Ok I know, I'm still playing blog catch up but I am aiming to get up to date before next weekend as I am going away then on my hols. Anyway back to the latest slightly delayed post....
On this morning's visit to the patch I was rather pushed for time so I decided to just concentrate on the more productive areas.
I started my visit at Back Lane where 2 ♂ Northern Wheatears were new in on the plough. Whilst stood there a cracking Yellow Wagtail flew through heading West and a Common Whitethroat was singing from the hedgerow behind.
I then headed to Heath Lane where the only notables were a singing Common Whitethroat and a ♂ Blackcap with a beak full of insects.
My final stop of the morning was Butts Lane where my walk produced a ♀ Northern Wheatear and very little else. I headed back home bringing to an end my Shenstone day...or so I thought.
On the evening I was sat with Bev about to watch the Manchester derby on Sky when I started to feel really down in the chops (I get times like these). I decided to pop back out for some fresh air and check the patch again hoping to pick up a Barn Owl perhaps (its been 4 years since I saw the last one there). I didn't see a Barn Owl but my spirits were soon lifted.
Stanklyn Lane and Butts Lane produced absolutely nothing as did Heath Lane model aircraft field, so I headed up to the paddock for my final stop of the evening. At the rear of the paddock (adjacent to Eastfields Farm) is a rough grassy area that I have often thought looked good for a Barn Owl. On arriving (8:40 pm) I raised my bins and saw an owl quartering the said area...it was only a Short-eared Owl, the first record of this species on the patch....get in!!!
I watched the Short-eared Owl quartering the field for 2 or 3 minutes when it started to get mobbed by 2 Carrion Crows. It then flew the length of the paddock low towards me with it's 2 pursuers in tow...I can still picture its face disc and those yellow eyes. As it neared where I was standing it started to go higher and straight over my head (I wish i had took out my camera). The view was amazing enabling me to see the streaked upper parts on its chest, the black tips and dark crescent on the underwing...I was gobsmacked....a view like this on my patch! The Owl's pursuers then broke off and it proceeded to go very high and disappeared out of sight heading Southwest.
What an evening...needless to say I was in a far brighter mood when I returned home.