Had a quick hour tonight, canal only frozen in a few places which made easy to spot the Kingfisher hunting, Starlings managed 30+,20+Feildfare, few Redwing in the dust, Water Rail calling from 3 different places,2 Snipe flew out.
Mild and mainly spring-like conditions tempted several birds into song, including Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Redwing, Dunnock and Coal Tit.
~30 Linnets feeding in the paddocks near Ladywood (this species has been unusually scarce and localised lately).
A few Siskins and Lesser Redpolls
Very large numbers of Fieldfares and Redwings (easily 500+)
30 Canada Geese
Male Tawny Owl hooting at High Park tonight and a female calling at Salwarpe village.
15 Red-legged Partridges in fields just north-west of Salwarpe village.
Tufted Duck (drake) near Hawford on small pool
2 Snipes in field next to Coney meadow this evening (one in front of screen yesterday)
Other birds recorded this weekend;
200+ Canada Geese, Grey Herons, Cormorants, a few Redpolls, Siskins, Linnet, Skylarks, Goldcrests, Coal Tits, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Bullfinches, Fieldfares, Redwings, Reed Buntings, Mistle Thrushes, Buzzards, Kestrels, Sparrowhawks, Water Rails, Meadow Pipits, Grey Wagtails, Pied wagtails, etc.
Housing Development Proposal
It seems those naughty developers have re-submitted plans to build 163 houses south of Chawson Lane (case number 15/03199):
These proposed houses would be in addition to the 700+ already going ahead at Copcut Rise and goodness knows how many at Yew Tree Hill.
I have lodged my objections (as with the original, withdrawn, plan) based on the following:
If anyone would like to comment on the proposed development, please feel free to follow the link and hit the comment link - I think comments can still be made even though the consultation date has expired.
Hi Dave, where's the best place for the partridges on your patch? I wandered around all afternoon and didn't get any-I still haven't seen any this year!
Unfortunately, it varies quite a lot and I can go a few weeks without seeing any. There were loads around Tapenhall and Hawford in the autumn (released) but I think a lot of those have been shot. I saw about 20 near Hawford at the weekend but I consider these a bit too 'plastic' to be honest.
The ones I saw near Salwarpe on Sunday were flushed from the field along the bridleway that leads up towards High Park. This bridle path is accessed from the west of the village by Mill Cottage - follow it across the very muddy cow field to the metal gate and they were in the field beyond. I was looking for a Barn Owl that has reportedly been seen using an old tree along there - however, no sign of that on Sunday.
Two Little Grebes on Tapenhall fishing pool this morning.
2 Little Grebes Tapenhall
Tufted Duck (drake) Mildenham / Hawford
1 Snipe Coney Meadow yesterday
7 Red-legged Partridges just north-west of Salwarpe this afternoon
Siskins over Mildenham (7) and feeding in trees around Droitwich Community Woods (~15)
Linnets (11) near Salwarpe
Water Rail, Grey Herons, Cormorants, Redwings, Kingfisher, Goldcrests, Canada Goose, Meadow Pipits, singing Skylark, Fieldfares, Ravens, Greenfinches, Bullfinches, Treecreepers, Nuthatch, Coal Tits, Mistle Thrushes, Sparrowhawks, male Kestrel, Buzzards, the 3 regular Gull species, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Reed Buntings, Song Thrushes, Jays, Goldfinches, Starlings, House Sparrows, Grey Wagtails, Pied Wagtails, Long-tailed Tits, Blue and Great Tits, Dunnocks, Rooks, Jackdaws, Carrion Crows, Moorhens, Wrens, Robins, Collared Doves, Stock Doves, Woodpigeons, Mallards, Mute Swans.
Below are a few photos of the floods:
Fairly routine stuff this weekend:
2 Water rails showing well in front of the screen at Coney on Sunday
5 Skylarks near Tapenhall
A few Siskins over
Singing Chaffinches - a definite sign that spring is on its way
Goldcrests, Nuthatch, singing Treecreeper, Ravens, Canada Geese, winter Thrushes, 2 Kestrels, Sparrowhawks, Cormorants, Coal Tits, Grey Wagtails, Meadow pipits (8), Bullfinches, Greenfinches, Reed Buntings, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Grey Heron, Mistle Thrushes, Pied Wagtails, Buzzards, Stock Doves, etc.
Just seen 2 Woodcocks flying around High Park this evening while looking for Owls.
This weekend's round up:
High Park: 2 Woodcock (year tick), Skylark, 2 Ravens, Buzzard, Muntjac deer.
Tapenhall: 3 Coot (year tick), 2 Tufted Ducks (both drakes), Water Rail showed briefly, 3 Mute Swans, Cormorant, Sparrowhawk, Siskins over, 3 Canadas, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, 1 Yellowhammer over.
Jacob's Ladder: 2 Yellowhammers (male singing), 2 plastic Partridges (R-L), Great Spotted Woodpecker, Goldcrest, Jay.
Salwarpe: 1 Chiffchaff just west of village along canal, Goldcrests, Sparrowhawk, Buzzards, Coal Tits, Nuthatches, Meadow Pipits over, Collared Doves, Skylark over, Linnet over. Toad along canal towpath.
Coney Meadow: Reed Buntings singing, Water Rail calling, Siskins over, winter thrushes, Mistle Thrushes, Ravens over, 8 Canada Geese over, Cormorant, Goldcrests, Long-tailed Tits, Stock Doves.
Ladywood: 2 Grey Wagtails, Meadow Pipits, Starlings, Redwings, Fieldfares, House Sparrows, Goldcrests, Green Woodpeckers, Skylark singing (Harford Hill).
Droitwich Community Woods: Buzzards, 5 Bullfinches, Goldcrest, Coal Tit.
Patch highlights this weekend:
Tapenhall: 1 Little Grebe, 2 drake Tufted Ducks, 3 Coots, 2 Canada Geese, Mallards, 2 Mute Swans, Meadow Pipit over, Siskin over, Skylarks singing, Stock Doves, Mistle Thrushes.
Mildenhall: Water Rail showing well along canal, singing Reed Bunting, Cormorant over, Skylark, Mistle Thrushes, 3 Grey Herons, Meadow Pipit.
Hawford - Chatley: 2 Coots on small pool, 7 Red-legged Partridges, Goldcrest.
Jacob's Ladder: male Yellowhammer, Skylark.
Porter's Mill: Kingfisher, Jay, House Sparrows, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 1 drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker, Coal Tit.
Coney Meadow: Cetti's Warbler female type call heard from reedbed yesterday, 2 Lesser Redpolls today, Water Rails heard, Reed Buntings, Grey Heron, Skylark.
Salwarpe: Chiffchaff, Goldcrests, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Grey Wagtail, Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Meadow Pipit, 6 Red-legged Partridges, Buzzards, lots of winter thrushes, Siskin.
Copcut: Raven, Redwings and Fieldfares.
Droitwich Woods: Coal Tits, Goldcrests, Buzzard.
Weekend birding highlights:
Jacobs Ladder - Egg Lane: Little Owl showing well (my first this year), Red-legged Partridges (2), Stock Doves, Redwings, Sparrowhawk, Skylarks (3).
Tapenhall - Tufted Duck (male), Coot (2), Canada Geese (10), Mute swans (2), Reed Bunting, Moorhen, Skylarks (5), Mistle Thrushes (2+), House Sparrows, Cormorant, 1 Yellowhammer over, Stock Doves, female Kestrel, Green Woodpecker, Grey Heron.
Hawford - Chatley: Coots (2), Tufted Duck, Canada Geese (2), Skylarks, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Mistle Thrushes (3+), Meadow Pipit, House Sparrows, Bullfinch, singing Treecreeper, Cormorant, male Kestrel.
Porter's Mill: 7 Siskins, Sparrowhawk, 2 Grey wagtails.
Salwarpe: 2 Lesser Redpolls, Goldcrests, Coal Tit, Meadow Pipits (2+), Buzzards, Cormorant, Siskins, Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Coney Meadow: Common Snipe, Water Rail, Reed Buntings, Fieldfares, Redwings, Starlings.
Droitwich Woods: Buzzards (2), Raven, House Sparrow
A Green Sandpiper and a pair of Shelduck on floods between Salwarpe and Ladywood - both year ticks.
Two Shelducks still present on floods between Harford Hill and New Mill farm plus 3 Lapwings and at least 12 Teal (year tick). A Green Sandpiper has just flown in.
Edit: Now 2 Green Sandpipers.
A female Merlin just flew over Tapenhall towards Porter's Mill in pursuit of small passerines - that's a patch tick for me.
Female Marsh Harrier over coney now - currently dropped into reeds
Productive day Dave
What a fantastic weekend – I didn’t expect to get 2 patch-lifers and certainly didn’t expect them to be 2 quality raptors in one day:
When I walked into Coney Meadow from the east kissing gate late afternoon I could see there was a large, dark raptor quartering the western part of the reedbed – I immediately knew it was a Marsh Harrier – a long anticipated patch tick. I watched it for about 3 or 4 minutes before finally losing it to view below my line of sight – it seemed to drop into the reeds. I think it was probably an immature female – it was very dark overall with dark underwing coverts, a whitish-yellow head but I didn’t notice any pale edges on the ‘shoulders’. I will try and get up early in the morning but will only be able to stay until 7am due to work.
The high pressure conditions over the weekend brought beautiful weather and, after a fairly stagnant few months, it was great to witness some early spring movements of birds. A round-up of highlights below:
Tapenhall: female Merlin, drake Tufted Duck, Coot, Cormorant, Mute Swan, Yellowhammer over, Meadow Pipit, Skylarks, Mistle Thrushes, Mute Swans, Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Canada Geese, House Sparrows, Buzzard, Grey Wagtails, Siskins over.
Chatley – Hawford: 2+ Yellowhammers (including singing male), 2 Coot, Coal Tit, Grey Heron, Meadow Pipit, Mute Swan, Buzzards, Goldcrests.
Porter’s Mill: 2 Grey Wagtails, Jay, Reed Buntings (pair), House Sparrows, Siskins.
Ladywood: 2 male Blackcaps (1 sub-singing), Reed Buntings, Starlings, Goldcrests, Canada Geese, Linnet over, Chiffchaff.
Between Salwarpe and Ladywood: 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Shelducks, Green Sandpiper, Goldcrests, Treecreeper, Mistle Thrushes, Buzzards, Meadow Pipits, 200 Starlings, Raven.
New Mill area (floods): 2 Shelducks, 3 Lapwings, 2 Green Sandpipers, 12+ Teal, lots of Redwings and Fieldfares.
Salwarpe: 2 Nuthatches, Coal Tit, 4 Linnets, 10+ Siskins, Goldcrests, Grey Wagtail.
Coney Meadow: Marsh Marrier (female ‘type’), Kestrel, Raven, Buzzards, Water Rail, Moorhens, Reed Buntings, Snipe, Grey Heron, 3 Greylag Geese over. Noctule bat at dusk.
Droitwich Woods: Siskins, Coal Tit, Goldcrests, Buzzards.
Also, my first butterfly (Small Tortoiseshell) and Bumblebee (White tailed) of the year.
Marsh Harrier just left its roost at c 06:20 heading roughly towards Westwood. Three Greylags over, Cetti's and RL Partridges calling.
Chawson Lane Housing Proposal Update
"In any case, the development overall fails to satisfactorily contribute to the
economic, social and environmental roles of sustainable development by reason of the following:
- Loss of agricultural land and associated harm to rural economy;
- The proposal fails to represent good design;
- The isolation of the development from existing services and facilities, which would reasonably lead to reliance on the private car for the future occupiers of the site;
- The adverse impact upon the rural landscape character;
- The adverse impact on the distinct identity and sense of place of Salwarpe and the associated heritage assets of the village.
Overall, the proposed development fails to represents sustainable development as set out in the Framework and the harm caused by the proposal significantly and demonstrably outweighs any benefits of the scheme."
Thank goodness common sense has prevailed (for now at least) - I just hope this is the end of the matter and the decision is not appealed.
Developers are bound to appeal, unfortunately. Perpetual chipping away at the green boundaries everywhere these days. Development in Redditch at moment in fields opposite Abbey Stadium - commercial rather than resi I believe. Whatever it's for they've removed about 400 yards of hedge, some of questionable quality admittedly - right next to main road - but some of some value. Don't know if re-planting I scheduled once finished.
One of the objection letters picked up on this and suggested that when the pipeline was put in place it must have been envisaged that the field was unlikely to ever be developed.
Hopefully, all of the costs that would be involved in pushing these (relatively few) 163 houses forward - including a contribution of >half a million quid to upgrade the road infrastructure will dissuade them from appealing. That and the fact that there wasn't a single letter of support from any of the locals.
I guess we'll see...
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