Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Highlights from late April

A early morning stomp around the patch was rewarded in the form of stunning views of the pair of Mandarin Duck (The long staying pair) which were feeding in paddocks on the riverbank. At least 2 Willow Warbler were singing, as were 4 Skylark. 2 Lapwing continued to show. A few Starlings were also showing very well in the sunlight.

Later that same day, i received news that the male Ring Ouzel was still showing near the lakes at Earlswood, and being just down the road, i't be a shame not to drop in. So once i had finished my jobs for the day i decided to have a short walk down the road, across the Causeway, down the side of Windmill pool to the paddock along the Gypsy lane, to be greeted almost instantly with a view of a stunning male RING OUZEL. couple of birders appeared, and i had a quick look though one of their scopes (Thankyou) and get a couple of pictures.

A stunning adult male, a jet black bird, with possibly the largest white blaze you can get slapped on the front! Stunning!

A trip into my 'Undisclosed' woodland was incredibly rewarding. A male PIED FLYCATCHER was singing in the same spot as last year, and was giving great, but brief views. Personally however, my highlight goes to, after a total of nearly 30 hours searching, i finally caught up with 2 LESSER-SPOTTED WOODPECKER as while listening to the males high pitched Green Woodpecker like song, i managed to pick up the female in my bins as she fed on a dying/dead silver birch tree, her pecking could be heard. A true moment of elation! All that time finally come good!
The Tawney Owl as usual was sitting on his tree.

But i was surprised when a Water Rail emerged in front of me adjacent to one of the pools, in late April!

An afternoon visit to Sheepwash was rewarded greatly! A little rain before the end of my lesson certainly helped Sheepwash, and there were actually some decent birds around! I was again surprised when scanning through the Gull flocks on the rocks, the 2nd summer YELLOW-LEGGED GULL re-appeared after a week of not being seen. As a matter of fact, it was almost a week to the hour!

I grabbed a few Digi-binned shots before the bird was flushed by a dog jumping into the water, the joys of urban birding. 2 Common Sandpiper were around the pool, one sharing the rocks with the Gull, the other on the other side of the pool.

 Moving on to the other side of the canal, i imminently picked up a stunning male Wheatear on the lower slops of the mound, which i gladly took a few pictures of! My first at Sheepwash! Walking up to the 'top' i was amazed when as i walked around, Wheatear after Wheatear appeared in front of me, and after around 30 Minutes, i was certain i had at least 8 birds scurrying around the mound! Awesome!
At least 3 of the birds seemed to be of the Leucorhoa race, better known as 'Greenland' Wheatear!

With a backdrop of Dudley Castle

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