Today I decided to visit Shenstone mid-morning. The weather was dull and rather wet but previous experience has taught me that, during migration periods, its worth going out in these conditions as something good could be put down on the patch. There is no fair weather birding on this blog ;-)
I started my visit by checking out the Butts Lane/Barrs Lane area. Even in these conditions I counted for Skylarks up singing. On the plough there was c.40 Linnets, 1 Yellowhammer, 8 Stock Dove and a cock Pheasant present.
Next up was Witch Lane. There was no sign of the previous day's Curlew in the field behind the fishery so I scanned the adjacent freshly ploughed field. Result! sat in the field feeding on some prey was an absolutely stunning adult ♂ Merlin. I managed to get some video footage of the bird before it flew. Its just a shame that the footage wasn't great due to the poor weather conditions and the distance of the bird...still it is better than nothing. Either way I was chuffed with the find as it is only the 2nd adult ♂ Merlin I have recorded at Shenstone. The others have all been ♀/imm. type birds.
Also noted at Witch Lane were 1 ♀ Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 flyover Meadow Pipit and 2 Skylarks up singing.
Along Heath Lane there were still c.100 Linnet present. A ♂ Kestrel, a Little Owl and 2 Fieldfare were also noted in the area.
My final stop was the scarified field along Stanklyn Lane. Here there was an incredibly large mixed Bunting/Finch flock feeding. The flock consisted of 19 Corn Buntings, 11 Yellowhammer, 1 ♀ Reed Bunting, c.150 Chaffinch. There were also a small number of Skylarks present with them. On the adjacent hedgerow there were 6 Greenfinch and 1 Goldfinch.
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