Monday 23rd January 2012 - Wyre Forest

Today Tony and I decided to undertake a walk in the Wyre Forest.  I decided not to lug my scope around today so it will only be photos from my archive again.

We started by walking along Dowles Brook from the bottom of Dry Mill Lane to past Coopers Mill.  on the brook itself we had cracking views of a perched Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail but the real highlight was Dipper.  Dippers breed in the Wyre (although not in great numbers) but what made this special is that this individual got out of the brook, perched on a rock and started singing....fantastic!  This is only the second time I have heard a Dipper sing its rather melancholy song that is reminiscent of a warbler.

During this stretch of walk we saw good numbers of woodland birds including Marsh Tits (at three different locations), Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Great Spotted Woodpecker.  Also  of interest were a ♂ Sparrowhawk and small numbers of Siskin.

At Lodge Hill farm we had a good natter with John Robinson, retired warden and top wildlife photographer, who lives there.  Shortly afterwards we invited into the Natural England building for a nice hot cup of tea and yet another chinwag (hard work this birding lark)...Thanks to Tabatha for the hospitality.

Anyway, back to the birds.  At the footbridge next to Lodge Hill Farm there were 6 Yellowhammers and another Marsh Tit present.  A Green Woodpecker and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers were also noted.  

All in all it was a pleasant few hours out but I was suprised not to see a single Brambling or Lesser Redpoll....ah well theres always next time!

Dipper - Dowles Brook

Grey Wagtail - Dowles Brook

Yellowhammer - Lodge Hill Farm


  1. Bramblings are proving hard to find this winter Jase :-)

  2. A good day was had then, Jason.
    You`re right what you say about John Robinson. I`ve seen his work on Surfbirds.

  3. Sounds like an excellent visit Jason. Never heard a Dipper singing! Quite a rarity I would think. Funny enough we were talking about the lack of Brambling today at Brandon. I think some of our winter visitors have definitely been disrupted by our unusual autumn/winter weather.

  4. You caught the Dipper, Grey Wagtail and Yellowhammer all shots from todays wonderful blog.

  5. What a good day you had, Jason. I am so envious of the Dipper, I have never seen one, we don't get them in this area at all. Lovely archive photos!

  6. A singing Dipper would be a completely new experience for me Jason. In fact i'm ashamed to say that I never realised they did!!

  7. Warren - I've only recorded a one day single female Brambling at Shenstone all winter

    Dean - Yeah Johns photos are excellent. He came 2nd in the British Birds bird photographer of the year in 2010. He is proper old school...will set up a hide and sit in it all day waiting for the shot. Not like some of the modern birders that turn up, chase and get too close to every rarity/scarcity going.

    Keith - I think we are all feeling the Brambling pinch. It is probably a combination of 2 factors: the mild winter not pushing so many across and a good Beech mast crop on the continent meaning not so many of the birds dont have to migrate to find food

    Bob - Thanks much was a good day

    Jan - There are only a handful in the Wyre and its the only place that you can guarantee them in Worcestershire. They are more a bird of streams in places like the Peak District or the Welsh Valleys

    Phil - Its only the second time I have heard its song. Interestingly both male and female sing and Dippers are known to sing all year long (even in winter)