Monday, 27 April 2009

always stay that little longer

its the day of the upton warren all day birdwatch and where am i being a slave for my family doing the usual saturday mouning for them.the only reward from this task is 2 swift hawking over the river at bewdley(year tick).at earlswood it was the same with the same stuff i reported last week apart from the fact that i got onto 2 more swifts over the house.i got my dad onto these as they drifted towards the lakes.
we found 3 bullfinch(2m 1 f) in the garden with 1 perticulary showy male which i gladly got a pic of(note this pic was taken without bins or scope and is heavly cropped:

and a showy buzzard:

highlights here were:
2 swift
4 swallow
1 goldcrest
4 goldfinch
3 bullfinch
5 greenfinch
hopefully upton warren will cheer me up:
just as we were getting ready to phone trobs into life:osprey flew south over moors just.b****kS.if my dad didnt do the weeding in the garden i would of got an osprey
as usual when i arrived the usual suspects were there but the greylags were on the sailing pool again.but there was a few suprises.
after an hour more birders pilled in.all for 1 reason to get onto a whimberal in the almost non existant curlew roost(cause of the time of year)
allas no whimberal but even if one did turn up it would be imposible to find it as they arrived when it was almost dark but this didnt hint to what would show next.we had a fox circle the flash a few times although there was more than one as it was limping while the other one waswnt.

than around 8:50pm we saw a shape appear from above the hide.a small raptor flew in.hobby, was the next shout but was very difficult to follow after it dropped below the blended in with the fields on the south shore of the flashes.this is certinaly the bird of the weekend.

highlights were:

2 greylag

2 shelduck

3 gadwall(2m 1f)

1 teal(im all alone)

1 hobby

9 avocet

6+ l r p

7 lapwing

2 common sand

3 redshank

7 curlew

5 snipe

2 stock dove

tawney owl heard

meadow pipit heard but not seen

1 sedge warbler(year tick)

1 cettis

1 reed warbler

1 goldcrest heard

1 reed bunt

next a short post about a breeding bird survey i did on blackcap at lickhil with very good results recorded.ammixed with a few other birds.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

what a day!

i must admit that i have been slakacing off the blog in recent days as a result of homework.and i appologise about it but what can i do.
well heres the days birding:
the usual satturday mouning routine was employed today.get out of bed, watch the feeders,go to nans,take here to bewdley then to joy suddenly lifted as i got news from my friend andy,that 2 arctic terns had been seen at earswood lakes and asked if i was going to get them.i said why not.i was bribed by my dad to do a lot of hard laborous work in exchangeto see the terns and get to upton warren later(because there was a 'gropper' and a goosander there,both would be personal site ticks).so i worked very hard.we both finished our tasks early and we got to leave early.firstly my dad drove round the lakes and came across the causway where we saw a birder,that i now know was matt from the earlswood blog.we headed for the engine pool car park as we have parked there before,while looking for another tern,a little tern(which we dipped on).

te news said that the birds were on windmill pool so we walked along valley road where we had a grey wagtail on the wires.even from the other end of engine pool i could see 2 terns just by the jizz.we walked over to where the birder was but half way across the causway a tern landed on a me this bird looked good for arctic(short legs,all red bill,long tail streamers and the contrasting white cheek)but on talking to matt(nice to meet you by the way) found out that he thought they were both commons.and means has he had a scope i took his word.not wanting to spend too much time here we had a walk to the bottom end of engine pool and collecting my scope from the car on the the bottom of the lake we had 2 more terns which on closer inspection with my scope turned out to be arctic(lifer 182)i got a few pics of one of the birds that landed on a random boid in the lake.not the best results but not bad:
after watching these for a bit we left for upton warren and a whole new story opened.
to be continued.........

after me asking which side of the reserve would be more productive.i got the news of the two above the moors it was.getting out the car i saw a tern flying north.i passed it off as a common.on the way down to the west hide and stopped at the dissabled hide where the gropper was.not realling no sign.we decided you could hear it from the west hide so in we went and it was completly whats about.well got the goosander(site tick) drake and a drake wigeon at the other end of the same island.there was 4 pheasnts( 3f 1m) and i got an amazing close up video.the scope was on minimum zoom when i took this:

the highlights from here was:
1 little grebe
7 g c grebe
1 greylag
2 shelduck
1 wigeon
5 teal
1 goosander
4 pheasant
1 common tern over
2 bullfinch

5 reed bunting

then on the way back everything came out 2 cettis warbler,2 reed warbler,a chiffchaff,and a garden warbler(year tick).this garden warbler is joint first for the earliest warren record.and finally the grasshopper warbler started reeling.after a flythrough sparrowhalk we saw a small locustella warbler zit between the patches of brambles.(year tick).unless the warren has got a lannocated,pallas,savis or a river warbler(dream on) then this has to be the grasshopper.after getting good prolonged views(if through a few reeds)of a cettis warbler we decided to get to the flashes.and what a good decision that was.
as i stopped to watch 2 oystercatchers circle the sailing pool(at one point going right over our heads)and land on the field to the back of the sailing pool in a canadian goose flock and got a few decent(for me) images:

then i had a quick look to see how far my dad had got down the steps but when i looked he had moved barly passed the info board.i asked why he stopped and then a sound i have not heard for years rung out.'cuck-oo' is my description for it and everybody will know what that means.we either have a cuckoo on our hands or some prat trying to get lucky with a tape player.we hopped into the hen brook hide to find an almost complete mc-donalds.but this is where we thought the cuckoo was calling sign.but a few reed warblers were chattering away and a cettis was singing.we decided to get to the feeder hide as it shown us the field at the back,along the dense bushes and over the hen pool.after noting a few reed buntings and no more that 5 mins into our vigal and i got a shout from my dad asking what a cuckoo looks like(in his words this means he thinks he has th bird mentioned)my very basic description was a kestrel x sparrowhalk.then i had him flying towards us along the shrub line from the field.he came into land on the dead tree near the hide and managed to get noe shot before he was attacked by a magpie.this was taken through my bins:

givnen that the bird was only on the tree for 15 secs this isnt a bad image.from then on i was in a great mood.this being my first cuckoo for 3 years(although i heard one 2 years ago near stackpole head)the bird didnt show or call again.but what a birdall the birds seen on the second flash were pretty much the same as last time but 3+common sands were newcomers for the year(year tick).

highlights were:

4 shelduck

5 gadwall

4 teal

2 oyc

9 avocets


1 green sand

3+common sand

2 redshank

3 curlew

6 snipe

2 stock doves

1 cuckoo

2 cettis

2 reed warbler

3 linnet

2 reed buntings

ill end the post with some pics and videos.


Monday, 20 April 2009

sheepwash again

mediteranian gull
while watching a common tern(more on that later)we had a first summer med gull fly,not the most pleasing bird to look at but what a bird.its a lifer for my friend andy. while it came into land although it decided not to and flew straight over
well anyway we had a common tern on the main lake(year tick for both of us) i managed to get quite a few shots of it as it flew around but never landed:

then after it left but another easily identifiable to be a different bird appeared an hour later.a bit of tern passage
and while watching the bird what appeares 2 reed warblers in the reeds to the left of where we were looking.they shown briefly but out in the opan at the top of the reeds.both of us wernt expecting them here but put it down to the weather the day before which was super photos of these.
and cute pic everbody ahhhhh

the only other things of note around was a lesser whitehroat which was pointed out by another birder while next to the tame.
highlights were:

6 little grebe

6 g c grebe
7 goosander(1 drk)

1 med gull
2 common tern
a sizable gathering of hirudines mostly h martin then swallow then sand martin
3 blackcap
1 lesser whitethroat
2 reed warblers
1 goldcrest heard
1 coal tit
2 bullfinch(m+f)
2 reed bunting(m+f)

Thursday, 16 April 2009


i hope most of you by now know im a birder and dont realy know much about anything heres some pictures of a frog my friend found in my garden(i know nothin more than that)
it wasent the look of the frog but the size of it here compared with a 2p
(no frogs were harmed in the making of these pics)
and now some pics taken through my bins
hoping to get to sheepwash tomorow to catch up with a few terns,with the possibility of arctic considering the influx to the east midlands during the last few days.little gulls are in a bit of an influx too with around 66 in derbyshire and with more coming.theres also been a report of a cuckoo at sheepwash too and if he stays ill try and find him.
dont know why but im going to bring up one of my favorite birding spots after upton warren and lickhill(and possibly earlswood).
this place is stackpole head in pembrokeshire(wales if anybody doesent know).the reason for this is there are quality birds there and NO BIRDERS. whetears will scurry around your feet and rock,meadow and tree pipit will stand on bolders right next to you.last year we had a rock pipit land on my scope.there is a small colony of sea birds here eg.razorbill,guillemot,fulmar,gannet(they dont breed but are a common site at any distance),kitiwakes(you get the idea yet) and one amazing bird.
the chough
i still remember seeing my first chough here 3 years ago and it preformed like it should,down to 5 metres.while watching a fulmar glide along the cliffs i heard the call i hoped to hear and a chough flew across in front of me at 5 metres range.we eventully tracked down a pair and got great views as they spiked the mud.
also noted that day was:
6 wheatars
20 skylarks (looks like this cliff is overpopulated)
7 rock pipit with most displaying
100c guilemot with less razorbill
fulmar (a fair few)
and 5 kitiwake
and i got my one and only view of a manx shearwater.
i know ive mentioned a protected breeding species but to deter egg collectors there are regular patrols along the cliffs here and there are a few cameras on the cliff faces(not for viewing birds but to look for egg theves)i was a little saddened last year when i stumbled upon a razorbill egg on the cliff top although i think it was stolen by a gull.but thats nature
im going there in the witson holiday and look forward to what this year brings

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

shenstone- blue-headed wagtail

doesent every birder get that happy feeling when a good bird turns up just down the road and not only that,but on your birthday as well.heres how the day goes:

after the dip with the redstart yesterday i was on a downer and not really expecting much from my stomp along the severn to blackstone.i must again admit that lickhill was dead again and with the 100's of people strolling around i was unlikly to find 3 male white wagtails that had been presant at the same time last year or a female redstart which i flushed while watching the wags at the same time.the only birds around lickhill was another red leg partridge in the fields at the farm adjoining the site,while i also got 4 house martins hawking over the lickhill area and a buzzard over burlish top.

only 6 skylarks were singing in the fields today but shown well if very usual when i got to the lake by blackstone i was transported into another world with warblers singing,kinfishers zitting about and sand martins jinking in the air.a bit further up the east side of the lake i caught site of a small bird perched in the top of a sounded familiar but i couldent put a name to it.then i remembered REED BUNTING, patch first. OMG.i watched it on the other side of the lake for a bit when it stopped singing and dissapeared not to be seen again. 2 blackcaps were singing but only gave brief views. i refound both the grey wags from a couple of weeks ago and they were both wearing summer clothes.2 nuthatchs were calling and singing from a nest site boardering the river.and you remember the loads of willow warblers i had last week,well now i only had one.not much else really apart from a couple of showy jays.

then it was back home and not 15 mins later i got a txt from brian stretch informing me of a blue-headed wagtail at shenstone but as my dad had started cooking dinner we had to wait till he had cooked it and we had eaten it.i must admit i havent eaten dinner in that little time for a long time. we all finished at 3:30pm and me and my dad left for butts lane.after inquiring about the exact location we were told to look for people standing on the side of a plowed field with giant telescopes and cameras.well we turned onto butts lane at stone and what did we find.4 birders standing on the side of the i jumped out the car got my scope and hiked towards the twitch. on arrival i placed my scope down and asked if he was showing in a casual manor(not showing my exitedness) they said he was out in the field in front of the green barn.i must admit i had a bit of trouble finding a kind man at the other end of the gathering let me look through his scope and get a few record shots.then back over at my scope i found him and watched him as he showed well in the company of 5, yes, 5 yellow wagtails(year tick).

other highlights were:

pied wag (a lot)

3 skylark

2 pheasants

2 r l partridge

the blue headed wagtail(lifer) showed well for the rest of the time we were there.and ill let my photos and videos show the rest of the way.but none of them show the beautiful, charismatic bird well


and with a possible white wag(just waiting for brian stretch to confirm it)

and heres the field that held the wags and skylarks

reg the birder has his magic field and heres mine

this surley mixed with the camera makes a great birthday presant


Tuesday, 14 April 2009


i just brought a new camera on friday to get some record shots for me and this blog.dont expect the images to be top class i only got the camera last week.over the weekend i have taken 132 images with varying degrees of sucsess and heres one of a siskin in the garden

and a chaffinch

and as al murrey would say FIGHT

all these last images were taken yesterday.

now earlswood:

this time i was having fun with the camera seeing what it can do and here are the results:


the pair of goldcrests were being confiding again but failed to get a good shot of them but i did get a bad image of the female

scanning over the fields at norton lane i got 2 displaying phesants by the wythall railway station.and opposite the garden i got onto a year tick 4 red legged partridges(year tick) which worked there way across the field.the skylark was singing again from the fields.i also got a few images of blue titswhich arnt that bad.
i must admit i was more preocupied with the fact that there was a redstart that showed characteristics of the eastern race.but a few txts from brian stretch tells me that its a normal redstart falling well within the boundries of our redstart.
so upton warren it is

i first scanned the sewage works for it,as this is where i presumed it to be from info i got.but a few birders in the hide guided me to a patch bushes to the right of here.
no sign of him yet.
so i made do and started testing my camera on a close redshank

not bad i think.all 9 avocets were stil there and showing beautiffuly in the sun

this image i tried to edit from being images of most of the birds there.allas the redstart didnt show but i left happy even though i had hoped the redstart would show for me for a birthday preasnt(which is on 12th)highlights were

2 little grebes

8 g c grebes (sailing pool)

2 greylag geese (very close views on sailing pool in almost darkness)

told you it was dark

2 shelduck

5 gadwall

6 teal

23 tufties


9 avocets


8 lapwing

1 green sandpiper(year tick)

1 common sandpiper(year tick)

2 redshank

7 curlew

6 snipe

1 jack snipe

1 stock dove

10c sand martins

1 swallow

2 blackcap

2 cettis warbler

5 reed buntings

wow that list gets bigger every time

soz for the quick post trying to get up to date and a big bird on my birthday.


quite a quiet day nothing really outstanding.but a drake ruddy duck was noteworthyas its only the 2nd ive seen this year. that cull is getting somewhere now. next in line is 18 sand martins which flew up the tame,hawked over the lake for 15 mins then left flying west.
i did get a personal site first though when a stock dove landed on the islands,where a cormorant(full summer clothes) stood.on the other side of the lake we had a grey wag bouncing about and had great views of the great crests at around 5 metres.

the few highlights were:

7 little grebe (4 on chemical pool)

8 g c grebe

5 tufties

1 ruddy duck

1 stock dove

sand martins

grey wag

and does anybody remember that pink bra on blurred birding well we refound it on the edge of the lake in the water where the ruddy duck paid a lot of attention to it.and around the many paths what do we find glass bottles,cans and numorous durex wrappers.

i mean what do you expect from a town pond.


Wednesday, 8 April 2009


local patch

today the warblers hit the headline for onto 4 species of warbler and all but 1(goldcrest) was seen to or at the lake at blackstone.

got out early to avoid the crowds of campers.i was so hoping to get onto some sand martins and possobly the first swallow,house martin or early warblers for to the sand martin colony and scanned and found nothing.walked further upriver to the end of the field and suddenly 3 'hyrundines' aproaching from the south flying upriver.there were 2 smartins and a swallow(an adult which lacked tail streamers).they hawked around for a few minuites and left with the swallow and 1 sand martin flying north and the other lone smartin flying south.just a few hundred metres later and 7 redwings flew over westwards without touching down.halfway between the 2 caravan sites i paused to scan for skylarks.i counted at least 8 birds with 3 singing males.but they always stayed on the top fields and never comes to the fields boardering the river.

at the lake at blackstone the first bird i noted was a redpoll sp.i watched it at a distance through a tree.i know it was a male but was unable to comfirm 'lesser' dissapeared and i was preparing to wait for it to show again when a willow warbler started singing.i was lured towards the potentiol year tick.i found the tree it was singing from but couldent lock onto it.then another started singing.then another,then another.overall i counted at least 20 'willows' from here to lickhill.i did eventually get a lock onto a few of them with one singing in a low bush less than 3 metres from me(year tick).all the ones i saw were quite yellowish and easily seperable from chiffchaff(which were also singing)which all look quite dull.then i decided to take a look at the redpoll again but got another warbler species.this time blackcap(year tick)(nd they were propper 'black'caps with 3 males all showing black caps.i think this song is a blackcaps but would be grateful for help(im not an expert on id ing warbler songs yet, apart from the ones i see regulary or songs that are unmistakable eg cettis warbler)

the goldcrests were again in the same tree and are the same birds (1m 2f).


1 kestrel (very good views at close range)

2 smartins

1 swallow

7 redwing

3 blackcap

20+ willow warbler

3 chiffchaff

3 goldcrest

1 redpoll sp

now you remember those mealypolls around lickhill well theres now a pic of one yay :)

soz for nicking the image geoff

this looks almost like the bird in january but not like the pair that visited the garden(they looked an awful lot lighter than this bird,even the female looked paler white than this bird.anyway this bird looks good for mealy and looks a lot like the single bird in january.

next post comin soon and is from sheepwash

good birding


Tuesday, 7 April 2009


ive decided to put all the videos taken at upton warren.
here they are:
wigeon(quite bad quality,taken in low light at dusk)

the blurred video blog is now running on this blog yay


and the 2 videos from the last post

the comings of summer

for me the day started with a house martin over bewdley.i then txted my friend andy to brag about it cause he aint seen one so far this year.(he's staying at mine and sittin right next 2 me and this is y im bringin it up)
then on the motor way to the gardening job(oh great) got at least 9 buzzards(got 5 sourning together at stone).at the garden at earlswood there is a pine tree that held 2 goldcrest,3 greenfinch and a flypast sparrowhalk.2 skylarks were singing in the fields adjoining norton lane.
now the best part of the day.
upton warren
again to the flashes as the only thing was reported at the moors was a mealy redpoll and (as explained in last post)i didnt get the urge to see it and thought the flashes would be more promising.and it was.
my first intentions was to scan the sailing pool for the martins that are presant there.and there were.we got onto at least 20 sand martins and in these were 4 house martins and a swallow.but they kept their distance with only a few coming quite close.then to the flashes.we stopped outside the feeder hide to watch 2 reed bunting a female bullfinch a few goldfinch and a greenfinch and chaffinch.we again heard a cettis warbler on the streams.we stopped to read the sign at the feeder hide saying that it was closed for some reason.
then we got in the tower hide.and again nobody was there again so we got a side of the hide to ourselves. of cause i took the side with the snipe on and after getting some news off brian stretch earlier i was onto 2 jack snipe with 7 'common' snipe.i then went onto avocet mode and counted all 9. and as usual i got another video:

highlights were:

4 shelduck

1 wigeon(drake)(1st for flashes)

13 teal

13 tufties(2 on sailing)

2 OYC (watch the next video)

9 avocets


3 redshank

18 curlew

7 snipe

2 jacks

1 stock dove

quite a long list.i was amazed to count 4 shelduck.first i only counted 2 on the 3rd flash then around 7:30 i noticed 2 more on the second flash.i took these to be the ones from the 3rd flash but looked and realised there were for the amazing video that shows:well ill let you guess what they all are:

then on the way back to the car we heard a calling tawny owl.and guess what it didnt show.havent got it on my year list yet.ill have to find out where that one in the wyre forest is.


Thursday, 2 April 2009

god its about time

yessssssssssssssssss,the holidays here, most birding will be local around the dudley area.gonna get to sheepwash on monday and then going to fens pool and if ive got time i might visit barrow hill as its got pottential with a record of red backed shrike and wryneck.also keeping very local i might have a mooch around wrens rouzel come on down.the old quarry looks good for them and its high up so mabey but i might be pusshing it.oh yeah remember the y b warbler last year even the most optomistic of birders wouldent of dreamed about that so maby.the rest of th time will be going with it and deciding where to go when i want to.this means i might even end up at upton warren some birding:
lickhill manor
the mealy poll saga continues around the lickhill area of stourport.and finally someone else has got one, yesssssss.i didnt really get the urge to go and see this bird as ive already found 3 this year but i did have a quick look around the streets of burlish to hopefully find sign.oh well.surely this is the same birds moving around.this bird being an adult male could mean that it was the same bird involved with my record on 14/03 when a pair visited my garden.
the local patch was quite quiet on the caravan site with more campers than last week.apart from the stuff on the feeders all the action was at the lake by blackstone.up there there were 2 grey wagtails(both winter adults)and 2 kingfishers.although 3 were reported to me be a hicker.the k-fishers gave close views.and as always theres a but.they were always 3/4 hidden behind a willow tree.
highlights here were:
2 kingfisher
2 grey wags
1 chiffchaff
1 green woodie(flyover)
3 buzzards
the skylarks were singing in the fields again but allas no raven or smartin over this time.also a jay flashed by real other highlights but a redwing on the entrance road was noteworthy.
on the feeders on 28/03 we had:
1 goldcrest
2 blackbird
2 goldfinch
30+ siskin(very sudden influx)
2 coal tits building nest in conifer
1 blue tit
1 robin.
not much different on 29th but the siskin numbers had dropped considerably to a few more than 10 birds.although to great exitement nest building was observed in a pine tree.if this developes into a full breading attempt it will be the first for the site.also quite a bit of courting and mating activity,so there could be more pairs that decide to stay.there is a lot of suitable watch this space.
3 goldcrests are noteworthy giving close prolonged views which allowed me to find out that one male goldcrest had 2 females(lucky begger)
highlights in and around the garden were:
stuff mentioned above
2 goldfinch
2 blue tits
3 coal tits
1 robin
2 b-birds
1 dunnock
but the ay didnt end there on the way back at wall heath we had a swallow(year tick) over the a449 in between the kingfisher resturant and the petral garage.