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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

sheepwash urban park (1 Viewer)

Took the Canon with me to work (Thursday) hoping that all yesterdays birds were about again...No Kestrel but a bonus 3 Female Goosander.....they took off again and I couldnt get one in the frame...lol


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Forgot to post that I had a pair of Pochard on the canal on 12th April....


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Yesterday pm and today am and pm...a young Cormorant on the canal just past the Walsall spur.....and pm a Kingfisher on the river by Bromfield bridge canal bridge...
Small flock of Feildfare eating berries on trees between Oldbury Road and Canal around 10 30 am.

A terrible phone shot.......


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Visited Sheepwash the last three days, highlights being 14 Goosander, 1 Woodcock and 2 Raven.
Surprised to see Wild Strawberry in flower.
Popped in en-route to Sandwell Valley.

The place is finally receiving a bit of woodland management and not before time imo:t: A patchwork of coppice areas will give it a range of regrowth that should benefit the shrub layer but i would have liked to have seen the cut material left as habitat but that’s not my decision.

Still 18 Goosander (1m) present which won’t be much longer and about 15 Cormorants of varying ages. A pair of Teal were in the pool on the little island and Little Grebes were ‘whinnying’ everywhere, for some reason the breeding density seems quite high. I don’t know when ‘Lonesome Dove’ croaked but he is no longer ‘in the Building’. 3 spp of Warbler but no hirundines which was a surprise and no LRP’s - i think the days of these breeding are long gone considering the potential disturbance from both dog-owners and the Polish drinking fraternityB :) The memory of ca25 Common Sandpipers feeding on the new ‘edge’ is but a distant one...

Good Birding -

Visited Sheepwash for the second time today. A lovely venue spoilt by the obvious reluctance of Sandwell Council to empty the litter bins. Several Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Willow Warbler calling. Reed Bunting and Reed Warbler flitting around the main pool edge. Four Cormorant, Little Grebe and Great Crested Grebe amongst others on the main pool. Two Buzzard circling overhead and a nice Green Woodpecker flying over the river to its nesting hole. No hirundines seen.
‘No Hirundines seen’.....

I could post that quote on every thread of the sites that i visit locally.

I have visited Fens Pools for 5 consecutive mornings with not a single record of a Swallow or Martin spp. My brother went to Sandwell Valley on Saturday afternoon, perfect weather for hawking hirundines at whatever height.....you would think but not a single bird seen over both wetland areas in 3 hours:-C

What is happening to the food supply?

There are very few Swifts hawking and screaming around Stourbridge (none yet). Further over only a few miles away i see a handful of Swallows around some horse paddocks.

If a study over ancient species-rich woodland in Germany showed a 40% decrease in flying insects then it should come as no surprise really. Invertebrates are the base of the food pyramid in addition to being major pollinators. If they go we go - is GM to blame? There is no doubt that large areas of the UK countryside is just Green Desert if the countryside around Stourbridge is anything to go by. Joe Public doesn’t care Joe Public is blissfully unaware but birders and botanists know the malaise that is all around us.

Farming is an industry that has, largely thru EU funding, destroyed biodervisity in the UK. Token reintroduction schemes and pocket handkerchief reserves does not solve the problem. Year on Year SSSI’s become degraded thru agriculture and living or having car access to a Reserve does not put things in perspective.

So - where are all the Hirundines?

It's a long time since I've posted on this thread but think it's now time for an update. 64 species have been seen this year and recent highlights have included 2 Woodcock, 2 Snipe, singing Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Willow Warbler, 2 Goosander still and Wigeon.
Best of all was a Treecreeper which was a patch tick for me.
It’s a sign of the times that you are ‘patch’ working the ‘Wash again Geoff;)

With The Goldfish Bowl closed i suspect there will be more of this once common activity - i thought your suggestion of a webcam down there was a novel one👍🏻

All the best -

It’s a sign of the times that you are ‘patch’ working the ‘Wash again Geoff;)

With The Goldfish Bowl closed i suspect there will be more of this once common activity - i thought your suggestion of a webcam down there was a novel one👍🏻

All the best -

It's almost like old times at Sheepwash at the moment with Ian and Mark still doing the rounds and rarities turning up, Cetti's Warbler and Meadow Pipit today.
First Whitethroat of the year today plus plenty of Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers, Cetti's Warbler still trying to attract a mate. 4 Shoveler, Little Grebes and Gt Crested Grebes.
Sand Martins and Swallows starting to trickle through and it's good to get Raven over on a regular basis.

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