My quest for a patch Wheatear continued today (in vain). What ploughed fields I have just look too dry and the grassy paddocks are already starting to yellow...and its only March. This sure is an unseasonal and prolonged spell of warm weather. On a positive note it is bringing out the butterflies...so mustn't grumble!
I started my rounds at Stanklyn paddocks where 18 Fieldfare were feeding on the ground. Two Chiffchaffs were singing nearby and a Skylark was singing it's heart out whilst perched on a molehill.
From Stanklyn I headed over to spend some time on Witch Lane. Whilst attempting to photograph some butterflies on the wildflowers at the edge of the concrete pad I inadvertently flushed 2 Grey Partridge from the nearby Rape field. About 10 minutes later I saw the same pair of birds fly over the lane and land in the adjacent field. Unfortunately I was unable to relocate them amongst the dense cover of the crops. Also of note here birdwise were 5 Common Buzzard that were up high soaring, 1 Meadow Pipit and a number of singing Skylarks. At the bottom end of Witch Lane, near the junction with the Droitwich Road, there were 2 Red-legged Partridge present.
The Witch Lane area was particularly good for butterflies today and it was here I recorded my 1st patch Peacock and 1st Small White of the year. I also counted 9 Small Tortoiseshell present along the lane.
I then headed from Witch Lane to an area of the patch I don't tend to check as regularly as I should do, Back Lane near Shenstone village. In one of the trees at the edge of the lane there were 34 Fieldfare and 1 Redwing perched. This time of year it is always nice to see these over-wintering thrushes as you know they will be heading back north to Scandinavia any day now. In the large sheep field that runs along the lane there were 2 Ravens present. A Kestrel and a singing Chiffchaff were also noted here.
My last stop was Butts Lane which was very quiet. The only birds of note were 2 Common Buzzards. 4 Small Tortoisehell were also observed during my walk here.
P.s. I will try and put up another blog post later as I need to catch up with the backlog! Too much time spent in the field and not enough time spent blogging. That pesky sunshine!