Saturday 15th Dec 2012 - Holt & Grimley

I have always been bought up to with the principle of looking after those less fortunate than  your self, such as the elderly, the sick, the homeless and Wolves supporters.  There has never been more of a time to be charitable than at Christmas and as Mark P (Doorstep Birding) falls into the latter group, I thought I would do my bit for festive charity and take him out birding! 

Joking aside, I had looked at the weather and thought it may be worth checking out a local wetland.  The wetlands had been fairly frozen with the cold conditions over the previous week, this had been followed by a day of rain on Friday and today's milder conditions.  There would be more free water today and there was a chance that change in weather had moved things around a bit.  With this said I picked up Mark (who had had similar thoughts) and we headed to Holt & Grimley.

The first area we checked out was Sling Pool at Holt.  Much of the field next to the pool was under water and this area and the adjacent grassy field was chuffing with birds.  The undoubted highlight was 2 Black-tailed Godwits that were feeding away at the waters edge.  Black-tailed Godwit, although a common passage migrant in Worcs,  is a scarce winter visitor so this was a very pleasing find.  These were not the only waders present as a Green Sandpiper was flying over the water on a number of occasions, 22 Common Snipe and 100+ Lapwing were also noted.

The wintering duck numbers at this site were also good with large numbers of Teal and Shoveler noted, with smaller numbers of Wigeon present.  The usual suspects for this site:  Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Mallard, were also present in good numbers.  The wildfowl highlight though was 2 Shelduck which, although not scarce, are not an every day bird here. 

Camp Lane pits by comparison was fairly quiet with the only notable addition to the day's wildfowl being the ♀ Goldeneye that has been present for a while now.

We pretty much drew a blank at Wagon Wheel Lane pits, so it was off to Top Barn farm shop for a hot sausage roll each.  A good way to round off an enjoyable few hours birding.

Common Snipe (from the archives)


  1. It sounds like a good site to visit at this time of year Jason, you certainly saw a very nice selection of birds..

    Looking at your previous post I see you have done pretty well with Waxwings too. The small flock which were seen around here seem to have moved on now...and I never did find them despite much effort, hopefully there will be some more before the Winter is over.

  2. My cup runneth over indeed, a lift and a sausage roll ! it must be Christmas !-)

  3. Cheers Jan. It can be quite a good place as there are a number of pools and former gravel pits in the area and it's right next to the River Severn.

    P.s. I still think there is time for a Waxwing or two for you!

  4. Mark...that's my charitable bit done for another 12 months mate! ;-)