|Photo courtesy Keith Whitehouse|
I set out to try and connect with some summer visitors which I thought might be pushed down by the recent rainfall. I decided to avoid the mineral line as I don't own a Kayak and instead, walked the edge of the buffer zone hoping to find some sheltering migrants. I had just passed onto the Mere when a party of six finches flushed into a nearby tree.
One was obviously a Chaffinch but the other five looked quite plain, several showing a hint of a pale wing flash. I eventually managed to get onto four of the birds and was surprised to find not summer visitors but instead winter visitors in the form of four Lesser Redpoll. Sadly they were all Lessers and there was no of sign of last winters Common Redpoll which I suspect is now somewhere much further north? The sixth bird eventually came into view and I was pleased to note that it showed a much finer bill and it eventually resolved itself into a female (or Juvenile) Blackcap.
Summer and winter sharing the same bush.
My return home along the railway line complemented this with a second bird, this time a singing male. It was not until I paused on the railway bridge to observe the pools at Pelsall Road that I received the 'Curve ball' that I alluded to.
I had hopes that the high water might serve to make the local Water Rail more apparent but instead my attention was drawn to a Blue Tit which was being harassed around the reed bed by an obvious warbler which I first assumed to be a Chiffchaff. When the bird came briefly to rest however, I was amazed to find myself looking instead at what appeared to be a Reed Warbler!
|A remarkable record?|
I know that birds usually move in quietly but if this was a Reed, it would be a totally unexpected and unprecedented event in my experience, but I suppose we will have to expect this type of anomaly as global warming starts to have an effect on migration patterns? - Chaz