Today Tony and I headed down the road to Upton Warren NR for a change of scenery.
We started by visiting The Flashes first and on the way there we dropped into Hen Pool hide to see if we could see a Water Rail. We sat there for about 20 minutes to no avail and all we saw was a single Coot. Whilst in the hide both Tony and I clearly heard a Marsh Tit calling from the scrub to the right. It called its nasally "Pitchoo Chickabeebeebee" call 4 or 5 times. On leaving the hide it had stopped calling and we were unable to locate the said bird, quite possibly it had moved on with a roving Tit flock. I was later informed by John Belsey that Marsh Tit was a site scarcity with only a handful of records in the past, the last being in the mid-80s, a fact which I was not aware of otherwise I would have made an immediate effort to locate the bird.
Later that evening I posted about hearing the bird on the Bird Forum Upton Warren thread only to have it pulled apart by the 'inner circle' of Upton regulars. To read the ensuing discussion click on the following link: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=8097&page=361 I clearly know what I heard and it is a species that I am more than familiar with and still encounter regularly during my numerous visits to their local breeding stronghold at the Wyre Forest. It just smacks of a bit of sour grapes to me.
Anyway I've said my bit, on with the rest of the day. At the Flashes we were pleasantly surprised how functional the new hide actually was after all the negative comments we had read about it and from the hide we had good views of the 5 Avocets that were present. A single Oystercatcher and 6 Curlew were also of note here.
At the Moors Pool the highlight was a very showy Little Grebe outside the concrete hide. Also of note at the Moors were 4 Oystercatchers and a ♂ Shelduck.
On the way back we decided to pop to Shenstone to see if there was any sign that the Little Owls had returned. We were in luck and saw the pair of Little Owl...result and my personal highlight of the day. I even managed to get a photo of one so I was very pleased. Down on Stanklyn Lane, there were were still a flock of 27 Corn Buntings present. 2 Green Woodpeckers were in the paddocks.
Little Grebe - Upton Warren
Avocets - Upton Warren
Little Owl - Shenstone