Saturday 6th November 2010 - Shenstone

I started my tour around the patch at Butts Lane this morning. It was pretty quiet here with only a Common Buzzard, 2 Skylarks and a Jay of any note, so I headed off to Stanklyn Lane.

On arriving at Heath Lane, a Kestrel was seen hovering over the gallops field. There were 4 Green Woodpeckers present at Stanklyn Lane paddocks. 6 Blackbirds were feeding on the Hawthorn berries along 'redstart hedge' - why is it local patch birders give their own little names to different parts of their patch? I may have to post a customised map with all these names on.

On starting my walk around the beet field I saw that a Merlin was again present and was flying towards Summerfield whilst being mobbed by a Carrion Crow. This diminutive raptor (about the size of a thrush - which it can actually mimic the flight pattern of to get close to its prey!) looked tiny compared to the Crow that was mobbing it. Also at the beet field were 2 Corn Buntings, 7 Linnets and 2 Meadow Pipits. 21 Skylarks flew over heading N and a Pied Wagtail flew NW. c.60 Starlings were on a pylon in the field opposite.

3 Buzzards were up soaring over Heath Lane and 22 Redwings flew over heading NW. A ♀ Great Spotted Woodpecker was in the trees next to the paddock. Also in this area were 3 Chaffinch, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Blackbird and a Robin.

From Heath Lane I headed over the A450 onto Witch Lane. The Lapwing flock had dispersed with only 36 Lapwings present today. c.200 Starling, 39 Black-headed Gulls and 2 Grey Herons were also present in this area. A Common Buzzard soared over and a ♂ Kestrel was perched in a tree close to the former grain store. A highlight along Witch Lane were 3 Fieldfares that were perched on a Hawthorn. These were the first Fieldfares this Autumn, that I have had around Shenstone, that haven't been just flyovers. Unfortunately they were a bit too distant and the light a bit to dull/overcast to get any decent photos. Ah well I've got all winter to bag the shots!

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