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Bobbington Bunds and Gothersley Flashes (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
In an effort to find new patches and to extend my cycling away from my local WestMids/Worcs bits i did a bit of Google Mapping and came up with a 25-30 mile round trip incorporating bits of water that are seasonal in appearance in the case of the flashes and variable in the case of the bunds.

The area at Gothersley is adjacent to the Staffs/Worcs canal off of Greensforge Lane. It receives overflow water from the River Smestow and flash flood inundation from the steep ground rising towards The Million wood. At present the 3 ‘Flashes’ have virtually disappeared with the last 2 months weather. There are some permanent deeper pools but i would not consider them suitable as passage wader habitat. There is also another area behind a tree screen that i haven’t looked closely at. The Flashes are only about 1/2 a mile at most from the Old Mill Lake past the Navigation PH where there is a Heronry with ca15 pairs and my candidate for breeding Little Egrets in the future:t:

To date i have made about 6 visits and have had both Green Sandpipers and a single Common Sandpiper with plenty of Wagtails, not Yellow unfortunately, Hirundines and a single hawking Hobby. Last Winter they held 6+ Mandarin regularly...

My interest in the Bobbington Bunds centered around reports of waders at The Mere Bobbington/Highgate and then i remember the late Eric Phillips mentioning them when he birded at Highgate Common altho i personally have never visited.
The ‘Mere’ in question are 2 man-made bunds of the type commonly seen in France and tend to be for localised farm use/irrigation etc. They are bisected by a Public Footpath that comes up from Crab Lane about a mile and a quarter away. The water levels at present are very low and thus excellent. I have had 3 species together - LRP & Common/Green Sandpiper and the latter 2 on most visits, other species have been recorded in the past. Back towards Crab Lane there is a bund, noted on the OS map as a ‘Resr’ and that held 13 Lapwing and a feeding adult Little Egret.

More Google Mapping has revealed half a dozen more in the area so i shall be visiting and updating as and when. Not all have PF’s running nearby so i will have to make inquiries but as i am on a range of pushbikes my access is easier than car owner.

Some shots of the Little Egret this week.


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Green Sandpiper at The Mere.


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The Mere is going through a Purple patch at the moment with 3 Little Egrets and a Greenshank reported ystda plus a Green Sand. My planned cycle run over yesterday afternoon had to be shelved due to other issues:C which is a tad annoying...

Overnight rain should have grounded a range of species from waders to warblers:t:

First visit since the last one;)

I didn’t cycle as far as the bunds as i know the water levels are back up and unless we have another good period of dry weather like last year The Mere is unlikely to be as productive:C

The Flashes at Gothersley are just damp ground at present. They only become Flashes of semi-permanent water when inundated by flood waters of the Smestow and that hasn’t happened this Winter unfortunately so the record of 6 Mandarin are unlikely to be repeated.

I only popped in en-route to the nearby Heronry at Gothersley Mill.
The colony of Grey Herons, ca15 pairs, is my nearest and yesterday there were four occupied nests with birds bringing food for sitting females. My main reason for visiting is to look for Little Egrets. There are good numbers of breeding age adults in the Midlands and it’s about time that consenting adults do what consulting adults are supposed to do;) My money is on Muddleton as it has the habitat and space but LE’s do like to nest with other species so i will visit during the coming Spring both here and at Enville and post accordingly.....

Good Birding -

There you go - as i predicted in a Marty McFly style;)

1. Have they nested since?
2. Did they nest with Greys.
3. Have they nested elsewhere in the West Mids region?

It is easier to ask you than sift thru Google👍🏻

Thanks in advance Phil -

Laurie -
Got the required info re: Little Egret:t:

Just some shots of the Heronry with a bird just returning with food and a Buzzard - the latter was a large individual judging by the puny Jackdaws attempting to mob it so presume a female...



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Only my second visit in 8 months and now i know why.....

The 'flashes' fields at Gothersley need seasonal inundation from an overflowing Smestow Brook and this has not happened so the result is no water. Flash flooding from the road can be impressive but is soon dissipated. I carried on past the Heronry at the Navigation Mill Pond and it was covered in Herons but no Little Egrets were noted. Further along there was an area of recently clearfelled Conifers that is part of the greater 'Million' wood. Nothing new in this activity but what attracted my attention was not only a calling Cuckoo but the fact that this area had all of its broadleaf 'weeds' left in-situ and several dead trees c/w Woodpecker holes standing intact. This does not normally happen around here so i cannot help thinking that this area may be a token to habitat regeneration - either way it will be useful to visit now that Nightjars are almost upon us:t:

I ended up, as planned, at The Mere, Bobbington. A cursory visit to see and confirm my worst suspicions - the pools were indeed full to brimming so it does not promise a repeat of the wader season of last year with the 13-day stay of a Greenshank the icing on the cake. Local Wombourne birder David Banks who was almost a fixture has not posted anything on Twitter for ages so i am not surprised.

On the bright side local birder 'Kinver Jim' was present:t:
For those that do not know him to me he is the epitome of local birding and chugs around between Worcester and Stafford on his road bike picking up little gems all the time. I am a biking birder myself but am only a cheap imitation and i used to look forward to both him and the late Eric Phillips being bumped into out in the field. A few Hirundines over the pool plus Swifts and a second Cuckoo flying about that could have been a non-calling female looking for hosts. Jim and others like him e.g. Brett Westwood do not do social media. A rare thing these days when a lot of people seem to live on it and will not move unless a sighting is guaranteed so it is nice to catch up with what he has been seeing locally. I did the same with Brett outside Waitrose the other week.

Good Birding -

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