I spent a most enjoyable Saturday at the Worcester Recorders annual meeting, not a gathering at which we recite 'Londons Burning' and 'Pease Pudding Hot', but rather an opportunity to listen to some top naturalists present some of their work and knowledge. I learnt, amongst other things, about Adder tracking in the Wyre, and how to spot a hibernaculum, a rare parasitic fungi that takes over 'Alien' style, Earthy Powdercap, and the prevelence of Bechsteins bat in Worcestershire.
The only downside was a lack of birding , so on the way home I paid a visit with fellow attendee Shenstone Birder to have a look for a little owl on his patch. I enjoyed some great views of these smashing little birds, a year tick and my second Owl species in less than 24 hours !
The weather Sunday during my birding window was pants, but I managed a quick overdue visit to my local pool, where I was pleased to see a pair of Great Crested Grebe displaying, as well as a Single female Goosander present.
As this was another of my much needed long weekends, I had carte blance to bird as I pleased today . After much 'umming and arring' I plumped for a visit down the road to The Wyre.
Arriving at the carpark around 10am I was somewhat dismayed to see a load of heavy machinery heading down the disused railway line ! I therefore started the walk on the Dowles side.
At the bottom of Drymill lane I stood on the bridge and started to bird. Siskins fed in trees overhead. Golcrest called then showed. After about 10 minutes I picked up my first Grey Wagtail of the year on one the little feeder streams that run down from the railway line. Result, bird 100 of 2012 After it flitted off I carried along the path, hearing and seeing several Nuthatch as well as harking upon a Treecreeper.
Then on the Brook, 4 Manderin !! 2 males...but they spooked and moved downstream. In the field before Knowles Mill I stumbled upon my first Kingfisher of the year, nice and close, actually my first on Dowles Brook. So although no Dipper like last time, a nice couple of make up species, and I crossed the water and headed up to Lodge Hill Farm. In this neck of the woods, c20 redwing lurked, as well as more Gold crests and Nuthatch. I heard a Green Woodpecker but unusually did not lay eyes on a Great Spotted this visit, never mind its Lesser cousin.
I lingered on the bridge for a while, watching the Buzzards swooping over the far woods, but there was not much else going on. I made a half hearted attempt to look for a basking adder, but my stomach was telling me lunch was over due and I headed back to the car, bumping into the Shenstone birder on the way. Not a bad weekends haul, with a lifer and 3 year ticks including 2 Owl species.