Friday, 29 August 2014

A week on the barleyfield.

after the excitement of last Saturday a fairly quiet week. 
Geoff  had also been over last Saturday but about an hour earlier. It was interesting when we finally compared notes on Wednesday to see he had several willow warblers but only one whitethroat whereas I had the reverse.
This was born out this morning when on my way up one elderberry bush was replete with birds but they had all gone when I returned. Two whitethroat four willow warbler chaffinch bullfinch blue tit robin and blackbird were making short work of the fruit.
Talking of fruit which is early this year set me wondering how much will be left when the winter thrushes arrive, not sure I have seen blackbirds feasting on rowan berries in August before.
Geoff had had flock of 17 mistle thush at the weekend and I saw 8/9 flying south this morning. suspect they are the family parties assossiated with the three breeding pairs on the northwern bit of turners field just south of Compton.
Wednesday produced 6 swift and a raven over meccano/tettenhall college.
Monday a kingfisher on the canal by the tennis club.
Today 5/6 chiffchaff including a singing bird at the southern emd of the paddock.
Finally Geoff had picked up on an odd warbler on Saturday which briefly I had seen on Monday and Tuesday (and perhaps very fleetingly today.  We independently both reached the conclusion that it was a particularly grey garden warber, presumably juvenile but it also seemed unusually lethargic.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

The barleyfield strikes back

After a quiet few days this morning produced a good crop of migrants.  As I approached the bottom of the barleyfield 2 common whitethroat were sitting in a hawthorn bush and a swift flew south.
several other common whitethroat were seen giving a minimum count of 7 plus single lesser wthroat and willow warbler. 3/4 chiffchaff accompanied 9 or so blackcap in 2 group one in the hole at the top right and the other near the crossroads.
Highlight tho was the spotted flycatcher feeding by the crossroads which was a juvenile followed by  pristine female pied flycatcher which perched briefly on a dead bit of the oak towards the top of the field.
It was pleasing to also see a female kestrel hovering over the lower part of the field-far less common than in years gone by.  I had also seen a bird hovering over the lupin field at the beginning of the week.
resident birds were several jays a female grey wagtail at the water bridge several nuthatch and green woodpecker. the latter I had also seen earlier in the week with juvenile at meccano.
Also earler in the week 3 great spotted woodpeckers inc juvenile at tettenhall station.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

addendum to previous post

Given the wind direction not too much to add in terms of migrants.
3 swift over paddocks yesterday was good and a lesser white throat in north west corner of barleyfield feeding sedately low down.
the southern section produced swallow and house and sand martins the latter I suspect on migration but the others could have been local birds as certainly was the recently fledged whitethroat with a nervous parent.

as to resident birds kingfisher at wightwick and a juvenile buzzard with with 2 adults over Compton; seen again today with one parent over barleyfield and settling around ash hill. wonder where they bred? Otherwise lots of blackbirds which seem to have had a good year but no sign of the brood of 5 moorhen near meccano . hope they were hiding not predated.

Late item for last week was calling grey wagtail by meccano my first in valley for 4 months

today a solitary chiffchaff in paddocks in pristine condition

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

breeding and migration round up

Buzzard; seem to be two different juveniles in the north end of the reserve.
Sparrowhawk; judging by the mewling calls successful nesting as per last few yeaers in hawthorn wood
Moorhen; as often with this species a protracted breeding season, currently a brood of 5 near meccano with a brood of 2(maybe3) close by. Shortly we may see first brood birds feeding chicks.
had been disappointed in numbers reared so far but looking better now.  High rates of predation seem to occur is it rats or gulls or even something from underwater? Also are birds at the north end being pushed out by coots which seem to be spreading from town centre.
Swift; our birds seemed to leave about 24 July not sure about breeding success but numbers reduced on 5 years ago. Odd birds drifted through up till end of last week.
Migrant Warblers; picked up in the last few days the hot spot being the lower western boundary of barleyfield.  Plenty of common whitethroat, few blackcap, willow warbler in ones and twos and chiffchaff. Highlight this morning was a superb juvenile lesser whitethroat from same spot.
Waders; none as far as I know in the valley, just outside on the i54 pool off wobaston rd a green sandpiper in mid july and a wood sandpiper on the last day of july.
finally a common blue butterfly on the barleyfield was a nice spot this morning,