Sunday 30th December 2012 - Shenstone

Although this post is from 2012 and I am actually typing it up in 2013, I would like to wish you all a happy New Year.

My visit to the patch on the 30th of December was to be my last of the year.  I had spoken to Tony earlier that day who informed me that he had seen a ♂ Brambling and 2 ♂ Lesser Redpolls just off Stanklyn Lane whilst out walking that morning.  Both of which would be patch year ticks for me so I headed over early afternoon.

On arriving at the patch it wasn't long before I picked up the flock of c.50 Corn Buntings and 5 Yellowhammers.  There was lots of finch activity in the area with 2 flocks each containing c.30 Linnet and a flock of c.40 Goldfinch wheeling about over the stubble fields.  Continuing my walk I connected with a mixed flock of c.100 Chaffinch and 10 Greenfinch that were perching up periodically in the nearby trees.  On scanning through them with my scope I soon picked up what I was after, the ♂ Brambling and not long afterwards I added a 2nd Brambling (♀) to the day's tally.

Not long after enjoying the Bramblings everything went up from the stubble field, so I quickly scanned for a raptor.  I was in luck, heading low and fast over the stubble field was a cracking ♂ Merlin.  It was the first ♂ I had seen this winter although I have recorded a ♀/imm. locally on a handful of occasions.  The bird continued across the stubble heading NE until it was lost to sight.

On my way back along the footpath I encountered a group of 3 Goldcrests (1 adult ♂) and managed to connect with a single ♀/imm. Lesser Redpoll.

Heath Lane by contrast to the previous area was incredibly quiet with the only notables being a Common Buzzard at the paddock and 2 Red-legged Partridge at the model aircraft field.

This was by far my most productive and enjoyable patch visit in a long while, with two patch year ticks and a male Merlin right at the years end.  It will be interesting to see what 2013 brings (better weather hopefully!)

Brambling - 30th Dec 2012

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  1. well done on adding 2 patch year ticks right at the death Jase.

    All the best to you too for this year mate.

  2. A great finish the birding year on your patch, here's to 2013

  3. Nice one Jason, some good birds on that list, Merlin is less than annual here :-)

  4. Merlin would be a great tick for my patch Jase :-) All the best for this year - I hear you have man flu - hope you feel better soon mate !

  5. Happy new year to you Jason. Love the header pic!

  6. Happy New Year to you Jason! Great birds seen on your last Patch walk of 2012!

  7. Cheers Pam...It was a great way to round off my patch year!