Thursday 25th Nov 2010 - Shenstone & Lower Bittell

This morning I finally got back around the patch (it seems like a lifetime ago but its only been since Saturday!)

I started at the Butts Lane/Back Lane triangle where 3 Common Buzzards were up on arrival. After a short while a ♀ Kestrel went over the large stubble field at the top of back lane and this put up c.40 Skylarks. As expected, there were no Waxwings on the Pyracantha hedge fact it was performing as good as usual with just a pair of Wood Pigeons perched on top. A flock of 18 Redwing flew over heading West.

From the triangle I headed across the A450 and onto Witch Lane. The ploughed field only contained 51 Lapwings today but much to my joy there were 2 Golden Plover with them. Also in this field were 8 Black-headed Gulls, 1 Herring Gull and c.100 Starlings. The stubble field opposite the old grain store contained 20 Stock Doves.

I finished my visit today at a very quiet Captains Pool. The only birds of note here were a 2 Shoveller (1 drake).

From Shenstone I headed 12 miles across Worcestershire to Lower Bittel Reservoir to try and see the ♀ Red-breasted Merganser that had been present since yesterday (a county tick for me). On arrival I scanned Lower Bittell and picked up the bird with 3 ♀ Goosander. It was a result but a bit unsatisfying as the bird was fairly distant and the light wasn't great. I decided to wait and see if it came closer and after about 30 minutes it flew over with 6 ♀ Goosander and landed on the smaller Mill Shrub pool on the other side of the patience was rewarded and much better views gained.

All I need now is to get one on the patch at Captains Pool. Not outside the realms of possibility as fellow local birder (TS) recorded one there a number of years ago.

Red-Breasted Merganser (right) with Goosander - Mill Shrub Pool:
Red-breasted Merganser - Mill Shrub Pool:

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