Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Tri-County Regional Birding

Saturday 4th August 2012

With the ghetto birding season all but over and autumn approaching, it was time to make a return to the A38 gravel pits for a few hours this morning. The water levels are at last receding, albeit very slowly.

Croxall Lakes 9.10am

Enough muddy edge had appeared on the main lake to accommodate a Common Sandpiper, with another 2 also on the river. No Common Terns today, perhaps sadly now departed due to lack of success. Notable birds on the reserve included 2 Goosander on the river, 1 Little Egret, 10 Great-crested Grebe and a Buzzard.

Almost on first name terms with this song thrush now...

Sunday 5th August 2012

Grimley New Workings, Worcs 8:00am

Although not documented on here, the previous visit to Grimley with Martyn saw us dipping White-rumped Sandpiper at 6:00am on 15th July. An important regional bird missed out on there. You can read more details of this tragic morning and also about historical midlands records of WRS on the Regional Tick blog.

This morning’s regional twitch however was more of a success. Great White Egret, a bird that has become much more regular in the West Midlands region in recent years was still absent from my personal regional list.

This was easily put right though, with the bird flying into the main pool around 8.00am-ish and preening and showing well for us. We were close enough to observe the striking green loral patch and long yellow bill, before this gangly egret headed off north. At the time of writing, this bird is still putting in daily appearances at Grimley. 

Great White Egret - courtesy Martyn Yapp -
Great White Egret - courtesy Martyn Yapp -

Other birds noted at Camp Lane Pools were 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Grey Heron, 5 Skylark and a Buzzard.

At Wagon Wheel Lane, surprisingly the floods seemed to have almost dried up. That did not however, deter 2 Green Sand, 1 Dunlin, 1 Snipe and 1 LRP.

Marsh Lane, West Midlands 10:30am

A Temminck’s Stint was reported early morning. A report that turned out to be ‘erroneous’ - the bird in question was in fact a smart adult Pectoral Sandpiper! That will do nicely, a second regional tick in one day, not often that happens. Very nice indeed.

Also here 1 LRP, 3 Oystercatcher and 5 Common Tern.

Blithfield Reservoir, Staffs

We now visited our third county of the day.

On the way to Blithers we stopped in at a withheld location, where there were some unseasonably wintery sights, including 7 Wigeon and a staggering 32 Goosander. This was counterbalanced with a more summery sight of some juv Yellow Wagtails. A thunderstorm was approaching.

At Blithfield we concentrated on the Dam and Causeway areas hoping the storm had dropped something tasty in. It did drop in a Little Gull, but we did not see this.

About 50 Common Terns were present and a Yellow-legged Gull was on one of the bouys. A different bird than the YLG from a couple of weeks ago, this one being a full adult. Also 2 Common Sandpiper on the causeway.

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