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Woodchat Sunday 27th May 2012 21:31

A Spotted Flycatcher was singing and showing very well along the canal just west of Salwarpe Village (between Salwarpe and Ladywood). A second singing bird was in the grounds of Salwarpe Court, just east of the village. At least 2 Cuckoos were flying around, the male singing on and off. A Kingfisher flew along the river. Also present were Mistle Thrush, Lesser Whitethroat, several common Whitethroats, Grey Heron, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4+ Ravens, Buzzard, Reed and Sedge Warblers, chiffchaff and Blackcaps, 7 Swallows, 13 Swifts, 1 House Martin and 1 Sand Martin. 47 Canada Geese flew over.

Lots of Damselflies including Banded and Beautiful Demoiselles, Azure and Large Red.

Woodchat Monday 28th May 2012 20:39

A Hobby flew over early evening. 2 singing male Spotted Flycatchers in the same places as yesterday. 6 Ravens, Cuckoo, drake Gadwall, the usual warblers and 2 Water Rails singing in the reedbed. No sign of any groppers for over a week now.

A Common Toad was on the canal footpath.

Woodchat Tuesday 29th May 2012 21:34

For a change, I went for a walk further down the Droitwich Canal to Porter's Mill and beyond. The highlight was a Little Owl between Ladywood and Porter's Mill - a traditional spot for this species. One or two Cuckoos calling, a family party of 7 Mistle Thrushes (5 speckly juvs), Yellowhammer, Kestrel, lots of Reed Warblers, a few Sedge Warblers, GS Woodpeckers, Mute Swans, Jays, Pied Wagtails, Swallows, Swifts and House Martins. A pair of Tufted Ducks were on a fishing pool near Porter's Mill.

Woodchat Saturday 2nd June 2012 13:42

A quick walk around today gave great views of two Cuckoos and a Spotted Flycatcher by the 'Old Mill House'. Two singing Whitethroats, Goldcrest and a couple of Bullfinches amongst the usual stuff.

Woodchat Saturday 9th June 2012 20:45

This morning there were 2+ Cuckoos, 1 Grey Wagtail, Goldcrest, 3 singing Common Whitethroats, calling Water Rail, Reed and Sedge Warblers plus family parties of Blackcaps and 30+ Starlings (including many juvs).

Woodchat Sunday 10th June 2012 08:20

A nice sunny morning produced a Spotted Flycatcher just west of the village along the canal, one Grey Wagtail, Kingfisher, male and female Cuckoos (the female's bubbling call heard three times), singing Goldcrests, five singing Common Whitethroats, good views of Reed and Sedge Warblers plus House Sparrows, Treecreepers and Mistle Thrushes in adjacent areas.

An unwelcome sight was that of an American Mink - bold as brass by the spill weir!

Woodchat Sunday 10th June 2012 21:53

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7 Ravens came in to roost in the nesting-tree this evening - a site record count. Cuckoo calling towards dusk and a Noctule Bat over the reedbed. 10 swallows and several Swifts over.

An Otter plus cub were reported to me - seen along the Salwarpe.

Below is a picture of a couple of Pyramidal Orchids - just coming into flower. These are in a plantation just west of Salwarpe Village. The few Pyramidal Orchids that flower here are quite weak and are getting shaded out by the trees.

Woodchat Tuesday 12th June 2012 21:20

A brief snatch of reeling this evening betrayed the continued presence of Grasshopper Warbler in the meadow. Two Spotted Flycatchers around the village and a male Cuckoo singing in the distance. Four singing Common Whitethroats, Mistle Thrush, seven Ravens came in to their roost again plus Water Rails calling in the reedbed.

Woodchat Saturday 16th June 2012 16:45

A juvenile Grey Wagtail being fed by its parents confirms successful breeding by the canal bridge. Juvenile Treecreepers Wrens and Blue Tits also seen today.

Woodchat Sunday 17th June 2012 21:01

More Juveniles
 
Despite the run of poor weather, several passerines have bred successfully in and around the meadow. Today, a family party of Common Whitethroats (2ad plus 4 juvs) was at the eastern end of the meadow, while a juvenile Sedge Warbler was near the west gate. A juvenile Mistle Thrush was accompanied by one of its parents and a flock of ~50 Starlings comprising mainly juvs (only ~8 ads). A single juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker, plenty of juvenile Wrens, Great Tits and Robins plus a family party of Treecreepers.

Also present today:

1 male Cuckoo, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Spotted Flycatcher (very elusive despite calling frequently), singing Goldcrests, Skylark, 1 Linnet, male Kestrel, Buzzard, Green Woodpecker, 4 Ravens, Grey Wagtail, Water Rail, Nuthatch and plenty of Reed Warblers and Reed Buntings. 25 Canada Geese flew over.

Woodchat Monday 18th June 2012 21:43

A Peregrine circled over this evening then flew off due north-west. Seven Ravens again, performing acrobatics and chasing each other around before going to roost. A big, fluffy white Buzzard chick easily visible in its nest, being fed by one of its parents and a Sparrowhawk flew through. One of the Spotted Flycatchers perched briefly on one of its regular look-out posts along the canal, west of Salwarpe village, and 3 adult Grey Wagtails flew over. 2+ singing Water Rails at dusk, 10+ Swallows, numerous Swifts and a couple of Pied Wagtails over. A Kingfisher flew down the Salwarpe calling and a couple of Whitethroats sang briefly.

A Cinnabar Moth was seen but, in general, insects still seem quite scarce.

Woodchat Tuesday 19th June 2012 21:55

Buzzard nestling
 
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Below is a very poor quality photo of the growing Buzzard chick (poor light, distant, etc.).

More juveniles seen today included one juv Goldfinch and a family party of Long-tailed Tits (8+ juvs). A family party of Linnets flew over calling.

Woodchat Sunday 24th June 2012 20:51

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A Curlew and a Cormorant flew over early evening. Two adult Spotted Flycatchers were showing well along the canal near the village - one was apparently displaying to the other by wing-flicking and hovering in front of it with exaggerated, slow wingbeats - quite spectacular and not something I've ever witnessed before.

Sedge Warblers were quite prominent today, with at least 4 singing males in and around the meadow as well as the more numerous Reed Warblers. Three Whitethroats were seen plus one Goldcrest, 2 Buzzards, 5 Ravens, Sparrowhawk, Mistle Thrush, a few Swifts and Swallows. A Skylark was singing in a nearby field and a Linnet flew over. Plenty of Goldfinches, Reed Buntings, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Greenfinches.

At least 6 Banded Demoiselles and a Southern Hawker were seen and a Marsh Frog called loudly from the wet pools in the reedbed.

Below are a few photos - one of the meadow looking due north-west - plus some of the wild flowers - Meadow Cranesbill, Black Horehound, Common Mallow and Cut-leaved Cranesbill.

Woodchat Monday 25th June 2012 21:56

1 Attachment(s)
The undoubted highlight this evening was a pristine male Redstart in a bush along the River Salwarpe just west of the village (between Salwarpe village and Ladywood) - the area is shown in the photo below. The bird showed briefly, shimmering its bright red tail before flicking down into the newly-mown field behind and then disappearing into a tree further along the stream. This is only the second Common Redstart I have ever seen in the Salwarpe Valley so I'll try and get down there earlier tomorrow evening to see if it's hanging around.

A Muntjac Deer barked loudly from one of the thickets.

A Grey Wagtail flew over and a Spotted Flycatcher called frequently west of the village but remained hidden in thick vegetation.

40+ Swallows gathered over Coney Meadow at dusk (including a couple of juveniles) and were joined by 10+ Sand Martins.

Two Water Rails continued to sing from the Reedbed and a male Cuckoo flew in, calling, as I left.

Woodchat Tuesday 26th June 2012 21:00

No sign of the Redstart this evening but a Lesser Whitethroat was singing between Salwarpe and Ladywood. A Kingfisher flew down the river calling and 6 Ravens came in to roost.

Mary Wednesday 27th June 2012 17:36

There is an interesting article in the latest edition of British Wildlife on canals, past and future. One point is the general lack of recording of wildlife along many canals, so your accounts are all the more important, Woodchat, as well as a good read here! joi, do you record on Birdtrack etc?

upstarts1979 Wednesday 27th June 2012 18:17

Hi Dave any chance of lending us at upton a few of your species8-P

Woodchat Wednesday 27th June 2012 21:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mary (Post 2475383)
There is an interesting article in the latest edition of British Wildlife on canals, past and future. One point is the general lack of recording of wildlife along many canals, so your accounts are all the more important, Woodchat, as well as a good read here! joi, do you record on Birdtrack etc?

Hi Mary,

You are absolutely right - the potential for finding good stuff along our canals is immense as they are so poorly covered. I always get a massive kick out of finding an unexpected species and the great thing about my patch is the diversity of different habitats and little hidden corners. Other stretches of the canals must be equally good, however. I don't record on Birdtrack but I will be submitting a report directly to my contact at British Waterways. Naturally, I also submit any significant bird records to the Worcestershire county recorder (Steve Payne). The WWT did suggest that I also submit to WBRC but I haven't got around to doing this as yet. :t:

Woodchat Wednesday 27th June 2012 21:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by upstarts1979 (Post 2475416)
Hi Dave any chance of lending us at upton a few of your species8-P

Hi John,

Pretty quiet this evening - just a couple of Common Whitethroats, a Grey Wagtail, 5 Ravens, 2 Grey Herons, 1 Herring Gull over, 2 Water Rails and ~40 Sand Martins (plus similar numbers of Swallows).

I think Upton might start to perform soon as the gull roost starts to build up. :t:

Woodchat Sunday 1st July 2012 11:10

4 Attachment(s)
A female Redstart this morning between Salwarpe and Ladywood raises the intriguing possibility that a pair could be nesting in the area. There are plenty of pollards along the Salwarpe Valley that could offer suitable cavities.

Partially flooded fields in this area act like magnets for gulls - mainly LBBG's (50+), Herring (15) and Black-headed (ca. 20).

A Lesser Whitethroat was singing again in this area with 5 Skylarks, 3 Pied Wagtails and 20+ Swallows (including half a dozen juveniles). A family party of Goldfinches with 4 or 5fresh juveniles was also present.

A Spotted Flycatcher showed very well just west of Salwarpe village and at least 2 very vocal female Cuckoos were flying around Coney Meadow - plus another near Ladywood.

Other birds present included Curlew, Cormorant (2) Common Whitethroats (11), Blackcaps (20+), Chiffchaffs (15+), Sedge Warblers (5+, including 1 juv), Reed Warblers (20+), Reed Buntings (25+, including juvs), House Martins (6), Swifts (15+), Grey Herons (3), Buzzards (4), Ravens (2), Goldcrests (3), Treecreepers (5), House Sparrows(2), Mistle Thrush (2), Coal Tit, female Kestrel, Water Rails (2), Stock Doves (4), Kingfisher, Chaffinches, Greenfinches (2) and Bullfinches (2).

Insects included Blue-tailed Damselfly, Beautiful and Banded Demoiselles, Ringlet and Meadow Browns (photos below), Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral.

Woodchat Sunday 1st July 2012 11:21

More Wild Flowers
 
5 Attachment(s)
A selection of wild plants found in the Salwarpe Valley that are in flower at the moment.

Woodchat Thursday 5th July 2012 21:22

Excellent views of three Badgers this evening as they left their sett near Ladywood. It's often possible to observe them at close range here as they seem to be aware that they are safe on the opposite side of the canal. 5 Ravens were in this area also and a Goldcrest was near Salwarpe. At Coney Meadow, Water Rails continued to call from the Reedbed and there were two family groups of Swallows (8 juvs).

A Gatekeeper was on the wing - first I've seen this year, plus a Ringlet.

upstarts1979 Friday 6th July 2012 14:57

Quote:

Originally Posted by Woodchat (Post 2478586)
A female Redstart this morning between Salwarpe and Ladywood raises the intriguing possibility that a pair could be nesting in the area. There are plenty of pollards along the Salwarpe Valley that could offer suitable cavities.

Partially flooded fields in this area act like magnets for gulls - mainly LBBG's (50+), Herring (15) and Black-headed (ca. 20).



Those fields look like they have potential for waders Dave, especially in this weather:t:

Woodchat Saturday 7th July 2012 12:59

Soggy Saturday along the Salwarpe
 
5 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by upstarts1979 (Post 2483378)
Those fields look like they have potential for waders Dave, especially in this weather:t:

You're not wrong John - but, sadly, no waders there today - just a few gulls, mainly Lessers but one or two Herring and Black-heads.

The photos below show the Salwarpe Valley:

1. As it looked on Thursday 5th July.
2 - 5. As it looks now after the torrential downpours.

Birds seen today were Whitethroats (4), Kingfishers (2), Grey Wagtail (1 male), Raven (1), Grey Herons (2), Cormorant, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Reed Warblers (inc. 1 juv being fed by parent), Reed Buntings, Sedge Warblers, Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Buzzards (2). A Water Rail called from Coney Meadow Reedbed.

8 Ringlets flying in-between the showers.

I decided to come home after getting thoroughly drenched. :storm:

upstarts1979 Saturday 7th July 2012 15:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by Woodchat (Post 2484011)
You're not wrong John - but, sadly, no waders there today - just a few gulls, mainly Lessers but one or two Herring and Black-heads.

The photos below show the Salwarpe Valley:

1. As it looked on Thursday 5th July.
2 - 5. As it looks now after the torrential downpours.


I decided to come home after getting thoroughly drenched. :storm:

Dave
That's what you call a flood plain, just as I was thinking we were getting all the run off from the Salwarp :eek!:see you soon mateB (: John


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