Tuesday, 1 May 2012

21st April 2012

Early morning with Martyn in the urban squalor of our second city, followed by a trawl of some of Staffordshire’s waters.

Three raptor species were noted around the city - a male Kestrel on a disused building on Eastside, a Sparrowhawk high over the city and finally 2 Buzzard near Spaghetti Junction, which has recently been transformed into a rather interesting art installation...

Another ghetto birding surprise was a swallow flying over Digbeth, heading north. Also a Daily Mail-bothering savage urban fox was scooting around the wasteground here. A pair of Grey Wagtail were near the Bling Quarter.

We have not yet managed to locate Phoenicurus ochruros, but then if we did I wouldn't tell you...

The weather was rather damp as we arrived at Cannock Chase, but it didn't deter us from a stomp around Anson's Bank & the Cadet Hut area.

Our best findings here included 2 Cuckoos and a singing colour-ringed Tree Pipit. Also noted were 1 Raven, 1 Kestrel, 2 Jay, 3 Buzzard and a single Swallow, with Willow Warbler and Goldcrest  in song.

Tree Pipit images by Martyn Yapp

The rings indicate that the Tree Pipit was ringed in Staffs as part of a Forestry Commission project.

Blithfield Res had continued to be quiet, so a brief stop at the deeps was the full extent of today's visit. Most interesting here was at least 7 Wheatear. Also noted 2 Oystercatcher, 4 LRP, Kestrel and Buzzard.

One of 7 Wheatears

Next up, Croxall - however the water had risen considerable since the previous visit. Not good for spring wader passage. The highlight was 2 adult Med Gulls which flew over the path, picked up by their distinctive mewing call. Other birds noted included 1 Common Tern, 2 Oystercatcher and Blackcap.

The log book at the adjacent War Memorial Arboretum (AKA birders toilet stop) also revealed some very interesting sightings... 


Finally, a stop at Gailey provided welcome year ticks in the form of a Swift amongst the hirundine flock over the causeway and a Common Whitethroat along the track. Also 2 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Common Tern and 20 House Martin.


  1. Well I'm sure that's all erroneous. I think you'll find a "Mama" is an Australian rainforest species! ;o)

  2. Indeed, a bit of stringing going on methinks!

    Quite disappointed to have missed the 'White Egret' though!! ;-)