After yesterday's enjoyable away day it was time to get back to the serious business of working the patch. It was another mild, sunny day and I was hopeful of something interesting.
I started off the morning by undertaking my walk around Butts Lane/Barrs Lane and across the adjacent field. Whilst walking the footpath I heard my first patch Chiffchaff of the year singing away from the trees at the rear of Stone Manor...result! all ready the trip had been worthwhile and I had only just started. Also recorded during this walk were 3 Corn Buntings, 13 Skylark, 1 Meadow Pipit and 9 Linnet.
Next up was Witch Lane where other than a few Skylarks up singing there was very little of note so I headed across the A450 to Heath Lane. It was almost as quiet here although a Kestrel and a Common Buzzard were welcome additions to the visit.
Just after arriving at Stanklyn Lane I was joined by fellow Worcestershire birder Mike Inskip, who had popped down to see the Corn Buntings. We scanned the scarified field (and nearby trees) and had good views of c.30 Corn Buntings. Also present here were 9 Yellowhammer and c.60 Chaffinch. A Red Admiral was on the wing here and was my 1st patch butterfly of the year. Before Mike left we exchanged mobile numbers so he could contact me if he picked up anything of interest locally.
It was also nice bumping into and chatting with local photographer Qiuxia, who had popped down to Stanklyn Lane to photograph some of the area's birds.
From Shenstone I headed over to Elmley Lovett to look for passage Wheatears. Just as I arrived I had a call of Mike Inskip who was now on Witch Lane. He had just had 2 Grey Partridge walk across the lane in front of him and disappear into the vegetation in the adjacent field. I headed straight back and met up with Mike. we decided to walk the footpath that runs across part of the field to see if we could see them. We hadn't gone much above 10 yards along the path when out of the cover flew the 2 Grey Partridge and disappeared further up the field over the rise. Result! another patch year tick...what a day this was becoming!
During this return visit to Witch Lane I also observed 3 Meadow Pipits flyover and 4 Common Buzzards were up on the thermals. I also noted another Red Admiral and my first patch Small Tortoiseshell of the year. What a patch visit and it is still only the beginning of Spring!
Small Tortoiseshell - 20th March 2012