Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Still about the patch…..for now

Sandwell Valley Bullfinch
Oystercatcher near the river at Sandwell Valley
Bullfinches paired up
Red Kite over Dunnington
Chiffchaff in plantation
Green Sandpiper
Kestrel watching closely
Upton Avocet

Black-headed Gulls ready for a busy few months

Another cold spring week (that certainly put off those planned early migrants) lead to me doing all my birding close to home. On Tuesday I visited RSPB Sandwell Valley for an early morning walk before work. Eight Wigeon remained from the previous week although they were on the river not the marsh. There was only one Goosander as the others have left for their breeding grounds. The bird of the morning was most definitely the Bullfinch, as many as eight were all in one bush looking splendid in the sunshine. I recorded two Chiffchaffs in different parts of the reserve whilst the only other birds of note were three Oystercatchers.

With the sports taxi covering basketball in Coventry & local football Sunday it kind of suited me being around so I could see all the action and get some more patch time under my belt. I teamed up with the Squire on Saturday morning and we did the pits, Abbots Salford & a small piece of land that’s always worth a mooch. There really wasn’t many changes, Abbots Salford had 24 Sand Martin above the lake whilst our additional walk found good numbers of Chaffinches, a new Chiffchaff & a late flock of Fieldfare.

On Sunday I started early trying to cover as many areas as possible. An additional Little Ringed Plover has joined the first pair which could seen on Pophills and the main pit along with 5 Green Sandpipers. That’s a pretty good count compared to other local reserves. The successful pair of Sparrowhawks from last year were displaying giving encouraging signs and there were two new Chiffchaffs in the plantation singing loudly. The regular pair of Shelducks looks to have chased out the competition from last week. I picked up the regular Red Kite  at 8am flying over Dunnington & later again on the way home near Weethley Church. The duck numbers have fallen considerably within a week but Shoveler bucked the trend with seven recorded.

A winter male Wheatear was seen late morning by Jon but couldn’t be located late afternoon by anyone else. Water Rails were recorded on the main pit and were calling from the Reed Lagoon.  

The wind had really picked up by the time I reached Abbots Salford where the Sand Martin flock has increased to 40, whilst other birds of note were a pair of Pochard, 3 Chiffchaffs, female Peregrine & the heronry was busy with birds building nests.

After watching Dusty clinch a last gasp 2-1 win for his football team we headed over to Upton Warren for an hour in afternoon. 30 Avocets were present but no Green Sandpipers or LRP's. 

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