Monday, 18 November 2013

Back to patching!

After the week away in Pembrokeshire i was fully rejuvenated to get back into Patch birding, having not been able to 'work' it properly for around a month!
So early in the morning i headed out with the intention of vis-mig counts and just generally surveying the progression/build up of bird species around the 'North Circuit' of the patch.

From early on, it was clear that good, but not outstanding numbers of Mipit were moving, and over the coarse of the 4 hours on patch i counted at least 98 Meadow Pipit, with 80% of those flying over south as to be expected. The remaining 20% i will come to in a little while. The usual wildfowl counts were undertaken at Blackstone, where 6 Mandarin remained, two of which were drakes.

My highlight however was catching up with the locally bred GOOSANDERS, a flock of 15 (Adult female with 14 juvs) on the rocks below the bridge. It was great to catch up with them, as they are still a relatively rare breeder in Worcestershire and to my knowledge there have been no breeding records of this species along this stretch of river before!

Moving onto the paddocks, i quickly noticed a fairly decent flock of Meadow Pipit (The remaining 20%) and it was while walking past the first paddock, i heard the distinctive buzzing 'tziee' call of a TREE PIPIT! It took a good while, but 30 minutes after i locked onto a pale Pipit which upon getting my scope on the bird revealed it to be the bird! 
Unexpectedly, while watching this bird fly to the far right of the paddock i heard an identical call originate from my left! Scanning in that direction and there it was, a 2nd TREE PIPIT! Unbelievable, i have never had multiple Tripits away from breeding sites so i was very chuffed!

After seeing so many White Wagtails while away in Pembrokeshire i also grasped at an ounce of courage and started scanning the flock of 60 Wagtails. All 'Alba' type Wagtails, and started assigning them to species. A further hour and i was sufficiently happy to have found 5 White Wagtails among the flock, looking just as obvious as they did on the coast among the 'British' subspecies. To add to this, a further 20 'Alba' sp Wagtails flew over to the south.
Hirudine movement was limited, but 100 Swallow south was noticed, with smaller numbers of House Martin, but for the first time in a good few months, i was unable to pick up a Sand Martin. 2 Grey Wagtail went over south.


Mike T said...

Blimey Craig, is that all one family of Goosander? Did not know they had bred there.Bet the fishermen love them. Not.Send them back to where they came from along with that pesky seal!Saw a male in Bewdley last week,great bird.

midlands birder said...

Yes Mike, as far as I can tell all one family. Yes, the fisherman do love them, just like they love the Grey Seal!