A resource for nature enthusiasts and residents who enjoy the Smestow Valley Local Nature Reserve. Latest bird news and an insight into the history of the area and ongoing preservation work.This site has been inspired by the incredible work of the Smestow Valley Bird Group and the development of this blog will stand as testament to the efforts of a small group of caring and energetic birders that helped create history for the valley.
Sunday, 9 December 2012
SATURDAY 8th DECEMBER
Fields bordering Smestow brook, between Windmill Lane, Wightwick, and Castlecroft canal bridge.11.00am to 13.45pm.
Bright, clear, calm, cool.
Kestrel A female, perched just south of Windmill Lane. Seen in area for next hour and a half, hovering over rank grass and perching near brook, not seen to catch prey. Bird in area for some weeks.
Buzzard A juvenile and an adult, birds present in Wightwick fields area since late sumer. Both perched on phone wire posts, middle section of fields, juvenile calling. Later, one dropped down to forage for worms by mole hills beside brook, watched by three Magpie.
Kingfisher Two birds. One perched by brook just south of county boundary hedge line just south of the Sabrina Road gardens, another flying at it, the two then chasing each other round sallows before flying up to Castlecroft canal bridge and then turning along canal towards Pool Hall.
Waxwing 21 Four birds seen initially at tops of low trees at base of Sabrina Road gardens bordering Wightwick fields, fly-catching in calm, bright conditions. Soon afterwards all four flew towards Bridgnorth Road, joined in flight suddenly by a flock, all birds ending up at the top of trees between the entrance to Wightwick Manor grounds and Tinacre Hill. Twenty one birds were counted, and for the next few minutes they flew from their perch fly-catching, some moving back towards Sabrina Road. Eventually all 21 were back on the edge of Wightwick fields, at least 15 flying to perch, fly-catch and preen in alders by the Smestow brook. The birds then moved to silver birch and other trees in the sloped gardens of Sabrina Road, twice dropping down to a berry bush by the edge of the fields. At around 13.00 a female Sparrowhawk hurtled into the flock above the berry bush, scattering the birds. None were caught, but the flock disappeared and the birds were not seen again.
Green Woodpecker One flew along the edge of the grass fields and into conifers in Sabrina Road gardens.
Jay One flew along border of Sabrina Road gardens and grass fields.
Grey Wagtail One heard calling, Smestow brook behind former Wine Rack off-licence building.
Mistle Thrush One foragin, southern section of Wightwick fields.
SUNDAY 9th DECEMBER
10am to 11.30am, dull, damp, blustery NW wind, rain later.
Black-headed Gull 300-plus on central grass area. Lesser Black-backed Gull 50 (including immatutes) on central grass area. Herring Gull 30 (including immatures) on central grass area. Greater Black-backed Gull One first-winter bird, on central grass area.