Tuesday 13th Dec 2011 - Shenstone and Ladies Pool

Today's visit to the patch was one of those which, all though I decent mix of birds, left me feeling a little flat.  I started my visit at Captains Pool where the undobted highlight were 3 Siskin that were feeding in the alders next to the dam and the ♀ Sparrowhawk that went through.  On the pool itself were 16 Canada Geese, 11 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Moorhens and c.40 Mallard.

I then parked up on Stanklyn Lane and walked the perimeter of Stanklyn Wood.  This turned up a light-phase Common Buzzard, 1 Song Thrush, a ♂ Great Spotted Woodpecker, 14 Long-tailed Tits and a Coal Tit.  A Goldcrest, a Jay and a Nuhatch were all heard calling. 

Stanklyn Lane paddocks were very quiet with the only birds of note being a dark-phase Common Buzzard and a Green Woodpecker.  Heath Lane was also dead quiet with only a ♂ Kestrel being seen.

I decided to head over to the South-side of the patch and check out Willow Marsh Fishery.  On arrival I was greeted by the sight of 8 Cormorants perched in the trees at the rear of the pools.  There was little else of note here, so I decided to call it a day for Shenstone.

I had however managed to add four more species of flora still in  flower for my winter count.  These were Daisy, Herb Robert, Petty Spurge and Rape.  This takes the winter wildflower total up to 27.

From Shenstone I decided to pop a couple of miles up the road to Ladies Pool at Blakedown.  This is part of an area that is worked fairly regularly as a local patch by fellow local birder Mark Peacock (http://www.flickr.com/photos/woodwolfuw/). I have been meaning to have a look at this place for a while now and I know Mark had recorded 6 Goosander there over the weekend so I thought I would have a nose.

i must admit I was pleasantly surprised by Ladies Pool.  It is larger than Captains Pool with an area of Phragmites Reed along the one side (oh for reeds at Shenstone! and all the possibilities they could bring...ah well).  On arrival I quickly picked up the Goosander and there were infact 17 Goosander present (3♂).  Also of note here was a ♀ Shoveller, a ♀ Tufted Duck and a Little Grebe.

Cormorant - Willow Marsh Fishery, Shenstone

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Drake Goosander - Ladies Pool

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  1. I would be overjoyed with all of the sightings you had today Jason! A good read!

  2. Well that beats my previous record of 10 Goosander on Ladies Pool ! I have had Shoveler earlier this year, but never managed Little Grebe. Nice one mate

  3. I have a Cormorant just does exactly the same, perched on a tree. I've never seen him under the water, maybe it is scared, lol. Great photos.

  4. Pam - On reflection it was a better day than I made out initially in my post.

    Mark - Cheers mate. I just thought I would have a nose. As I said in my post it looks good habitat...especially if there are no anglers about. Keep an eye out it looks a good bet for a Mandarin, Smew or even a Merg

    Bob - Thanks. Cormorants are fascinating birds. They look some waht prehistoric!

  5. I've never seen a Cormorant in a tree before, Jason.
    I wonder if the webbed foot makes it more stable, or less, when perched on a narrow branch.

  6. I`ve been having flat days for the last week, Jason. This poor run as got to break at some point.

  7. Ditto on Deans comments Jason. However, today was a much better one for me, so I know that things will improve for you soon! I do hope your not getting complacent mate as your list for today wasn't too bad at all :)



  8. Rob - Interesting question...although unfortunately one I dont have the answer too. They do tend to perch in trees regular when not fishing on the pools/rivers. There were 5 in one tree alone today.

    Dean - Yeah, just need a bit of a cold snap ti get things moving around a bit. Its very dissapointing on the Brambling and Waxwing front at the mo in these parts.

    Keith - You are of course right. It was a decent mix of birds today. I think it must be the time of year..I always tend top get the duldrums in winter time...still Spring is getting closer!