Monday, 25 July 2011


Upton Warren was superb!!
The usual early Autumn waders were on the move again, Black-tailed Godwits, Green Sandpipers, Common Sandpipers, and Less noticable movements of both LRP and Lapwing.
We stopped near the bench, as a Pair of REDSTART has been seen for a couple of weeks, but we had failed to connect.
However today was different and both male and female Redstart shown well as they used the hedge and the fence as a launching post for catching insects in the Transmitter Field. A great bird to catch up with and a nice Upton Tick having failed on so many redstarts before.
However as mentioned, the waders were here!!
A stunning flock of 12 Summer plumaged Black-Tailed Godwits had taken up residence for the day, and showing well in the gorgeous evening light, iluminating the Orange tones in the plumage.
Interestingly, the flock of 12 was seperated into 2 flocks, and at no point did a bird from one flock
move over to the other flock,
5 birds were feeding just out from the hide amongst the islands and the remaining 7 were feeding together on the south shore

Here is the 7 from the south shore.

A particular bird ( the one which is on its own in the photo's) shown particuarly well, and i took many images and videos.

However there was also many other birds around, 6 teal were new in.

The Wader numbers consisted of 1 OYC, 15 Avocet, 18!! LRP (not including the 2 unfledged chicks), 13 Lapwing, 12 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 12 BT Godwit, 3 Curlew.

A little owl was peched on a telegraph pole at the top of the hill, and the Redstarts shown occasionally.


Patch Update

Feamle Mandarin with 3 Chicks still at Lickhill
Later that day, i had my 3rd Midlands Red Kite of the year , when one flew south over the M42 at Bromsgrove

Monday, 11 July 2011

Patch Gold- Again

With the patch having some birds, i have got into a routine of visiting the patch on friday evenings.
Starting by walking down from Blackstone to Lickhill.
There was lots of Activity around 'the Willows' at Blackstone with the family party of Garden warbler still, and 3 Treecreeper, However having spent over an hour in one spot i failed to find anything more.
But while walking down the river i found an eclipse Drk Mandarin, an a female Mandarin swimming about on the river, i just thought it could be the pair that bred at Blackstone with them staying in the area after their failed breeding attempt.
A Little owl flushed from a riverside tree, at the riverside fields, and it was a great relief to see that the female Mandarin with the 3 Chicks still had all 3 Chicks

Fill In's

RED KITE flew south along the A449 at Wall heath by Roberts farm shop, My first for West Mids county, and was also seen in Staffs.
Sheepwash UP.
A single LRP and Common Sand was the highlights, although another highlight was a Stock Dove in with the flock of Woodpigeons.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Patch Gold

With Birdlife becoming a bit scarce, i decided to do a little butterfy/drangonfly watching or whatever you call it.
However that doesnt mean there wasnt birds around.
I will start with the bird news.
On the Feeder a Juv Siskin was feeding:
But the Highlight was where i was told about a breeding pair of mandarin on the patch AGAIN,
a different pair to the Blackstone pair, this one had hatched 4 Chicks, but by the time i saw them (2 days after they were first seen) there was only 3 chicks, all going strong on the riverbank.
I had Around 45 Mins sitting with the Female Mandarin and her 3 Chicks, at quite close quarters.
Look how cute the Chicks are:
And the Mother Panting in the intense heat.

Firstly the Mandarins were on the opposite bank, but they soon swam over towards me, and preened on the bank around 3 Metres from me!!!!
On the insect front, i was looking for one thing in particular, i had been told some info off Jason K ( Shenstone Blog) of where to find Scarlet Tiger moth on the patch, I didnt actually walk as far as where he said he knew there was some,
On the way up the river bank, i was looking out for Comfrey plants as this is where i had been told to look, and it wasnt long before i spied 2 Scarlet Tigers perched on the plant.
The patch was absolutly teeming with Butterflys
100C Ringlet
100c 'White' Butterflys
30c Skipper sp
8+ Small tortoiseshell
20c Marbled White
10c Meadow Brown
5 Green Veined White
1 Small Copper
I took many photo's ( mostly of the gorgeous Marbled whites)

Also around were a few Damselflies.
2 Beautiful Demoiselle
Loads of Banded Demoiselle
10c White Legged Damselfly,
There was also many others which i couldnt Identify

Return Migration.

With new birds (particually waders) returning to the county it was nice to see a BLACK-TAILED GODIT feeding on the Flashes at upton Warren.
The recent dry weather had left the water levels very low, but there was some decent birds around.

A pair of LESSER WHITETHROAT were feeding along the track by the bench, and showing well.

Also, my First return Green Sandpiper was feeding on the Flashes.


1 Teal (drk)


17 Avo

10 Lrp + 2 Fledged young + 1 chick

1 Green sand

1 Black-tailed Godwit

20 Curlew

3+ Garden warbler

2 Lesser whitethroat.



The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker's were seen again briefly, but no decent views,
2 Nuthatch nearby
Once again the LSW's shown briefly

Monday, 4 July 2011

LSW Revisited.

I just Couldnt resist it, Knowing where a pair of Lsw were, i just had to go back for more.
On entering the Woodland i checked what i presume to be the Lsw Favorite tree, as i have seen the female Pecking away an this tree 3 times., I watched her for some time, and showed a couple of walker by people who were interested about the 'Rare Woodpecker's'.
I still couldnt believe my Luck when i saw these birds again, what Birds.
The bird flew off into a Small wooded area and i walked into the clearing with the feeders, there wasnt any LSW there so i continued on to check another area which has been favored, i did get a couple of brief views, so walked back around the the cleering and waited silently,
Untill my target flew in and dropped dowm onto the Feeders.
When you see a bird in comparison to a fat Ball you realise truily how tiny they are,
Tidgy little Woodpeckers, I took a Video and a single Photo before the bird flew back into the tree's, and i decided to head back.

A check of the patch revealed a Nuthatch which shown well, as well as a few Gs Woodpeckers.

Friday, 1 July 2011


Since i started birding about 9 years ago, i have always wanted to have a good view of a Lesser Spotted woodpecker, but during that whole time i have failed to locate many birds at all, with proberbly all my sightings of the species maybe equelling just into double figures of birds, and many of those views being Crap, or distant.
This has lead to this species becoming one of my 'priority' species, as on a yearly basis i usually get 1, but other years i could have 3, and then next have none.
And with some Healty competition with myself to beat my yearlist record ( 172 species) i just had to get these ' Hard to find species', and then just hope there was a good crop of rarities that drop in within reach.
Obviously my lists dont get that high, and my twicthing range is quite small, so sometimes that can make it difficult to get some of these species.
I decided to go for a walk at a place i have Nicknamed 'The Site', and i was walking up one of the tracks next to some feeders when suddenly a bird flushed up off the Feeder, i was left bemused for a second, the bird flew into a small tree where it Perched, and i was able to get my bins onto a stunning LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER clinging to a branch around 20 Ft from me!!!
I immidiatly Phoned my dad, who agreed to come out in the pouring rain to try and see this bird.
A single LSW is unusual enough, but when Another bird flew in from another tree behind me i was left gobsmacked!!
I couldnt believe that i was watching a pair of LSW with great Bin views.
The Female bird flew further away and landed on a bare tree, and started picking at the wood, this was my first opporotunity to film a LSW ever.
The bird spent a few minuites here, then flew back towards me by the feeders.
At this point i dropped away from the feeders, and put my scope up, and trained it on the feeder, it was only a matter of minuites before the Male bird again dropped onto the Feeder. And i took some videos ( the light was really bad so all images are video-grabs)
However once again, the shocking happened, and while Filming the male bird on the feeder, the Female bird also joined him.

Having the Feat of finding a pair of LSW was slightly put down when as we were scanning the tree's, my Dad located a 3rd LSW, this one a Juvenile bird, and quite recently fledged by the looks of it, indicating Breeding close by, and when i saw the birds fly up to a hole in the side of an Oak tree i was left certain this is where they had Bred. I only briefly saw the Juv LSW.

I went on to see all 3 British Woodeckers that day, having loads of GSW, most being Juv's, and 2 Green Woodpecker, A Feamle Blackcap also visited the feeders.

I couldnt believe my Luck, A breeding Pair of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker!!!!