Tuesday 21st February - Shenstone

After yesterday's 'day out' I decided I didn't want to spend too long away from Danny today and just visited the patch for an hour or so.  I couldn't have managed much longer anyway, as my cold was returning with a vengeance!  this time on my chest.  Roll on the Spring through to Autumn as I don't tend to get ill during that period!

My first stop was Barrs Lane where another field was being ploughed.  There were no large white-headed gulls following the plough today but c.120 Black-headed Gulls were present.  Also in this field were a Common Buzzard and 11 Magpies.  3 Corn Buntings were perched in the tree next to the lay by and a Skylark was up singing over the triangle.

Next I headed over to Heath Lane where a charm of 17 Goldfinch were present at the paddock.  Whilst stood here scanning I was treated to the highlight of the day, a ♀/imm. Merlin flew low through the paddock and into the grounds of the Islamic College.  I was unable to re-locate this diminutive raptor but it probably wouldn't be sticking around as it could well be passing through on its way back towards its upland breeding grounds.    Also of note at Heath Lane were 2 Ravens that were down on the deck in the model aircraft field. 17 Fieldfare flew over heading West.

At Stanklyn Lane paddocks there were c.130 Fieldfare perched in the Poplars at the rear.  A Green Woodpecker and c.40 Starling were also present.

To round the day off I walked the accessible periphery of Stanklyn Wood.  Here I noted 1 Redwing, 6 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Chaffinch, 1 Jay and 19 Jackdaw.  A Moorhen was seen on the area of wet woodland between the lane and the out of site (and privately owned) Stanklyn pool.  

Also along Stanklyn Lane were some really showy patches of Snowdrops.


  1. Hi Jason, I hope your cold improves soon. I think we'll all feel better when Spring arrives, it does feel quite Spring like here today though.

    Well done on the Merlin and lovely photo of the Snowdrops.

  2. Well done with the Merlin, Jason. And here`s hoping you get better soon.

  3. I sympathise as i am just getting over my cold from last week Jason, hope you are feeling A1 soon.
    How lovely with the Merlin....I have yet to see one!

  4. Merlin and Raven, surely they will grace my patch list over the next few years Jase! Nice one :-)

  5. Always nice to see Merlin locally, excellent

  6. Thanks all. It was a good bit of patch birding. I usually get 3-4 sightings of Merlin each winter but this was only my secend this time...If only I could hget one perched for a photo...ah well