Additional Pages

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Saturday 7th Jan 2012..A Surprise on the patch !

Eager to cover a bit of ground today I headed off firstly to Upton for just after sunrise, hoping to collect a few more year tick crumbs. Green Woodpecker was duly added, but the path down to the still unfinished new hide yielded little. As I rounded the sailing Pool I noted 18 Greylags had separated from the Canada's in the field and taken to the water. Said field contained 3 Pheasant's which was an Upton year tick, as was a pair of Collard Doves on the Farm buildings ( an elusive bird on the reserve actually).A large Lapwing flock way to the South, was gradually approaching.Greater Spotted Woodpecker put in an appearance for a final flashes derived tick.

From here I headed to the Moor's, the Sun appeared but the wind was cold. A squadron of Cormorants arrived, pushing the number present up to 43. A  Shelduck ( pic below) was probably the 'highlight', and finally I bagged a couple of raptor's in the shape of Buzzard (of which there were a handful) and a Sparrowhawk. Feeling the Cold by 11am, and with things fairly static, the assembled regulars and myself headed for the exit.

Allowing the heater to work it's magic' I took a leisurely drive back to my local patch, deciding to pick up where I had been forced to leave off a few days earlier, down at Barnet Brook. As I left the car it all seemed a bit quiet, but along the footpath I latched onto a bit of finch activity. Chaffinch, then Goldfinch, Greenfinch, then 2 stunningly bright Yellowhammers, at the top of a tree. A Buzzard broke cover further down the treeline, as did a Jay.The Buzzard was mobbed by several Carrion Crows.
Edging past the finch flock, I then encountered a Tit flock. This stretch was positively bristling with birds ! Blue Tit, Great Tit,Long Tailed Tit, Chiffchaff..CHIFFCHAFF !! I did a double take, I was aware they overwintered, or some of the Northern variants come south, but it was odd to see non the least, a new experience for me in me winter ! A Coal tit, the Goldcrest showed to complete the best tit flock ever tit flock I think I have seen.The activity was frenetic and hard to capture, I managed a LTT (below) All these birds with a couple of hundred yards. On the way back to the car, I added Great Spotted Woodpecker and Redwing, and 2 Ravens kronked over.

From here, the final stop was Ladies Pool. A large mixed Corvid flock was over as I parked, I picked out 2 Rooks from the Carrions and Jackdaws. With a flock of 6 Magpies a little later, I had seen all the Corvids represented in this neck of the woods on my patch that Morning.
Around 2 dozen Redwings occupied the Paddock area, and Greenfinches lurked in the Hedge. 3 Teal, 1 female, were skulking about and calling on Forge pool, visible through the branches just (see pic), along with a couple of Moorhen.
The Pool was occupied  by 52 Canada Geese, and not a lot else of note. A nice male Bullfinch was the highlight of the small finch flock on the bridle path, and both greater spotted and Green Woodpecker were clocked.
All in all a good selection of species, with the local patch trumping The Warren for unexpected variety and excitement today.My year list is 58, according to my Bird Journal software, but I've yet to pick the bones out of the respective location numbers yet.Here is an article on wintering Chiffchaffs in Worcestershire


  1. It's the surprise species that keep us going back day after day :-) Not had a Shelduck here for many a year!

  2. Keep an eye open at Ladies Pool could get Shelduck there at some point. It would be a red letter day if one turned up at Captains pool.

    As for wintering Chiffy, they are always a pleasure to stumble across. I last had one at Shenstone 3 winters back

  3. Nice selection - had a nice Peregrine over the A449 at Caunsall ystda.

    Laurie -

  4. Warren, yes those unusual or out of context patch sightings make up for all the duff days.

    Jase, A Shelduck, wigeon, or a Pochard would be great !

    Laurie, I'm hopeful I will get a sighting of a Peregrine at some point on the patch, I know they are about.