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Dowles Brook, Wyre Forest (1 Viewer)

Pam_m

Well-known member
Excellent views were had of a Dipper diving for food just downstream of the footbridge by Knowles Mill! A splendid and entertaining little bird! Other highlights on the walk were Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Goldcrest ( in abundance and those that were clearly visible were checked, just in case one was a Firecrest but no luck), Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Redwing, Robin, Blue & Great & Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, House Sparrow ( at Lodge Hill Farm the only place I seem to see them fairly locally), Redwing and a Marsh/Willow Tit (fleeting views so not a positive ID), Raven and Carrion Crow.
 

woodwolf

Well-known member
Nice report.
If you get a chance, can you let me know best place to park and the route you took. I nipped down only once in the summer, and had had a hassle of a morning and there was not much about. If I remember I walked along what was the old railway track, then cut down a steep coppice, crossed the river and walked back.Not sure I made it to lodge farm. Would like to nip back as the dipper eluded me, and I know LS pecks are about too. I saw a family of Nuthatches but that was about it :C

BW

Mark
 

Pam_m

Well-known member
Hi Mark,

I take the same path as you mention. When you cross the river follow the path, looking out along this long stretch for L S Woodpecker as this is where I saw my one and only in April 2009, then cross the bridge at Knowles Mill (the Mill is being renovated at present). Follow the path up the hill (ignoring the stile) go through the gate at the end of the path, walk up through the meadow and you will see Lodge Hill Farm. The feeders attract a good variety of birds so linger for a while. Then follow the path and turn left, this brings you back on to the old railway track to the carpark, look out for Siskin and Redpoll along this stretch.
I do find that Dowles Brook can be hit and miss for birds. The best thing I find is to linger at several points along the walk, especially when looking for Dippers. Choose a spot where you can see plenty of rocks in the water and don't take your eyes of the water, the little monkeys are like Kingfishers, blink and you miss them.

Hope you catch up with the Dippers and plenty of other species when you next visit!

All the best

Pam.
 

Peter Withers

formerly tubbtubby
Good info Pam.

I park in the car park on the left before you hit the bottom of Dry Mill Lane. from the car park I follow the railway line straight up to the second bridge where you find Lodge Farm to your right. If you go to the white farmhouse take the stile to your left which leads across the bridge to the orchard which can be good for Green Woodies and Common Redstarts in the summer. Also the meadow which Pam talks about can be good for Tree Pipits in the spring.

Best wishes, Pete

PS. If you want Dippers just follow Pams route but stay along the brook and you will no doubt at some point encounter Dippers as I cant remember going down without seeing them flit past.
 
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Pam_m

Well-known member
I have yet to walk around the orchard Pete, that will be on the agenda for the next visit, though a walk along the brook and back to the carpark usually takes me at least 3 hours, I linger a lot.lol!! I shall allow extra time for the orchard. I shall also look out for Hawfinch, Crossbill and L S Woodpecker there, well you never know!

I have added a link which might be of interest to you Mark.
http://www.worcesterbirding.co.uk/34.html


I found this link about Dippers a couple of years ago. An interesting read and insight into Dippers, a really good article.
http://wbrc.org.uk/WORCRECD/Issue 22/dippers_of_dowles_brook.htm
 

Emma

Well-known member
Had a very successful afternoon at Dowles Brook today! At Lodge Hill farm we managed to see 3 Hawfinch perched in the trees alongside the orchard by the railway bridge, the cloudy sky didn't stop us from having good views of them, they were a great bird to see! Other sightings included 3+ Great Spotted Woodpecker in this area together with 3 Yellowhammer and the usual House Sparrows, Chaffinch, Long-tailed Tits, Blue & Great & Coal Tits. On the walk back to the car park along the old railway track Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Goldcrest and a perched Common Buzzard were seen.

A record photograph of the 3 distant Hawfinch is below!
 

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wolfbirder

Well-known member
Had a very successful afternoon at Dowles Brook today! At Lodge Hill farm we managed to see 3 Hawfinch perched in the trees alongside the orchard by the railway bridge, the cloudy sky didn't stop us from having good views of them, they were a great bird to see! Other sightings included 3+ Great Spotted Woodpecker in this area together with 3 Yellowhammer and the usual House Sparrows, Chaffinch, Long-tailed Tits, Blue & Great & Coal Tits. On the walk back to the car park along the old railway track Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Goldcrest and a perched Common Buzzard were seen.

A record photograph of the 3 distant Hawfinch is below!


It is difficult to find Dry Mill Lane coming out of Bewdley, but once on it the car park is a raised obvious area for at least twelve cars, after half a mile of narrow country lane. I parked & then walked under the obvious bridge which you can see from this car park - this is the old railway line and at points along it on Sunday morning I had Lesser Redpoll, Siskin, Marsh Tit plus commoner species. Knowles Coppice is to your right with Dowles Brook down below, running parallel to the old railway line but out of view. After about 1km you come to a second bridge, and you walk up to the right of it, passing a small cottage I guess is called Lodge Hill Farm (the small white cottage with active bird feeders). I watched activity from the top of the bridge -a good panoramic viewpoint. Most activity was in the embankment scrub and trees you look down on and are parallel to. Over an hour here and walking slowly around the adjacent horse pasture on the other side of the bridge (the left hand side), I had 2 hawfinches (but they went quickly), Bullfinches,Goldfinches,Yellowhammers, Bramblings and common tits, Blackbirds and loads of Wood Pigeons. Raven overhead but no hoped for raptors.

I then took the style by Lodge Hill farm down to the right across a small field, into Knowles Coppice and down to Dowles Brook (the path is obvious). The whole route is infact oval shaped as you head back to the car park. The river was fast flowing and the paths muddy after recent rainfall, and altho quiet today I thought the area looked to have great potential for Redstarts in spring.

I did come across 2 pairs of Dippers by the old stone house back near the car park.
 
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Wimpy

Well-known member
BIG thanks to Pam_m for starting this thread, because without it I would not have come across Dowles Brook. o:)

What a great place, I won't list all the birds we saw today as they are all in the above posts, but the Hawfinch was a lifer for me.:king:

Also had some excellent views of a goldcrest as we dropped down from Lodge Hill Farm to Knowles Mill. Sadly no dippers for us, think we were a little eager to get back to our sarnies in the car.

Will certainly be back
 

Phil Andrews

It's only Rock and Roller but I like it
BIG thanks to Pam_m for starting this thread, because without it I would not have come across Dowles Brook. o:)

What a great place, I won't list all the birds we saw today as they are all in the above posts, but the Hawfinch was a lifer for me.:king:

Also had some excellent views of a goldcrest as we dropped down from Lodge Hill Farm to Knowles Mill. Sadly no dippers for us, think we were a little eager to get back to our sarnies in the car.

Will certainly be back

Hi Wimpy,

Certainly worth a visit in late April / early May with Redstart, Pied Fly, Wood Warbler, Tree Pipit, Cuckoo etc all in the Dowles Brook / railway track area.

Cheers
Phil
 

Pam_m

Well-known member
BIG thanks to Pam_m for starting this thread, because without it I would not have come across Dowles Brook. o:)

What a great place, I won't list all the birds we saw today as they are all in the above posts, but the Hawfinch was a lifer for me.:king:

Also had some excellent views of a goldcrest as we dropped down from Lodge Hill Farm to Knowles Mill. Sadly no dippers for us, think we were a little eager to get back to our sarnies in the car.

Will certainly be back

I am glad that you enjoyed Dowles Brook Wimpy and thanks for the thanks! Congratulations on the Hawfinch!:t: Next time you visit pack your sarnies in your rucksack, find a dry place to perch along the path where it widens by the brook and you never know you may be lucky and see a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Dippers! Good luck! Listen out for Wood Warblers when they return. They can usually be heard singing from the car park.
I did come across 2 pairs of Dippers by the old stone house back near the car park.

Nice one Wolfbirder!:t:
 
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wolfbirder

Well-known member
The two pairs of Dipper were as you walk back along Dowles Brook from the Hawfinches, stop on or by the bridge that crosses the river and look back along the river in the direction of where you have come. About 50 metres along you can see a rocky bit where a hillside stream joins the river on the left, one Dipper pair seemed to love this area. Easy to miss but with care also easy to see. You are only two minutes walk from the car park I referred to in my earlier post.

The 2nd pair of Dippers were about 100 metres on the other side of the bridge you cross (the same bridge), and even nearer the car park. But these were harder to see through the foilage.

I am sure these Dippers are loyal to these areas, so should be quite easy with a bit of care and patience.

The Hawfinches are just smashing in breeding plumage at this time of year, with their gleaming silver bills, but they will soon retreat deep into the forest I should imagine to breed, and disappear until next winter. Cracking birds though!

Anyone aware if Goshawks can be seen in the area? I though the view from the 2nd bridge by the Hawfinches offered reasonably panoramic views away to the right. I know Forest of Dean is not far away and is easy for quite distant Goshawks from New fancy View, but just wondered?
 
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woodwolf

Well-known member
The two pairs of Dipper were as you walk back along Dowles Brook from the Hawfinches, stop on or by the bridge that crosses the river and look back along the river in the direction of where you have come. About 50 metres along you can see a rocky bit where a hillside stream joins the river on the left, one Dipper pair seemed to love this area. Easy to miss but with care also easy to see. You are only two minutes walk from the car park I referred to in my earlier post.

The 2nd pair of Dippers were about 100 metres on the other side of the bridge you cross (the same bridge), and even nearer the car park. But these were harder to see through the foilage.

I am sure these Dippers are loyal to these areas, so should be quite easy with a bit of care and patience.

The Hawfinches are just smashing in breeding plumage at this time of year, with their gleaming silver bills, but they will soon retreat deep into the forest I should imagine to breed, and disappear until next winter. Cracking birds though!

Anyone aware if Goshawks can be seen in the area? I though the view from the 2nd bridge by the Hawfinches offered reasonably panoramic views away to the right. I know Forest of Dean is not far away and is easy for quite distant Goshawks from New fancy View, but just wondered?

Hi
I know Goshawke was seen overhead in eyemore wood a few weeks ago, which is not geographically that far away.:t:
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Had another great morning in great company, taking same route as last time, along old railway track - 6-7 Hawfinches by the second bridge, also 3 Lesser Redpolls, Siskins, 5 Bramblings, Bullfinches, Chaffinches, Yellowhammers, House Sparrows, Dunnocks, Green and Goldfinches, GSW's galore, Green Woody, Song and Mistle Thrush, Marsh Tit, LT Tits, Coal Tits, Blue and Great Tits, Nuthatches, Treecreeper, and down by Dowles Brook nice views of 2 pairs of Dipper, a pair of Mandarin, flitting Grey Wagtail.
No LSW though.
Also had Goosander by Arley, and driving back across Shropshire between Quatt and Roughton had Peregrine, Buzzards, Curlew, and Lapwing.
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Returned once again this afternoon, enjoyed my best views of 3-4 Hawfinches from the bridge, in trees in the opposite direction than the normal trees. Also a pair of Dipper on Dowles brook but no LSW again, also no brambling or siskin this afternoon.

Had a lovely chat to the owner of Lodge Mill Farm, the white cottage by the bridge. He was telling me how some birders/photographers had made their existence quite unpleasant, but what a lovely gent he was. So forgive me for typing bold BUT PLEASE RESPECT THEIR FLIPPING PRIVACY AND DO NOT LINGER BY THEIR PROPERTY.
 
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