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Withymoor - Amblecote, Stourbridge.....

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Old Tuesday 26th February 2019, 07:18   #1276
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Cheers for the date Al, it was good to bump into you yesterday and now you have managed to post make sure you stick anything on here if you can
I saw the 3 Redheads return and managed all four on liftoff.

I watched, presumably the male, one of the adult Grey Herons breaking twigs off of the poolside Willow and taking them up to the female in the Pine. When i returned later there was no sign so we shall see if they actually choose the locale to reproduce...

As stated 4 Goosander present plus 2 ad LBB and an ad HG c/w about 50 BHGulls. No sign of the Water Rail and i would have thought that with the run of fine weather even this little skulker would be out and about so i do suspect it has left the building. A marauding male Sprawk also put in an all too brief appearance.....as they do.

Stevens Park held about 300 BHG, an ad LBB but no Cormorants. There was a good deal of flycatching by the BHG as there has been over the last few days due to high pressure.

Another visit to West Hagley fields with the dog yielded nothing of note with no Corn Bunting recorded as yet this year.

Good Birding

Laurie -
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Old Wednesday 27th February 2019, 06:46   #1277
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A pleasant couple of hours to and from Withymoor ystda, i will repeat this afternoon to make the most of the last day of this unseasonal spell of good weather...

4 Redhead Goosander were present as were about 50 BHG's in the usual mix of plumages at this time of year as the attached photo attests. The resident Mute Swans are busy refurbishing the nest with the female sitting and the male gathering nesting material. Lots of stuff singing including this Dunnock en-route. The bright conditions meant reducing the f-stop by 1 to 1 1/3 to underexpose for feather detail.

Off to Fens Pools after breakfast as both LRP and Sand Martin have been reported in Worcs

Good Birding -

Laurie
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Old Wednesday 27th February 2019, 14:26   #1278
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Withymoor Pool

I popped to Withymoor pool this morning around 11.00. Still 2 Goosander on the pool and another brief sighting of the Water Rail as it flew weakly from the exposed shore over the water to the other shore. So it is still about, just have to hit the timing right? Bits and dabs of other stuff, 2 LBBG, 19 BHG a Grey Heron up in the Willows and a Common Buzzard circling over the railway embankment. Keep on Birding! Al
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Old Thursday 28th February 2019, 08:08   #1279
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At least the creature is still there

I have found, over the years, that serendipity is an important part of birding which can be positive when it works and negative when it doesn't but it makes the hobby more interesting because if birding became an exact science it would make it boring imo

Withymoor ystda in glorious sunshine hosted 3 Redhead Goosander, ca50 BHG and a pair of adult LBBG.

Mary Stevens Park - ca225 BHG and the return of one of the Cormorants from the weekend, a 2cy bird by the looks.

West Hagley Fields was quiet and i know i am being a tad optimistic but a Wheatear was recorded in Cheshire ystda Yellowhammer, Stock Doves and a perching party of 5 Meadow Pipits was the best i could manage.

The smell of Blackthorn from the Pump Station hedge was a nice diversion.

Good Birding -

Laurie
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Old Thursday 28th February 2019, 11:45   #1280
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Another quiet morning at Withymoor pool. Just the 1 Goosander a female at the waters edge with other water birds and gulls. There were 19 BHG and 2 LBBG flying over. No sign of the fruity Grey herons that have been around lately??
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Old Friday 1st March 2019, 16:35   #1281
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Redwinds

Not made it to Withymoor pool today but there is still a large flock of Ridwings and a couple of Stock Dove in the horsefield behind the Corbett Hospital. Also the Buzzards and displaying so a good chance of them breeding there again this season?
Keep on birding! Allan
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Old Saturday 2nd March 2019, 09:43   #1282
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Harpy Eagle.....

No not down Withymoor!

I came across this picture and couldn’t resist posting it

Although the sexes are similiarly plumaged this must be a large female?
Judging by the sitting bloke and the log which must be 9” minimum more like 12”+ diameter this bird is huge. I have been fortunate to see Crowned, Martial and Verraux’s abroad plus White-tailed Sea Eagle - all fairly close and this looks bigger and makes Golden look small by comparison. Forget about wingspan and just look at the height and bulk of it

Laurie -
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Old Tuesday 5th March 2019, 07:48   #1283
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Black Redstart...

The last 3 visits have been the usual bill of fayre but i bumped into another birder who reported the Water Rail on Sunday morning - maybe it will take up residence... No sign of any Herons maybe they were Gay and not Grey

On a, literally, brighter note i recieved this photo (after hearing a couple of reports) of this stonking male Black Redstart that is frequenting a balcony of a block of flats in..........Brierley Hill The block in question is 10 mins away so i will take a wander at some stage today

Good Birding -

Laurie
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Old Wednesday 6th March 2019, 08:00   #1284
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Withymoor -

Brighter and a moderate breeze ystda - expect more of this changeable stuff as we are on the cusp of the Jet Stream...

Ca75 BHG and half a dozen mixed large gulls - pics attached.

Spent 45 mins looking for the Black Redstart to no avail but there is plenty of scrub etc adjacent to the flats so it will still be around feeding. Hopefully it will hang around long enought to either call or start singing - we shall see...

Good Birding -

Laurie
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Old Thursday 7th March 2019, 07:06   #1285
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Then the rains came.....

And boy did they!

After threatening all day the heavens finally opened up, around here anyway, at about 4o/c until about 6 with half a dozen very heavy pulses. I haven't seen rain of that intensity locally for a long time but did experience even more impressive stuff accompanied with amazing lightning in Georgia last September

Our garden rain gauge registered 1 1/4 inches in just under 2 hours. We are not part of the 3k+ Met Office recording scheme but just humble amateurs but it shows what variation can be seen on a very localised basis.

At the end of the road the main road was completely covered in running water for over half an hour with it gushing over the pavement sides. Outside the front door on the car park the cast iron sewage cover stayed in place but the two breathers that vent gas put up thin geysers 8 foot for about 20 minutes - Old Faithfull, eat your heart out!

It will be interesting to see the level and flow of the water down on the River Stour this morning and what the state of play is down at Withymoor a bit later. The water level at WM can rise and fall dramatically as the cachement area is huge and mainly tarmac and paving. The rain appeared to be in several large bands thru the Midlands and Wales so it might bring localised flooding of the Smestow thus renewing the water at the Gothersley Flashes in a few days time.....

Yesterday at the Golden Puddle 3 Goosander were present 2m1f and the Swans were refurbishing.

Good Birding -

Laurie
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Old Monday 11th March 2019, 12:08   #1286
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Popped down to the great Withymoor Lake this morning for quick scan over. Not much to report, an adult herring Gull on the raft with 7 BHG's, 2 with full black heads. A Grey Heron flew in and tried to land a couple of times, 1st time the water was too deep, (up to its belly) then it tried on the shore but couldn't settle so flew of over the railway embankment. 2 Jackdaw flew over calling and that was about it for there. There is still a small flock of Redwings on the horse field behind the Corbett hospital,( best viewed from one of the closes off Trinity Rd) as well as Goldcrest Coal Tit and about 8 Goldfinches. The Common Buzzards have been displaying over there quite often. Keep on Birding! Allan
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Old Thursday 14th March 2019, 10:51   #1287
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I say chaps the first local Wheatear has been reported so what say we get in the Charabanc and give the West Hagley Fields the thrashing they deserve?

Algy - you do the Worcestershire field.
Blashers - you do the set-aside and paddocks in Staffordshire.
I will give the West Midlands fields a thorough bashing.

Cordinate watches, take a flask and sandwiches and everbody back in time for Tea and Medals

(Nb - my first Spring migrant, a Chiffchaff down Withymoor this morning)

Good Birding -
Laurie
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Old Saturday 16th March 2019, 17:49   #1288
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Thank for the inspiration to go looking for a Wheatear up Hagley way. Didn’t take a charabanc but offered to taxi the wife to the Lyttelton Arms for lunch with her sisters in law. Headed for Clent and parked by The Four Stones, Adams Hill and headed up the slopes. Good sighting of Ravens but no Wheatears. Started heading down to car park when a small flock of finches flew over and dropped into larch trees close by. Thought they were greenies but call was wrong. Got binoculars on them and....bingo, Crossbills. 14 of the beauties. Right place,right time.
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Old Sunday 24th March 2019, 06:18   #1289
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Corbett field

There is still a Redwing on the banks of the Corbett field. Best viewed from the fence at the bottom of Milton Close off Trinity Rd. Also regular Goldcrest, Coal Tit, GS pecker, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and in the past at this time of year, Wheatear and other migrants. keep on birding! Al
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Old Sunday 24th March 2019, 10:18   #1290
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Not posted for a while due to weather and lack of anything of note

Water Rail last seen by Paul about a week ago

A sprinkling of Chiffchaffs signals a widespread arrival midweek, i had 2 singers at Fens Pools and singles at Withymoor and this morning at Iverley Tip.
The Fields at West Hagley are largely ‘Green’ but ystda the stubble fields were being tilled so Wheatears this coming week c/w high pressure are a possibility.

Talking of which i had a pair this morning at Iverley Farm paddocks.
The female was flighty and elusive but the male was a stonker in the early morning Sun These are my first Spring birds and are a full week late of my average arrival dates but i can’t say i’m surprised...

Good birding -

Laurie👍🏻
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Old Sunday 24th March 2019, 18:25   #1291
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Water rail was present this morning so still hanging about, nothing else of note.
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Old Monday 25th March 2019, 08:02   #1292
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Pictures of yesterdays smart male Wheatear at Iverley Farm paddocks plus one of a group of Meadow Pips and the Bull down at Whittington Track.

Good Birding -

Laurie
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Old Wednesday 3rd April 2019, 10:34   #1293
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Not posted much of late because there hasn’t been much to post so here is a roundup since the las, first and probably only Wheatears locally for me from a couple of weeks ago.....

Withymoor remains very quiet with Chiffchaff the only Warbler i have recorded there thus far. The Pygmy Swamphen could still be present and was sighted about a week ago. Mute Swan, Mallard and Coot are on nests if not eggs.
A pair of LBB’s have taken to defending the raft to all other large Gulls and are going thru nuptial behaviour so they might breed.

I popped up to Fens Pools last Saturday morning and it sounded promising with half a dozen CC’s in full song around the Top Pool but at 0730 after 15 mins visibility dropped to ca25yards so i cut my losses Todd Chater fared better with 2 LRP’s & 10 Sand Martins on Sunday

A few visits to West Hagley Fields have provided nothing and with all the best Wheatear fields sown it is now a Green desert and i fear that Whitethroats will be the next available species...

A 17-mile 3-hour round trip to Walton Hill made for a change last Wednesday and at 1100+’ it is open to the West and migrant Ring Ouzels but Chiffchaffs, Buzzards, Raven & Stonechat only for me. I dropped down along Shut Mill Lane to check out a pair of Ravens in their 10th year of residency and they were on station and remarkably noisy for a species wary around the nest!

Whilst on Walton Hill i, unfortunately, bumped into a wannabee Marine Corps Scout Sniper - he was all cammo’d up in his ghillie gear c/w baseball cap n fingerless gloves.....needless to say he stood out like a Dick on a Dog. I could not escape his enquiries and he stopped me to ask ‘any Ouzels about mate’ to which i replied which areas have you been checking with your ‘bins? He duly informed me that he doesn’t use them and just photographs birds to which i replied that i do not give info to people with cameras and no birding optics

These people are the reason why Worcester Birding is no longer mentioning scarcer migrants that might breed - please do NOT give any information to these parasitic Feckers that get 99% of their info off the Internet thru patch birders efforts and cannot be arsed to put in the other 1%.

On a lighter note i listened 2 a male Tawny Owl at 4 this morning in the same place as the female was calling a coupla weeks ago and still on the nocturnal theme i was walking back from town at 8pm on Saturday night when i heard a distinct ‘gurgly’ sound as the distinct jinking flight of a Woodcock zoomed over my head A first in the area for me

For those unfamiliar here it is.
https://www.xeno-canto.org/420679

The weather continues to make a sluggish Spring even more so but temperatures will double into the mid-teens by Friday and as i type there is Chiffchaff both calling and in song plus a Blackcap singing - all within 50 metres.

Good birding -

Laurie

Attached is a Meadow Pipit montage from Iverley Farm, Staffs.
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Old Sunday 7th April 2019, 08:03   #1294
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Little change down the Golden Puddle not even any Warblers singing or calling this morning. A new yeartick was added by a couple of Jays living upto their specific name...

Spent a very cold hour or so at Fens Pools ystda in a moderate NW
Shelter was found below the Dam on the Top Pool where 50+ Sand Martins and 3 or 4 House Martins were hawking for food - quite what they find vs the energy expended at present beats me. 3 spp of Warbler recorded - 7 or 8 Chiffchaffs a couple each of Blackcap and Willow Warbler before cutting losses.

West Hagley Fields contunues to be a waste of time with no migrants seen or heard at all.

Good Birding -

Laurie
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Old Thursday 11th April 2019, 05:36   #1295
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Out and about yesterday with a visit to Withymoor at 0700, Stourbridge Tip area mid-morning and up to Iverley Paddocks mid-afternoon. The late-afternoon bright conditions made a nice change but the breeze although light being ENE made any birding in all but the most sheltered locations testy for me. Just cycling first thing had me stopping to dry my eyes due to the cold air temperature...

More of the same at each location with Chiffchaffs and increasing numbers of Blackcaps and the odd Willow Warbler for variety - no other species heard as yet. 4 Fieldfare over at Sugar Loaf were noted as were Orange Tip and more Small Tortoiseshell.

High pressure is settling which should mean better light but it is establishing over Scandinavia so the winds will remain in the East with consequently daytime temperatures will not break any records What is needed is the high pressure moving South and then the blocking conditions will change but at least the Jet Stream is not a factor...

Good Birding -

Laurie
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Old Friday 12th April 2019, 06:06   #1296
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I can't moan about the amount and quality of the light ystda but i shall find something to grumble about and it was still cool so woolly hat and gloves were the order of the day.....

An early trip to Withymoor yielded the usual Warblers en-route and a total of 3 prs of LBB on the lake with the 'residents' taking on all-comers and not letting them settle on the water for more than a couple of minutes. A pair of Moorhens are now building as have 2 pairs of Coot with a third taking nesting material onto the raft. Swans are now sitting - i did however find an Egg 50yards away on the grassy Cowslip area a few days ago and it disappeared overnite.

A hour or so up at Fens Pools at tea-time, en-route to a Curry house, was fruitless but 3 spp of Warbler singing and no Hirundines present.

Attached - smart and alert but will they breed?
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Old Friday 12th April 2019, 06:22   #1297
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Peregrines - Brierley Hill.....

Yesterdays smart (male i think) Peregrine hunting at Brierley 'Bonk'.....

The bird was chasing Feral Pigeons initially soaring to gain height then dropping with legs dangling and eventually catching a bird, out of sight, then taking it to an adjacent perch before leaving with a full crop.

The drama unfolded just over a mile away - who would have thought.....

Laurie
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Old Monday 15th April 2019, 05:56   #1298
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Yesterday’s smart but distant male Ring Ouzel on Netherton Hill cricket pitch.
It kept company with a Buzzard and 2 Red-legged Partridge - apologies for the poor quality but it is a distant BOC record shot...

High pressure continues all week with winds finally coming from the South.
Last week’s daytime temperatures should be this week’s nocturnal - it all bodes well for being up with the Lark..........any Lark

Good Birding -

Laurie
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Old Monday 15th April 2019, 09:09   #1299
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Despite the cold conditions i put in a few hours over the weekend but only yielding 2 species of Warbler. Conditions continue to retard migration in volume and has stalled Spring flowers but that will change this week with soil temperatures in excess of the 6c that is needed to prompt continual growth. The rise in temperature should trigger invertebrate activity such as it is in some of our urban areas altho i do not anticipate much Hirundine activity as the skies above Stourbridge, swarming Ants aside, are year on year less productive...

Withymoor hosted 8 large gulls of 2 species on Saturday but no passage waders altho i anticipate my annual Common Sandpiper this week.

Yesterday's male Ring Ouzel at Netherton was my first locally for about 3 years it is not a species that i appear to click with as frequently as others but there again i do not routinely visit the really high points in the area early in the morning or at any other time for that matter.

I took advantage of a free seat to visit Wyre Forest ystda for 3 hours and altho the walk was enjoyable c/w my dog it was very cold and little was singing or noted. 2 spp of Warbler, Dipper, Kingfisher and Raven
What was evident were packs of off-road bikers and walking back to the car park at the end of the railway line revealed most cars with a single bike rack! The fact that you need a car to use a bike says a lot really and i do wish they would piss off somewhere else

I cannot compete on the raptor front with the Erne at the Goldfish Bowl but the local Peregrine continues to harry the resident feral pigeons. The UW WTE shouldn't pose any ID problems as long as it wasn't the finder of the Great Grey BullShrike

Good Birding -

Laurie
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Old Monday 15th April 2019, 21:53   #1300
Indigo Jones
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Cradley Heath
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Walton Hill - Clent

Willow Warbler & Black Redstart
Walton Hill - Clent
April 11th - 16:30
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