Tuesday, 30 June 2015

June round up

Geoff has been doing a great job keeping the sight updated so this is just filling the gaps with sightings when I have been on my own.
Garden Warbler; as he mentioned I found a bird on the canal towpath which called and flew to Compton rough, according to hollam young stay with female for a few weeks after fledging so was this a lone male?
Goldcrest; A family party with 3 young was in the hole (sw bfied corner) in the middle of the month and also a separate juvenile in the paddocks, likely to be on second brood now. (are the recent juv blackcaps also 2nd brood??)
Water Vole also mid month a vole swam across and disappeared almost beneath my feet at spill weir.
Large skipper and ringlet butterflies on the field.
A superb male broad bodied chaser on Saturday morning at the wetland suggests that the distant dragonfly 3 days earlier was a female of that species.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Another quiet morning

29th June 15           morning                  mid section

mostly cloudy,warm,  15-18°c,  1021mb,  W 4-WSW 8 mph

I've cut my visits down over the last week or so, trying to get down every other day but also taking the weather into account. Sunshine after overnight rain is usually best but as long as it's sunny that's o/k. Got it a bit wrong this morning, the forecast was for more sun. Lets see what the predicted heatwave over the next week will have in store.
              The only bird of note today was the pied wagtail on Compton Playing Field, it looked like a juvenile and if so its proof of local breeding. This happens every year, we pick up the odd adult during late spring and about this time of year a family party are found. Where they breed is a mystery.

Grey Heron 1 1 on tow path south of Meccano  Br,
Mallard 1 brood 1♀ Wetlands,   ♀ + 8 w/grown imm MV
Buzzard 1 over Barleyfield
Moorhen 1 imm Meadow View, 1 Wetlands,   pr+4 imm Prefabs, 1+1 imm Prefab weir
Stock Dove 1 Wetlands
Swift odds over Barleyfield
Pied Wagtail 1♀ type Compton Field
Wren 11 singing mid section
Dunnock 2 singing mid section
Robin 1 juv + 1 singing 1 juv Hanging Grds, 1 singing Squash Club
Blackbird 8 singing mid section
Song Thrush 2 singing mid section
Mistle Thrush 3 Compton Field
Whitethroat 1 Shrike Bushes
Blackcap 8 singing mid section
Chiffchaff 7 singing mid section
Long Tailed Tit 1 The Paddock
Jay 1 flew W over Barleyfield
Jackdaw odds over mid section
Greenfinch 2 singing Barleyfield

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Juvenile Treecreeper on Barleyfield

27th June 15          morning              mid section

sunny & warm,  15-18°c,  1018mb,  WSW 6-W 11 mph

A much better day than of late, with more singing and more youngsters showing in the warm sunshine and lighter winds. The highlight was a juvenile treecreeper basking in sunshine on a dead elder branch in the Hanging Grds, near by a male blackcap was feeding juveniles and what looked like a young jay flew across the Barleyfield. I met Ian earlier who had seen a garden warbler not very far away by the canal ( more from Ian later maybe ). Maybe from the Barleyfield family. The moorhen family at the Wetlands have increased to four youngsters with two adults. ( more on that at a later date ).

Mallard 1 brood ♀+ 8 imm Meadow View
Moorhen pr + 4 chk Wetlands,  1+4 w/grown juv Prefabs, 1+1 imm Prefab weir,
Stock Dove 1 Wetlands
Swift present 8+ over Barleyfield,
House Martin 2+ 2+ over Barleyfield,
Grey Wagtail 1 Compton Lock
Wren 10 singing mid section
Dunnock 2 singing mid section
Robin present mid section
Blackbird 8 singing mid section
Song Thrush 2 singing mid section
Whitethroat 3 (2 singing) Barleyfield
Blackcap 14 (10 singing) mid section
Chiffchaff 7 singing mid section
Treecreeper 1 juv Hanging Grds
Jay 1 imm > E  Barleyfield
Chaffinch 3 singing mid section
Goldfinch 1 Graiseley Culvert
Bullfinch pair Graiseley Culvert

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Very quiet again

24th June 15            morning                 mid section

sunny & warm, 13-17°c,  1019mb,  SW 6-8 mph,

A walk round with Ian but between us we couldn't conjure up anything notable. No sign of the young mallard at the Wetland pool even after a pair of mallard dropped in. The moorhen on the other hand still have 3 small chicks.
        Some selfish so and so has stolen a number of orchids from the Barleyfield, this not only denies others the pleasure of enjoying them but is also a crime.

Grey Heron 1flew W over Hanging Grds
Mallard pair Wetlands
Buzzard pair over Compton Field
Moorhen 2 broods 2 ad + 3 chk Wetlands,  1 + 1 ¾ grown juv Meadow View,
Swift odds over Barleyfield
Great Spotted Woodpecker calls The Paddock
Wren 9 singing mid section
Dunnock 2 singing Barleyfield
Robin few mid section
Blackbird 2 singing mid section
Blackcap 7 singing mid section
Chiffchaff 7 singing mid section
Chaffinch 2 singing mid section
Greenfinch 3 Barleyfield

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Dont call me if your gonna hide

21st June 15            morning               mid section

cloudy,occ sunshine,  12°c,  1016mb,   W 11mph

The only sighting (except I didn't see anything) was a ring necked parakeet that flew over the Paddock calling, I looked up and all round but couldn't locate it. A large bright green exotic bird with long wings and even longer tail, flying around  looking like nothing else up there, but I couldn't find it ( time to hang me bins up me thinks ) (no wonder I can't find a skulking night heron at Sankeys pool).
                 Paid a trip Belvide Reservoir this afternoon and guess what? yes that was dead too. Must be the time of the year.

Mallard 1 brood 1♀ + 8 juv (WL9) Meadow View,
Moorhen 1 juv Prefab Weir
Ring Necked Parakeet calls The Paddock
Wren 8 singing mid section
Dunnock 1 singing Station Paddock
Robin 3 singing mid section
Blackbird 10 singing mid section
Song Thrush 4 singing mid section
Blackcap 9 (8 singing) mid section
Chiffchaff 8 singing mid section
Long Tailed Tit 1 Central Scrub
Chaffinch 3 singing mid section

Friday, 19 June 2015

Move along their,nothing to see here

19th June 15          morning                mid section

cloudy,  11-13°c,   1023mb,     NW 8-11mph,

Very quiet today. great spotted woodpecker and grey wagtail the only species of note, no butterfly and not many insects to speak of. It's another two layer day in flaming june so that's why I supose.
          A mallard brood of 8 well grown juveniles near Tettenhall Rd bridges  may be the Wetland 9 ( one missing in action ).

Mallard 1 brood ♀+ 8 w/grwn juv ( WL9?)  Newbridge boats - Meadow View,
Moorhen 2 broods 1+2 chk Prefabs,  1 w?grwn juv Prefab weir,
Stock Dove 2 Wetland Fields
Swift odds over mid section
Great Spotted Woodpecker 2 (1♀) flew to tree in Paddocks, later pair flew across canal  to tree Meccano Br,
Grey Wagtail 1 Smestow Bridge
Wren 11 singing mid section
Dunnock 1 singing Wetlands,
Robin 2 singing mid section
Blackbird 7 singing mid section
Song Thrush 3 singing mid section
Whitethroat 3 singing Shrike Bushes, 2 Compton Rough,
Blackcap 9 singing mid section
Chiffchaff 7 singing mid section
Long Tailed Tit few mid section
Coal Tit 2 Meadow View
Jay 1 Top Barleyfield Roses
Jackdaw odds over mid section
Chaffinch 1 singing Station Paddock
Greenfinch 2 Top Barleyfield Roses

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Up with the larks again

17th June 15           dawn till early              mid section

o/cast,  11-15°c,  1023mb,  SW 7 - SSW 12mph, 

Those were the days when we had skylarks on the Barleyfield. We do still have plenty of other good songsters, blackcap seem to be doing well here and most other place's 13 singing this morning is amazing for this time of year, others singing well this morning include blackbird,song thrush,wren and whitethroat. Has anybody else noticed the mallards going into eclipse plumage. Also whilst talking to Ian in Station Paddock Ian picked up long-tailed tits flitting between trees and we counted 23 in all, so they are beginning to form flocks already.
             News came through yesterday afternoon that somebody ( we don't know who ) saw a rare heron a night heron flying over Sankey Pool Dimmingsdale, (just off our patch ) ,so Ian and myself  went over to poke about a bit in the evening ( these things are active at night ( the clue's in the name ).  We didn't find it.
              If the truth be known that's why I was here at dawn, you never know our tree and bush lined pool could be attractive to a small heron like this.

Grey Heron 1 >> E over Wetlands
Mallard 2♂ 2♀+1 chk Wetlands, ♀ + 4  ¾/grwn juv  Compton Lock, 2♀+ 2 dif age chks Sqash Courts,
Moorhen 1 brood 1 Wetlands,  1+1 chk Meadow View,
Swift 3+ over Station Paddock
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1♂ Station Paddock
House Martin 1+ over Station Paddock
Pied Wagtail 1 Wetlands Field
Wren 12 singing mid section
Dunnock 2 singing The Paddock
Robin 3 singing mid section
Blackbird 7 singing mid section
Song Thrush 6 singing mid section
Mistle Thrush 1 Compton Field
Whitethroat 4 singing Barleyfield & Compton Rough,
Blackcap 13 singing mid section
Chiffchaff 7 singing mid section
Goldcrest 2 Top Barleyfield Roses
Long Tailed Tit 23 Station Paddock
Chaffinch 4 singing mid section
Greenfinch 1 singing Top Barleyfield Roses
Bullfinch 1♂ Hanging Grds
Fox 1 Wetlands

Monday, 15 June 2015

Wetlands the only place to be

15th June 15             morning               mid section

sunny &  warm,  11-14°c,  1022mb,   E 7 - ESE 4 mph

Yes the rest of the mid section was pretty hopeless, but morgan's folly produced the goods. I spent 15 minutes just hanging around, in that time the moorhen had been seen toing and froing some distance away. On leaving I had to walk passed and was surprised to find the adult moorhen taking food to 3 little chicks, after more time checking if there were any more hiding away ( I couldn't find any ) I was ready. But wait! a duck mallard flew in to splash -down at the far end, I had to find out what was going on, I found it poking around a small low patch of vegetation then into the water to be followed by the only surviving chick. So she hasn't deserted after all. She only spent 10 minutes max before flying out again.

Mallard 1 brood ♀ returned for 5 mins joined by 1 chk  WL,
Buzzard 1 over Compton Field
Moorhen 2 brood 1+3 chk WL,   1+1 w/grown  Meadow View,
Swift odds over Barleyfield
Wren 8 singing mid section
Dunnock 7 singing mid section
Robin 1 singing Station Paddock
Blackbird 4 singing mid section
Song Thrush 3 singing mid section
Whitethroat 1 singing Shrike Bushes
Blackcap 7 singing mid section
Chiffchaff 8 singing mid section
Long Tailed Tit 5+ The Paddock
Jackdaw odds over mid section
Chaffinch 3 singing The Paddock

Sunday, 14 June 2015

It's all about breeding

14th June 15          morning             mid section

partly cloudy, 12-13°c,  1013mb,   NE 11- NNE 8 mph

No not us, the breeding birds ( and animals and insects and plants ) at this time of year. Trying to work out what species we have, how many, were they are, how successful with their nests their young and counting family's can be frustratingly mind boggling.
              The mallard family with 9 chicks from the Wetlands was easy we have tracked them from fledging, to relocating to the canal and they are still around and intact. The other brood of 3 chicks have proved recently to be much more puzzling. All was straight forward until last wednesday when 2 ad ♂ & 1 ad ♀ were all that I found ( maybe their in the reedmace)( that was my thought ) but on friday, I could find only 2 of the young,(no sign of the duck). Today down to just one duckling, Did the mother try leading her family down to the canal, there was a female with 1 chick there on wednesday, or have they been predated. who knows? and that's just the highly visible ducks, when it comes to keeping tabs on the much less obliging warblers and other small passerines it gets even more difficult.

Mallard only 1 chk Wetlands,  ♀+4 chk S of Meccano Br,  ♀+1 chk Squash Club,
Buzzard 1 over Wetlands
Moorhen 1+3 chk (lost 1) Prefabs,  1 w/grown juv Prefab weir,  1+1 chk Meccano Br,
Stock Dove 2 >> N over Barleyfield
Swift few Barleyfield
Kingfisher 1 >> N  Meccano Br
Pied Wagtail 1 Wetlands Field
Wren 10 singing mid section
Dunnock 3 singing Barleyfield
Robin 8 singing mid section
Blackbird 9 singing mid section
Song Thrush 3 singing Barleyfield
Mistle Thrush 1+ Wetlands Field
Whitethroat 2 singing Shrike Bushes
Blackcap 10 singing mid section
Chiffchaff 10 singing mid section
Long Tailed Tit 11+ Barleyfield
Chaffinch 3 singing The Paddock

Friday, 12 June 2015

Foxy surprise at the Wetlands

12th June 15           dawn till early               mid section

mostly cloudy, 10-13°c,  1014mb,  NE 8mph

Station Paddock ( the wooded area behind the old station ) is still loud with bird song at dawn, I could hear chaffinch singing from the canal bridge,was greeted by wren as I walked through the gate,then blackbird followed by blackcap,robin and chiffchaff all with in a few minutes, no less than three song thrush and a dunnock with more of each before I reached the gate at the other end. An area not much larger than a football pitch and full of life.
       I could only find two of the three mallard chicks on the Wetlands and no sign of mum. While on the walkway there a fox arrived, reedmace was between us so it didn't see me, I watched it for a short time and then it twigged, it stopped,looked and looked again, decided yes its one of those bipeds, turned slowly and slopped  off  but not with out a backward glance, as they do.

Canada Goose 1 below Compton Lock,
Mallard 2 broods 2 chks Wetlands,  ♀+2 chks Meccano Bridge,
Moorhen 1 Wetlands,  1+4 chk Prefabs,  1 w/grown juv Prefab weir,
Lesser Black Backed Gull 8 (6 imm) Compton Field
Wood Pigeon 35 Compton Field
Wren 17 singing mid section
Dunnock 2 singing mid section
Robin 5 singing mid section
Blackbird 3 singing mid section
Song Thrush 7 singing mid section
Mistle Thrush 3 >> S over Barleyfield
Whitethroat 2 singing Shrike Bushes
Blackcap 9 singing mid section
Chiffchaff 7 singing mid section
Long Tailed Tit 4 prefabs
Nuthatch calls  Meccano Br,   calls Newbridge Tennis Courts
Jackdaw odds over mid section
Chaffinch 3 singing mid section
Fox 1 Wetlands

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Yellow Rattle while birds sing

10th June 15          morning             mid section

sunny,still chilly early, 9-14°c, 1032mb, NE 9-E 11mph

Almost the first bird seen this morning was a juvenile nuthatch .( where did you come from?)behind the old station,now Cup Cake Cafe. One calling on monday was the only encounter with this upside down tree hugger since the late winter. The whitethroat pair again near Graiseley Culvert but not carrying food and further into the Shrike Bushes ( this is the area bordering the northern edge of Barleyfield, so named when  a red backed shrike was found here in june 2003). No sign of the 3 young mallard at Wetlands or on the canal,but a new brood of 7 small chicks was with the Wetland 9 on the canal by the tennis courts at Newbridge.
      Yellow Rattle is doing extremely well on the Barleyfield meadow,huge areas are now covered in this pretty little plant. I remember not so long ago in a recky party with prof Ian Trueman and some of the rangers, when Ian Trueman found a very small group of 3-4 plants and was overjoyed.

Mallard 2♂ 1♀ Wetlands,  Wetland 9 + ♀ + 7 small chk canal by Tennis courts,  ♀+1chk canal by Sqash Club,
Moorhen 1 Wetlands,  pr + 4 chk Prefabs,   1+1 w/grown chk Prefab weir,
Stock Dove 2 Barleyfield
Wren 9 singing mid section
Dunnock 5 singing mid section
Robin 2 singing Station Paddock
Blackbird 6 singing mid section
Song Thrush 2 singing mid section
Whitethroat 2 singing Shrike Bushes
Blackcap 10 singing mid section
Chiffchaff 8 ( 6 singing ) mid section
Goldcrest calls The Paddock
Long Tailed Tit 4 prefabs
Nuthatch 1 juv Station Paddock
Chaffinch 3 singing mid section
Greenfinch 2 singing Barleyfield

Monday, 8 June 2015

Nothing new but a pleasant day's birdin

8th june 15              morning               mid section

sunny, 10-13°c,  1036mb,  NW 12 - NNW 9mph,

After a day off in the Wyre Forest yesterday with Ian, it's back in the valley again today.  
        Not much new to report just plenty of breeding behaviour.Starting with our water birds, Mallards always confuse me about this time of year,keeping track of the various broods can be a nightmare, anyway, the Wetland 3 are still present, the Wetland 9 are also still intact and at noon today were near the Double Pennant, also in that area is a female with 3 well grown ( c 6 week old ) juveniles,(maybe the brood of 11 from 26 April,the 1st young of this year )  and finally a female with 1 chick c3wks old.( probably the one seen on/off by Meccano Br). The blackcap family from last weekend still seem to be fed by parents and the whitethroat pair at Graiseley Culvert still taking food to youngsters.

Mallard ♀+1 chk Meadow View, ♀+3 chk Wetlands, ♀+3 w/g chk Newbridge, Wetlands 9 Double Pennant,
Buzzard 1 over Barleyfield
Moorhen 1 brood 1 Wetlands,  1+1 chk  Meadow View,
Wren 10 singing mid section
Dunnock 3 singing mid section
Robin 3 singing mid section
Blackbird 6 singing mid section
Song Thrush 2 singing mid section
Whitethroat pr feed yng Graiseley Cnr
Blackcap 12 ( 9 singing) mid section
Chiffchaff 7 singing mid section
Long Tailed Tit 5 mid section
Coal Tit 1 The Paddock
Nuthatch calls Station Paddock
Chaffinch 4 ( 3 singing ) mid section
Greenfinch 2 singing Barleyfield
Goldfinch 1 Meadow View
Bullfinch pair Barleyfield
Peacock 2 Barleyfield
Small Tortoiseshell few Barleyfield

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Newbridge,   June 6th  2015

Sharp as sunlight, 
Swifts scream in
 It’s the beginning of June, yet only days ago the trees were bending in the face of unseasonably fierce blasts from the west.  The gales and driving rain at the start of the week have passed, and we’re into calmer, warmer days, but May was a stop-start month with no real run of settled weather. After an initial influx of early birds at the end of April migrants have been harder to monitor, with some up to a fortnight late arriving at their breeding grounds.  Resident species seem to be doing OK, and everything now depends on favourable conditions giving fledglings a chance to reach adulthood, and allowing new arrivals to catch up with the task of nesting . . .
A bright, high-pressure afternoon at Newbridge on May 11th, a stiff cool breeze typical of strange and unsettling weather as spring neared its end.  High in a cloudless sky there was the briefest gleam of sunlight on stiff brown wings, and the faintest of screaming calls as perhaps the most charismatic of our African migrants slanted away into the blue.  We are blessed with two pairs of Common Swift nesting in our road, and these birds were at least ten days late in appearing over the edge of the city.  Over the last couple of weeks they have been seen sporadically over their breeding site, appearing only when conditions allowed them to feed and pair up.  Adverse weather has perhaps forced them to find aerial insects elsewhere, and birds have been known to travel a hundred miles or more away from their nest sites in their quest for food.  Their stay in the UK is relatively short, and adults and youngsters will have normally departed by the end of August, so it’s important that our birds’ breeding cycle starts soon.
It’s the same late-arrival story this year for our other Newbridge eaves nesters, a single pair of House Martin first heard and seen on the evening of May 19th.  Just as the Swifts, they seem to have waited for warmer, calmer conditions in which to build or repair their gable-end nest.  At least two pairs are setting up at Dunstall Park, and birds have been seen over their nesting colony site at the nearby Farndale housing estate.  Resident species at Newbridge are already feeding fledged youngsters, with juvenile Robin, Long-tailed Tit and Starling seen, Blue Tit and Great Tit busy collecting caterpillars and other food from trees now heavy with leaves, and Goldcrest song from playingfield, garden and roadside conifers strongly suggesting breeding.  Nuthatch were feeding youngsters in a woodland tree hole at the end of May, glimpses of Treecreeper suggested breeding, but hopes of Green Woodpecker nesting have faded.  A male calling in the wood from early spring was seen excavating a nest hole in late March, two birds were calling at the site on March 25th, but the last contact was made in mid-April.  Great Spotted Woodpecker sightings have been few recently, but it’s more than likely that reports of red-headed youngsters will soon confirm local breeding.

Further north locally it’s been a bumper year for two migrant warbler species, with Chiffchaff and Blackcap nesting in numbers.  At least eight Blackcap were singing at Aldersley/Oxley on April 26th, and reports from elsewhere along the Smestow Valley suggest it may be a record year for the “northern Nightingale” (two fighting males were seen locked together falling from a branch by the old railway on April 21st).  Inclement weather meant Common Whitethroat were at least a week late in arriving, but numbers slowly increased at their Aldersley/Oxley stronghold.  At least nine were present on May 7th, but it has been another disappointing year for spring passage Sedge Warbler, with the only record two birds singing near the Birmingham Canal locks at Aldersley/ Oxley on May 5th.  A male Pheasant was seen at Aldersley/Oxley on April 23rd, four Common Buzzard circled over the Oxley railway carriageworks on May 11th, displaying Sparrowhawks were noted over Newbridge in late spring, and a female Kestrel hunted over the sloped grass fields just north of Dunstall Park in late April and early May.  At least two pairs of Linnet were seen regularly at Aldersley/Oxley in late April, and with birds seen carrying nest material, there is the possibility the species has bred in the valley for the first time since the early 1990s.

DUNSTALL PARK  passage records have been disappointingly restricted to a couple of female Wheatear on the central grass on April 29th (there was the unusual record of bird flying from the top of a tree on the northern canal boundary in galeforce winds on May 5th), single adult Little Ringed Plovers at the lake on May 24th and June 1st, and three Sand Martin flying low northwards over the nearby railway carriageworks at Aldersley/Oxley on April April 16th.  Canada Geese have failed to breed at the lake, and only three Coot chicks were visible there on June 1st...Their siblings may well have been taken by Lesser Black-backed Gulls, up to 15 of which have been visiting the lake regularly.  Around 30 of these city-nesting gulls, mostly adults, were on grass near the lake on May 5th.  Herring Gull have been thin on the ground and in the air, but three adults were over the site on April 12th and a first-winter bird was over the lake on May 24th.  The lake highlight this year has been the appearance of five Mute Swan cygnets, first seen around May 21st.  Their parents are the first of their species to attempt breeding at the site since 2010 when a pair built a nest but abandoned it soon afterwards.  The last successful nesting was in 2005 when only two cygnets of the six that hatched successfully fledged.  Little Grebe breeding is still in doubt, despite an adult-sized youngster being seen on May 19th.  Three adults were disputing lake territory on May 24th, and there is a good chance this highly secretive water bird may yet produce young.  The lake vigil by a lone Lapwing has come to nothing, despite the bird nest-scraping and displaying to another on the island on April 27th. 
Other lake records include a shoreline Snipe on May 5th, a male Teal and a male Shoveler on April 21st, a male Tufted Duck on May 24th, a brief reappearance by the Gadwall pair on May 11th, single adult Grey Herons on May 24th and June 1st, two Greylag flying south westwards on May 5th, and a male Reed Bunting on June 1st.  Two juvenile Grey Wagtails foraging on the shoreline on June 1st may have been fledglings from a Smestow brook nest further down the valley.  Young Starlings are now preening and resting with adults on lake island brambles, and House Sparrows have been foraging in lakeside sallows and taking food and building material to their nests on the Farndale housing estate.
Elsewhere on the racecourse at least two Barn Swallow pairs are nesting in the stables area of the racecourse, with two birds showing an interest in the Smestow brook culvert pipe by the lake, regular Pied Wagtail sightings around the hotel strongly suggest a pair is nesting there, and adult Rook are foraging with juveniles on the central grass after successfully breeding in the canalside oak copse on the north western edge of the site.

(NB.   Dunstall Park is a closed commercial site.  Access is strictly controlled).

Clever corvid’s on call . . .
On April 27th three Jay flew together low along the Staffs & Worcs Canal boundary at Dunstall Park, one of them making what can only be described as a “subdued Greylag” call.  This unusual record ties in with this colourful species’ proven ability as a mimic.  If you hear a Buzzard calling in spring, and there’s no sign of a flying raptor, check the bushes and trees nearby.  You may well have been fooled by this intelligent corvid.

PS   The valley’s second Cuckoo record for 2015 came on May 31st when a bird heard calling in Peasley Wood, Wightwick, was seen flying off towards the east.    A Tawny Owl was heard in the same wood early on June 4th.
PPS   Not a local record, but former Smestow Valley birder Frank Dickson glanced up as he took his dog for a walk near his home on the morning of May 29th and saw a Red Kite moving gently south eastwards over the centre of Bilston.  Who knows, a few minutes earlier the bird may have flown over our valley  . . .

Wind affected day but blackcaps take it in there stride 

6th June 15          early morning             mid section

periods of sun & dark clouds, 10-14°c, 1021mb,  SW 11-17mph

Not much moving or singing this morning in a cool breeze only blackcaps seem unaffected. A whitethroat was seen taking food to a concealed nest site in the bramble and nettle beds by Graiseley Culvert again, should be seeing young soon. The kestrel again hunting Barleyfield, also seen yesterday by a dog walker when it was mobbing one of our buzzards.Plenty of mallard & moorhen broods including the Wetland 9.

Mallard ♀+ 3 chks Wetlands,  ♀+1 sm chk  Meccano Br,  WL9 Meadow View,
Kestrel 1♀ hunting Barleyfield
Moorhen pr + 4 chks Prefabs,  1+1 w/g chk Prefab weir,  1+1 chk Meadow View,
Swift 1+ over Barleyfield
Swallow 1 over Shrike Bushes
Pied Wagtail 1♀ Wetland Fields
Wren 9 singing mid section
Dunnock 1 singing Graiseley Cnr
Robin 2 singing mid section
Blackbird 5 singing mid section
Song Thrush 1 singing Hanging Grds 
Whitethroat 1♂ c/food Graiseley Culvert
Blackcap 12 singing mid section
Chiffchaff 4 ( 3 singing ) mid section
Long Tailed Tit 3 only Barleyfield Western Border
Chaffinch 3 singing The Paddock
Greenfinch 2 ( 1 singing ) Barleyfield
Goldfinch calls Compton Rough
Bullfinch pair Barleyfield  Annex