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Post Info TOPIC: Adswood Tip


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RE: Adswood Tip


At least four Whitethroat were back this afternoon. Other warblers were Chiffchaff (4), Willow Warbler (3) and Blackcap (1), but no sign of Grasshopper Warbler. Two Swallows were drinking from the murky sunken pool.

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Further to my last comments: Here is an extract from the planning proposals for the Adswood Biomass Development. I assume this spoil is deemed to be 'suitable' landscape material.

"Landcare (Manchester) Ltd are seeking to import suitable materials to landscape
the site and in order create a new a biomass plantation to produce energy crops
(Short Rotational Bio-Coppice (SRC)) with the intention that these are used locally
to provide a sustainable source of energy. The SRC grows up to 4m in height in
the first season and is then cut back to encourage growth during the next season.
The SRC is harvested as chips, rods or billets depending on the end use
requirements and is harvested every 3 - 4 years. The plantation can remain viable
for up to 30 years before re-planting becomes necessary."

Cheers, John

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First Common Whitethroat of the year. (Remarkable consistency of first dates over the past few years 22/04/15, 21/04/14, 23/04/13, 22/04/10)
Willow Warblers 6
Chiffchaffs 5
Bullfinch 6
Reed Bunting 1
Pheasant 2
Grey Heron 2

The cleared lower area, so good for Grasshopper Warblers in recent years, is now being dumped on with large mounds of sub-soil spoil.

Cheers John

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4 Willow Warblers singing
3 Chiffchaffs singing
4 Bullfinches
Singles of Grey Heron, Pheasant, Jay and Meadow Pipit

Cheers John

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9:25. A 90 minute dog walk incorporating a stretch of the Ladybrook valley. First Reed Buntings (two males) and Chiffchaff of the year here.

Buzzard 3
Snipe 6
Woodpigeon 25
Magpie 22
Jackdaw 1
Carrion Crow 36
Goldcrest 4
Blue Tit 3
Great Tit 2
Chiffchaff 1
Wren 8
Blackbird 5
Song Thrush 4
Redwing 1
Robin 4
Dunnock 2
House Sparrow 1
Meadow Pipit 1
Bullfinch 3
Greenfinch
Reed Bunting 2


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11:30 through 12:45. The scraping of the bottom section offers a poor long term future, but it does look as though it may be a magnet for some different passage species this spring. My hopes of an early Wheatear were not fulfilled today.

Mallard 2
Pheasant 1
Grey Heron 1
Snipe 11
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1
Herring Gull 1
Stock Dove 3
Woodpigeon 22
Magpie 17
Jackdaw 43
Carrion Crow 36
Blue Tit 5
Great Tit 1
Long-tailed Tit 1
Wren 5
Starling 10
Blackbird 1
Fieldfare 13
Redwing 16
Robin 1
Dunnock 6
Meadow Pipit 2
Chaffinch 3


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Plenty of bird song but no early migrants

Dunnock 6
Song Thrush 3
Wren 11
Bullfinch 4
Blue Tit 2
Great Tit 2
Robin - surprisingly only 1
Nuthatch 1
Buzzard 1

Cheers John


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Dog walk. 10:10 through 11:00. 3C. Bitter wind. Some of Thursday's snow remains.

Teal 2 - on sunken car pond - a site first for me
Snipe 12
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1
Stock Dove 1
Woodpigeon 6
Magpie 17
Jackdaw 4
Carrion Crow C30
Blue Tit 2
Wren 2
Starling 1
Blackbird 4
Fieldfare 9
Mistle Thrush 2
Dunnock 2
Meadow Pipit 5
Bullfinch 1f


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A pleasant morning. No glove weather.

The newly-excavated area adjacent to the recycling centre proved popular with thrushes, pipits and wagtails.

Lapwing 40C
Snipe 11
Black-headed Gull 10
Herring Gull 2
Stock Dove 1
Woodpigeon 12
Peregrine 1 - first for me at this site
Magpie 14
Jackdaw 15C
Carrion Crow 25C
Blue Tit 1
Great Tit 3
Wren 1
Starling 7
Blackbird 6
Fieldfare 9
Song Thrush 2
Redwing 14
Robin 3
Dunnock 1
Pied Wagtail 6
Meadow Pipit 12
Bullfinch 4 (3 male)
Greenfinch 3


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45 minute circuit. It was 6C, but a bitter wind made it feel much colder. Very wet underfoot. The area cleared for biomass is grassing over nicely and is very popular with crows.

Grey Heron 1
Snipe 9
Black-headed Gull 3
Common Gull 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1
Stock Dove 2
Woodpigeon 7
Magpie 15+
Jackdaw 20+
Carrion Crow 20+
Raven 2
Great Tit 2
Starling 1
Blackbird 3
Mistle Thrush 3
Meadow Pipit 8


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A quick spin round the old brickworks area. 3 Snipe and 7 Meadow Pipits flushed up. I'd expect more Snipe when it gets wetter, there wasn't any appreciable standing water today. Also 2 Greenfinch over, and nice views of a Song Thrush eating berries.

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On the cleared western half:

2 Stock Doves
1 Snipe
2 Meadow Pipits over

The eastern half is still largely untouched (for the moment?)

3 Jays
2 Kestrels
2 Bullfinches
5 Chiffchaffs
1 Great Soptted Woodpecker

Cheers John

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A Wheatear on the newly-cleared area this morning. I am told that the area is to become a biomass plantation. Anyone who wants to know more should go to:

http://interactive.stockport.gov.uk/edrms/onlinemvm/getimage.asp?DocumentNumber=212026

Two Stock Doves and a Bullfinch present.
Four Meadow Pipits and a Pied Wagtail over.

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The good news:

This morning, a small, busy mixed flock, not far from the Midland Road entrance, included a male Blackcap, at least four Chiffchaff, and a Spotted Flycatcher (a rarity in these parts). Snipe and Sparrowhawk flew overhead, and at least eight Stock Doves were on the bottom section.

The bad news:

A huge area of ground adjoining the old Jewson's yard on the bottom, western area, of the site has been completely cleared. All bramble has been removed and some small groups of mature trees felled, leaving behind a desert. There is also evidence that similar work has started on other parts of the site.

Until 2013, this area hosted one of the densest populations of Grasshopper Warbler in the county, plus breeding Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Reed Bunting. It will not do so again for a long while. The 'groppers' did not return this year - maybe a premonition.

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08.05 - 10.30:

Tried to conduct a warbler census.

Blackcaps 7
Chiffchaff 5
Whitethroat 11 (inc. carrying food for young)
Willow Warbler 8 (inc. carrying food for young)

Also a family party of Great Tits, a healthy population of Blackbirds (12), Wrens (13), Goldfinches (12) and 54 Swifts over before the sun broke through.

Other bits:

Greenfinch 3
Starlings 14
Song Thrush 2
Swallow 1
House Martin 2
Bullfinch 4
Buzzard 1
Heron 3
Pheasant 2
Reed Bunting 1

Cheers John



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A pleasant amble this morning. Nothing remarkable except for the high number of Whitethroats. I counted 16, mostly singing males. Even allowing for a bit of double counting there is a healthy population here.

Whitethroat 16
Willow Warbler 5
Chiffchaff 1
Blackcap 3
Swift 4
Bullfinch 4
Heron 1
Song Thrush 7

Plus a single Mallard duckling running for cover in tall grass well away from any water. Could only hear the one but there may have been more.

Cheers John

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I had a scout for Warblers a few weeks ago and there was nowt around but it was only first week of April. But I was talking to somebody the other day who said the brickworks bit had had a load of earth dumped on it since then. Maybe this disruption put the Grasshopper Warblers off? If indeed it was disruptive, I've not seen it myself.

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Thanks Bill, a lot of interesting thoughts here.

It is true that Grasshopper Warblers at Adswood reduce or stop singing once breeding has begun and it is always possible that they have been overlooked. I would like to think this is unlikely as between Nigel Troup and myself they have been looked for since mid April.

The area that was burnt out last year has completely regenerated but, as you say, apparently perfect looking habitat is so often shunned (Why isn't Etherow C.P. woodland attractive to Wood Warblers and Redstarts for example?)

Hopefully some will be found later in the season, if not, then perhaps next year.

Cheers John

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Hi John,

I too have been following your comments about Grasshopper Warbler numbers at Adswood with interest. On reading your recent posts, I recalled reading somewhere in the dim and distant past about the Grasshopper Warbler being one of those species that appears to show a low level of faithfulness to both breeding and wintering sites. I finally managed to track those comments down to the 2005 publication "Birds in England" by Brown and Grice. I thought this extract might possibly of some interest and relevance? "Assessing long-term population trends in Grasshopper Warbler populations is difficult because local populations clearly undergo pronounced fluctuations in numbers between years and many apparently suitable sites are used erratically. One possible explanation is the low site-fidelity shown by the species, with fewer birds arriving and breeding in years when unfavourable weather predominates during the spring migration period. Low site-fidelity to both the breeding and wintering areas may be a behavioural trait that has evolved to allow the efficient exploitation of transient wetland habitats (Migration Atlas)." However, the opposite is suggested in the BTO publication "A Field Guide to Monitoring Nests" by Ferguson-Lees, Castell and Leech and possibly highlights how relatively little we understand about this secretive species, when they suggest "high site-fidelity in successive years, if habitat remains suitable." So that's as clear as mud then!!

I can also recall reading somewhere but can't currently find where that was (and indeed I mentioned this idea in the paragraph on Grasshopper Warbler in the 2011 County Report) the suggestion about this species falling silent whilst paired up and incubation duties are shared and the pair feed any young. Is it possible maybe one or two pairs are already on first clutches and silent and almost undetectable?

It was also interesting to note that you didn't think the habitat had changed appreciably from earlier years. I personally have often wondered if a species selection of breeding habitats is much more exacting than we as humans yet understand. We've all been out to locations where we think, wow, this habitat should be great for breeding...say Stonechat, Little Ringed Plover, Redstart, Grasshopper Warbler...take your pick of any number of species...but for some reason, that we can't quantify, they are not there. I suppose what I'm saying is that to the human eye things possibly don't look to be any different but to the birds themselves maybe just one or two of the subtle requirements by the species in nest site selection are missing and they have gone elsewhere for a more desirable summer residence! I can recall you mentioning a major fire on site about a year ago. Maybe this has had a delayed knock-on effect? Just an afterthought really this last paragraph.

Your figure work for earlier years certainly does back up the "volatility" that this species is suggested as showing. Fingers crossed that some do yet turn up on site at Adswood for you and other local birders.

Regards,


Bill.


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Hi Phil,

I remember meeting you at Woodford. The situation regarding habitat at Adswood has not really changed this year. There has been some heavier duty vehicles churning up dog walker paths and a bit of scrub clearance in one corner, the occasional teenagers on motorbikes plus just one small grass fire this year and, of course, always dog walkers. Nothing out of the ordinary. There is still plenty of willow scrub - large bramble patches - drying out reed beds - extensive grassland. So nothing to account for the sudden absence of Grasshopper Warblers. In fact it is absolutely perfect for something good to drop in but it doesn't get the coverage that Geoff Lightfoot gave it in its heyday. My own efforts are rather casual.

Cheers, John

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I've been following this Grasshopper Warbler quest with interest - I used to go down to Adswood - John I met you a couple of times at Woodford before relocating to Lancashire.

Has the habitat deteriorated?

My current patch has some habitat similar to Adswood
http://www.manchesterbirding.activeboard.com/t55145485/roby-mill-and-area/

Grasshopper warblers have increased this year to 5 reeling males - maybe we've got yours :)

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13th May (18.45-20.00):

A good showing of Song Thrushes with 9 individuals including a family party of 6.

The Grasshopper Warbler situation this year is very disappointing. It is beginning to look as if none will attempt to breed in 2014. Just scrolling down this thread there have been annual counts of reeling birds:
2013 (4)
2012 (2)
2011 (9)
2010 (2)
2009 (4)

Cheers John



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Still no Grasshopper Warbler on a thorough circuit at 20:15 yesterday. However, it was pleasing to see my first Swifts of the year: six over the Midland Road entrance. This is the latest arrival date on my records, by six days.

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Friday 9th of May 2014 08:38:09 AM

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3 Swifts
No Grasshopper Warblers

Cheers John

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3rd May (17.30-18.30)

Still no Grasshopper Warblers

In song were:
7 Whitethroats
2 Chiffchaffs
3 Willow Warblers
2 Blackcaps

Also:
c50 Starlings
2 Stock Doves
2 Pheasants
3 Song Thrushes
Singles of Buzzard, Jay, Reed Bunting, Swallow

Cheers John


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19.00 - 20.00

Similar spread of species as Nigel yesterday... and still no Grasshopper Warblers. They were a week earlier than this last year despite the awful 2013 spring weather.

Cheers John

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A lovely calm evening, and I did a thorough circuit. Whitethroats are back in number, but not a peep from a Grasshopper Warbler - quite unusual.

Mallard 2
Pheasant 3
Lesser Black-backed Gull 5
Stock Dove 2
Woodpigeon 5
Magpie 8
Jay 1
Carrion Crow 20 +
Blue Tit 1
Great Tit 3
Swallow 1
Chiffchaff 4
Willow Warbler 3
Blackcap 5
Whitethroat 7
Wren 2
Starling 30 +
Blackbird 5
Song Thrush 1
Dunnock 2
House Sparrow 1
Greenfinch 1
Reed Bunting 2


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A bit of a disappointing evening, despite a fairly large circuit, in light drizzle.

Willow Warbler - 3
Blackcap - 2
Chiffchaff - 1
Pheasant - 1
Jay - 2

Motorcyclist - 1.

I had expected a few Whitethroat by now.


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First Whitethroat this evening. Still no Grasshopper Warblers.

Cheers John

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Chiffchaff 6
Willow Warbler 4
Blackcap 6
Jay 1
Buzzard 1
Song Thrush 1
Pheasant (H)

No Whitethroats or Grasshopper Warblers yet. The fire brigade turned up as I was leaving to check on a reported grass fire but I didn't see anything.

Cheers John

-- Edited by John Rayner on Friday 18th of April 2014 04:42:31 PM

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A better day for migrants:

Willow Warbler 3
Blackcap 6
Chiffchaff 2
Herring Gull 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Buzzard 1
Pheasant 1

Cheers, John




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A cold wind blowing this afternoon and bird song was minimal, the only migrants being 3 Chiffchaffs and 3 Blackcaps. Adult Herring Gull over and a distant Pheasant calling.

Cheers John



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A pleasant circuit this evening from 17:20 to 18:10.

Highlight was two Sand Martins over (unusual here). Warblers were represented by Chiffchaff (1), Willow Warbler (1) and Blackcap (including two males engaged in a sing-off, no more than ten feet apart).

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Snipe 11 (1 Common Snipe, rising silently at close range and landing again quickly, gave me momentary hope but not Jack Snipe unfortunately)
Meadow Pipit 15
Skylark 1

Cheers, John



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A walk round between about 12 and 2 yesterday
Snipe 6
Buzzard 2
Meadow Pipit 7
Pheasant 1 female
Bullfinch 1 male, a few were buzzing about, only got a clear view of a nice male
No Reed Bunting around, not sure how I missed them
Also Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Redwing, tons of Woodpigeon, Magpie and some immense Carrion Crows, Buzzard size in some cases

Also worth noting a building site of sorts is springing up next to Jewson, and the access that way was blocked. The railway bridge way onto the site is gated off now too. 'Roaming the tip'; my mum is so proud of me...but this is such a brilliant habitat to be in the middle of Stockport and if it is a place to come and find Grasshopper Warbler in the spring as well then I really hope it gets left alone for a bit longer.

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Tenement Lane
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 female
Bullfinch 1 male
On the tip
Buzzard 1
Meadow Pipit 4
Reed Bunting heard
Snipe 15
Jack Snipe 1 either seen twice or a second bird later on
Lesser Black-backed Gull

plus usuals



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First visit to this place today 10.30-12.30, accessed from Tenement Lane then headed towards the former brickworks. What a great place, big open and empty. I will be returning.
Birds of note seen:
Fieldfare 1
Reed bunting 1 female
Woodcock 1 flushed up; first ever for me, very pleased
Grey Heron 1 over
Bullfinch 2 male over
Meadow Pipit 7
Reed Bunting 2 female

It was very wet underfoot and reading down this thread I probably might have tried harder to find some Snipe. A lifer is never a bad start at a new spot though! The buntings and pipits were looking lovely in the clear light too. Never seen such richness in the Reed Bunting plumage before, but I was nice and close and the light was perfect.

Saw 2 guys with guns about on the cleared building footprint, what would their game have been? Couldn't think of many legitimate things they could have been doing...pest control of some kind?


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I flushed six Snipe just outside the old brickworks yard.  A flock of gulls on the yard itself included four Herring Gull, two Lesser Black-backed, 1 Common and c70 Black Headed.  There was also a Pheasant nearby, much to Monty's delight. 



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Sunday 5th of January 2014 07:23:13 PM

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Quick look round yesterday.

6 Snipe flushed from the ponds in the old brickworks close to the access road for the new tip.

 



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I took a short, but productive walk early in the afternoon.

I have had good fortune with Jack Snipe here recently, and flushed two by the old Jewson's yard, along with three Snipe. Small passerines included a female Reed Bunting, male Bullfinch and two Meadow Pipits. There were a dozen or so Redwing and four Fieldfare in the trees at the Midland Road end. Loafing gulls on the deserted brick yard comprised 22 Black-headed, one Common and one Lesser Black-backed.

A pair of Ravens passing through was the first that I can remember seeing here.

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A glorious morning, with a good variety of birds seen during a long dog-walking circuit.

Canada Goose 2
Jack Snipe 2 (first of the year here)
Snipe 8
Black-headed Gull 16
Lesser Black-backed Gull 2
Woodpigeon 4
Magpie 15
Jay 1
Jackdaw 2
Carrion Crow 6
Blue Tit 4
Great Tit 2
Long-tailed Tit 1
Wren 5
Blackbird 6
Fieldfare 13
Redwing 4
Meadow Pipit 6
Goldfinch 8
Bullfinch 5


-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Sunday 1st of December 2013 02:19:14 PM

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A female Blackcap was the highlight of a very wet walk yesterday afternoon; 11 Meadow Pipts, 3 female / immature Reed Buntings, one Pheasant and 50+ Black-headed Gulls also present.

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25 (minimum) Magpies mobbing a fox
2 Meadow Pipits
33 Feral Pigeons
53 Black-headed Gulls
26 Redwings
1 Reed Bunting
1 Buzzard
3 Jays

Cheers John


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Not a great deal in only 40 mins. 11.15 - 1155.

Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Jays collecting acorns 2
Redwing 1
Chiffchaff heard

A late male Meadow Brown in fairly decent nick.

Cheers, John

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I spent a fulfilling hour on Adswood Tip this morning. Redwing are back in force: several loose flocks totalling about 50 birds. Jays were also conspicuous, with at least five seen. Highlight was a Treecreeper by the Midland Road gate - the first I've seen here. Other species included:

Sparrowhawk
Bullfinch - 2
Pheasant - 3
Meadow Pipit - 2
Long-tailed Tit - 5
Greenfinch - 3
Chiffchaff

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Brief visit and found very little:

Plenty of Woodpigeons, Jackdaws, Magpies
1 Jay
1 Snipe
1 Reed Bunting

Cheers John

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7 Whitethroats singing
5 Blackcaps singing
2 Chiffchaffs
2 Stock Doves
1 Buzzard
No Grasshopper Warblers reeling on a cool and drizzly morning.

Cheers John

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Fairly quiet:

1 Grasshopper Warbler reeling
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Sand Martin
2 Swallows
1 Grey Heron
Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers

Cheers John

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Adswood Tip

Despite it being late morning 4 Grasshopper Warblers seen reeling (with 2 showing exceptionally well to a few feet). Also:

Whitethroats c6
Blackcap 3
Willow Warbler 1
Chiffchaffs 2-3
Reed Bunting 8
Buzzard 2
Heron 2
Raven 1

A Buzzard passed by and 2 Herons immediately came up from Ladybrook Valley and mobbed it noisily with all 3 birds circling overhead. Could a pair be breeding down there?

Cheers, John

-- Edited by John Rayner on Wednesday 1st of May 2013 06:18:41 PM

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Likewise:)

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Grasshopper Warbler heard and after hiding behind a bush for 15 minutes 2 seen.
Similar sightings minus the raven.

In addition 6 Reed Bunting

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