Monday, 24 May 2010


did the southern area of the patch today from lickhill, i was amazed to see that the gadwall had been reoppened to the public and was now a nature reserve(of that sort of type, but not propper nature reserve), as expected the gadwall had left, but it had been repalced by a pair of REED BUNTING, the male showing well at the edge of the reeds, 5 reed warbler were singing in the surrounding reeds with 3 sedges seen( but none heard singing).

i continued my journey and at lincomb lock the common terns were still there but there was also another pair, which were quickly ousted out by the other pair of terns. 2 LBBG still loafting around on the boyds.

and as a general question to anybody around the country, has anybody also noticed the distinct lack of raptors about, expesially buzzard, which on the motorway to earlswood i usually see about 10 in summer but last saturday only one was seen the entire journey, any news from anywhere else??????????

Monday, 17 May 2010

A hint of the mediterranean at the warren


a very quiet time at the moors with the darke gadwall remaining, a water rail was heard sqwarking from within the reeds adjacent to the causeway, and an unsesonable cormorant, a pair of pied wagtail were flitting about, and a pair of common tern were about.

after an hour it was so dire we left for the flashes

as we walked across the southern shore of the sailing pool a flock of 8 greylag geese landed and swam to the NW corner of the pool.

a slow walk to the hide didnt add anything, we walked into the hide and was greeted by upton regular dave walker who did very little to raise the spirits ''rather quiet''

we chatted for a bit, he decided to go and have a check of the moors and we stopped.

he had walked off when my dad told me to get onto an odd gull on the sticks at the back of the flash he didnt recognise, a slow pan from the 1st flash to the sticks, a BHG was perched on the sticks, but i knew my dad well enough to know he can ID a BHG so i carried on and a few sticks later


i ran to the door, then turned around to look throgh the scope again to check i wasent stringing, then bolted out the door down the steps and along the boardwalk, dave was at the bench area, a simple call

''dave, MED GULL''

we(I) jogged back to the hide and took a look at the 2nd summer MEDITERRAIEAN GULL perched on the sticks, we both started takeing photos of this amazing looking bird, but i will admit, the first load i took were rubbish(but identifiable)

The 1st 2nd summer i have ever seen and what a looker, it was amazing, we had just enough time to savour this unusual midlands plumage(the least common age to be seen in the midlands apparently) and then the bird was harrased by a BHG and was forced to take flight revealing its distinctive pattering and very white impresion. after a few 'is he coming back' moments it eventually flew off east at 18:18.

we both text a few people to pass the news on and later we were joined by another upton regular(gordon greaves) and later by steve whitehouse(a med gull fan, like me), steve had somewhere to be at 7, and he kinda left at 7:05 so a bit late then...........

another 20 minuites passed and at 7:25 the reward came the MED GULL was flying back in from the east(the bird had a missing primary in its right wing, first noted when the bird flew off), the first thing i picked up on was its giant white eyelids, then its missing primary, and then it wing pattern, it swooped in front of the hide and circled the flash before landing on the stumps between the 1st and 2nd flash, again i started snapping away, the photos were a little better but still pritty dire, it was at this point that gordon sudgested that the gull would be viewable much closer from the path near the bench, i was soon there and watching the med gull at point blank range, an amazing specticle of a frame-filling med.

(before anybody says, the word in the film is see-you or see-ya, as gordon left, had me a bit stumped what i said when i first heard it)

after a good load of photos, i returned back to the hide where we watched the med gull swimming around the 2nd flash, it then took flight at 7:45 and flew north, in total we saw the bird for less than 30 mins but it was a real cracker of a bird......

a BHG with a yellow leg ring was seen on the stumps also and on scopeing it was ringed as 2Y32, this has been submitted to the ringing website and i await details on the bird, but untill then

good birding


Crap day!!!!!!

sheepwash and fens pool sssi

the title says it all, a complete fail of a day, there was a sizable number of whitethroat around with 30c noted at both sites,
a pair of reed bunting at sheepwash, also 4 reed warbler and a certain unmentionable duck which shown very well.

fens pool was a complete drag, a couple 3s herring gulls being the highlights(and i have then fly over he house every day)

How a great patch day can turn extremly sour in 20 mins!!!!!!!!


All was extremly quiet untill i reached stourport marina where the characteristic sound of common terns came out from above me, i looked up to see a pair of COMMON TERN flying north and start fishing in the marina, only the second record. spurred on i got to the paddocks where a pair of RED LEGGED PARTRIDGE were prancing about before dissapearing itno a hedge.

the common terns returned and landed on the boyds at lincomb lock and shown very well, and i started snapping away.

after about half hour with the terns i set of even further south looking for cuckoos.
then i recieved a text, cuckoo at lickhill, ahhhhhhhhhhhh, i just f*****g walked an hour to get here and now one turns up where i could have got to in 20 secs. i started back, and soon after another text popped up, long eared owl at the moors pool, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
omfg, now i had to get back(but even if i did my dad wouldent take me).
a powerwalk home had a DUNLIN fly upriver at stourport in the town centre!!!!!!! and land on the baisins, where despite searching it was never refoud.but nethertheless a patch tick, but one that didnt add to any enjoyment of the day, a common sandpiper also on the river just south of the town centre.
and again needless to say, the cuckoo neither the LEO was seen:-(

this left me at an all time low so far this year...........


All Quiet again!!!!!!!!

a 2nd cal year female marsh harrier had lingered around upton warren in the mouning so at 1pm we were there and scanning at the flashes, after an hour or 2 in the main and the feeder hide we left for the moors
the female ruddy shelduck was still here as was the drake gadwall and female teal, but there was also a drake shoveler for good measure, a lone 3s herring gull was on the east island and a summer plumaged DUNLIN of the schinzii race was probing the edges, bar these it was all quiet.

needless to say the harrier never materilised.

on the way back we decided to have a tick and run at shenstone, we stopped along stanklyn lane and i was quickly onto a male WHEATEAR, my first for the region, and it was later joined by a female, a load of yellowhammer were singing including one bird which sung from attop the tree we were standing next to, a 15 min search for the whinchat failed to find me this year tick.

upton warren
again amazingly quiet with very minimal going on, drake gadwall still at the moors and 6 OYC over the site.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


well half dayer for me, was dropped off at around 2pm and left at 8:30c
i was here with my friend andy(the one i share my sheepwash visits too), we were dropped off and headed down to the flashes main hide, how 'f' in cramped was it in there, i had to sit at the back of the hide, the usual waders were around but a apir of ringed plover was a nice upton year tick,
tim had been in the hide since 4am and had knocked up a good range of good birds, allas all had left now.
Soon after a shout was up to say that the 1st summer MED GULL had just flew in, a bit of scanning and i was onto the bird at the back of the flashes(between 1st+2nd flash), were despite the distance all features could be seen.

even though not the best looking plumages of med gull, it still was a stonker and as always a pleasure to see,
as usual andy hadent got the bird so i got him onto it through my scope.
Martyn from the blurred birder soon arrived with a friend, a chat followed, mostly about turkey and how good it was.
the it got to the point that i couldent take any more and left for the moors with andy in tow.

a walk through the education reserve had a jay chiffchaff and the common woodland species.
into the west hide were i was met by upton regulars john belsey and dave walker, both knackered out after being up since very early, a few terns came in and out, and then i picked up the big orange plastic bird on the islands, ''Ruddy shelduck'', tim joined us and we chatted (and birded at the same time) after a period of not adding any species we decided to head over to the east hide, just as we were leaving we were told a friend was in the ''spider''(water rail/concrete hide).

Matt from the earlswood blog had came out for the day, he decided to tag along with us to the hide. the photographer i always see was again here but once again failed to get his name. the usual birdy chitchat followed, about a male whinchat matt had found that AM at earlswood and a white wagtail on the causway. then it moved onto how close the little stint, kentish plover and stilts were on holiday. nothing was added on the way to the hide, but once in the east hide we were treated to superb views of the ruddy shelduck(think my way, a unringed, fully winged, immaculate female ruddy shelduck in passage time following a major eruption of alpine swifts which come from the same basic areas as the shelduck,mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm)
a female teal was in amy's marsh as was a drake gadwall 4 OYC an LRP and an overly confiding common sandpiper.

we were joined by my dad at this point but the ruddy shelduck flew off as he was walking down the patch to the hide and all 4 of us left for the flashes later on.

a male blackcap was in the hedge outside the hide, we all met at the sailing centre, on the sailing pool 3 greylag geese were floating about, i looked up and there it was, the MED GULL was flying above us but flew straight to the moors and dropped behind the trees, a chiffchaff was singing, a scan of the mast produced the hoped for PEREGRINE on the smaller mast,

about 1/2 hour passed and the MED GULL flew back in landing quite close to the hide on the muddy island.

a little owl perched on the stump

now i like ringed plovers, but i also like little ringed plovers, but which ones better, only one way to find out, FIGHTTTTTTTTTTTTT............

see you after the break, LOL