Thursday, 9 August 2012

Highlights- Kestrels and Whinchat

Butterflies had emerged, so i went up and checked Moorhall meadow, and luckilly enough, i quickly spotted my target, the Marbled Whites had emerged. I got a total count of 11, which after the horrible spring/summer isnt a bad count! A single Common Blue, 5 Small Tortoiseshell and loads of Ringlet were the only other notables.

Sheepwash Urban park.
A very quiet visit birdise, with 5 Common Tern the only birds of note. Insect wise however, there was tons. 3 Male Black-Tailed Skimmer were around the site, as were 2 Brown Hawkers. 3 Red-eyed Damselflies were on the same pool as last time, and Azure, Common blue and Blue tailed were in abundance.

Patch again.
A much more birdy patch visit. Soon upon reaching the river, i located 2 Kestrels, one of which was showing very well from the footpath, where i was able to get some decent photos as it perched on a hawthorn hedge.
A great experiance to have a Bird of prey so close, one which in my birding is quite rare, as there usually on the opposite side of the field or in the air.

I also soon relocated the male MANDARIN DUCK, now in full eclipse plumage, with red bill indicating its true sex despite its female like plumage. And soon after that, i once again relocated the female Mandarin, which again, only had one chick in tow, but the remaining chcik was now almost fully grown, with only its flight feathers to develop.

A quick stop into Shenstone to try and find the Whinchat which had been found was rewarded with decent views of this moulting male bird as it fed in a flowery field, In habitat that you should see a migrant Whinchat in. So therefore there is no suprise that this field produced two birds in a space of a few days.
For me, Male Whinchat is one of the better looking british birds, that striking white supercillium and peach tinge to the upper breast just look so stunning.

The bird perched preening for much of the time we were there, atop one of the many ragwort plants in this field.

We decided to stop on the roadside and view as we didnt have much time, and didnt want to desturb the bird, however, we were still treated to very reasonable scope views.

It was also nice to see 6 YELLOWHAMMER, including a couple singing birds, which was a nice change, as we never get them on any of my local patches!
Weirdly, a G S woodpecker flushed from a tree as we walked back, in an area with very few trees in it.


Jason K said...

Cracking Kestrel photo Craig and great video of Whinchat too. The Whinchat stayed 14 days in total...amazing eh

midlands birder said...

Cheers Jase, the Kestrel was showing really well, so i was just hoping i could pull of a decent shot or two.
That is an amazing stay for a migrant Whinchat, it obviously found the habitat to its liking, despite the desturbance, 14 days is a pritty good record tbh,

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