Sunday, 28 February 2016

Wagtails save the day

28th February 16        morning            mid section

cloudy,  3-7°c,  1023 mb,  NE 5-8 mph

 Met Ian on arrival at Meadow View, Fishermen on canal so we did the Paddocks. A pair of coal tit was found in the main paddock but little else, a splendid male pied  wagtail in breeding plumage was on the field to the east of our Wetland pool. Another coal tit this one singing from the eastern border of Barleyfield. We headed south to Wightwick Mill Lock and back along the canal without seeing much until we checked the Smestow behind the prefabs, where we were treated to a pair of grey wagtail feeding on the edges of the brook, Little grebe ended the day back at Meadow View.

Little Grebe 1+ S&W Canal
Green Woodpecker calls Compton Rough
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 >> over Sandfields
Grey Wagtail pair pair Smestow Prefabs,
Pied Wagtail 1♂ Wetland Field
Wren song mid section
Dunnock song mid section
Robin song mid section
Song Thrush song mid section
Long Tailed Tit 2 Barleyfield
Coal Tit pr Paddocks + 1 singing Eastern Border Barleyfield
Chaffinch 1 over Wetland Field
Greenfinch 1 singing Compton Allotments
Bullfinch 3♀ Annex Barleyfield

Friday, 26 February 2016

Lack sunshine lack birds and song

26th February 16          morning                mid section

hazy sunshine,   3-6°c,   1009 mb,     SE 5-8 mph

 A mini version of yesterday. Missing six species and numbers down, all I suspect down to the lack of sunshine.

Little Grebe 2  both approaching s/p  Squash Club,
Canada Goose 5 over NE mid section
Moorhen 1 Wetlands
Black Headed Gull 5 & 37 5 Compton Field,  37 Compton Park,
Stock Dove 1 singing Lower Alders
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 drumming Lower Alders
Wren 4 singing mid section
Dunnock 4 singing mid section
Robin 7 singing mid section
Song Thrush 1 singing Lower Alders
Long Tailed Tit 2 Shrike Bushes
Coal Tit calls Top Birches
Great Tit 2 singing mid section
Chaffinch 3 (1 singing) mid section
Greenfinch 1 singing Top Roses

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Standard fayre for February

25th February 16            morning                mid section

cold but sunny,  2-4°c,  1017 mb,  NNW 5-N 8 mph

A lovely sunny day with plenty of birds around although nothing special on view, all pretty normal for this time of year. Just one little grebe today, it's a little early for their departure so maybe they're north of my area. Two pair of coal tit in the Eastern Border of Barleyfield with both of the males singing, two siskin in the birch plantation at the top and a lone goldcrest there.

Little Grebe 1 w/p S&W Canal
Mallard pair Wetland
Buzzard pair over Barleyfield
Black Headed Gull 10+ Wetland Field
Stock Dove 1 singing Prefabs
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 drumming Compton Rough
Wren 6 singing mid section
Dunnock 4 singing mid section
Robin 13 singing mid section
Song Thrush 2 ( 1 singing) mid section
Goldcrest 1 Barleyfield Top Birches
Long Tailed Tit 2 pair + 1 Barleyfield
Coal Tit 2 pair Barleyfield Eastern Border
Great Tit 3 singing mid section
Nuthatch calls Barleyfield Annex
Jay 1 Barleyfield Top Birches
Chaffinch 1♀ Barleyfield Eastern Border
Greenfinch 1 singing Prefabs
Siskin 2 Barleyfield Top Birches
Bullfinch 2 pair + 1♂ Barleyfield

Monday, 22 February 2016

Goldcrest and Treecreeper chasing overhead whilst tree felling on Barleyfield

22nd February 16              morning                mid section    

partly sunny,  6-7°c,  1008 mb,  W 8-11 mph.  

 The Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust are continuing their management plans on the Barleyfield, so today I turned up to help out. They are thinning out the birch trees at the top and planting a greater variety of native tree and understory species like hazel and also ground plants such as primrose. Having a well earned tea break, we were treated to a display of three goldcrest chasing each other around and doing what comes naturally at this time of year, a treecreeper dashing from tree to tree and a pair of long tail tit quietly feeding above our heads. All in all a good way to spend a few hours. I'll be back next time two weeks today and would encourage anybody with some spare time to join us. It's great fun.

Little Grebe 4 S&W Canal
Mallard pair Wetland
Buzzard pair over Prefabs
Black Headed Gull 14 Wetland Field
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 Top Barleyfield Birches
Wren 4 singing mid section
Dunnock 4 singing mid section
Robin 11 singing mid section
Song Thrush 5 (3 singing) mid section
Mistle Thrush 2 (1 singing) mid section
Goldcrest 1+ Station Paddock,  pr + 1 chasing top Barrleyfield,
Long Tailed Tit 2 pair mid section
Coal Tit 1 singing Compton Rough
Great Tit 2 singing mid section
Nuthatch 1 Barleyfield Annex 
Treecreeper 1 Top Barleyfield Birches
Chaffinch 1 singing Station Paddock
Goldfinch 2 Shrike Bushes
Bullfinch pr + 1♂ mid section

Friday, 19 February 2016

moving north??

Some signs of birds on the move with redwing and siskin reappearing.
There have been a scattering of redwing sightings in the last few days anywhere from the orchard at aldersley junction down to wightwick but this afternoon a flock of 20plus was on the training pitch.
Also stock dove on the useless pitch where they seem to regular in the afternoon and a few gulls inc 3 lesser black back but nowhere near the 24 of 10 days ago on the other side of the access road.
Yesterday there were at least 10 siskin back at the pond where they have been for about a week and a handful of redpoll on the railway. 
Plenty of song yesterday morning about 8a.m.  with dunnock the most frequent and mistle thrush joining the party.  Strangely no robins but maybe they start later.
3 linnet were between Compton and wightwick on Monday seen on the way to pool hall where a common scoter had been reported.  It had been reported as a female but we concluded it may have been an immature male.
Otherwise a treecreeper reported from the puddle and one seen on the canal opposite the tennis courts but apparently no parakeet or kingfisher sightings for a couple of weeks.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Singing in the sunshine

11th February 16,    morning            mid section

mostly sunny,   2-7°c,  1004 mb,  S 4-SSW 4 mph

Plenty of bird song this morning in the sunshine, including a solitary stock dove in the old and defunct reedbed. Little grebe numbers seem to be falling off ( although I haven't checked the north end for a while ). Just three today, two winter plumaged birds by Meccano Bridge early on and on the return journey a w/p still at Meccano, a bird showing signs of summer plumage by the Tennis Courts and the other w/p bird now by Newbridge Wharf.

Little Grebe 3 S&W canal
Stock Dove 1 singing Graiseley Reedbed
Wren 3 singing mid section
Dunnock 3 singing mid section
Robin 17 singing mid section
Song Thrush 6 singing mid section
Long Tailed Tit 4+ Barleyfield
Great Tit 7 singing mid section
Greenfinch 3 Top Roses
Goldfinch 3 Shrike Bushes
Bullfinch 3♂ 3♀ Barleyfield

Playing catch up

fri 5th February 16    morning     mid section 

cloudy,  9-10°c,  985 mb,   SW 4-7 mph

Good to be back after a week off. Nothing particularly outstanding but a good mix of species, the best being three goosander over Compton Lock. The ground is much drier ( until it rains again I suppose??). Plants in flower, daffs,snowdrops,lesser celandine and  lesser periwinkle. 

Little Grebe 3 S&W canal
Goosander 3 flew N over Compton Lock then flew back S,
Buzzard 2 mid section
Moorhen 2 Wetlands
Black Headed Gull 21 Compton Field
Lesser Black Backed Gull 1 Compton Field
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1♀ Top Roses
Wren 1 singing Smestow Bridge
Dunnock 1 singing Meadow View
Robin 14 singing mid section
Song Thrush 4 singing mid section
Coal Tit 2+ Newbride Wharf feeders
Great Tit 3 singing mid section
Nuthatch 3 mid section
Chaffinch 1 singing The Paddock
Greenfinch 7 Top Roses


Playing catch up

sun 24th January 16    Pool Hall area

dull & o/cast, 12-13°c,  1023mb SW 13 mph

A trip to Pool Hall and area with Ian was mostly quiet but did give us a good size flock of fieldfare, redwing and starling on fields between Perton Mill farm and the sewage works numbering at least 300 birds. They were eventually flushed by a predator which we couldn't find ( probably a high over flying  peregrine  as we would have seen anything else ). Pool Hall pool was poor with just 5 tufted duck and a few coot and moorhen. A single shoveler flying over fields was maybe heading to Pool Hall. Two lesser redpoll (a scarce species this year ) was found on Wightwick Fields. 

Grey Heron 3 SE fields
Mute Swan 1 flew E over Wightwick Fields
Canada Goose 1 Pool Hall
Mallard 2 over Smestow Fields
Shoveler 1 flew SW over Smestow Fields
Tufted Duck 3♂ 2♀ Pool Hall
Buzzard 2 Wightwick Fields
Moorhen 1 Pool Hall
Coot 2 Pool Hall
Black Headed Gull 14 Pool Hall
Wood Pigeon 100+ flock Eastern Fields
Robin song Pool Hall area
Fieldfare c100 Perton Mill Fields
Redwing c100 Perton Mill Fields
Long Tailed Tit 5+ Wightwick Fields
Starling 100+ Perton Mill Fields
Greenfinch 10+ Wightwick Fields
Goldfinch 2+ Wightwick Fields
Redpoll 2 Wightwick Fields

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

More signs of spring

9th February 16          morning                mid section

sunny,  2-6°c,  985 mb,  SSW 4-SW 7 mph

  Five species of birds singing and more drumming from an unseen great spotted woodpecker, plus a pair of mallard back on the Wetland pool. Surprisingly the most unexpected sighting was a splendid male pheasant strutting around the field to the east of the Wetland pool. Severn siskin in the Alders around the Wetlands were good to get as they have been rather scarce this winter.

Little Grebe 2 S&W Compton
Mallard pair Wetlands
Pheasant 1♂ Wetland Field
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 drumming Barleyfield Annex
Wren 2 singing mid section
Dunnock 3 singing mid section
Robin 7 singing mid section
Song Thrush 6 singing mid section
Great Tit 4 singing mid section
Chaffinch 1♂ Top Barleyfield
Greenfinch 1 Top Barleyfield
Siskin 7+ Eddies Alders
Bullfinch 1♀ Barleyfield Annex