Monday 9th April - The early bird catches...well not a lot actually!

I was awake incredibly early this morning (by my standards) and, on going down stairs, I could here the Blackbird singing from the back garden.  I then thought "I know I will do the patch nice and early whilst it's still quiet...who knows, I may pick up a singing Willow Warbler or Common Whitethroat".  As it happens I had neither!

I arrived down at Shenstone at 6:20am and began my rounds.  There was very little of note singing around the patch other than 8 Chiffchaffs at different locations and 4 Yellowhammers.  Other than that it was just the more common resident species that were in song.

A highlight did come however at Willow Marsh Fishery which, rather suprisingly, was closed. on one of the pools there were 9 Tufted Duck (5♂ & 4♀). This is a new patch maximum count for me so needless to say I was pleased.  Also noted at the fishery were 2 Cormorants, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 1 Black-headed Gull.

Whilst on nearby Witch Lane I had my second highlight of the day in the form of a flyover Yellow Wagtail.

There was no sign of any Wheatears around the patch today and there was still no sign of any hirrundines.


  1. A nice early Yellow Wag. - bet you get that Willow Warbler and Whitethroat very soon perhaps tomorrow?.

  2. I'd like to wake around that time, Jason - I'm such a rotten sleeper I'm usually dropping off around then! Maybe birding is a cure for insomnia...

  3. Hi Jase, a Swallow today over the ploughed field at Back Lane, 10 Sand Martins over Holly Cottage area on Witch Lane and a Willow Warbler singing by Shenstone House Farm!


  4. Seems the migrants are arriving a bit patchily this year Jase. By the way, Red Kites are more common than Tufted Ducks on my patch!

  5. It's not very hospitable for the returning migrants is it, they'll probably wish they hadn't bothered especially as we're apparently going to get more frost.

    Well done with the new Tufty patch record Jason.

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  7. Jerry - Cheers...who knows what the next week will bring!

    Rob - It was unusual for me to be up and out that early too. Just one of those oddball nights sleep I guess

    Jared - Cheers for the info mate. I presume the Willow Warbler was just passing through as I sspent a fair bit of time by SH Farm yesterday and not a sniff. Ps. be mindful of parking by the gates down there...the farmer isn't overkeen on folks being there,. He will often come and have a word.

    Warren - Stop/starty is how I would describe this spring so far mate. I'm still hopeful that we will get a good run of sustained movement soon though.

    Jan - cheers. Your right there about the weather...although it's improving as I type!