I started today's patch visit at Tony's Cafe at Captains Pool...its always worth having a brew before starting birding. Whilst at Captains Pool I took the opportunity to take some photos of the Great Crested Grebe (2nd pair) on the nest. At one point the Grebe hopped of the nest to do a bit of maintenance on the structure. Whilst the bird was off I counted 4 eggs, lets hope they all hatch.
From Captains myself and TS went to Butts Lane. Other than a pair of Green-veined Whites there was little in the way of butterflies about, although we did pick up a Cinnabar Moth and there were good numbers of Red Soldier Beetles about.
Whilst on Stanklyn Lane the heavens opened up and the rain hammered down. We drew blanks on both Stanklyn Lane & Heath Lane, so we moved on to Witch Lane. The rain eased off and soon the Skylarks were up singing. A Yellow Wagtail flew over heading East. The Lapwing was still present amongst the poly sheets that are covering the bean crop. 6 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 5 Stock Doves were also in this field. A Kestrel was seen hovering near the grainstore.
Great Crested Grebe - 9th May 2011:
Cinnabar Moth - 9th May 2011:
From Shenstone we popped a couple of miles up the road to an area known as Tanwood. This area is known to be a good spot for Spring migrants dropping in so we thought we would have a look in case the rain had grounded something interesting. On arrival we started scanning and it wasn't long before I picked up a ♀ Whinchat on one of the fence posts. Its a pity it wasn't at Shenstone but I wont knock seeing a Whinchat any day of the week. Those that know me know that the chats are my favourite family of birds.
Whilst we were enjoying this bird a Red Kite drifted over circling the area for a short while until it was confronted by a rather unhappy Common Buzzard. Saying that the Kite jinked and put its claws up to the Buzzard, who then soon backed off. I managed to get a record shot of the bird but digi-scoping birds in flight is difficult so don't expect too much. The Kite then flew off North towards Drayton...thus ending an enjoyable few hours birding.
Whinchat - Tanwood, 9th May 2011: