Saturday 28th April 2012 - Shenstone and then some!

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.....

Northern Wheatear
(from the**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 (, 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) that's what I call Spring migration!


  1. The Warblers are well & truly in now, Jason. I`m just waiting for Reed, now.

  2. I don't know about warblertastic, but the pics are certainly wheateartastic!
    Sounds like the flippin' Tony Blackburn show!!

  3. Well done on the Garden Warbler and the Lesser Whitethroat Jason and you're certainly doing well for Wheatears :-)

  4. Wheatears every where today too Jase, even had two on my patch today :-)

  5. Dean - A Reed Warbler would be a Red-letter day at Shenstone mate. The only area of reeds is at the private/bo access Stanklyn pool...I may just hear one oneday!

    Phil - "not arf mate"

    Jan - It's been an incredible Spring in some respects in these parts for some species but others have been sadly lacking

    Warren - I'm glad to hear you are getting some Wheatears now....I couldnt imagine a Spring without them!