Monday 26th March 2012 - Shenstone

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 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!


  1. A good read aboutyour patch walk Jason and I also enjoyed your post about Clee Hill, a good day you had especially with the Red kite sightings, fabulous birds!

    With the cooler temeperatures forecast I reckon the butterflies may go into hibernation!

  2. Jason, i`ve given up hoping for a Wheatear or any other Spring migrants. Really struggling to get motivated at all, this last week.

  3. Pam - Thanks, both were enjoyable days. i agree with you on Red Kites...they are just stunning!

    Dean - I'm sure things will pick up in April. Keep at it mate!

  4. No Wheatear here either Jase, I normally get one in March! Not much else going on either, could do with your raven though ;-)

  5. I had my first patch Wheatear of the year today. A single adult male on the dried plough. So I'm sure the flood gates will open in April

  6. I have only had a single male on the fields at West Hagley so far.

    Laurie -

  7. Laurie - They seem to be very few and far between away from the higher ground this Spring. Let's hope things improve in April