The weather was pretty lousy today and in the morning my get up and go had pretty much gone. I knew fellow local birder TMH had already been around the patch first thing and picked up a single ♂ Northern Wheatear at Back Lane, so I didn't feel the need to rush out. By mid-afternoon I started to pull out of my general malaise and decided to brave the elements and see if anything interesting had been put down around Shenstone.
I started my rounds at Stanklyn Lane which was devoid of birds. The only notables were 7 Stock Doves that were feeding on the plough near Summerfield.
Things were a little better at Heath Lane where 8 Meadow Pipits were perched along the hedgerow at the model aircraft field and 2 Red-legged Partridge were in the field itself.
Next up I popped to Back Lane to see if Terry's Wheatear was still present. It was and was giving good views near the gateway. The rain was now starting to abate so I managed to get a few photos of this bird.
Next up was the Witch Lane area. I decided to pull up and walk the public footpath past the green barn to scan the ploughed fields. There was nowt there other than 12 Linnet but as I was walking back I was joined by Mark P who after drawing a blank around his local patch had hopped across to see if anything was about around Shenstone. We then walked back to our motors and stood and nattered for a while whilst stood by the gates to Shenstone House farm. Whilst we were chatting 4 Wagtails flew over and landed on the roofs of the barns. There were 3 Pied Wagatails and an absolutely stonking ♂ Yellow Wagtail...result! They only stuck around for a few minutes before taking flight again but they did give us chance to get of a few record shots.
Also of note in this area was a Song Thrush and a number of Greenfinch (including some really stunning bright adult males).
After a while Mark and I went our separate ways and I decided to make my way over to nearby Bluntington, a place where I have recorded good numbers of Yellow Wagtail on passage in the past.
The road from Shenstone to Bluntington takes you past an area known as Woodrow. It is another fairly well known migrant stop of spot and as there was a fair amount of fresh plough here I decided to pull over and have a scan. I wasn't disappointed almost immediately I picked up 4 ♂ Northern Wheatears on the plough. A 5th ♂ Wheatear was just to the left perched on top of a seed hopper. The day was just getting better and as I turned around to return to my car I had cracking views of a Weasel that ran across the road just to my left and underneath the cover of a nearby hedgerow. I really don't seem to see these small ginger mustelids that often, infact its usually their cousin the Stoat that I encounter more frequently.
From Woodrow I continued the short journey to Bluntington. There wasn't a sniff of any Wagtails but I did pick up another 2 ♂ Northern Wheatear on the plough. What a great end to a great day....I'm glad I braved those lousy conditions at the start of the afternoon now!
♂ Yellow Wagtail - Shenstone
Click on image to enlarge
♂ Wheatear - Shenstone
♂ Wheatear - Woodrow