Monday, 1 February 2010


god can you believe it, a month gone already..........

had planned to do most of the patch today(map coming soon)

at the riverside fields a singing stock dove, my first this year and very nice to have an inclin to come in a few weeks time, the return of spring.

a bit further up the path, a buzzard was perched on the hedgeline(as always):

now the day gets interesting, there was tons of activity at the feeding stations at the caravan park south of blackstone, so i stopped and scanned, and after a bit a call sneezed out 'pee-chooo'


yes you read right folks, 3 marsh tit, presumable the wintering bird that has dissapeared, the 2nd bird on the day of the discovery of the wintering bird and a 3rd from the woodland on the opposite side of the river

then a splashing sound got me spinning on my heels to see a adult little grebe scuttle across 2 areas of willow, yes there lingering.........(video of last weeks bird)

at this point 3 female goosander flew downriver.

a nuthatch also visited the feeders

then the temperatures dropped, well below freezing i would say, and it started snowing, i took a look at the buzzard through the scope and i couldent help but feel sorry for it, a quick stop off at home to warm up and have a quick drink and i was back on the patch but this time heading southwards hopeing for some gulls on the basins. NOT ONE BLOODY GULL

not even a f*****g BHG

but dissapointment turned into amazement........

I FOUND MECCA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

a medium sized pool, surrounded by 'pythags', ahhhhhhhhh, somewhere good, on my patch, and the highlights was a flock of these:

A flock of no less than 52 LESSER REDPOLLS in birch and willow/scrub on the south shore of the pool, i ended up spending 1 1/2 hours here scanning through the flock and trying to ID a raptor, which despite being around for a good 3 mins was distant, the 1st idea was goshawk, with the long neck and thickset wings showed well on the bird, i even passed the news out as goshawk, but around 40 mins after the sighting, i saw the bird again, closer this time, but it revealed something shocking, it wasent a goshawk, it wasent even a british falcon, it was an escapee or hydrid, dont you just hate escapies(yep dont know how to spell this either)

i the redpoll flock was 40c goldfinch and 5 siskin, a pair of bullfinch was also noted while here ......

back on lickhill a pair of stock dove were in the vismig field

ohhh, patch birding can be great



Tim Jones said...

Nice trip out Craig, patch work can be very rewarding when something like the Redpoll turn up can't wait till the spring personally!

(btw its escapees :)

Razboynik said...

Don't you just love it when a sh!t day turns in to a great day...

midlands birder said...

tim- as i also say patch birding is great, so mant suprises, if i have found a regular winter flock of redpoll (as i think i have) i will be very happy......
spring is just another season(and when bird life dissapears on lickhill)
thks for spelling
raz- i wouldent exacly call it a sh!t start to the day, 3 marsh tit in one day is the record number and with the lingering little grebe(1st site record remember) and the 52 repoll is also the highist count

rob said...

Hi MB another successfull day patch watching well done !!! its funny you had an escapee bird of prey only i had a Lanner Falcon (with jessies on its tallons i might add ) at Sandwich in kent on Sunday , i thought i had found a first for britain for a minute

midlands birder said...

hi rob
yep another great session on the patch, in the ntire 7 years i have birded this place it has never been this good for such a sustained period of time
i would say the jessies would be a giveaway :)(but on same day ,weird)
escapees are anoying (see i do listen to spellings)

rob said...

Hi Mb , being an avid watcher of your blog i have to say how impressed i have been with the birds you have seen / found , its of great credit to your dedication to your local patch watching which deserves its rewards ( as for spellings mine are not that great )

midlands birder said...

hi rob
i do put in tons of time on the patch, (1000 odd hours in 7 years)
and as already mentioned it has never been this good, i suppose its just the hours paying off now tho
glad to see someone with crap spelling like me LOL
now im out for some birding