3rd to 6th April 2012 - Shenstone

Tuesday 3rd April
Today, I concentrated my efforts on the south side of the patch.  The skies were dull and overcast and the temperature felt noticeably cooler.

I started my visit by checking out Witch Lane.  It was very quiet birdwise and the only highlights were 1 Yellowhammer, 1 Pied Wagtail and 2 Red-legged Partridge.

Again there was no sign of any Wheatear on the Back Lane plough, but 3 Stock Doves and a Kestrel were present.  Whilst scanning the area 9 Meadow Pipits flew over heading WNW.

On the eastern boundary of the patch, in the large fresh ploughed field runs from Curslow Lane towards Winterfold School, there were a staggering 266 Fieldfare all busy feeding up.  Whilst gaining a count of the birds I also noted 2 Redwing with them.  Also present in this field were 2 Red-legged Partridge, 2 Pied Wagtails and 3 Meadow Pipits.

Thursday 5th April
I only had time for a short patch visit this afternoon so I decided to spend some time on Heath Lane.  There is quite a good wide area of view at the model aircraft field and I was hoping to perhaps pick up a fly over Osprey or even my first patch hirundine of the year.  To give you some idea, from this view point you can see Titerstone Clee Hill (Shrops), the TV transmitter masts at Upton Warren (Worcs) and Abberley Hill (Worcs).  Needless to say I saw very little other than 6 Meadow Pipits that flew over heading East and 2 Linnets that flew over heading West.  Still all was not lost as I saw my first patch Comma butterfly of the year and discovered the larvae of a Lesser Yellow Underwing moth.

Friday 6th April
I had been at a real ale pub the previous evening and drank a fair few pints of Hopback Summer Lightening, so I wasn't fit for birding until late morning and even that was a struggle.  There was still no sign of any additional summer migrants in.  In fact the only bird of note was a single Fieldfare that was feeding in Stanklyn Paddocks.  2 Mistle Thrush were also present there.  A Yellowhammer was perched up singing nearby.

Lesser Yellow Underwing (Noctua comes) larvae


  1. An excellent round up of your recent patch walks Jason. Two hundred and sixty six Fieldfares!! I did see that sort of amount in the fields here in February but not since in fact I haven't seen any at all for some weeks now, presumably yours will be on their way soon.

    I still haven't seen a Comma yet this year or any hoverflies.

    Talking of real ale, have you tried beers from Hook Norton brewery, I'm reliably informed it's very good! Hooky's not far from me and my sister-in-law was born and brought up there... the village, not the brewery :-)

  2. There`s decent birds all over the place, Jason. Just a shame they`re avoiding our respective patch`s.

  3. I think ive had the last of the winter thrushes Jase, also had the last of my pub sessions some years back, It was just ruining my birding sessions!! :-)

  4. Jan - Many thanks. I was suprised to see so many Fieldfare gathered this time of year. They had obviously dropped in on the fresh plough to feed up before continuing there journey north. As for Hook Norton...well I do quite like a drop of Old Hooky now and again!

    Dean - Things will change this week I'm sure!

    Warren - I think Thursday's Fieldfare may well be my last until the autumn. I may give up the ale one day...but for now I enjoy the taste too much ;-)