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Saturday, 15 September 2012

High Quality Day Out

On Saturday me and the blogger formerly known as Shenstone Birder decided to get high. Oh course, what I mean by this is head to the high ground to see what passage migration  we may happen upon. Thankfully, despite his recent makeover, JK was still easy to ID as I swung by for 9.30.
We made the journey up the road to to the summit of Titterstone Clee in good time, leaving pleasant warm weather at lower altitude, it was a 3 sweater job as I emerged from the car.
Initially it was all a bit cold, windy and birdless, save for Meadow Pipits. However, soon we started clocking some nice Wheatears on passage. They seem a lot less skittish than the spring birds and one in particular allowed a record shot. By the end of the day, we had clocked up 13, which was probably a fraction of what was lurking on the high points around the radar stations.

Wheatear Titterstone Clee
 We were hoping to connect with a few raptors, and the first to be encountered was a nice juvenile Kestrel, the first of a few to be seen that day. As the Wheatear count climbed the Ravens appeared, some mobbing a pair of  Buzzards that showed.  Gradually the wind dropped down a bit and the temperature rose. Two Peregrines emerged, one having a memorable bit of aggro with one of the Kestrels..Raptortastic !
30 minutes of dedicated sky watching could not produce another raptor, so lunch was taken, with butterflies including Small Copper and Red Admiral being noted. As we munched on our cobs, I spotted a Dragonfly on the wing over by the large pool. On finishing lunch we ambled over to investigate. After a few minutes of observation and rumination the conclusion ( subject to double checking the field guide ) was that Common Hawkers  were being watched , a lifer ! These, despite their name are not at all common on Worcestershire.They are very restless Dragonflies , rarely settling, so a photo was proving tricky. However I eventually got a record shot.

Common Hawker, superb !
There were more Common Hawkers down at a smaller pool. A copulating pair were seen, tracked and recorded, which was a great result,a bit easier to get a snap

Common Hawkers Copulating
  Also on the pool, decent numbers of mature Emerald Damselflies.
Emerald Damselfly
As we headed back to the car, a family party of 3 Stonechats was seen. We added 2 more Stonechats on the way home via Catherton Common, where Skylarks were also seen, along with Grey Herron, and hirundines. Some great birds today, and an unexpected addition to my dragonfly list.


  1. Good to see Wheatear are still on the move, might get a few more here :-)

  2. Not a bad day out at all Mark...especially when it started to warm up!

  3. Would have been happy with the Birding alone, but that bit of warmth brought out a real Brucie bonus !