14th, 15th and 16th April 2012 - Shenstone

I seem to be spending that much time outdoors at the mo that I'm falling behind with my blog posts.  So to try and catch up to date here are the past few days patch visits rolled into one post...all I will say is it's been a good few days!

Saturday 14th April
I wasn't intending to visit the patch today.  Terry had been round in the morning and he informed me that the ♂ Redstart was still present at Stanklyn Lane paddocks.  As Bev and i had been out for lunch at a nearby garden centre I thought it would be rude not to pop and see the Redstart whilst we were so close.  On arriving at the paddock we scanned 'redstart hedge' and soon picked up on the stunning ♂ Common Redstart.  I got the bird in the scope for Bev to have a good look at and carried on scanning in case there was anything else present when suddenly a 2nd slightly duller ♂ Common Redstart flew out of the hedge further back and flicked down to the ground....result!

♂ Redstart - 14th April

Sunday 15th April
I was busy in the morning, so I didn't get around the patch until early afternoon.  My first stop was Witch Lane where 5 Northern Wheatears (4♂, 1♀) were on the ploughed field near Shenstone House Farm.  Also of note here were 2 Swallows that were hawking for insects over the adjacent fields.

My next stop was Stanklyn Lane where one ♂ Common Redstart (the brighter bird) was still present.  The Blackcap was still singing from Stanklyn Wood and a ♂ Orange Tip butterfly was also seen.

I rounded the visit off by doing my Butts Lane/Barrs Lane walk.  On the sandy areas of the recently scuffled field their were 5 Pied Wagtails present.  Sadly there were no White or Yellow wags with them (now I'm just being greedy!).  1 Raven flew over and 3 Common Buzzards were up soaring.

Monday 16th April
Today was one of those day's that makes all those hours local patch watching worthwhile.

I started my visit at Stanklyn Paddocks where the ♂ Common Redstart was present for a 5th day at the redstart hedge.  The Blackcap was still singing from Stanklyn Woods and a Green Woodpecker was also noted.

I headed over to Butts Lane and spent some time scanning the Eastfields Farm area, where i was pleased to see that a pair of Swallows had returned and were repeatedly visiting the barn where they usually nest.  The only other bird of note was a single Pied Wagtail.

I was limiting myself to the north side of the patch today and my final location to check was Heath Lane.  On arriving at the paddock I began scanning the right hand hedgerow for any possible perched Redstarts or Wheatears.  There were none but out the corner of my eye I caught a bird moving just in front of the hedge towards the rear of the paddock.  I had a good idea what the bird was and excitedly grabbed my scope to confirm...it was a stunning ♂ Ring Ouzel.  This was a patch lifer for me so needless to say I was elated!  Ring Ouzel has been recorded at Shenstone in the past but the last record was in 2007 just before I started working the area as a local patch.  It's not the first Ring Ouzel I have found in the county but on a personal level it's probably the most special. 

Ring Ouzel - 16th April 2012

Click on image to enlarge

Below is a bit of footage i took of the bird.  It's not great due to the distance and the heat haze but it does serve as a record of the bird.

Click on YouTube logo to enlarge 


  1. A great patch visit indeed Jase. I think you've answered the question I left on my post today!

  2. Jason, will you send some of those species up here. Especially the Ring Ouzel.

  3. That Ring Ouzle was well spotted Jason. I am a tiny bit, well no, very jealous.

  4. Oh Jason, your at it again! Two stunning patch birds including a patch lifer, something to celebrate I'd say! You've cheered me up mate as this morning I missed a patch lifer at Brandon in the shape of a Little Gull but this has brought my smile back!

    Rock on matey!!!



  5. You are seeing some super birds Jason! Really pleased for you with the Ring Ouzel! Congratulations, a well deserved 'Patch Lifer'!

  6. Another person who has seen the Ring Ouzel, damn it. Great images Jason.

  7. I echo Bob's words ;-) Seriously though, what a great few days you've had!!! Of course I'm not at all envious...hmmm!

    I love that photo of the Redstart and congrats on the Ring Ouzel. I was hoping I might find one over the weekend but no luck. I also scanned many ploughed fields with you in mind, hoping for a Wheatear, but again no luck :-(

  8. Excellent stuff Jason, you are indeed putting us all to shame with a great selection there :-)

  9. Warren/Dean - I'm sure your respective patches will deliver the goods over the coming weeks...but failing that you can always read about mine ;-)

    Mike - Thanks. It was five years of watching Shenstone in the making

    Keith - Cheers mate..its nice when you have a good run like I'm having but then, as you are well aware with patch birding, there are all those disappointing days you have too!

    Pam - Thankyou. Its been ag ood run for some passage birds but numbers of others are down. I usually have many more Yellow and White Wags through but not this Spring but hey I would trade them for that patch lifer any day!

    Bob - Cheers...hopefully you will connect with one one day mate

    Jan - Thanks. I was pleased with the Redstart shot...he is a stunner. Keep scanning those fields ...I'm sure a Wheatear won't be far away!

    Alan - Cheers. You know birding though, I'm on a good run at the mo but it could all change tomorrow!