Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Patch- 6/05 + 7/05

An evening visit to the patch was extremly productive!!!
I was dropped off at Blackstone and i walked south home.
Due to the nature of the walk, i had decided to only take my bins, what would i find anyway!!
A quick scan across the fields around the farm at blackstone quickly revelaed a female YELLOW WAGTAIL, which quickly flew off in a north direction calling. a perfect start to the walk, i quickly notcied the singing Chiffchaff and Whitethroat, and a gorgeous male Blackcap gave great views singing its head off atop a bush, i had a scan across the rocks below the bridge, and i was amazed to see a flock of 3 Female GOOSANDER, an extrely off sighting given the time of year, the birds obviously became wary quite quickly so i carried on south,
I was just thinking about How great The riverside looked for Mandarin, and as if by coincidence, a Pair of small duck cought my attention swimmming along the opposite bank, before i raised my bins i knew that my though was infact reality, and there was indeed a pair of MANDARIN DUCK on the river severn on the patch!!!
I walked to a fshing platform and watched the birds as they swam back north, so after they had swam quite a bit away, i walked on, but then the strangest things happened, another drk Mandarin flushed from below the bank, Ok so 3 Mandarin!!!
But it didnt end there, i continued walking, and i kept picking them up, by the end of this section of river to the wigeon lake i had seen 9 Mandarin of which 7 were Drk, the Patches record count!!!
I had suspitions about the birds even at this stage, so i quickly left them to do their thing..
A single Common Sandpiper was feeding along the edges of the river which i believe is my first ever spring record of the species, but im not sure, the rest of the walk south from the wigeon lake was uneventful.
I was up bright and early the next morning 7/05/11 and i headed upriver with the scope slung across my shoulder, my reward came very quickly!! as 4 Mandarin were perched in tree by the sand martin bank':
I watched these bird for abit then moved on, clocking Whitethroat after Whitethroat, which seemed to be everywhere, the birds were much the same as the night before, but when i reached blackstone it was obvious that only 1 drk Mandarin was in attendence, howver the 3 f Goosander remained on the rocks below the bridge.
At the wigeon lake i was treated to superb views of both Whitethroat and Kestrel.
and the vally behind the lake looked superb with Bluebells..
I continued my walk south, and i refound the Mandarin flock, and i gladly took a video while in a downpour!!

A nice 2 days on the patch



Susan W. said...

A Mandarin Milestone! Good for you. I'd love to see even one in my lifetime. I'm not too optimistic, either!

midlands birder said...

Cheers for that susan,
Well you being in america doesnt play well for you seeing a mandarin, which is a shame, but your not far from their chinese/japinese homeland, so a vagrant may turn up.