Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The BIG Worcs day

With the year drawing to a close, we decided to do some 'mopping up' of the missing species from our lists in a tour around some north Worcester sites.

Starting with an early morning walk around a very flooded patch revealed a surprising drake Goosander present on one of the floods, despite it only being a couple of feet deep! A walk further revealed a nice female Blackcap and 3+ Redpoll (With an extra 2 on our feeders).

After a period of watching our feeders, we got onto the car, stopping off near the floods so i could show my dad the Drake Goosander. However, while just driving along, i saw a smaller bird perched up adjacent to a Starling on their regular tree, and the smaller bird was attacked and flew down onto a hedge next to the car. I shouted WAXWING!
And before the car had stopped i had gotten my bins and jumped out, and i was able to confirm the presence of a superb WAXWING! Just about scraping onto the patch, as the tree it was perched in is on the patch side of the road. We were able to watch the bird for a short period, in which i took a couple of Digi-binned shots. As i was setting my scope up, the bird took flight, and flew to another nearby tree, before flying off into Lickhill Estate, and despite having a drive around the estate, the bird wasn't seen again! A good bit of luck there as the bird was only present for a couple of minutes. A little bit later and we wouldn't have seen it!

Next stop was Hartlebury trading estate, and a drive around didn't reveal the hoped for Waxwing flock, as the rowen had been completely raided. However, a Fieldfare was feeding on the Connaster.
So, we went for the short journey down the road to Shenstone, which turned out to be very productive. As soon as i stepped out of the car, i could hear the song of many Corn Buntings, and quickly scanning around revealed a good flock of 30c perched in a tree. We walked the footpath to the 'usual' hedge, and this is where we spent over an hour stood watching, as we were treated to a marvelous overall total of 64 Corn Buntings! While mixed in with the flcok was 3 Yellowhammer, 30c Linnet, 50c Chaffinch and a single Reed Bunting. Not a bad list of farmland passerines there. The ivy covered tree's along the path help 5+ Goldcrest, including some which gave superb views!

While just walking back to the car, a small falcon flushed for within the ivy covered ground/Bushes next to us, and on getting on it with my bins, we were treated to superb views of a female MERLIN as it hurtled back towards the road, before briefly alighting in a tree, and then flying out of sight.
At this time the Shenstone Birder arrived, and it was while he was walking along the track that i again spotted the MERLIN as it flew very low across the ground in the short cut field behind us. We decided to follow Jason up the path in the hope of refinding the bird, however it drew a blank.
We parted ways, as we headed towards Upton Warren in the hope of a big brown heron.
We had failed to see the bird the previous evening, so it was back with vengeance tonight, and we stuck in the hide for a good 2 1/2 hours. While in the hours of daylight, we were treated to views of Water Rail, and the usual array of feeder species. A male Bullfinch shown very well!

Hope was dwindling by 4pm, however, at 4:05pm, i picked up a brown shape in the reeds, hardly recognizable in the gloom, and on getting my scope onto it, i confirmed that i had the BITTERN! It was somewhat a relief as since they stopped visiting UW regularly, they have became a bogey bird for me, and i haven't managed to connect with one for over two years! We then spent the remaining 15 minutes watching the bird until it was too dark to see. What a way to end the day!

Who says midlands birding is rubbish?



Early Worm said...

Lovely Bullfinch shots there!

Pam said...

A great post of your'mopping up' Craig!

Your Bullfinch images are splendid, a difficult bird to get a good image of....in my opinion anyway!

midlands birder said...

Thankyou both regarding my Bullfinch pictues, the flock tend to perch just outside the hide at Upton so always the place to head for pictues of them!