Monday 29th August 2011 - Shenstone

Due to car booting this morning, I didn't get around the patch until late afternoon.  The sky was so dark and oppressive I almost turned my car around and went back home (almost!).

I started at Stanklyn Lane paddocks but unfortunately the bloke was in there with his horses.  I've got nowt against people keeping horses, they are nice animals and paddocks are great for passage migrants.  But this bloke must spend 8 hours every day in there just fannying about! 

I then went on to check the beet field where 7 Stock Dove were the only birds of note. A Common Buzzard was seen soaring over Stanklyn Wood.

From Stanklyn I headed up to Heath Lane where an incredible 600+ Wood Pigeon were feeding in the stubble fields.  20 Linnets were on the wires at Heath Lane paddock.

Next stop was Witch Lane.  On arrival I recorded a flock of 38 Mistle Thrush that flew out of the spent bean field.  Further down the lane were 30 Greenfinch and a ♀ Kestrel.  I then scanned across the small brassica field next to the old grain stores and picked up a stonking adult Wheatear perched on a weed stem. Unfortunately the little beggar dropped to ground before I could get a photo. Also of note whilst at witch lane was a single Swift that flew over heading South and 34 Canada Geese that came honking over heading SSE.

At Butts Lane there were 9 Swallows and 27 House Martins, but there was little else of note.

Before heading home I decided to check out Stanklyn Lane paddocks again.  This time the horse bloke had gone and there was now birds present there again.  A Wheatear, 7 Pied Wagtails and a Linnet were all down on the deck.  The Wheatear was a new bird in and was a rather dark scruffy looking individual...I managed to get a couple of record shots of this bird but the light was pretty poor so don't expect too much.  Whilst viewing the paddocks a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew across to Stanklyn Wood and the young Swallow was again being fed at the stables.

All in all it was a productive visit with a good mix of species, yet I still came away feeling a bit flat..I think the rather grim dark foreboding skies had got to me...ah well it might me brighter tomorrow!

Northern Wheatear


  1. As you say Jase, a nice mix of species ;-)

    I can sympathise with you on the ''horsey bloke'' Isn't it frustrating! Its the same here, the stable girls are in and out all day, all with dogs in tow, I often wonder what might drop in if they just left the horses to their grazing :-)

  2. Too right Warren. I was at the patch late afternoon today...the bloke, kids and dog were all in the paddocks but no birds to be seen. They left after a short while and within 10 mins I had 5 Pied Wagtail on the deck and 2 Redstarts flicking down to the ground there...just shows.