Thursday, 28 April 2016

Not a lot of change so far.

A mid-morning visit on a day which I thought could produce an early Swift. As usual, I was wrong!

Two Willow Tit courting around the Pit Mound (the male singing), a good show of House Martin, eight Sand Martin and the usual Warblers were 'all she wrote' (or in this case - 'He wrote')!

No interesting ducks as far as I could see and strangely, no Swallows! Never mind, I am sure someone will be over later to find the good bird that I missed. - Chaz

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

First Cuckoo

Found by Ray Fellows this afternoon (Phone the Times!) - so start keeping your ears open! - C

Quick Wednesday Visit

Had to pop into Pelsall today so it was a bit of a cursory visit to be honest. No new migrants seen although both singing Lesser Whitethroat were on the Mineral Line and an echo of winter was a single Siskin flying over northwards.

On the Mere there were all three hirundine, a male Shoveler, two Oystercatcher, a Common Tern and two Stock Dove.

Tony Stackhouse phoned me yesterday to say that he had seen a possible Arctic Tern on the 25th. He had comparison with two Common Tern and says that the bird had pale grey wings and extensive tail streamers, so it certainly sounds the part.

I think we need the weather to sort itself out if we are to get any more significant migration - even I am getting fed up of it! - Chaz

Monday, 25 April 2016

Just an apology

Its about TWITTER.

Sometimes people forget that I am THE ANTISOCIAL BIRDER, but I am never deliberately rude to anyone. However I have had cause to go on my Twitter home page today (Don't Ask) and found out that a number of people have tweeted me, some going back to 2012!!!
(which should give you some idea about how often I go on Twitter).

Apparently I have fifteen followers so I hope they are not too frustrated never to have anything to follow, but if I have anything to say I will do it by e-mail or on the blog. .

Seriously - I don't do Twitter, I only signed up to get the Staffs Bird News and I don't even get that now. I really do appreciate the followers but if any of you ever need to get in touch drop me an e-mail and I will always do my best to respond.

Sincere apologies to anyone who may have felt ignored or disregarded, it was not deliberate, I just didn't know that you had gone to the trouble of Tweeting me - Chaz

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Sunday Morning - where did they come from? (Updated)

Well I suppose the star bird should be the Reed Warbler that was singing from the Typha but in fact it is probably the flock of Common Teal that were flying around THIRTY-THREE of them and ironically my highest single count for the winter.

Reed Warbler
A case could be made for another contender for the title 'Star Bird' and that would be Lesser Whitethroat. At least three singing males today (one by the tin bridge, another further along the mineral line and yet another somewhere over toward the pit mound). There may even be four if you assume that the bird being chased by the tin-bridge bird was a potential mate and not a rival for territory? Lesser-throat is a strange and unpredictable bird on the site, last year we didn't have many early records and this year we have abundance and that has been the pattern for a number of seasons now.

The Reed Warbler was a bit of pig today. On arrival it was singing from the north-east side so I made my way over there in time to see it fly back to where I had just been standing. I worked my way back around but only managed one more brief view and a bit of sub-song for my efforts. I expect that the sharp wind was keeping it in cover and it will hopefully show better in the days to come?

After my walk was over Bernard Smith paid a visit. He was unable to find the Lesser Whitethroat as most birds had stopped singing however he did have a first for the year with two Swift flying through.

Anyway, lots of other stuff, common warblers, terns etc so well worth a visit at the moment. Have a good week all - Chaz

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Second Saturday Update

This mornings Redstart - Photo Chris and Graham Weston
Thanks to Chris and Graham Weston who paid a visit today and who did slightly better than I did having seen and photographed (Above) the second Redstart for the site this year, this time a female.
I will share their report with you as follows:

We paid a time restricted visit to Clayhanger this morning and the main items of note were;
Female Common Redstart in the trees and bushes at the Pelsall Road end (picture attached) - a first for us at the site. Onepair Bullfinch in the same area
Common Sandpiper at south end of the mere, Skylark,one pair Grey Wagtail in Ford Brook (picture attached),Willow Warbler in trees on west side of the mere and a 
Male Blackcap in the same area
Its interesting how different people can visit the same site at the same time and have such different experiences - but that's birding! - Chaz 
One of our regular delights! - Photo Chris and Graham Weston

A nice (if quiet) Saturday

Spent most of the morning over today but no new migrants through. There were at least two, possibly three Lesser Whitethroat including an obliging singing bird by the Tin-Bridge. Seven Sand Martin were over the Mere, the Common Sandpiper was heard and we seem to have at least one pair of lurking Common Tern on the Mere. One of the Tern is interesting as it shows an almost completely dark upper mandible, something more suggestive of winter plumage although the bird itself is in neat and glossy breeding plumage.
One of todays Common Terns takes a rest on the fence
Star bird today was a butterfly (!) with a fabulous newly emerged male Orange Tip - how do I know it was newly emerged? Because it had the shiny gloss finish to its scales that only shows for the first few hours after emergence.

Lovely day though so enjoy yours - Chaz