Monday, 5 March 2012

Bi-county Twitching


AS readers may know, i like seeing 'rare' birds, so, although primarily being a patch birder, i do like to visit odd locations for out of range birds.
And there happened to be one quite close by, a Firecrest had been found near Penn in south Staffs, so with a day free, we decided for a look!
The 2 'crest' species being particular favorites of mine, so i was enthusisatic, as i had heard both were showing side by side in the small woodland.

And here we were.

After about an hour looking, we finally clocked onto a stunning FIRECREST darting about between Holly, and adjacent Tree's, we were treated to great views of this stunning crest at about 30ft range.
I must say, it was great to catch up with this species again!
After about 20 Minuites watching the bird, we left for another site, Sandwell Valley RSPB

As i didnt get any photos, here is a drawing of the FIRECREST (Life sized)

So onwards and upwards, Sandwell Valley RSPB had been holding a redhead Smew for the last few days so we decided to head off there.
On arrival at the lakeside hide, we were treated to views of a stunning drake PINTAIL feeding within the reeds, a great bird to see anywhere, never mind at an urban reserve!

However, the lack of Smew got me edgy, i was informed it flew out 5 minuites before, so decided to stick around, and forfit the visit to Stubbers Green after.
I was kept entertained by a female GOLDENEYE and a decent flock of Goosander. I picked out a adult Common Gull in the gull flock.

However, a good time later, i finally heard the sound was hoping for as someone spotted the SMEW!

Although there was debate as to the age/sex of this bird, i am quite confident that this bird is an adult female despite the small amout of white feathers on the brown 'hood'. The lores were black, and the belly was white (would be grey in 1st win drk).

As the hide closed soon after the bird returned, we headed to the feeders, where i soon got onto a WILLOW TIT. i even manadged a crap photo!

We then headed into a nearby wood, where we saw a single female RING-NECKED PARAKEET

With 5 year ticks, i can say that it was a good day!


Rob Stokes said...

Hi MB excellent trip report , really love Firecrest , not seen one for awhile ,as for Willow tit they are really scarce down this way these days , and i agree with you on age of Smew . cheers Rob

midlands birder said...

Thankyou Rob :)
I also love Firecrest, well both 'crests' tbh.
Willow tits gettin hard to find anywhere now tbh!
Glad you agree!