Sunday, 29 March 2009


same as usual i went to do the gardening job. at around 3 it started lashing it down and we were alowed to go home.but as usual i had other plans.
UPTON WARREN HERE WE COME.1st birds i noted was 13 cormorants flying south over the moors while on the a38.a quick check of the north moors produced we looked west we saw a very dark cloud heading towards us so decided to skip the walk around the north moors and go straight for the east hide.getting onto the causway we saw a small warbler flitting up the heagerow on the first call was cettis but after a bit eventually emerged and pronounced itself as a that was sorted we noted 2 more chiffchaff on the the farm buildings we stopped to find a flock of 11 lesserpolls.a gunshot later and they all flown.
now the black cloud was above us and it was starting to i decided to just get to the hide ASAP.we both just got into the hide when it started pouring down.great timing i think.
the first bird i noticed was a female gadwall right on the edge of the lake.then a shout from my dad telling me to look down. there right below the hide were 9 snipe,not 3 meters from us. after marveling at their subtle beauty and cammoflage i scanned the rest of the amys marsh area.this produced a male gadwall and another female.there was a few teal.then a green woodie appeared in between the snipe and gave me a chance(for the first time) to get a very good view of turned out to be a male and i got a video through my bins(to close for scope):

i must admit though the rest of the lake was rather quiet as was the amount of birders on site.a quick look in the log book said a dunlin was here earlier but it wasent seen.after a bit a pair of oystercatchers appeared from the direction of the sailing pool.after a bit more torture with the sun reflecting into the hide we decided to leave highlights were:

1 little grebe

6+ g c grebe

3 gadwall

10+ shoveler


20c tufted ducks


13 snipe

1 green woodie

2 cettis warbler

3 chiffchaff

1 goldcrest

didnt go to the west hide today.

then to the flashes.walking down the south shore of the sailing pool we met another birder who said hed just seen a swallow on the lake.but looked away and it the fields there was a lot of campers and made a joke about them camping there so they can be the first to find another least sandpiper or wilsons phalarope.stopped at the feeder hide as there was still a bit of activity and as we walked by flushed 2 snipe from the streams near the we got:

4 reed bunting

3 greenfinch

2 l t tit

another chiffchaff

3 phesant

a few teal

and a brief cettis from here i saw the gulls fly up and got onto 6 avocet among them.then a grey heron flushed from about 5 meters right of the hide.

from the tower hide i first scanned for the avocets and was very happy to count 8. 3 resting at back of flash 4 swimming near the wooden sticks that pop out the flash and another in the water near the gravel cresant island.and on this cresant island was 2 LRPS.a bit closer this time.and i common with the moors 6 snipe gave brill views right in front of the hide.

soz 4 the quality of this video

on the other mud cresant island we saw 2 redshanks(year tick). the shelduck had moved down here and gave ok views.the curlews reached a maximum of 19 just as we started to leave.then low over the hide the 2 OYCS from the moors came down to see us off.

and i was a little amazed to see only 2 lapwings that i could see on the flashes.where have they all gone?

highlights for the flashes are:

8 g c grebes (sailing pool)

1 greylag 0ver

3 shelduck



8 avocets


2 redshank

19 curlew

7 snipe

1 chiffchaff

1 cettis

1 goldcrest

and the things mentioned for the feeder hide.

not a bad day i think.and its not even into full migration yet.

so wheres that least sandpiper?


Sunday, 22 March 2009

stop press.mega found

lickhill manor. god it takes forever for somehing good to turn up here.but recently its come alive producing 2 records of mealypoll,a lesser spotted woodpecker,a marsh tit,a showy lesserpoll and a couple of goosander.all are rare at lickhill but theyve all turned up so far this it me being more vigilant and take time to sift through the flocks of 'commons' to eventually find something good.but today was a downer untill i got to moorhall meadow where after checking moorhall marsh i crossed here to be ammused by 3 green woodies chasing after each other.this is what it looks like if anybody cares

then one of the woodies landed by a small bush.i slowly stalked the tree hoping to get a good view of the woodie.then the 'yaffel' bird flushed but in its panik put a small bird into the tree which too was below the tree.i casually raised my bins,expecting to see a dunnock or something like that.


i was amazed to see a medow pipit(year tick) staring at this is a scarce bird at lickhill with usually only a few records a year.the bird just stood there was nothing else doing i decided to stay and watch it. it gave stunning views in the tree at the start of the film(you proberbly guessed that cause thats where my scopes facing).

but while watching this i got a by twitch in the form of a kestrel that attacked the mipit(unsucsesfully)and came close and 3 flyover buzzards in a line.then the mipit flew to the hawthorn(on the video again) and i decided to leave.nothing else to mention from around lickhill that day.then i went a headache.went to bed,woke up,and spent the rest of the day puiking....great....

same place a week later.


after a very dissapointing saturday because the gardening job ran over and i spent 4 hours raking the lawn getting the moss out..this ment i missed out on my planned visit to upton warren to admire the ringed plover there.anoyed by this i vowed if i didnt get anything the next day i would hand in my bins(joke that'll never happen)and claim this the worst weekend ever. the day started as usual watching the feeders.only 16 siskins and 3 goldfinch today.a lot down from last week.then around the local patch.and first up the sand martin colony.after getting splatted by a sprinkler.i was relieved by a very low buzzard that passed over my head at 10ft.then while watching this the unmistakable sound of the....yes it is..a sand martin(year tick) . i love these birds as they wheel there way through the air.and reminding me how hard they are to keep a lock on.they also confused me to how many there were.while watching one flying in front of me,i then lost it and another appeared behind me.was it the same one,i dont i decided to put the news out as at least 1.then to the fields further upriver to hear the skylarks singing.but what i came across was totaly different.behind me a large dark bird was circling.another it was not..a ravern(year tick) souring around.thats a good bird.i watched it for a few minuites as it wheeled around above my head,then promptly dissapeared towards devils spitful. there was a lot of campers on the site so i decided to head back the feeders the siskins were on so i decided to wait by the car till they flew off as i didnty want to scare them 4 i took the op to scan the trees.siskin,siskin,siskin.then a few goldcrest appeared and entertained me with my previous favorite species.then out of nowhere a 'chiff chiff chiff chaff' song allerted me to the presance of a chiffchaff.then i had him in my scopes(year tick).he flew around the birches,conifers and silver birches for a bit then dissapeared.

then to stanklyn lane(dont worry not long to go now).got another chiffchaff in the trees.then we just turned into heath lane and a small falcon crossed the path of the car.'merlin' we both shouted.i jumped out the car to see the rear end of a female merlin dive into the roadside dad glimpsed it before it hit the tree and dissapeared.but it was enough to id another year tick. after about 10 mins and no other sighting we decided to check the model airstrip.but there were people flying model aeroplanes there so decided to just scan the trees and were rewarded with 2 corn duntings(year tick).a nice mixture of winter and summer today.and has turned a truily terrible weekend into a good one.


Monday, 16 March 2009

spring is on the way

everyone knows it.spring is here.this is the time for the unexpected.where winter visitors meet summer.
the weekend started for me early saturday mourning.after a very uncomfortable sleep no the sofa after watching comic relief and falling a rude awakening at 6:30 in the morning by the twittering of a flock of siskins.after an hour of watching the feeders.i gave up and started playing on the about 8 my dad got up. and told me what was on the feeders.all commons.
32 siskin
1 dunnock
2 blackbird
1 robin
3 goldfinch
1 blue tit
1 chaffinch
1 coal tit
then at around 9:30 i got a shout from dad saying the lesserpolls were i was in the middle of a race onNFS PROSTREET i just paused the game and ran to look.again he told me they were on the floor.but when i got a look alarm bells were ringing.2 MEALY POLLS in the garden they fed on birch seeds from the tree and always kept there distance from the siskins they were with.they were so close i found it hard to lock onto them with my bins.the second they took to the tree i grabbed last months BIRDWATCH mag(issue 201) as i remembered it had an article of haw to id mealys with confidence.i skim read it and found all details to be in order so i txt the news out.i also txt it to birdguides but forgot that the txting service was bost and so i presume my record wasent put on the anyone who gets this mag turn to page 33 and look at the image in the top right.this pic shows the birds we had in the garden.just add more white on the face.they were about the same size as the siskins if slightly smaller.remember this is only the 3rd site record and the first time a record has involved more than 1 bird.the closeness to the record in jan sudgests that the same bird is involved.just that another bird has joined dad said that these are the birds that have been visiting the feeders since last tuesday.this is a lifer for my dad and a 2nd record this year for me.then over to earlswood for a gardening jod ive got over onto at least 12 buzzards along the motorway and the fields surrounding norton lane.not much else apart from a fieldfare flock on the opposite field where i counted at least 60 of these birds.on the way back on the m42 near j2 i had 4 houase martins fly over(year tick).this is the earliest ive ever seen one and the first year ive seen one before sand martin.then to the almighty upton warren.
only the flashes though as i had a massive urge to tick avocet and we was pushing time and didnt have long before dusk we went straight to the tower hide but checked the sailing pool for the sand martin that had been sign but the g c grebes gave great views in summer plumage at around 4 onto the flashes.right ok.this is going to be a harder job than i thought.there were tons af black heads-and a lot of them had there brown hoods.i scanned the back of the flash and found an avocet(year tick).then behind it a small movement.a closer inspection turned it out to be the LRP(year tick) giving the worst views ive ever seen.then my dad got in the hide.i told him where the avocet and the LRP was and he exclaimed hed got 2 avocets.then all 3 joined together and gave good views.sorry for the video quality,taken in bad light at full zoom.

then a birder came in.i think i saw him at the waxie twitch.he asked whats about and we told him.then at that point 4 oystercatchers came in and landed calling

this video shows all 4 and a few other birds after

the stonechat that was reported wasent seen.then everything got spooked and the avocets moved closer

the highlights were:

little grebe

3 greylag geese

1 shelduck(3rd flash)

1 shoveler

10-20 teal

1 perigrine

4 oystercatcher

3 avocet


70c lapwing

12+ curlew

2 snipe

2 l b b gulls (on ground)

1 little owl

1 cettis warbler

100-200 starlings(pre roost)

Thursday, 12 March 2009

the mystery bird

now the waxies have gone i need to find something else to do,so here it is.try to id the bird just from this was handed to me today by an amazed andy saying he had a parot in his might be oober plastic but it certainly livens things up.i have my suspisions to what it might be.but im going to let you guess

if the video isnt that good.the top of the feather shows a blue sheen bordered black with a yellow base.the underpart is bright yelow edged black.

good luck


Wednesday, 11 March 2009


why are birders so conspicous?.since monday i havent seen one birder looking for the waxies that i found(oh yes) not one.but tody it changed,the day i reported the waxies as not being there a birder could see him from a mile off. standing on the street corner near the garages,bins in hand,scruitanizing every starling he saw.but he was in exacly the right place,looking in the right direction.just a day too late.i actually feel a bit sorry for him.still being around as the kids get out.i bet he had someone give a sarky comment to him.but i do hope he found the hasent been reported on any news website.but you know.i give him luck.keep at it.and forget the stupid school kids comments.the last few days have tought me a lesson.always keep an eye out.even in the most unexpected of places.around the gornal area i have found very little but when something good appears its big.ive found a y l gull at the school(as i was lining up for pe) a crossbill in the wood,the amazing yellow browed warbler(the only lifer gornal has given me,but wrens nest is closer to dudley)a few flyover penegrines and a lone migrating hobby.for a deep urban area i dont think this is a bad list.but they come few and far between so when the ops do come i say take them.enjoy them.thats what birdings about right.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

there back

same place as yesterday.but not in the same trees.the confirmed waxwing count has risen to 5 birds. just imagine my relief when i again heard them purring again from the same area. i located the flock quickly and counted them.then text the news to brian stretch that they were again presant so he could put the news on his incredable 'birding today' website and to anybody thats interested i would recomed it advert can send my check through the post brian but i do prefer cash.joke.please dont take that the wrong way im just trying to liven up the post,to practice for my GCSEs that im now doing in english,which is using computers.i can imagine what all people of a 'certain age ' will be saying.'in our day we had to use a quills,ink and slate to write on, now you use a whats it called, oh yes,a keypad,its so easy for you nowadays, how things have changed' i realy can imagine my nan saying that. i could only text the news to birdguides in between 1st and 2nd lesson so sorry for putting the news out late.have you noticed the similarity between the number of birds my fried saw yesterday and how many i saw this mouning. maby they thought theyd stay and eat more before they go back to the icy detpths of there scandinavian breeding grounds. thats a bit like me always think about my stomoch before anything these waxies arnt very showy i think if anybodys interested the best places to look would be cedar wood road or in the ellowes wood where as my friend informs me there is a mysticle area that holds loads of berries. (by the way there are still a few berries on kennerdy cresant).but i dont know where that is.the waxies were last heard in my lunch break at 12:55 when they called from in the if anybody dares to venture into this snakepit to look for the waxies.good luck,thats if you survive

yes in my world there is a never ending suply of waxie pictures

Monday, 9 March 2009

de ja view

while reading the post by martyn yapp about the magnificent frigatebird proberbly flying over trimply res.if this is true that means it would have flew over lickhill too.what a patch bird that would be.but like most birds it proberbly flew back to america to get around lickhill. and by the way welcome back martyn.glad we gat you back in the blogstraphere(sorry kay)

the local patch was dead today.but the feeders in our garden were brimming.siskin one point i counted 22,yes 22 on 2 seed feeders.a coal tit(there coming less frequently now)stayed for 78 secs on the penuts.i hope it doesent think i cant id him so he sticks around for a a peak count of 5 goldfinch.also seen was a pair of chaffinch, 2 song thrush and 2 blue tit amongst others but the highlight of the weekend was a lesserpoll (adult male with full red breast) that gave point blank views on the patio.its amazing how good these birds look when you look at this point i thought it as bird of the month(well its the first ive seen in my garden) yeah f******g right.skip to 8/03/09

just as the school(im in lower gornal dudley west mids now) ended i left my mate (the birdy one) and put my earphones in and started listning to songs.when i got to 'jumping all over the world' i started hearing the purring of waxwings at the kennerdy cresant, thornleigh jounction.i actuatly thought that the ringtone on my phone of waxies calling was playing but when i looked at the screen it said the above song was my heart started pumping if it wasent on my phone then.........

jesus christ. there here..

i took my headphones out and there it was the purring of waxwings.then i saw them in the top of tree by the garages presumably on cedar wood road and in the gardens in betwen the 2 sides of kennedy cresant.jesus . there were at least 10 birds in that tree but i couldent confirm them as waxies yet.they looked smaller than only one of my mates knows im a birder i couldent stop and watch them.(this only happens because i dont want to be bullied about it,yeah thats what schools like now,and i dont want to go all the way to the bottom of the 'cool' list which if have been building up over the past 3 years)i got to upper gornal park and phoned brian strech(yes phoned)then i phoned my birdy friend i left 5 mins earlier(the waxies would be a lifer for him)but he didnt pick up.thats so typicle of him.after 5 more tries i gave up.i got to my house, grabbed my bins and ran back.(its amazing how far i ran without getting tired)

kerching. there still calling.then 3 birds popped up from a garden and revealed there white underwings and orange undertail. as they passed over my head calling.i couldent believe it.i have found my favorite bird so soon after my first sighting in january.(i know they werent there this mourning as i walked past the same spot which means they arrived between 8:30-3:30)because i only confirmed 3 thats how many i decided to put the news out as.but there were more calling in surrounding landed on a bush with yellow berries(quite a few berries so they might come back,fingers crossed if they do ill txt it out on birdguides and pass on the news to a few fellow birders if they are there check at around 9am as thats after i get in school) after nailing these few i decided to run to my friends house to get him to see them.after 5 mins we were back on site with andy almost kicking himself that he didnt walk with me today therfore missing a lifer.we scanned high and low.crap crap crap.there not i was angry that i left the birds and they flew away.we walked the streets for over an hour with no sign(for all those dirty minded people out there we wernt doing what you think we was) now we gave up and told brian strech the bad news(yes i know hes the worcester recorder but its not like i know anyone from the west mids area to give the news to i dont even know the west mids recorders name!! shock,horror) i got home and put the news on birdguides and then wrote this.then i got a phone call from my friend that hed just relocated the waxies flying towards my house. i asked him was he sure to check he wasent stringing it from a starling. i questioned him on the id but all seemed to be in order apart that he reported 5 birds and thanked him and watched out the window. after i watched for 15 mins i got bored and stopped looking.god i cant believe today,its great.although it doesent apeal as much as in january as i only saw these birds brifly.but what the hell.there waxies.
what birds mega stunning

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

my nans house


this is the last thing i saw on the holloday. my nans back garden isnt the best place for birding
but it does have some supprises.such as a flock of blackcap that develope there in the winter.last winter there was a maximum of 5(2m 2f 1juv and stayed for nearly a month feeding on a berry bush at the bottom of the garden).this year there was a maximum of 3(2m 1 f)but i only saw them for a week this time.the house is nestled between the devils spitful sssi and trimpley reseviour.and for an unknown reason every night get a movement of gulls going north(proberbly to trimpley)and crows flying south(no idea where they go i might find out some day).so as usual at 4pm i was in the back garden waiting for them to come and give me a challenge with id and some fun(standing in the garden is fun compared to watching old people programs on saturday nights.and tonight they didnt dissapoint.a 500 bird strong flock passed over in groups with the core of them arriving by 5pm and by 5:30 flocks were passing over containing around 30 birds mostly large gulls eg lessers,herrings.but not many black heads(or should it be brown heads)and it very rarely contains anymore of note but tonight was differnt at 5:30.i watched a flock fly in from the south east and in this flock was a 'white winger'. can you believe scope was inside and not set up(i always take it with me incase something good turns up nearby)as it approached i started taking mental notes as i had a feeling this wasent gonna stay long. i noted it was a first winter glaucose(lifer 181)(i have no experience with this species but are fully informed on id fetures of them)in my notebook i wrote immidiatly after: 5:30pm 1 1st winter glaucose gull over in flock of 500 gulls mostly herrings and looked larger and brauder winged than the other gulls presant(almost g b b gull like) obviously it showed white wing tips and showed pale+translucent flignt had a dark tip to the bill but the bill colour couldent be established in the fading light.but it looked paler than the looked heavy necked with a long head and bill(which almost rules out iceland).the eye was dark and the whole body of the bird looked grubby whitish
this is the last good bird of the holloday.
now just to catch up with myself.
at lickhill again but left with nothing to 1 year tick in the form of 2 stock doves. a few skylark were singing.the 'bpp' canadian goose was again presant.there was quite a large flock of birds on the fields by the farm.wich contained fieldfares and starlings.note this video shows only some of the flock

apart from this the most action was on my feeders where i logged a coal tit(it stayed on the feeder for 43 secs amazing) other common tits,4 chaffinch on seed on ground,3 goldfinch,up to 6 siskin but counted more than 10 in the birch tree next to it,2 greenfinch and a dunnock as well as a few others and a video of the best birds there

finnaly ive caught up with myself

Monday, 2 March 2009

back for the white front

again to the moors first and my regular journey around the north moors and down to whichever hide i i chose the east hide again as it gave us the greatist potentiol for seeing snipe which yesterday there was a complete lack of then to be saved by 3 at the flashes. nothing much on the north moors again but the cettis warbler gave its typicle flight view again(we only saw this one but someone had seen 3).on the path to the east hide again i looked for the mealy as it was reported again earlier in the day but again no we entered the hide i scanned the islands.the 3 shelducks were still there as was the greylag geese(but on the other side of the lake)in a casual manor i asked if the white front was around,to be greeted with the answer 'yes hes over there' while pointing towards the river swalphorpe(hope i spelled it right) and there stood the adult eurapian white front at a lot closer range than yeterday with a few canadas and a very large hydrid(it was quite a bit larger than the canadas)and i got another film

then i started looking for snipe.i counted the pointy bit to the right of the boat first as this is where i see the most snipe.i counted 15 with a bit of room for moreand a jack snipe . i scanned the island slightly to the left of the hide(the one thats very close) and counted 2 then 5 then 7 then a maximum of 10 again leaving room for others.this actually developed into again as 4 birders submitted bids of how many birds there were.while watching the snipe a few teal came close and a little grebe was diving for fish in front of the came up with one and took a long time to eat was so close i could see it was eating a small roach(i like fishing 2).

the highlights here were

w f goose

2 greylag geese

shelduck 3

15-20 shoveler

3 wigeon (2 m 1f)

15c teal

15-20 pochard

25 snipe

1 jack snipe

1 skylark

1 cettis warbler

now to the flashes:

again there was a lot of lapwings and little else.but the oyc has moved down here before being flushed by something.36 curlew were on show but again there was more on the 3rd flash.but there were 2 things that really suprised me. one was a water the flashes i need say no more.this i was told is a very rare occurence expeshily where it was in between the 2nd +3rd flash. the little owls again came out to play but remained as motionless as was something which i didnt expect inside the 'fox proof fence' (doing that finger thing).yeah right a superb big adult fox strolled into view in between the 2nd +3rd flash spooking everything there but the birds on the 2nd flash paid no attention to good thing with this though is that it flushed some snipe which we couldent see before.the shelducks came down again.then just as dusk approached just as we were about to leave a peregrine flew through comin in from the south and leaving to the north flying very low flushing everything and again i got a video

highlights were:

lapwing-a lot

36 curlew

teal-good scattering

snipe-a few

water rail


2 shelduck

1 oyc

2 little owls

and the fox

does anydody remember the woodcock i seen uw moors on the last day of last year well guess what one was seen at the moors the next day that pretty much proves the one we saw dont it.

and as of the 1st march the avocets are back at uw can you believe that so early and as i write this that figure has incresed to 2.hopefully its a breeding pair and thaey have another great year at the warren i know ill be seeing them soon