Wed 27th April 2011 - Wyre Forest

This afternoon, myself, Tony (Chai Wallah) Smith and Jared (Bellamy) Tibbets went for a spot of butterflying  in the Wyre Forest.

The first location we visited was the rides that surround the perimeter of the 'not so secret' rocket test facility near Button Oak.  The weather conditions were ideal and many Adela Reaumurella long-horned moths swarming around the tree tops. These were not the only day flying moths we encountered with

a few Speckled Yellow and a single Mother Shipton seen on this leg of the walk. 

It wasn't long before we encountered the star of the show (and the reason for visiting this area) -  Grizzled Skipper.  This tiny butterfly was a lifer for me and in total we saw 5 Grizzled Skipper on the walk...result.  We also enccountered 7 of another of the forest's specialities - Pearl-bordered Fritillary.  Other butterflies seen on this walk were Peacock, Speckled Wood, Green-veined White, Small White and Large White.

Also of interest was the Green Tiger Beetles that were zipping about on the sandy exposed patches on the rides.  In terms of bird life we saw two Common Buzzards having a tussle and heard many Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Garden Warblers and Blackcaps.

We then drove to another part of the Forest to undertake a second walk.  We walked the disused railway to Lodge Hill Farm then went through the Orchard and across the clearing to rejoin the line on the way back.  During this circuit we recorded no less than 24 Pearl-boredered Fritillaries and 2 Dingy Skippers.  One of which was showing quite well in usual moth like fashion in the orchard.  We also added 4 Brimstones to the day's list.

In terms of birds the highlight was probably the drake Mandarin Duck that was perched on a log in the small pool just past the orchard.  We also had cracking views a Wood Warbler along the line and a Raven flew over.  In the clearing we flushed 4 Tree Pipits from that were feeding on the ground in the bracken covered areas.  Another was singing and parachuting too and from one of the nearby tall trees.

The final highlight of the day was a Slow Worm that was on the embankment at the side of the railway line.  If you look closely at the below photo you can see his head (about central as he is curved back on his self).

All in all it was  an enjoyable day out.  A big thanks goes out to Jared who shared some of his botanical knowledge with us.  I think I can now identify Yellow Archangel and Milkwort and as for Spurge..well I dont think I will ever think of that word in the same light!

Grizzled Skipper - Wyre Forest, 27th April 2011:

Pearl-bordered Fritillary - Wyre Forest, 27th April 2011:

Peacock - Wyre Forest, 27th April 2011:

Green Tiger Beetles mating - Wyre Forest, 27th April 2011:

Slow Worm - Wyre Forest, 27th April 2011:

Wed 27th April 2011 - Shenstone

Did a brief whistle stop of the patch this morning before heading off butterflying in the Wyre Forest (see next post).  No new migrants through to speak of but I did hear the Cuckoo calling at Heath Lane briefly. At Witch Lane one of the fields was being fine ploughed and around 20 large gulls were following the Tractor.  These were predominately Lesser Black-backed Gulls but there were 3 Herring Gulls.

Whilst there, the farmer and fellow wildlife enthusiast Mike Southall informed me that a ♀ Marsh Harrier had been quartering the field opposite between 8:10 to 8:20am before flying off NE towards Chaddesley Corbett.  This is a fantastic record and only the 2nd patch Marsh Harrier to date.  Nice one Mike - Great find.  I just need to connect with one myself now to add it to my patch life list...ah well...another day!

Tues 26th April 2011 - Shenstone

Not much of note around the patch today except an increase in the number of Swallows & House Martins that were present.  A Cuckoo is still present, singing from the trees behind the Islamics school.  I also recorded my 2nd Red Admiral of the year along Stanklyn Lane.

On the evening I returned to set up my moth trap at Captains Pool and then proceeded to head over to the lanes with the bat detector to see what I could pick up.  It was a cool evening and there was very little sign of bat activity until just before dusk along Heath Lane I had a large bat go past.  It was echo locating at just under 20khz leading me to conclude that it was a Noctule.  This is now the 3rd species of bat I have recorded on the patch and a new addition to the mammal list.

As for the mothing well all I got was one macro moth & a crane fly.  The moth that was trapped was a good looking ♂ Muslin Moth I think the cooler conditions probably had an impact.

Muslin Moth - Captains Pool,  27th April 2011:

Saturday 24th April 2011 - Shenstone

This morning at Shenstone there were 2 Wheaters (1♂) present in ploughed fields along Witch Lane.  The Cuckoo was still present singing near the Islamic School at Heath Lane and a 2nd Cuckoo was heard singing along Witch Lane (TMH).   Also, a Cinnabar Moth was seen on the wing near Captains Pool (TS)

It was early afternoon before I was able to get around the patch by which time the Heath Lane Cuckoo had stopped singing and the 2 Wheatears had moved on.  There was a new arrival though in a Garden Warbler that was singing from bushes along Stanklyn Lane.

I managed to locate the Cuckoo on Witch Lane and it was singing and showing quite well.  This enabled me to get a photo and a sound recording of this bird....result! 

Cuckoo - Shenstone, 23rd April 2011:

Cuckoo - Shenstone 23.04.11 by Shenstone Birder

Friday 22nd April 2011 - Shenstone

Only had time for a whistle stop tour of the patch today.  There was no sign of any passage migrants around Shenstone today.  In fact , in terms of bird life, it was one of those 'Deadstone' could just imagine the tumbleweed blowing past!

The highlight of today's visit was a stunning Fox that gingerly trotted across Witch Lane in front of me.

It was definitely good butterfly weather though with me picking up my 2nd patch Red Admiral of the Spring on Witch Lane.  Other butterfly species recorded were Holly Blue, Speckled Wood, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Orange Tip, Green-veined White, Small White and Large White.  For some reason Commas seem quiet scarce around the patch this Spring.

Green-Veined White - Shenstone, 22nd April 2011:

Wednesday 20th April 2011 - Shenstone

An interesting visit to the patch this morning.  On the northern side of Shenstone (ie. Butts Lane, Heath Lane and Stanklyn Lane) I recorded no less than 8 singing Common Whitethroat.  One of which, along Heath Lane, already appears to have found a mate.

Spring migration was still evident today with 2 flyover Yellow Wagtails.  One flew over Heath Lane heading West and the other over Witch Lane heading NW.  2 Northern Wheatears (1♂) were also present on the plough along Witch Lane and the Cuckoo still remains singing from the grounds of the Islamic School on Heath Lane.

A House Martin was seen over the cricket ground at the start of Witch Lane.

Whilst on Butts Lane a ♀ Mallard came waddling past me with 13 chicks in was one of those sights that really warmed the cockles...see the photos below.

Common Whitethroat - Shenstone,  April 2011:
Mallard with chicks - Shenstone - 20th April 2011:

Tuesday 19th April 2011 - Wyre Forest

Today I decided to have a break away from Shenstone and pop the 4 miles up the road to the Wyre Forest to undertake a Spring walk with Tony Smith.

We started by visiting the area near to Uncllys farm.  This is a great are on the edge of the forest which is surrounded by old mature orchards.  Along the track down there was both Garden Warbler & Blackcap singing and a stunning ♂ Redstart was working the one orchard perching up and singing from various song posts.  A bit further down the track we picked up 3 singing Tree Pipits at the large clearing on the right.  I love seeing these birds as the fly out from there perch singing and parachute back into the treetops...fantastic birds.

We then drove down to the car park at Dry Mill Lane from where we started our circuit by walking along Dowles Brook to Coopers Mill.  There was a lot of disturbance here today with cyclists, dog walkers, joggers and kids playing in the brook all very much present (I love holiday periods... not!).  We still managed to pick up 1 Dipper and 1 Grey Wagtail but there was no sign of any Mandarin Ducks.

Walking the disused railway Line and the clear areas above we picked up 3 singing Wood Warblers, 3 ♂ Redstarts and a further 3 Tree Pipits.  Also of note on our travels were Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Marsh Tit, Yellowhammer, 2 Common Buzzards and a Raven that flew over kronking.  Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers and Blackcaps were all in good voice.

It was a good butterfly day with the following species recorded:  Brimstone, Holly Blue, Orange Tip, PeacockSmall Tortoiseshell, Small White and Speckled Wood.  A Hornet was seen along the disused Railway Line, as was a Common Lizard that run across the track in front of us.

All in all it was a very enjoyable day but its back to Shenstone in the morning!

Common Redstart - Wyre Forest, 19th April 2011:

I also managed to record the pictured individual singing.  Please turn up the volume on your speakers as this is a fairly quiet recording...I'm still getting used to using the Sound recorder and related editing software!

Redstart - Wyre Forest, 19th April 2011 by Shenstone Birder

Tuesday 19th April 2011 - Shenstone news

I had an away day from the patch today (which I will cover in my next post)  but here is a summary of today's sightings:

2 Wheatear (both ♀) were present on the plough along Witch Lane this morning.  These were different birds to the previous day (TMH)

Monday 18th April 2011 - Shenstone and Grimley

I started this mornings visit to the patch on Stanklyn Lane where Song Thrush, Yellowhammer, Common Whitethroat and Linnet were all perched up singing.  After a short while I was joined by TMH and we then checked out the rest of the Shenstone area for migrants.

Wheatears (1♂) were in a ploughed field along Witch Lane.  These were the only notable Spring migrants on the patch today.  Also seen along Witch Lane were a Mistle Thrush and 2 Pied Wagtails.

A Yellow Wagtail was present along Witch Lane by the old grain stores on plough at 5pm (JC)

From Shenstone I headed ten miles or so down the road to the gravel pits at Grimley.  The Wagon Wheel Lane pits were devoid of birds except for a handful of Tufted Duck.

Camp Lane pits were more productive and I picked up a Ringed Plover (my first for the year).  Also of note were Barnacle Goose, Shelduck, 2 Redshank, 2 Oystercatchers and a Sedge Warbler singing from near the causeway.

Yellowhammer - Shenstone, 18th April 2011:

Saturday 16th April 2011 - Shenstone news

I was unable to get around the patch today due to other commitments but here is a round up of sightings by fellow birders:

2 Wheatears (1♂ & 1♀) still present at Stanklyn Lane paddocks this morning (TMH)

1 Yellowhammer and 10 Linnets were present at Stanklyn Lane paddocks early afternoon.  2 Common Whitethroats, Blackcap and Chiffchaff were present along Heath Lane.  Little Owl was seen in the usual area (MP)

Friday 15th April 2011 - Shenstone

On arriving at Stanklyn Lane I noticed a bird perched upright on a fence post at the paddocks.  Grabbing my bins I saw that it was a ♀ Wheatear and shortly afterwards I picked up a ♂ Wheatear.  A few minutes later I was joined by fellow Worcestershire birder and wildlife photographer Stuart Andrews.  Within minutes we picked up a second ♂ Wheatear.  The birds slowly edged closer and closer giving us great views and excellent photo opportunities.  Whilst watching these birds we heard a Cuckoo calling from the direction of Heath Lane (unfortunately I couldn't locate it as it didn't call again).  Also of note at Stanklyn Lane paddocks were 2 Yellowhammers, 2 Linnets and a ♀ Green WoodpeckerChiffchaff, Blackcap and Common Whitethroat were singing along the lane.

At Heath Lane model aircraft field there was another Common Whitethroat (showing well), 2 Yellowhammers and 2 Linnets.  A ♂ Kestrel was also seen and the Little Owl was in its usual spot.

As well as my Wheatear photos I have included Stuart's photo of a well concealed Little Owl.  To see more of Stuart's excellent photos click on the following link:

Wheatears - 15th April 2011:

Little Owl - 15th April 2011 (photo by Stuart Andrews):

Thursday 14th April 2011 - Shenstone

I only had time for a very quick whistlestop tour of Shenstone as I had been doing my voluntary work in the morning.  So here is a very brief round up.

There was no sign of any Wheatears today but I did pick up a rather nice but somewhat elusive ♂ Common Redstart along the hedgerow at Heath Lane paddocks.  Just down the lane, 2 Red-legged Partridge were present at the model aircraft field.  Blackcaps were singing along Witch Lane, Heath Lane and Stanklyn Lane.  A ♀ Green Woodpecker was present in Stanklyn Lane Paddocks.

Wed 13th April 2011 - Shenstone

The weather has changed somewhat over night and it was much cloudier and cooler around Shenstone this morning.  In  fact I didn't see a single butterfly on my travels today it was that cold!

I started by checking out Witch lane and was rewarded with a single ♂ Wheatear in the small ploughed field near the old grainstore. A Mistle Thrush was also in this field and a Yellowhammer was singing from the adjacent hedgerow.  Whilst viewing this area I had a flock of 17 Meadow Pipits fly over heading W.  Further up the lane the Blackcap was still present and 2 Common Buzzards were up soaring.

At Heath lane there were 2 Red-Legged Partridge present in the model aircraft field.  2 Swallows were also over this field and a Cormorant flew over heading WSW.  A Blackcap was still singing from the hedgerow opposite.

At Stanklyn Lane beet field there were 12 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 7 Herring Gulls and a Pied Wagtail on the fresh plough. A Jay was in the Oak opposite and 4 Linnets flew over.  Further along the lane, a Blackcap was singing from Stanklyn wood and a Mistle Thrush was in the field opposite.

At Butts Lane the 2 Swallows were again present around Eastfields farm.  6 Linnets and a Pied Wagatil were also present.  A ♂ Mallard was on the small drainage pond opposite.  3  Yellowhammers were along the hedgerow along Bars Lane and a Grey Heron flew over heading SW.

What I did find interesting was the fact that there was no sight nor sound of any Common Whitethroats today, leading me to think that the ones recorded over the past 2 days were just passing through and the birds that breed on the patch will arrive a little later.

Wheatear - 13th April 2011:

Tuesday 12th April 2011 - Shenstone

I have had quite a busy day today so only managed a whistle stop tour of the patch this afternoon. 

Not a single one of yesterday's Wheatears were present but 2 Swallows had returned to the usual site of Eastfields Farm along Butts Lane.  A Common Whitethroat was singing from the hedgerow opposite.

The highlight of today's visit was seeing a Little Owl in the area of last years nest site.  This is the first patch Little Owl of 2011 for me.

I had a butterfly year first in a Large White that was along Back Lane.  A Holly Blue was seen along Heath Lane. A Small White was seen along Witch Lane. Good numbers of both Small Tortoiseshell and Orange Tip were also present around the patch.

Earlier this morning TMH had recorded 2 Wheatears still present along Witch Lane.

Monday 11th April 2011 - Shenstone

I got to the patch relatively early this morning (by my standards at least) at just gone 8:30am.  On arriving at Stanklyn Lane I bumped into Terry (TMH) and we did a tour of the various ploughed fields.  There had been a fall of Wheatears and in total we recorded 8 around Shenstone.  There were 2 ♂ Wheatears at Heath Lane and 5♂ & 1♀ Wheatears at Witch Lane.

Also of note today was the first patch Common Whitethroat of the year singing along Heath Lane.  Blackcap and Chiffchaff were also singing there.  A Willow Warbler was singing at the bottom of Witch Lane and 2 Swallows were also present.

There were c.30 Linnets were still present along Bars Lane along with 2 Common Buzzards and 2 Yellowhammers. A pair of Yellowhammers were also present along Stanklyn Lane.

There was no sign of any Curlew for the 2nd day running at Back Lane.

No photos today a fool I forgot to take my camera doh!

Sunday 10th April 2011 - Shenstone

A mild and sunny day on the patch today...making conditions ideal for butterflies.  Enough of those for now, birds first.

A Willow Warbler was singing from trees along Stanklyn Lane and a Chiffchaff was singing from Stanklyn Wood.  2 Blackcaps were singing along Heath Lane and  2 Chiffchaffs were present in trees/bushes next to the Islamic School playing fields. Also, 2 Common Buzzards and a Kestrel were seen soaring.

At the Butts Lane/Bars Lane area there were c.30 Linnets and 2 Yellowhammers present.  Whilst at this location 2 Swallows and a ♀ Sparrowhawk flew through.

Today's highlight came from Witch Lane where a dowdy ♂ Wheatear was present (this was most likely a first year bird).  The ♂ Blackcap was again present here and a Meadow Pipit flew over heading NW. 

As mentioned earlier butterflies were very much in evidence with Orange Tip being the most abundant.  Good numbers of Peacock & Small Tortoiseshell were also evident.  Whilst on Witch Lane I picked up a couple of butterfly year ticks in Small White and Green-veined White

Orange Tip (male) - 10th April 2011:

Peacock - 10th April 2011:

Wheatear - 10th April 2011:

Friday 8th April 2011 - Wyre Forest

As it was my wife's day off today, we decided to go for a walk in the Wyre Forest.  It is only about 4 miles from where we live and is a great area of ancient woodland.

We started off walking along Dowles brook where we picked up a Dipper, 3 Mandarin Ducks (1♂) and 2 Grey Wagtails.  We also had good views of Marsh Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay and Nuthatch in this area.  There was also great swathes of Wood Anemone in flower.

We managed to pick up a single Hawfinch near the orchard - a first for Bev so she was dead chuffed.  There was also a very smart looking ♂ Common Redstart  and a ♂ Brambling present in this area.  At one point 5 Common Buzzards were up soaring over head and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers could be heard drumming.  A Green Woodpecker could also be heard having a good 'yaffle'

On the walk back across the clearing above the disused railway line we had a singing Tree Pipit, a Yellowhammer and a number of singing Willow WarblersBlackcaps and Chiffchaffs were numerous during the whole walk.

In terms of butterflies seen we recorded Brimstone, Holly Blue, Orange Tip, Peacock, Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell during the walk.

All in all it was a very nice day out...followed by a fish and chip lunch down by the river at Bewdley...Its just typical that there had been a fall of Wheater on the patch (see previous post)...two guesses where I went when we got back home!

Grey Wagtail - Dowles Brook, 8th April 2011:

Common Redstart - Wyre Forrest, 8th April 2011:

Shenstone News: 7th & 8th April 2011

Thursday 7th April:
3 Wheatear were present on ploughed field along Witch Lane this afternoon (MS).

Friday 8th April:
9 Wheatear present on ploughed field along Witch Lane today (TMH). This is a great find by Terry and is the largest fall of Wheatear at a single location on the patch to date.   They were still present when I popped up to see them late afternoon.  The ♂ Blackcap was still singing from the hedgerow near the pull in.

Important Notice

Please Note:
I will no longer be featuring the details of any Corn Buntings and Grey Partridges that are seen on the patch over the next 2-3 months.  This is due to the sensitive and fragile nature of these localised breeding populations.  I will however inform of any fledged youngsters I see later in the year.

If you are a local birder visiting the Shenstone area and you see either of these species please be mindful of putting out any news about them during the breeding season.


Thursday 7th April 2011 - Shenstone

There was no sign of any of the Wagtails at Witch Lane early this morning, but 2 Curlew and 3 Brown Hares were present at Back Lane (TMH).

On covering the patch today it soon became apparent that it was more of a Warbler day.  I had my first Willow Warbler singing from the trees along Back Lane. A ♂ Blackcap was singing from a hedgerow along Witch Lane and another Blackcap was singing next to Heath Lane paddock.  I also heard 7 Chiffchaffs singing from a number of locations around the patch.

I also had 7 House Martins (another year first for me) that flew high over Stanklyn Lane heading NW.

When I scanned the sheep field at Back Lane (early afternoon) there were now 4 Brown Hares present, but there was no sign of Curlew.

Another Highlight of today's visit was seeing that the Great Crested Grebes on Captains Pool with at least 1 chick from this first brood.  The youngster's head kept popping up as it travelled around on its mothers back.  At one point it was even swimming in the pool for a short time.  Who knows there may have been another chick or two nestled on its parents back...I shall report back when I know more.  Also, whilst at the pool, I had a ♀ Brimstone butterfly fly by (2 in 2 days...cant be bad!).  A Great Spotted Woodpecker could be heard drumming nearby.

Wednesday 6th April 2011 - Shenstone...its all about the Wagtails

Today, I managed to steal some time on what had been a busy day and got around the patch mid-afternoon. 

On the face of it things seamed really quiet (in terms of birdlife) with very little of note at Heath Lane or Stanklyn Lane.  I did however pick up a patch butterfly lifer today in the form of a ♂ Brimstone that flew over the paddocks.  You may think Brimstone ...a lifer?  well its not that common around the patch but does occur yet it has only been the past couple of years that I have started to take more of an interest in the butterflies.  I also had my first patch Holly Blue of the year along Heath Lane.  Also, there were good numbers of Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock on the wing.  I also recorded 3 Orange Tip (1♂).  A further 2 ♂ Orange Tips were seen down near Captains Pool by TS.

I then decided to check out Witch Lane.  The ploughed field that had produced the recent Wheatears was quiet but still held c.30 Linnet and a Common Buzzard.  But it was the plough opposite the old grainstore that was today's hot spot.  On the Plough here was a 'Channel Wagtail' (Motacilla flava flava x flavissima)...this is a hybrid between our British Yellow Wagtail and its continental cousin the Blue-headed Wagtail.  Also present in this field was a stunning ♂ Yellow Wagtail, 2 ♂ White Wagtails and 6 Pied Wagtails....Motacillatastic! (wonder if that word will catch on..probably not)

From Witch Lane I headed over to my final stop - the Sheep Field at Back Lane.  Only 1 Curlew was present today, but there was also a Raven and 2 Brown Hares in the field.

Channel Wagtail - 6th April 2011: 

(click on photo to see larger image)

Yellow Wagtail - 6th April 2011:

Brown Hares - 6th April 2011:

Tuesday 5th April 2011 - Shenstone

I was unable to visit the patch today due to other commitments but it seems that things are definitely moving.  Here is a summary of today's sightings from Shenstone.

2 Wheatears were present on a ploughed field at Witch Lane (MS)

A Willow Warbler was a new arrival on Heath Lane.  Also present were 4 Corn Buntings, a Chiffchaff, 3 Swallows, 2 Linnets and a Yellowhammer (MP)

Sunday 3rd April 2011 - Shenstone

The first patch Wheatear of the Spring was present in a ploughed field along Witch Lane today (TMH).  A 1st winter Common Gull, 75 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 25 Herring Gulls and 30 Linnets were also present (TMH).

Later this afternoon 2 Sand Martins and 3 Swallows flew over Witch Lane (JK, TMH & TS).

Common Gull, Sand Martin & Swallow were also year firsts for the patch.

Phew...things are finally beginning to happen!

Northern Wheatear - Shenstone, 3rd April 2011:

Saturday 2nd April 2011 - Clent Hills & Shenstone

This morning I had to pop over to see my parents who live in Halesowen and on the way back I decided to pop to the Clent Hills in North Worcestershire. This a place I used to frequent during migration periods when I lived round that way and is a well known spot to pick up passage Ring Ouzels.

There was no sign of any Ouzels but the visit wasn't a waste as I found 2 stunning male Northern Wheatears.  I've attached a crappy record shot but the combination of heat haze and wind meant the photos really weren't up to much.

This whet my appetite so I then decided to check out all the likely areas of Shenstone.  As per the past few days there wasn't a sniff of Wheatear.  I did however record 5 singing Chiffchaffs around the patch and the 2 Curlew were still present.  Other than that it was pretty much deadstone...still next week may bring some new birds in.

Northern Wheatear - Clent, 2nd April 2011:

Friday 1st April 2011 - Shenstone

Only had chance for a quick whistle stop of the patch today, so I will just post a brief entry.  As of yet there was still no sign of any Wheatears  :-(  

There were 2 Corn Buntings present (1 singing) at Butts Lane and c.40 Linnets were on the plough.  A ♀ Kestrel was also present at this location.  At Stanklyn Lane there were 2 Fieldfares and a Meadow Pipit present in the paddocks.  The only other birds of note today were the 2 Curlews that are still present on the patch.

At Captains Pool there were up to 5 Great Crested Grebes present today (TS).

Thursday 31st Mar 2011 - Shenstone

Unfortunately I was busy today so was unable to get around the patch but I did however pop down to the 'gallops' field along Stanklyn Lane to take the dog for a walk (on the lead I hasten to add)...and I'm glad I did.  The field was unusually empty of other dog walkers and on walking up the left hand side I came upon a stunning Yellow Wagtail that was on the short grass.  On seeing us it took off and flew North. Result...finally a Spring passage migrant on the patch and the first Yellow Wagtail of the year in the county.

Earlier that afternoon there were 2 Grey Partridge (1♂), 1 Red-Legged Partridge and 2 cock Pheasants present at the edge of the brassica field adjacent to the model aircraft field (TS). 

Later that afternoon 2 Red-legged Partridge were present but there were no sign of the elusive Grey Partridges (TMH)

Wednesday 30th Mar 2011 - Shenstone

I decided to go around the patch this morning in the overcast, dull and drizzly weather in the hope that it would put a migrant or two down on the patch....needless to say it didn't.

Butts Lane triangle held 1 singing Corn Bunting, 1 Yellowhammer, 20 Linnets, 7 Meadow Pipits, 1 Pied Wagtail and 2 Stock Doves. There were also many Skylarks singing and chasing at this location.

The highlight of today's visit came at Heath Lane where a Brown Hare was present in the model aircraft field...this was a year first for me so as you can gather I was just a little pleased. Birdwise, at this location, there were 2 Yellowhammers, 1 Pied Wagtail, 2 Stock Doves, 1 Kestrel and 1 Common Buzzard. A Corn Bunting was singing from the trees at the bottom of the Lane.

At Stanklyn Lane beet field a flock of c.120 Linnets were still present and a Corn Bunting was singing from the lone tree in the centre of the field.

I then traveled over to the otherside of the patch and recorded 7 Linnets, 6 Stock Doves, 2 Skylarks and a ♂Chaffinch 'on the plough' along Witch Lane. 2 Curlew were still present at Back Lane and a Goldcrest was singing from the adjacent conifers.