Monday 19th March - Shenstone, Warnden and Grimley

Today I decided to pop out and about with Tony to a few other sites in Worcestershire. 

Naturally, I had to skirt through Shenstone on the way and I actually counted 9 Common Buzzards up in the air over the patch.  The ploughed fields were birdless and, as I had put in a fair few hours there the previous 2 days, we decided to head on to our next destination.

From the patch we headed to Warnden (on the outskirts of Worcester) to see the Yellow-browed Warbler that had been discovered there 9 days earlier by local birder Steve Whitehouse.  I have got to be honest, I have seen a couple of Yellow-browed Warblers in the past (one at Upton Warren in 2003 and one in Norfolk in 2010) and I can honestly say that neither time I was particularly excited by the views I had of the small leaf warbler flitting about busily in the back of a bush.  So with this in mind I had been in no rush to see the Warnden bird and decided to leave it till the mood took me.  In the end I was glad I did.

On arriving at the scrubby tree lined cycle path sandwiched between a main road and a modern housing estate (glamorous eh?) I began scanning for the bird.  I was informed by TS (who had seen it previously) and another birder that it was favouring the area between the large oak near the dog litter bin (even more glamorous) and where the footpath crosses the cycle way.  We gave it about 30 minutes in this area with no joy so I decided to walk past the cross way and scan the lower section of the path.  Within a few minutes I picked up a the bird flitting deep in a bush (typical I thought) but then to my surprise it flew into the top of a silver birch and flitted around there in the open in the sunlight, giving me the best views of Yellow-browed Warbler that I have ever seen.  Seeing it in this light I amended some of my views and could actually finally appreciate what a smart looking little bird it was.

We stayed on the bird for another few minutes as it worked along the hedge before we lost it and decided to call it a day on Warnden.  Also of note whilst there was a cracking ♀ Blackcap and a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly.

Our final destination was the gravel pits at Grimley & Holt.  At Sling Pool there was little of note other than 2 Oystercatchers.  The Camp Lane pits were also pretty quite although the sight of an imm. ♀ Peregrine perched on a fence post at the North end was welcome.  A Chiffchaff was also heard singing there.

We rounded of the day by visiting the Wagon Wheel Lane pits and this was by far the most productive part of the Grimley leg.  On the shoreline of the rear pit were 4 Common Snipe, 2 Green Sandpipers, 3 Redshank and 14 Lapwing.  Of note on the water were 12 Gadwall and a ♂ Teal.  Whilst enjoying the waders here we were treated to the bonus of a Brown Hare running across the edge of the field where we were stood.

All in all it was an interesting and productive tour but I know that I really do need to put in some serious patch time tomorrow!

Peregrine (imm. ♀) - Camp Lane Pits, Grimley

Click on image to enlarge


  1. A good day was had by the sound of it, Jason.
    Get back on your patch. You never know whats waiting for you ;-)

  2. I put in a couple of hours on Sunday Jason, with no luck, will re-visit this Sun if still present. It might even start to sing, you never know. The housing estate is pretty modern but if you have a walk round, as i did, you will see that the farmland, trees and ponds that were there have been retained and if i had to live on one that would be a good choice. We had Blackcaps in double figures on Sunday i was checkeing the flowering Cherries and Blackthorn and that's where they were. Had 2 LRP's at Grimley later on.

    Laurie -

  3. Some very enjoyable visits there Jason. Nice pic of the Peregrine, I have never managed one.

  4. Dean - I am suitably admonished...back to the patch with me! ;-)

    Laurie - Yeah it was an interesting area, good luck with your next visit. As for the Grimley birds you mentioned..I saw one too but have had a request from some of the local birders there not to put it out as a known egger has been seen sniffing round there

  5. A good outcome all round for you with the Yellow-browed Warbler Jason!
    You had a busy and productive day by the sounds of it and with a good Buzzard count over your patch.

  6. Pam - it was an enjoyable mixed day of birding but not quite as good as the following day back on patch!

  7. Jan - Cheers...I'm sure it won't be long before you connect with one! I'm lucky with them, as a couple of times a week I can look out the window of the spare bedroom and see an urban Peregrine perched on the Chimney Stack of the old carpet mill (that is now part of a retail park)