in the glow of the suns light. C.70 Linnets flew into the same trees as did 2 ♂ Chaffinch and a ♂ Yellowhammer. 25 Skylarks were also noted in this area.

Witch Lane was the next area visited. Whilst traveling down the lane we had a stonking ♂ Sparrowhawk that would perch up on the hedge for a few seconds and then carry on flying low to the road. In the ploughed field were 78 Lapwings, c.300 Starlings, 38 Black-headed Gulls and 2 Common Buzzards. Towards the bottom of Witch Lane, near the former grain store , came the real highlight of today's visit, 5 Corn Buntings perched in one of the trees here. This is the first time I have recorded them in this area of the patch - (in my experience) around Shenstone they tend to be very localised and stick to within a certain radius of the breeding areas pretty much all year long. Needless to say I was pleased with this discovery. Also in the same tree were 3 Yellowhammers (2 ). Seen in the large stubble field opposite were 14 Meadow Pipits, c.20 Linnets, 3 Goldfinch and a number of Skylarks.

Heath lane was almost completely dead with the exception of a single Fieldfare that flew cross the lane and into a Hawthorn. Stanklyn Lane paddocks were also very quiet with the only birds of note being a Rook, 2 Jays and 1 Fieldfare.

The final stop today was as Stanklyn Lane beet field. We undertook a walk around the edge field and recorded C.60 Linnets, 26 Skylarks, 2 Meadow Pipits and 6 Dunnocks. A ♀ Great Spotted Woodpecker was in a tree bordering this field.

All in all it was an enjoyable few hours birding... I just need to find myself that patch Waxwing now!

Shoveller (drake) - Captains Pool, 15th Nov 2010:

Corn Bunting - 15th November 2010:

Linnet - 15th November 2010:


  1. Good to hear about the Corn Buntings Jase.

    So its just me and you that have not had a Waxwing then :-)

  2. appears that way Warren...its only a matter of time.

    The lat time there was a decent invasion year I actually discovered a large flock feeding on the Rowans on the culdesac at the end of our street. There were about 40 birds initially drop in but this increased to 200+ in the following anything is possible!

  3. Great shot of the Corn Bunting. That is no.3, because I haven't seen any Waxwings either.

  4. No Waxwings here either, though i've got my eye's on some likely looking trees on my patch. Not that they've ever had a Waxwing on them of course! They should be imminent into West Mids/Worcs in good no.s as they are currently shifting SW as they exhaust berry supplies further N and E. Well thats the theory! And that's if the the Redwings and co. don't see off the berries here first!

  5. Thanks Bob and welcome to the 'where are these Waxwings?' club.

    Craig, that always is a problem with the thrushes. The biggest offender is the Mistle thrush ...they become feisty and will bully all the other birds away until they have stripped said trees/bushes

  6. Not wanting to be left out, I haven't had a Waxwing either!
    Nice post Jason, I like the Corn Bunting, another bird I don't see locally.

  7. Cheers Phil...Welcome to the ever expanding..."No sign yet of these bl**dy Waxwings" club