3rd to 5th May 2013 - Shropshire

This weekend Bev and I were away for a wedding at Shrewsbury.  We decided to stay a couple of nights at the venue to make a short break of it and do a bit of birding whilst in Shropshire.
Friday 3rd May - Venus Pool NR:
Today we decided to visit the Shropshire Ornithological Society's Venus Pool reserve near Shrewsbury.  I am a member of the SOS, as living just 4 or 5 miles over the county border in Worcestershire it is an area that I tend to bird a number of times throughout the year.  That said I had never visited the society's own Venus Pool before and can honestly say it is a cracking little reserve.
During our visit their were no rarities/scarcities present but to be honest it didn't matter, it is such a peaceful reserve in a stunning location.  We happily sat in the hides watching the comings and goings of it's inhabitants, including 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Oystercatchers and 2 Shelduck.  The highlight of the visit was when 2 Yellow Wagtails (1♂, 1♀) dropped in on one of the islands for about 20 minutes before flying off South East.  The male spent a good few minutes washing and preening himself in the water at the edge of the island...gorgeous birds!
The hedges near the car park were chuffing with warblers with Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff all busy singing away.
For more information about the Shropshire Ornithological Society click on the below link:
Oystercatcher - Venus Pool

Sunday 5th May - Albright Hussey Manor Hotel:
It was the "morning after the night before" and on returning to the room, after a restorative cooked breakfast, I decided to spend some time looking out over the adjacent farm yard and sheep field watching the many Swallows that were hawking insects there.
Whilst enjoying this spectacle  I suddenly caught, in the corner of my eye, a bird flick down from the farm yard fence and onto the grass.  What caught my attention was it's bright red tail.  Great I thought, a Redstart....I wasn't expecting to see one of those this weekend. I went and grabbed my binoculars (which I had taken out of the car incase of any break ins).  Suddenly the bird flicked back up onto the fence, I raised my bins and was surprised (and chuffed) to see that it was in fact a Black Redstart...result!
This ♀ Black Redstart continued to show well between 9:50 am and 10:20 am on fences of farm yard and nearby rubble piles and on one occasion even  perched up on the boundary fence of hotel car park.
I hadn't got my bridge camera or my digiscoping set up with me so Bev and I decided to try and get some record shots with our compact digital cameras fully zoomed up.  The resulting photos, which are heavily cropped and not great, are shown below.  After all any sort of record shot is better than none!

Black Redstart - Albright Hussey Manor

Click on images to enlarge


  1. That whats I like to see Jase, fitting in a bit of birding wherever you are :-)

  2. Absolutely mate...it's true what they say...birders never really switch off from it!

  3. Hi Jase, re the Black Red photos, were these taken using just the compact or did you take them through your bins? If you didn't, it's worth a try as you can get some decent (by my standards anyway!)results. If you did, just ignore me ;-) Cheers Mike W

  4. Hi Mike. Nope it was just the zoom on the compact digital (4x optical). The bird was to active to take image through the bins...never kept still long enough