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Birding In Staffordshire (4 Viewers)

There seems to be lots of blackbirds around my local patch in Madeley. Has anyone else noticed a jump in numbers recently? They're stuffing themselves on the local berry trees, which after the summer we've had, are groaning under the weight of berries.

Blackbird numbers are often swelled during the winter months with birds moving down from the north. Theres been up to 45 in the paddocks at Berryhill during the last month.
 
There seems to be lots of blackbirds around my local patch in Madeley. Has anyone else noticed a jump in numbers recently? They're stuffing themselves on the local berry trees, which after the summer we've had, are groaning under the weight of berries.

I've had record numbers in my garden this winter so maybe there are more around than usual this year.
 
Ive noticed there seem to be more Redwings in the built up areas around Netherton and Brierley Hill than in previous years. There were a lot of Blackbirds in November but these numbers seem to have dropped off since the end of the year.
 
20+ Greenfinches were on the feeders this morning is certainly better than last winter when the biggest count was about 3 birds also 4 Bullfinches, also a female Black cap is knocking about, col
 
Re: Sand martin Colony - Leek

Hi

I was very concerned to see that they have built and still are building a wall that will block off the Sand Martin Colony nesting holes near Leek.
I was told last year by a local resident that the site was protected and that when a wall was planned sometime ago, it was stopped by law to protect the birds.
Does anyone one have any more information before it is too late?

Best regards

Merlin
 
As far as I know you can knock down SM colonies once the birds have departed. It happens at quarries - they are protected only while the birds are nesting. There may be have been a local agreement but I don't know anything about it if so.

Nick

Re: Sand martin Colony - Leek

Hi

I was very concerned to see that they have built and still are building a wall that will block off the Sand Martin Colony nesting holes near Leek.
I was told last year by a local resident that the site was protected and that when a wall was planned sometime ago, it was stopped by law to protect the birds.
Does anyone one have any more information before it is too late?

Best regards

Merlin
 
On yet another grey afternoon in the Staffordshire Moorlands, T and I took in a short birding walk around Rudyard's Heron's Marsh. A nice male woody flew into a small elm, whilst half a dozen snipe took off from the bog. A common buzzard and two curlew did flyovers. A couple of teal joined the mallards on the flooded fields. Nice to see after 10 years or so, a tawny owl occupying the same hole in an oak tree as its day time perch.Tried to approach a short distance towards it, but sadly it soon disappeared back down. A large mixed flock of fieldfare,red wing and starlings was flitting about the tops of various large trees, skittish as ever. Apart from that we only had the normal families of tits for company, oh and a hare which soon bolted.Unfortunately the light conditions,distance and unconfiding birds resulted in poor record shots.
 

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Sand Martins - Leek

Hi Nick

I see from Birdguides that three Sand Martins were seen in the south today.

The wall is nowhere near complete, if any Martins 'turn up' before it is completed does that then mean that the wall should be stopped? Just clutching at straws!

Best regards

Merlin
 
Only if they've started nest building .... a bit early for that I'm afraid.
Nick

Sand Martins - Leek

Hi Nick

I see from Birdguides that three Sand Martins were seen in the south today.

The wall is nowhere near complete, if any Martins 'turn up' before it is completed does that then mean that the wall should be stopped? Just clutching at straws!

Best regards

Merlin
 
Just a quick one! I know the Hartshill one with the similar site link has posted a pile of rubbish but wasn't trying to discredit anyone with the Sibe type Chiffchaff (2 Birds again present today) both similar 1 calling 1 silent the calling bird has been present for the last few weekends & I have recorded it today (Sonogram below which is Collybita/Abietinus) Both birds are similar in appearance!!

Dave
 

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Just a quick one! I know the Hartshill one with the similar site link has posted a pile of rubbish but wasn't trying to discredit anyone with the Sibe type Chiffchaff (2 Birds again present today) both similar 1 calling 1 silent the calling bird has been present for the last few weekends & I have recorded it today (Sonogram below which is Collybita/Abietinus) Both birds are similar in appearance!!

Dave

Thanks for the excellent pics Dave.... this blog would not be possible without you....

http://archiesbirding.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/an-interesting-chiffchaff-in.html

ATB!
 
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2 Teal and 1 Wigeon at Gailey today. These are the first of these two species of Gailey this year! Just goes to show how mild this winter has been as you can usually expect to get several records at least of both in the first couple of months especially during cold spells. Excessive rain has presumably given such species many alternative feeding areas this winter.

Also, first singing Chiffchaff of the year and Brambling in fisherman's carpark.
 
Staffordshire Lapwing Survey

The Stafford Branch of the WMBC, in conjunction with BTO Staffordshire and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is undertaking a Lapwing survey across the county this spring. To make this a success, we would be really grateful for any and all sightings of breeding evidence. This could be anything from displaying males, pairs on territory, sitting birds or chicks and juveniles. If you could take some time to explore suitable habitat near where you live, or note sightings whilst you are out birding in Staffordshire, that would be most welcome.

The survey is taking place between March and June. If you have any records, please either email myself or Scott Petrek with details, or enter your sightings on BTO Birdtrack. The information needed would be: Site Name, Grid Reference if possible, Number of Adults and/or chicks involved and Breeding Status (Displaying, On Territory, Sitting, etc).

We hope to publish results at the end of the year, so please send us your records before the end of July and thanks in advance for participating.

Nick Pomiankowski: [email protected]
Scott Petrek: [email protected]
 
Nice adult Yellow-legged Gull Saturday and Sunday at Perton Upper Lake - despite plenty of bargain bread I couldn't get it to land on the deck to get some photos unlike one of the adult LBB Gulls it was hanging out with. Probably the same bird I had there last April as a near-adult...
 

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Branston Gravel Pits

Had a great morning at Branston GPs following a little help with directions from Andy R. Birds of note:

2 x Avocet
Green Sandpiper
2 x Redshank
6 x Ruff
6 x Curlew

Damian (DER)
 

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Berryhill
We don't usually do Spring visible migration as its not as concentrated as the Autumn.
Along with Nick P. and KH we gave it a go this morning and the following counts recorded all mainly going SW to NE.

109 Meadow Pipits
4 Goosander
2 Brambling
3 Cormorant
1 Curlew
18 Chaffinch
4 Linnets
6 Pied Wagtails

Little migrant activity on the ground with just one Wheatear this morning down from 8 yesterday. Still about 8 Chiffchaffs and 2 Willow Tits.
 
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