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Post Info TOPIC: West Midlands


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RE: West Midlands


Late post from this morning.

Red Kite seen from the motorway circling over the junction of the M5 and M6 motorways at 10 am.

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No reports of the adult Red-backed Shrike by 10.30 this morning. I knew it had been seen yesterday evening and with rain in the West Midlands early today, I figured it would be staying put for a bit longer at least. I arrived just after 12.00 and was soon watching this most confiding of birds in its usual area, two or three hundred yards north west of the model aircraft car park. It stayed on show for a good hour in a group of bushes with berries, catching the odd bee and wasp, before flying twenty yards where it perched up nicely for a few minutes before taking flight again. Always great to see a rarity like this and an adult male is an added bonus.

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When I was let down on a trip this Sunday I was pretty gutted but as late afternoon approaches and I'm sitting at my pc & I am glad that I missed out on a third trip to the Lammergeier, planned just as a day out. But instead I headed down the M6 to Sutton Coldfield, which doesn't sound like a good swap for the Derbyshire Moors, but it was!!

I headed to Sutton Park just 65 miles from home and walked the short distance towards a pretty big group of birders, but in this vast park they were all well social distanced and behaving impeccably. Immediately I could see my quarry, a beautiful adult male Red-backed Shrike, face on and 'glowing' in the August sunshine. The bird had a large feeding circuit and I saw it take lots of prey; caterpillars, beetles and grubs being some that I could ID through my scope. I rattled off hundreds of digiscoped shots (1 attached) as it showed superbly well. At one point it was in the same tree as a Spotted Flycatcher which was nice and a Buzzard mewed and a Raven cronked overhead. I had to pinch myself to believe that I was in urban Birmingham biggrin Then a brave male Chaffinch decided to chase the shike and they zipped off into cover and the shrike became much more elusive. Seeing as how I had watched it for 2hrs continuously I decided that it was lunchtime and that I had been incredibly lucky to spend my morning like I had done smile



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Sunday 30th of August 2020 04:37:28 PM

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A Day Out in the Midlands. 6/1/2019

A Dusky Warbler has been present at Kingsbury Water Meadows in Warwickshire since mid-December 2018 and along with a few other nice birds in the Midlands a trip was partially organised. Myself driving, along with Steve B & Bob K left a dark and gloomy Rochdale at 6am (good to be back in the old routine) and headed down the most well-known building site in Britain (formally known as the M6 motorway) 24 miles later we could drive at 70 mph but only for ten miles then more roadworks, rant over! We arrived at Kingsbury Water Meadows at around 8-20am and some birders were leaving saying that the Dusky Warbler had been showing fairly well 10 minutes ago, well thats positive then we thought. About 25 or so birders seemed to be strung out from the M42 bridge back along the River Tame for about 200 yards. This was to be our beat for the next 2.5 hours, a few Chiff-Chaffs were seen and after a couple of rushes to see nothing, a positive sighting / heard calling was made and we headed towards the spot. The Dusky Warbler was seen around 30 yards distance in the company of a Chiff-Chaff near a green bottle at the side of a small pool. Not good views at all, so we hung around for better ones. Two other birders reported seeing the Dusky Warbler at two other places (could it be the dreaded two bird theory?) Anyhow we headed back to the car for some refreshment when, another birder told us that a nice male Red Crested Pochard was showing really well on the next pool along. We all enjoyed the bird in nice sunlight and Bob got some pictures.

We planned to head for Hednesford near Cannock to possibly see a group of 9 Waxwings that have been in the area for a few weeks. My sat nav had other ideas and kept wanting to send us on the M6 Toll motorway at 5.30 a go, no thanks. Steve B battled hard against technology and used a device called a map or something?? We reached Hednesford railway station, seeing no Waxwings. After checking Rare Bird Alert we found out that the birds were on Bradbury Lane/ Common View junction about a mile from where we were. We soon found a small group of birders not looking at very much, until after 30 minutes 9 Waxwings flew in and gave reasonable views in gloomy light. Our last stop was Doxey Marshes just north of Stafford to see the reported Cattle Egrets. This marsh land was made famous because in 1987 a River Warbler was present for a while. It is bordered by the West Coast main line railway on one side and the M6 building site on the other. The warden was on hand to tell us all about the birds that could be found, very impressive really. A very obliging Water Rail showing down to 15 feet (Bob liked that) Cattle Egret in with the small herd of cattle, a very noisy Cettiss Warbler. Last but not least a Short Eared Owl that performed admirably, especially the coming together with a Kestrel which gave the twenty or so birders gathered there the chance to see an unusual Staffordshire bird. All in all a good days birding, now to get home along the M6.

Dave O.



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Bunkers Hill Wood, Stourbridge (about 5 minutes from the house I grew up in):

9+ goldcrest
1 treecreeper
3 nuthatch
2 lesser redpoll
4 bullfinch
c20 redwing
1 great spotted woodpecker
1 green woodpecker heard
2 stock dove
2 or 3 woodcock
5 jay
1 raven
1 red kite over (first record for the Midlands0
1 or 2 buzzard

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No thread for the West Midlands itself, so here goes.

Sandwell Valley RSPB on 29/12/17:

7+ lesser redpoll
5 bullfinch
1 reed bunting
2 pied wagtail
2 grey wagtail
2 song thrush
3 stock dove
2 water rail heard
8 shoveler
15+ tufted duck
12 goosander
12 mute swan
1 little grebe
1 great crested grebe
11 lapwing
7+ snipe
1 - 3 grey heron
2 cormorant
1 common gull (first I've ever noted in the West Midlands, I think)

Bunker's Hill Wood, Stourbridge, 31/12/17. A lovely Woodland Trust owned woodland, and my last list of the year:

7 goldcrest
1 treecreeper
3 nuthatch
20 - 25 lesser redpoll (in a mobile flock)
9 goldfinch
1 yellowhammer
6+ jay
2 - 4 great spotted woodpecker heard
2 green woodpecker
1 stock dove
1 woodcock
1 sparrowhawk
1 or 2 buzzard


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