I decided to visit the patch early today, in the hope of maybe hearing a reeling Grasshopper Warbler. I arrived at Butts Lane at just gone 6:30am to be greeted by what could only be described as a symphony of bird song. The song from the scrub adjacent to Eastfield farm could only be described as warblertastic! I could hear singing Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and then I picked up on a singing Garden Warbler (a patch first for 2012). The early visit had been worth while for that bird alone. Also of note at Butts Lane was a single Pied Wagtail and a Raven.
I then decided to pop to this years Wheatear hotspot at Back Lane. There had been a serious fall and on scanning across the plough I counted an incredible 13 Northern Wheatears. This was the biggest fall I have ever recorded at a patch location. Whilst on Back Lane I had a flock of 17 Swallows go through heading NE.
My final stop was Stanklyn Lane paddocks. Things were fairly quite here with the exception of a stunning ♂ Yellowhammer perched up on a bush opposite singing his heart out. Just as about to go I picked up the rattling warble of a Lesser Whitethroat...Result! and another patch first for 2012.
What a fantastic few hours. I was even back home by 9am for a bacon butty and a bucket of tea, but the day didn't end there.....
(from the archives....bl**dy weather!)
As there had been such a good 'fall' of Wheatears this morning at Shenstone and other good falls had been recorded at Lutley/Wassell Grove by my mate Craig (http://lutleybirder.blogspot.co.uk/), I decided to visit some of the other sites within a 4 mile radius of Shenstone where there may have been similar bird movements. Below is a summary of what I found:
There were 4 Northern Wheaters in the cereal field.
In the large ploughed field at Whitlenge Lane there were 2 Wheatears, 4 Yellow Wagtails and a White Wagtail present.
In the large sheep field there were 12 Wheatears present (of which I would say atleast 60% were good candidates for the Greenland race)
There were 5 Wheatear present...although I later found out that Terry H had found these earlier in the day.
What a day, in total I saw 36 Wheatears locally (of which 31 were self found)....now that's what I call Spring migration!