Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Greater Scaup

A 1st winter drake Greater Scaup had been found at Upton Warren. A very uncommon seaduck in the midlands, and in particular from Worcestershire, as we lack many area of sufficiant open water, Therefore lacking many of the large Aythya flocks that are present in our surrounding counties.
So therefore, it was quite a nice 'tick' to get when a impromtu friday visit was organised. We headed or the Moors pool, and it didnt take very long to locate the SCAUP showing on the far side of the pool. Sadly to say, i wasnt at all left impresed by the bird. It was incredibly grotty (However some adult features were emerging) and not very interesting if im truily honest. But as always, it was nice to study its plumage and state of moult, which is something i always do enjoy looking at when looking at ducks.
 Moving from the West to the East side (in the hope of Jack Snipe) we knew we would be faced with direct sunlight into the hide, sillouetting everything. However, it again didnt take long to find the Scaup, showing slightly closer from this side.

A flock of 5 Wigeon were the only other birds of note away from the regulars.

And we were heading back to Upton for better photos of the Scaup (there really was very little better to do regional birding wise, honest!).
Again the Scaup refused to come anywhere near in decent light, and it was only at dusk, when all the ducks roosted on the East islands did the Scaup join them.


3 Wigeon, 2 Pochard, c20 Tufted Duck and c40 Shoveler were in evidence. However, the flock of c30 Snipe was by far the highlight from the 'runners up', as they probed their way between the tussocks.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Some short ones.

An evening visit to Upton Warren was rather quiet, 3 Gadwall (2m) were the only birds of note at the Moors Pool, so we headed down to the flashes where it did liven up some more. A further 5 Gadwall (3m) were here. A little Owl was showing on the barn roof, and 3 Green Sandpipers were still in attendence. An eclipe drake Wigeon was feeding on the peninsular in front of the hide. 9+ Snipe were also feeding out in the open in the shallow water.

Further vismig on the patch reaped rewards today, with my first FIELDFARE of the autumn, which flew over south calling, following the river. Im not sure of how many September Fieldfares ive had!
24 Meadow Pipit also flew over, 23 flying south, and one oddball which decided it wanted to fly north!
A crazy single flock of 8 Grey Wagtail flew over, agian in a southerly direction.
2 Linnet flew north, But the highlight was a Snipe, which i picked up while viewing a distant Buzzard. It circled distantly for around a minuite, before flying off to the north.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


I'd given up on Spotted Flycatcher this year! After countless attempts to find one failed, and with it now being in September, time was running out, so i came to the conclusion that i wont see one this year!
As im sure many locals may testify, in the Wyre Forest area, and maybe even in wider Worcester, they have been incredibly scarce, and therefore it was a shock while out on the patch that a mate had found one on the other side of the Bewdley-Stourport road, on Mount Pleseant! Only a few hundred metres off the edge of my patch!
So obviously i had to go!
We headed up there, seeing a flock of 10 Lapwing on the recently plowed field adjacent to the road. Reaching the upprmost 'reaches' of the hill, stands a small wood, and it took the entirity of 2 seconds to locate the SPOTTED FLYCATCHER perched on top of some ivy about 30ft away! Stupidly, my scope wasnt ready 'for action' and in the time it took me to get the tripod legs down, the Flycatcher dropped down , and never fully emerged at such close range!
The above photos shows how close the bird was, but it had already dropped into the bush, and was always partically hidden.

It was actually quite alot of activity in the wood, in particular around the one ivy bush which was similarly alive with insects! A LESSER WHITETHROAT, 2 CHIFFCHAFF and a nice bright yellow WILLOW WARBLER were seen in the time we were watching this single tree!


Patch Birding- Highlights

Early morning watches of the patch has been revealing large numbers of Hirudines moving, and today was no exeption, with about 500 Swallow and H Martin moving south along the river in just over an hours 'vis-migging.
Migrant wise. the only birds were a Garden Warbler (Getting late) and 2 Blackcap, as well as multiple Chiffchaff.

Early morning agian for more vismig!
The highlight was by far my first GOLDEN PLOVER of the autumn which flew over south calling.
Hirudines were now moving in much smaller numbers, with only about 100 Swallows going through. However, this was eclipsed by 150+ Meadow Pipits that flew over, all heading in a SW direction. This compared to a measly 5 Skylark, however, they tend to 'move' a little later in the year.
Away from vismigging, the patch was quiet, exept for a flock of 5 Mandarin (3 drk) which flew north upriver. A male kestrel was showing well.

Osprey Still!

It was amazing to see that the adult OSPREY was still present at Upton Warren and i enjoyed another session with it perched at the back of the flashes, It really is an awesome bird! For an Osprey to stay at a single location and be so easy to see is quite a rare occurence. It was there for 18 days at this point!
The flashes was alive with wader activity, amongst the usuals, the Dunlin was still present, alongside 11 Green Sandpipers, a Common Sandpipers and 9 Snipe.
It was also nice to see that the eclipse drake PINTAIL was still at the flashes, and was showing ok from the path near the bench.
c800 BHG were in the roost by the time we left.
 (For photos of the Osprey, click the 'Previous post' button)

Monday, 12 November 2012


 With the continued presence of the adult male OSPREY at upton, i just couldnt resist another viewing. I mean, how often do you get Ospreys in the Midlands showing like this!

 The bird was fairly predictable in its movements, usually flying to the Sailing Pool just after the turn of the hour, and would return a minuite or so after with a fish! This bird was one seriously good fisher!
After catching, and consuming its fishy snack (Every time a Roach while i was there), it then dropped down into the shallows to the 2nd flash, and proceded to have a brief wash down, dipping its head into the water to wash the slime off its bill and talons.
Watching it really gave an impression of a truily magnificant, awesome looking bird. Just look at it! I must say though, it was quite odd to see a raptor wading in the shallow water. Im just so acustomed to seeing them soaring high in the sky!

Having flown out again for another fishing session, i trained my scope on the birds favoured perch, and waited the short time untill it flew back towards us, low across the northen fields.
Swooping down on the perch it was obvious that the bird once again had been successful, and we were treated to another showing of how great nature is, as the Osprey first pulled off the Roaches head, before tucking in.

 The bird spent a good 30 seconds flapping wildly to regain its ballence with the fish.

Before going in....
And tugging at the head...

And then follows the 'raw' aspects of nature.

Another flap and the Osprey congradulated its self on another good catch!

The eclipe male Pintail was also still in attendence on the flashes. 8 Green Sandpipers and 4 migrant Snipe were also showing. Also a 'new in' juvenile- 1st winter Dunlin was showing with the Lapwing flock.
A adult Water Rail made a brief appearence in its usual patch of reeds, and a pair of Raven 'cronked' over.