Thursday 12th April 2012 - Shenstone

Today's weather was mixed to say the least and would probably be best described as sunshine and showers.  I arrived at the patch just after noon during one of those sunny spells.

I started my visit at Stanklyn Lane and was immediately greated by the sound of a singing Blackcap from Stanklyn Woo (my patch first of the Spring).  Three Chiffchaffs were singing along Stanklyn Lane and 2 Ravens were present kronking away and perching on the pylons.  The highlight though came whilst scanning the aptly named 'Redstart hedge'.  Within a minute or two of scanning I picked up a truly stunning ♂ Common Redstart...result!  I then watched and enjoyed the bird as it flitted down to ground and back in typical chat fashion.  There were also 2 Robins present along the hedge doing similar to add to the confusion (the old was that another Redstart scenario) but they were soon ruled out.

At Heath Lane model aircraft field 2 Swallows flew over heading NW.  A stunning looking ♂ Yellowhammer was perched up singing on the adjacent hedgerow.  7 Skylark and 1 Meadow Pipit were also noted here.  A Small Tortoiseshell butterfly and an Ashy Mining Bee (Andrena cineraria) was also seen.  A Chiffchaff was present and singing next to The Granary hotel.

Next stop was Butts Lane, which didn't produce a thing until I checked Eastfields Farm.  Whilst scanning I heard the call of a Pied Wagtail.  On the telegraph wire there was a cracking ♂ White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) perched next to a ♂ Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii).  The day was getting better.

Back Lane was quite today but for a single singing Chiffchaff and a Small White butterfly.

I then headed over to Witch Lane to try and see the 2 Northern Wheatears that had been found earlier by local farmer and wildlife enthusiast Mike Southall.  I only managed to locate 1 Wheatear, but hey even a single Wheatear isn't to be sniffed at...stunning birds!  Elsewhere along Witch Lane I noted 1 Common Buzzard, 2 Jays, 8 Stock Dove and 2 Meadow Pipits.  Many Skylarks were up singing in this area.

Witch Lane was the most productive for butterflies today with 1 Comma, 1 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 3 Small Whites noted.

♂ Common Redstart

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Ashy Mining Bee (Andrena cineraria)

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  1. Excellent find Jason! Cant remember my last Common Redstart on my patch!!

  2. Cheers Keith...I actually had 2 male Redstarts there today!

  3. A great find, my fav Redstart to date

  4. Things are picking up for you now, Jason. And deservedly so.

  5. Well done on the Redstart Jason and on the two you saw since! I've never seen one here.

    Well done too on the first Swallow on the last post and that lovely Wheatear.

  6. Mark - cheers mate. male Redstarts are good looking birds any day of the week but this one was a particularly stunning individual.

    Dean - Thanks. Lets hope we all have a good few weeks on our respective patches!

    Jan - Redstart are one of the regular passage migrants through Shenstone but I normally get more on autumn passage. To get 2 this early was great! Keep your eyes peeled on those overgrown hedgerows you never know!