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Withymoor - Amblecote, Stourbridge.....

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Old Monday 4th March 2013, 06:28   #51
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Sun 3rd March - Mary Stevens Park...

A bit brighter this aftnn ca1600 -

Black headed Gull - ca150
Goosander - 4 females present
Cormorant - a surprise and the 2nd record this year and not the previous bird which was an adult - this bird imo was a 2cy/1w bird showing brown 'mottling' on the upper breast and pale White on the lower breast.

Laurie
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Old Tuesday 5th March 2013, 06:59   #52
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Mon 4th Mar.............

Very Spring-like, still a tad cool with the wind from the North which will have a blocking effect on any early migrants. There is some very wet and violent weather over Central/Southern Iberia at present with these conditions moving into Southern France and Northern Italy so it will be interesting to see if there is any knock-on effect birdwise over here.

Mary Stevens Park -

Goosander - now 5 females present.
BHGulls - ca250
LBBGull - single adult

West Hagley Fields -

Ploughing continues apace with the larger % of the fields now tilled and looking good for the first migrants should any appear. There is a new water pipeline that is in progress (sort of) and anybody looking at the area at the junction of County Lane and the stables with the sandy path leading up to the treatment should check the 'pool' that has gathered there over the Winter. This is where water naturally drains to but is usually visible as just damp soil but now the ground has been scraped it is a sizeable pool and might attract drinking birds......

Not much to report - parties of Linnets and Yellowhammers, a handful of Stock Doves and lots of gulls following the Plough, mainly Blackheads but one or two LBB's as well.

A couple of Buzzards were noted and one in particular was strikingly 'pale'. 2 or 3 years ago there were 3 of these birds present with a darker 'normal' individual. I presume they were siblings from the same clutch as their pale colouration was very noticeable so this could be one of the same birds still around?

I post a distant picture of the bird with a couple of Carrion Crows to show the contrast.

Laurie
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Old Wednesday 6th March 2013, 07:14   #53
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Tue 5th March............

A glorious day, perhaps the first and last day of Summer?

West Hagley Fields 1430-1545 -

Tilling of the remaining fields continues apace. The large field adjacent to the route of the water pipeline with the 'pool' in had a large amount of roosting Gulls. I estimated about 500+, the bulk of which were Black Headed. In amongst them were about 30 Lesser Black Backs and several Herring Gulls. Alone, on the edge of the group was a single 1st Winter Common Gull which was a nice surprise. There were another 100+ bird following one of the tractors.

Yellowhammer/Chaffinch - mixed flock of ca75 birds.
Raven - 2 singles.
Buzzard - 3 different birds including a pale individual (see above).
Kestrel - female noted.

Mary Stevens Park 1600-1630.

Black Headed Gull - ca150
LBB Gull - single adult
Goosander - 2 females present
Tufted Duck - male and female

Walking back at about 7 o'clock last nite i caught a few high-pitched yelps in my peripheral hearing. The sort of thing you pick up when you are not concentrating and thinking about other things. I stopped and then the series of calls were heard twice more, moving North. Instantly i was taken back to my last birding break in Maroc endNov/beginningDec last year. That is where i last saw and heard wintering Whimbrel. Maybe this bird has spent the last few months there and where is it heading now? Who knows, either way it is the icing on the cake for somebody based in the Black Country and the first sign of Spring migration, roll on the first Wheatears in what has been a long Winter with no let up......

Laurie
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Old Thursday 7th March 2013, 08:26   #54
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Mary Stevens Park 6Mar

Single Female Goosander and a pair of Tufties were the only birds of note on a markedly cooler day -

Withymoor -

Single Male Blackcap feeding near Railway line -

Weather going further downhill every day this week until at least the beginning of next week with showers and periods of longer rain, much cooler temperatures and Snow returning to the North.

Let's hope Spring returns unless it was Summer we just had.............

Laurie
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Old Friday 8th March 2013, 08:05   #55
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Mary Stevens Park - Thur 7 Mar - ca1600.......

A quick bimble, bumped into another birder with his dog,,,,,,looking for 'reported' Goosander. That's the 2nd 'other' birder i've seen around the park this week!

The Goosander seem to have gone, that's two clear days now, however, the imminent arrival of Wintery conditions might mean a bit of localised movement. The pair of Tufties have also scarperd as well.

All was not lost as, in addition, to the 2 regular adult Lesser Black-Backed Gulls there were 2 2nd-Winter birds and a single 1st-Winter Herring Gull. It's nice to see a few more of the 'big boys'. They had a supporting cast of about 75 Black Headed Gulls in various plumages and both singing Goldcrest and Nuthatch adjacent......

Laurie
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Old Saturday 9th March 2013, 18:43   #56
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I am planning to do a local park run on Monday to take in Withymoor, The fens, Netherton res, Mary steven park (if poss) or leasows park will update with species seen in these area's possibly monday evening late or early tuesday morning.

Any good tips on where to see the species mentioned on here would be a great help, as I won't be taking my big camera just Bins and a small camera
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Old Sunday 10th March 2013, 08:04   #57
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Adrian - i am doing a local 'run' today - taking in FensPools, Withymoor, NethertonRez amd Mary Stevens Park. I will post spp of note later on today.

Laurie
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Old Sunday 10th March 2013, 10:41   #58
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Many thanks for that will be going on the run in the morning weather permitting
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Old Monday 11th March 2013, 06:10   #59
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Sun 10th Mar -

1100 -1300 - a quick dash around with the dogs as it was so cold, did'nt manage Fens Pools as it was starting to snow and the visibility had dropped.

Quiet all round with no numbers of Gulls and very little in the way of duck.

Netherton Rez -

Tufted Duck - 2 male 1 female.
LBB Gull - 5 adults
Herring Gull - 2 first-Winter birds present.
BH Gull - ca25 birds.

Withymoor -

Tufted Duck - an increase to 7 males and 5 females.
BH Gull - ca100 birds.
LBB Gull 6 adults.
Herring Gull - 1 adult and 1 first-Winter bird.

Mary Stevens Park -

BH Gull - ca150
LBB Gull - 2 ad
Goosander - 6 females and 2 females.

Best of luck with the weather today Adrian it's going to be grim with the windchill factor........

Laurie
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Old Monday 11th March 2013, 08:18   #60
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Will be going to withymoor pool and then the fens if weather not to bad shortly it,s only -2without the wind chill at present but will update on return
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Old Monday 11th March 2013, 13:10   #61
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WITHYMOOR POOL

First ever visit to this little yet beautiful pool this could throw up some surprises if it’s watched regulary.

I arrived around 10.50am off the 287 bus from Stourbridge, the weather was a little chilly in the wind to say the least around – 7 with the wind chill I was only here for about an hour as it was getting to cold and I wanted to try and get to the Fens Pools before it got too cold.

SPECIES SEEN -

Lesser Black Backed Gull (3), Black Headed Gull (50+), Canada Goose (21), Coot (4), Tufted Duck (8), Mallard (6), Pied Wagtail, Moorhen (4), Mute Swan, Magpie, Wood Pigeon (5)
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Old Tuesday 12th March 2013, 06:49   #62
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It is watched regularly It suffers from having very little edge for waders and could do with somewhere for things to perch, like a raft imo.

The adjacent embankment with it's wooded slope helps to funnel warblers and woodland ssp through the area.

As you imply, Adrian, the birds are where the birders are - it's all down to coverage. It's not the sort of place where you spend hours, i spend upto an hour when i visit but it's on the doorstep, along with Mary Stevens Park and it's a body of water so there is always the 'potential'.........

Talking of which, in not very pleasant conditions ystda -

Still 8 Goosander, 2 males and 6 females, a couple of adult LBB Gulls and Ca75 BHG's.

Laurie
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Old Wednesday 13th March 2013, 06:45   #63
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Tue 13th Mar...............

Withymoor...........1130

Tufted Duck - 4males, 2 females.
BH Gull - Ca75.
LBB Gll - 3 adults.

Mary Stevens Park.........1500.

Goosander - 1 ad male, 6 adult females and 2 birds transitioning into darker heads presume immature males - a total of 9 birds noted.

LBB Gull - 2 adults.
BH Gull - Ca100 birds.

Eyes peeled, first migrants arriving along with species like Eider (male) dropping in at Sheepwash and Glossy Ibis claimed over Coventry

Laurie
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Old Wednesday 13th March 2013, 11:41   #64
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Had a good 2 hrs birding, Ounty John Lane this Morning. 200 + Gulls. Adult & juvenile Lesser bb Gulls, also Adult num Herring Gulls mixed with black Headed Gulls. In stubble field nr County Lane num Fieldfares, Chaffinchs, gold Finchs, . other birds SkyLarks(num) meadow Pipits, 1male Reed Bunting. Best bird Male (Merlin) flew low along Hedge Towards Rugby Pitchs.
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Old Wednesday 13th March 2013, 19:28   #65
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I am envious of the Merlin, Paul, i've had Peregrine 3 times over those fields in the last 5 years including a hunting pair that i saw catch a Stock Dove

Withymoor today - 3 LBB adults, 50+ BHGulls, 2 male and 1 female Tufties. Highlight, 3 Buzzards stooping at each other over the Railway line before drifting off towards StourHole.........

MSPark -

Goosander appear to have Gone-sander, 2LBB's and about 100 BHG's along with a male and female Tuftie...........

Bumped into an old mate, Eric Philips, who informed me that a birder that i used to bump into each Autumn on the Scillies had passed away. Lester, quite a character - bedecked with an Australian bush-hat pinned up at the one side A mate of Tony Evans who used to wear an 'artist-type' Blue peaked cap.

Both used to smoke like chimneys (Swifts) and drink like fish (eagles).

RIP mate, glad to have known ya...........

Laurie
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Old Friday 15th March 2013, 05:42   #66
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Thur 14th March............1600

A shuftie around the West Hagley Fields, quiet and cool would summarise the 'experience'. All the ploughing appears to have been done which means the fields are looking good for passage Pipits, Wagtails and Chats. The 'pool' is looking good with plenty of Corvids and Woodies taking advantage of some shallow, open, water - a habitat which is locally scarce. The cessation of the ploughing activities means that the large gathering of Gulls appears to have finished - ah, well, at least i managed a Common Gull. Only Gulls tda were birds moving over to their overnite roosting site?

Buzzard x2 + Stock Doves, Yellowhammers and Skylarks of note.

Today is the earliest that i have had Wheatear over these fields but it was not to be. Birds should be easy enough to pick up with the naked eye against the darker fields, also the furrows are not deep.

This time last year coincided with a period of dry, settled and warm weather which was much appreciated, the downside being the lack of grounded migrants - i only managed a single record of Wheatear last year despite daily visits........

Mary Stevens Park........1700.....proved far more productive with 10 Goosander being present comprising of - 1 adult male, 1 transitional male and 8 female-types. Also present was, presumably the same, first-Winter type Cormorant.

Also noted were about 60 BHGulls and a couple of adult LBB's........

Laurie
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Old Friday 15th March 2013, 09:38   #67
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hi Laurie where is West Hagley fields from Stourbridge & Ounty John Lane,
Many Thanks,
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Old Friday 15th March 2013, 10:20   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollingthunder View Post
Thur 14th March............1600

A shuftie around the West Hagley Fields, quiet and cool would summarise the 'experience'. All the ploughing appears to have been done which means the fields are looking good for passage Pipits, Wagtails and Chats. The 'pool' is looking good with plenty of Corvids and Woodies taking advantage of some shallow, open, water - a habitat which is locally scarce. The cessation of the ploughing activities means that the large gathering of Gulls appears to have finished - ah, well, at least i managed a Common Gull. Only Gulls tda were birds moving over to their overnite roosting site?

Buzzard x2 + Stock Doves, Yellowhammers and Skylarks of note.

Today is the earliest that i have had Wheatear over these fields but it was not to be. Birds should be easy enough to pick up with the naked eye against the darker fields, also the furrows are not deep.

This time last year coincided with a period of dry, settled and warm weather which was much appreciated, the downside being the lack of grounded migrants - i only managed a single record of Wheatear last year despite daily visits........

Mary Stevens Park........1700.....proved far more productive with 10 Goosander being present comprising of - 1 adult male, 1 transitional male and 8 female-types. Also present was, presumably the same, first-Winter type Cormorant.

Also noted were about 60 BHGulls and a couple of adult LBB's........

Laurie
14th March.... Brake Lane, West Hagley....1.45pm
I reckon I found your missing Gulls at Brake Lane Laurie! They didn't hang around and took flight shortly after I arrived and only a small proportion of the Gulls seen in the pics returned. Corvids galore were in the fields and trees, Finches, Tits, Yellowhammer (1), Raven (1) and a couple Mistle Thrush were other notable sightings.
10 Goosander on Brake Mill Pool at 3.00pm, 8 female and 2 males!
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Old Saturday 16th March 2013, 07:14   #69
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Paul - the area i describe as the 'West Hagley Fields' is bordered in the North by Racecourse Lane, the East by the Norton/Kidderminster road, West by Worcester Lane (there are a couple of fields between the Railway Line and the road) and the South by Brake Lane, running up from the Railway Station.

My general birding mainly covers the 'plateau' area (which is higher than you think) surrounding the Water Pumping station. The fields are usually a mix of either grain or spuds. Hedgerows are short but quite full. They are easily covered by a sweep of the binoculars and there are a number of little bits of woodland with a good bit of scrubby habitat down where you cross the Railway.

Water is generally limited to rainfall runoff forming small drinking pools. It is well used by dog-walkers, cyclists etc. I do see the odd birder (Ray Collier) and often get asked what i am looking at by passing walkers, particularly when using my combination of scope and monopod.

Attached is a map covering the area and a photo of what i am reliably informed is an...........Ounty John!

I have no doubt that you have been birding this area anyway?

I believe that all of this recording area is within the West Midlands county. Altho birds of note are sent to Brian Stretch for inclusion on his site as a lot of people go to UW but live more local to the Black Country and might find stuff of interest on their way to Waitrose or Sainsburys.....

Pam - nice notes, i have seen swirling Gulls over the area you are talking about and when i was checking on Goosander a few weeks ago over at Brakemill and Stakenbridge the numbers of Gulls were notable. I assume the numbers that i had were linked to soil cultivation and 'following the plough'.

Laurie
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Old Saturday 16th March 2013, 07:48   #70
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Friday 15th Mar - 1630.........

Mary Stevens Park

Goosander - 9 birds, 1ad male 1subad male and 7 females. There might have been one more bird but they were very mobile and diving frequently.

A pair of Tufties were also present.

Attached is a poor picture of the previous days' Cormorant, Phalocrocorax pixelatus.........

There has been much talk, of late. of 'improving' the pool. Well, improvement is highly subjective and according to the Stourbridge News highly emotive as well.

Misguided councillors in their efforts to appease all and sundry seem more than willing to commit public funds to ill thought out schemes like this. Their intention was to remove 'unsightly' trees and the bats and invertebrates that depend on them. There are also 'dangerous' trees surrounding the pool i.e. those that lean slightly (towards the pool) and the hare-brained idea to drain it and remove the silt. This is material that has taken years to build up and provides the 'proper' food for the birds that live and visit.

The 'reclaimed' material would then be used to make 'bunds' for elevated viewing platforms for that most useful of activities...........Football!

Hopefull sanity will prevail and the Councillors can get back to claiming expenses and feathering their nests. Something which we know that can do very well.

Attached is a picture of the 'concerned' residents and a link to the article.

http://www.stourbridgenews.co.uk/new...r_beauty_spot/

Laurie
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Old Saturday 16th March 2013, 09:43   #71
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Had a look around Lakeside Pool, water level up again. Had Little Grebe , 1st one i have had on Pool for 2 Years. 3 Pair of Tufted Duck. On Fields by Withymoor School 2 Adult Lesser black Backed Gulls & 5 Black Headed Gulls, also SparrowHawk over.

On Thursday Morning For 2nd time this Year had 2 Ravens Fly over nr House on Withymoor Village.
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Old Saturday 16th March 2013, 11:55   #72
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Thankfully the plans to drain the Lake at Mary Stevens have been withdrawn though I doubt they would have been passed...or would they?

A few carefully concealed Rat traps wouldn't go amiss!!!
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Old Saturday 16th March 2013, 13:12   #73
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Little Grebe's good Paul, I had my first ever last Spring with the arrival of a single adult and then joined a day later by another - alas they only stopped about 5 days. They did indulge in a little bit of displaying with frequent calling and appeared to searching for what i thought would be nesting material, all to no avail

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Old Sunday 17th March 2013, 06:13   #74
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Sat 16th March................

Withymoor - 1600

Very, very quiet. No Little Grebe, no Gulls and 5 Tufties - 3males/2females.

Mary Stevesn Park - 1700

Quiet, a handful of BHGulls, 2 female Goosander and the 1W Cormorant present the only notables........

Laurie
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Old Sunday 17th March 2013, 06:52   #75
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Hi
Just by chance have picked up on your thread, nice to know someone else out there also covers Hagley fields - Brakemill Pool area been watching the area for the last 30 + years cannot recall coming across another birder in that time - hope to catch up with one of you soon ( Ill post anything of note on here from now on. )
Cheers Glenn
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