Thursday, 31 March 2016

A good tally this morning

31st March 16                 morning                mid section

sunny & warm,  3-7°c,  1015 mb,  NW 5-N 7 mph

 A treecreeper in Hanging Grds ( lower western border ) means I've had TC in all three of Barleyfield's wooded borders in the last few weeks. Plenty of song in the warm sunshine, including eight singing chiffchaff and a singing nuthatch. But no sign of any blackcap today. Should be here before the weekend is over.                                                                                                                                       A walk around yesterday afternoon found nine singing blackbirds.

Buzzard 1 over Valley
Moorhen 1 Wetlands
Green Woodpecker calls Tettenhall Ridge
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1♀ Annex Barleyfield
Wren 15 singing mid section
Dunnock 6 singing mid section
Robin 12 singing mid section
Blackbird 3 singing mid section
Song Thrush 5 singing mid section
Chiffchaff 9 ( 8 singing) mid section
Goldcrest pair + 1 mid section
Long Tailed Tit pair hanging Grds 
Coal Tit 1 singing Top Birches
Great Tit 3 singing mid section
Nuthatch 2 (1 singing) Annex Barleyfield
Treecreeper 1 Hanging Grds
Chaffinch 1 singing Station Paddock
Greenfinch 2 singing mid section
Goldfinch 2 Station Paddock
Bullfinch pair Hanging Grds

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

reasonable morning

4 singing chiffies 2 each in station paddock and just south of Meccano.
Lots of song thrush both singing and foraging often in pairs, minimum of a dozen birds but I suspect more a reflection of last summers good breeding season. Also good numbers of blackbirds including singing birds in paddock and on the field.
For the last few days have noticed the overflying Canada geese are going over in twos ?? Pairs rather than the normal flocks. Today also had a male goosander heading north east.
Shades of last year when two calling grey wagtail flew high over canal to land close to prefab weir.
And finally a superb male blackcap showed itself by the circular weir at Compton but did not sing
All observations in the mid section between 7.45 and 9.15

Monday, 28 March 2016

holiday weekend roundup

After the glorious weather on Friday a typical easter weekend with snow this morning. However managed to get over each day.
The paddocks have had the bulk of the chiffchaff records with 3 each day altho not all singing.  Additional singing bird today at meccano and calling bird yesterday at water bridge.
4 greylags overflew the paddocks reminding me that 7 did so last weekend.  they are clearly heading to west park and come from the direction of perton.
The water bridge also produced a female grey wagtail the only bird I have seen since the rooftop birds in meadow view which may with hindsight have been passage birds.
Compton lock area has produced 3 goldcrest and coal tit with a calling pheasant.
The wetland had 3 moorhen yesterday and an overflying grey heron today. If I hadn't been there would it have landed? Not if it had any sense given the opacity of the water. also the regular male pied wag.
2 siskin were by the tennis courts on Friday.
Finally a female blackbird at the buddleia bush showed a yellow bill, not that unusual but noteworthy.

Friday, 25 March 2016

1st singing chiffchaff

25th March 16               morning                  mid section

sunny & warm,   8-13°c,   1014 mb,   NW 10-SSW 9

 In the mid section that is,  ( gazz had 1 singing last Sunday at Dunstall Park). I was hoping for more on a lovely sunny warm day. A singing blackbird was also my first this year ( Ian's had song in his garden ) A pair of sparrowhawk soaring above Barleyfield was the best of the rest.

Sparrowhawk pair pr soaring over Barleyfield,
Buzzard 3 soaring Tettenhall Ridge
Green Woodpecker calls Tettenhall Ridge
Wren 8+ singing mid section
Dunnock 4+ singing mid section
Robin 9+ singing mid section
Blackbird 1 singing Station Paddock
Song Thrush 2 singing Barleyfield
Mistle Thrush 1 singing Top Birches
Chiffchaff 1 singing The Paddock
Goldcrest 2 pair mid section
Long Tailed Tit 1 pair Station Paddock
Coal Tit 1 Station Paddock
Great Tit 4+ singing mid section
Chaffinch 1 singing Station Paddock
Bullfinch pair + 2♂ mid section

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Chiffchaff again

22nd March 16             morning                  mid section

cloudy,   7-9°c,   1018 mb,   NW 3-6 mph

 The only noteworthy bird today was another chiffchaff, or maybe the same one as Sunday?  ( it looks very similar )( don’t they all ). Feeding just like sundays bird, on low canal side bushes. After watching a long-tailed tit taking nest material into a fir tree yesterday, I found another pair today on the Barleyfield nest building in brambles.

Moorhen 1 Wetlands
Pied Wagtail 1♂ Wetland Field
Wren 5 singing mid section
Dunnock 10 singing mid section
Robin 11 singing mid section
Song Thrush 3 singing Barleyfield
Chiffchaff 1 feeding on low vegetation on canal bank  Meccano Bridge, (looks like sundays bird)
Long Tailed Tit 2 pair mid section
Great Tit 3 singing mid section

Monday, 21 March 2016

Back to square one

21st March 16               morning                   mid section

cloudy,  6-8°c,   1024 mb,   WNW 7-10 mph

 No sign of yesterday's chiffchaff or any other migrants in cold cloudy unfavourable conditions with a north-westerly air-flow ( so no surprise there then). I heard a knocking from the trees between the canal and Smestow behind the prefabs on Henwood Rd ( which I've just christened Prefab Border) ( original err ). It could be a woodpecker or a nuthatch searching for insects, but it could also be someone in the prefabs doing some odd jobs. After a short wait, a female great spotted woodpecker revealed itself. A treecreeper was also in this small area.

Little Grebe 1 pale S&W Canal
Mallard 1♂ Wetlands
Buzzard 1 >> low W over Barleyfield
Moorhen 1 Wetlands
Lesser Black Backed Gull odds over mid section
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1♀ Prefab Border
Pied Wagtail 1♂ Wetland Field
Wren 11 singing mid section
Dunnock 1 singing The Paddock
Robin 10 singing mid section
Song Thrush 1 singing Lower Alders
Long Tailed Tit 3 pair + nest mid section
Great Tit 5 singing mid section
Treecreeper 1 Prefab Border
House Sparrow calls Meadow View
Goldfinch 1 singing Hanging Grds X
Bullfinch 2 pair + calls mid section

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Chiffchaff at last

20th March 16,          morning               mid section

cloudy,  5-8°c,   1028 mb,  N 5- ENE 7 mph

But is it from Africa? Or a british wintering bird moving north to breeding grounds in Scandinavia. Who knows?  Not singing or calling but feeding greedily in vegetation on opposite side of canal at Newbridge. But the star bird of the day must be a male kestrel, hovering high over Barleyfield. the first for almost a year.
  Made another visit late afternoon to see if chiffy would sing, refound bird by Tennis Courts but still not singing. Also had a female goosander fly north west high over Barleyfield and a female great spotted woodpecker on tree tops in Hanging Grds.

Little Grebe 2 1 s/p Squash Club,  1 pale Newbridge Wharf
Mallard pair Wetlands
Goosander 1 >> NW over Barleyfield
Buzzard 1 over Compton Playing field
Kestrel 1♂ hunting Barleyfield
Moorhen 1 Wetlands
Green Woodpecker calls Tettenhall Ridge & railway S of Barleyfield
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 drum Shrike Bushes,  1 flew over Prefabs, █ later pm 1♀ Hanging Grds,
Pied Wagtail 1♂ Wetland Field
Wren 11 singing mid section
Dunnock 6 singing mid section
Robin 14 singing mid section
Song Thrush 4 singing mid section
Chiffchaff 1 feeding from opp canal bank Newbridge, seen again 17:20,
Long Tailed Tit 7+ mid section
Great Tit 4 singing mid section
Nuthatch calls Tennis Courts
Chaffinch 1 singing Meadow View
Greenfinch 3 (1 zz ) Barleyfield
Goldfinch 1 The Paddock
Bullfinch 2 pr + 1♂ mid section

Friday, 18 March 2016

Still feels like winter

18th March 16          morning                mid section

dull,misty & cold,  5-6°c,  1028 mb,  ENE 5-NE 6 mph

 Cold and grey with misty fog, not improving all day. So was not surprised when the birding turned out just the same. The only bright spot was in the birch woodland at the top of Barleyfield. Met up with the two uni students who have been doing a survey of the birds in the middle section of the valley ( my sector ). We came across a tit flock ( reminiscent of winter activity ) that included coal and long-tail tits as well as goldcrest. We often get treecreeper,siskin,jay and great spotted woodpecker here and soon no doubt chiffchaff, blackcap and willow warbler.       

Little Grebe 2 S&W Canal
Moorhen 2 Wetlands
Great Spotted Woodpecker calls Top Birches
Pied Wagtail 1♂ Wetland Field
Wren 12 singing mid section
Dunnock 11 singing mid section
Robin 11 singing mid section
Song Thrush 3 singing Barleyfield
Redwing 6 Wetlands
Goldcrest pair Top Birches
Long Tailed Tit 5 + pr Barleyfield
Coal Tit 2 Top Birches
Great Tit 4 singing mid section
Bullfinch 2 pair Annex Barleyfield

Thursday update

17th March 16                morning                mid section

mostly cloudy, sunny by 11:00,  5-9°c,  1033 mb, ESE 6,

The male grey wagtail was on the towpath by Meadow View bridge but no sign of the female there or on the Smestow. A green woodpecker calling, not from Tettenhall Ridge as is normal but from somewhere near the Tennis Club or Wolves training pitches.Still three little grebe including the bird below Compton Lock, all in or very near summer plumage. A female sparrowhawk checking out the Barleyfield and adjoining playing field and the kingfisher seen by the weir were good to have, and the male pied wagtail on the grass east of the Wetlands still in splendid plumage. Singing coal tit at Meadow View finished a day that started in dull, cold conditions, in warm sunshine.

Little Grebe 1 s/p below Com Lock,  1 s/p Meccano Br,  1 nr s/p Sq Club,
Sparrowhawk 1♀ low over Barleyfield
Moorhen 1 Wetlands
Kingfisher 1 Prefab Weir
Green Woodpecker calls Tennis Courts
Grey Wagtail 1♂ Meadow View
Pied Wagtail 1♂ Wetland Field
Wren 11 singing mid section
Dunnock 5 singing mid section
Robin 13 singing mid section
Song Thrush 1 singing Barleyfield
Mistle Thrush 1 singing Tennis Courts
Long Tailed Tit 2 pair mid section
Coal Tit 1 singing Meadow View
Great Tit 6 singing mid section
Goldfinch 3+ 2 Meadow View,  c Compton Rough,
Bullfinch 2 Barleyfield

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The wait goes on

15th March 16              morning                mid section

mostly cloudy,  6-8°c,  1032 mb,  NE 7-10 mph

 The wind has turned northerly again after briefly going south then east over the weekend. This is maybe why our hopes were heightened and now dashed. The forecast for the next few days is continued northerly's. A pair of grey wagtail on the Smestow looks like the same pair Ian and myself had by the Prefabs at the end of Feb, if so they may be a breeding pair holding a rather long territory. The redwing and chaffinch are probably the same group from yesterday, count is a guestimate as only seen flying away through dense wooded area adjacent to Wetlands. The siskin was in the same area but seen perched up (behaving itself). 

PS  just seen Ian's post.  interesting grey wags. Yes I was also surprised to find a grebe below Compton Lock, only the second time this winter. ( I think )

Little Grebe 2 s/p 1 s/p Below Compton Lock,   1 s/p Meccano Br,
Buzzard pair over Barleyfield
Black Headed Gull 1 flew N over Compton Rough
Grey Wagtail pair Station Paddock
Wren 10 singing mid section
Dunnock 3 singing mid section
Robin 11 singing mid section
Redwing 10+ Lower Alders
Mistle Thrush 2 singing mid section
Goldcrest 2 Station Paddock
Long Tailed Tit pair Hanging Grds 
Great Tit 3 singing mid section
Jay calls Top Birches
Chaffinch 2+ 1 singing 2section
Siskin 1 Lower Alders

maybe not

An early morning visit this morning started with a female goosander flying south over the canal. It finished with 3 grey wagtail, including one male, together on the roof of the first house at the start of meadow view.  Its possible there could have been more as two seemed to fly off north and a few seconds later there were 3 again.
Otherwise little to report and no summer migrants. Two summery grebe were presumably the same as Geoff's two yesterday though unusually one was below compton lock which he has fruitlessly scanned all winter. The pair of pied wagtails were resplendent by the wetland and 5 bullfinch at the top of the field.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Maybe Tomorrow

14th March 16              morning                  mid section

mostly sunny,  3-5°c,    1036 mb,   ENE 10 mph

With a chiffchaff at Belvide yesterday and a sand martin at Alvecote Pools today I was hoping for movement on the patch this morning. I did find some, but of winter birds moving out, not summer birds coming in. The unusual sight of a mixed flock of redwing and chaffinch with a single siskin around the Wetlands. A treecreeper in the Eastern Border may have been the same one I had three weeks ago in the plantation at the top of Barleyfield.       

Little Grebe 2 s/p S&W canal Meadow View
Sparrowhawk 1 soaring Tettenhall Ridge
Buzzard 3 pair over Barleyfield, 1 to the north
Green Woodpecker calls Tettenhall Ridge
Pied Wagtail 1♂ Wetland Field
Wren 10 singing mid section
Dunnock 2 singing mid section
Robin 9 singing mid section
Song Thrush 2 singing Barleyfield
Redwing c20 in mixed flock CH  Wetlands
Mistle Thrush 1 singing Top Birches
Long Tailed Tit 2 pair + 1 Barleyfield
Coal Tit 1 singing Station Paddock
Great Tit 6 singing mid section
Treecreeper 1 Eastern Border
Chaffinch 3 singing The Paddocks
Chaffinch c5  c5 in mixed flock RW  Wetlands
Greenfinch 1 Hanging Grds X
Goldfinch 2 Compton Rough
Siskin 1 Wetlands
Bullfinch 2 pair Barleyfield

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Plenty resident bird song

13th March 16             morning                mid section

sunny & mild,  8-12°c,  1035 mb,  E 6-9 mph

  Looks like I will have to kick myself out of bed earlier now there's a dawn chorus starting to happen. At least three little grebe, one summer plumage, early morning heading north by Meadow View, another between Prefab weir and Meccano, seen from Compton Rough,  which we couldn't find fifteen minutes later on return from Compton Lock. Another two by the Squash Club ( 1 s/p + 1 partial s/p ) but can't be sure one of these wasn't a recount. A kingfisher near the grebes which eventually flew towards the Smestow in the Paddocks.

Little Grebe 1 s/p MV, (return) 1 N of weir,  2 ( 1 s/p + 1 p/s/p ) SqC,
Moorhen 1 Wetlands
Kingfisher 1 S&W Canal
Green Woodpecker calls Tettenhall Ridge
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 drumming    Aspine Way area ( heard from canal )
Wren 11 + singing min section
Dunnock 4+ singing min section
Robin 10+ singing min section
Song Thrush 3 singing Barleyfield
Mistle Thrush 2 Compton Field
Goldcrest pair Top Birches
Long Tailed Tit 2 pair min section
Great Tit 4+ singing min section
Chaffinch 2 singing min section
Greenfinch 3 min section
Bullfinch 1♀ Annex Barleyfield

Winter birds still hanging on

11th March 16          morning              mid section

hazy sunshine,  6-9°c,   1028 mb,  S 4-6 mph

 Good numbers of blackbirds still in evidence, probably passage birds, 9 black headed gulls on Compton Playing Fields and 4 little grebe on the canal at Newbridge still. The grebes may also be passing through. We cant tell whether they are different individuals or the same birds acquiring breeding plumage or indeed a mixture of the two scenarios. No sign of any summer migrants yet, the northerly winds of the last two weeks seem to be holding them up. 

Little Grebe 4 S&W canal
Mute Swan 1 S&W Canal near Meadow View,
Mallard 3♂ Wetlands
Buzzard 1 over Prefabs
Moorhen 1 Wetlands
Black Headed Gull 9 Compton Field
Green Woodpecker calls Tettenhall Ridge
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 Compton Lock
Grey Wagtail 1 Station Paddock
Wren 4 singing mid section
Dunnock 8 singing mid section
Robin 5 singing mid section
Song Thrush 2 singing mid section
Mistle Thrush 2 singing mid section
Long Tailed Tit 1 Meadow View
Coal Tit 1 Newbridge feeder
Great Tit 4 singing mid section
Jackdaw odds over mid section
Chaffinch 2 singing The Paddock
Goldfinch 2 Wetlands

Saturday, 12 March 2016

any day now

Morning visits for the last 3 days hoping for early migrants but not really expecting due to the wind direction until today. Nothing yet but the kingfisher showed on the smestow on Thursday and this morning. Pairs of goldcrest in the paddock and at wightwick. A peregrine on a SSE bearing this morning also.
Pair of mistle thrush yesterday over the paddock and a singing bird at Compton. 4 little grebe yesterday but none this morning.  Singing goldfinch at Compton and chaffinch in he paddock fewer blackbirds today but at least 2 in song as were 4 song thrush.

Monday, 7 March 2016

cawing and twittering

Northern section this morning and again blackbirds very prominent but no song and five of the first six female. I was walking the old railway so different terrain could it be that male and female birds forage differently. I also wonder if any are winter visitors still to head north.  Only one brief bit of song thrush song not much robin so soundwise the most prominent noise came from the took colony where there are now 5 nests and 15 plus birds. Most pleasing was a twittering sound near double pennant coming from a group of siskin.
Otherwise 2 little grebe and a very high, very pale buzzard over the racecourse.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

weekend roundup

A midday walk from new bridge to wightwick and back yesterday did not add much to Geoff's post.  A pair of raven as usual flying on a north east to south west heading going towards tin acre hill.  A pair of mistle thrush and a pair of goldfinch at Compton allotments were joined by 2 redwing.  No siskin in the valley but they are still very much in evidence in garden silver birch on the escarpment.
Today's star bird was a peregrine which was circling the new houses by St Edmund's. 2 grey wagtail at either end of my circular route a bright bird at the water bridge and a subdued one at Compton lock.  Plenty of song thrush sightings but not much song but the first full repertoire from a blackbird.  Goldcrest on the canal where there were 4 little grebe.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Ring neck Parakeet

5th March 16            morning               mid section

mostly cloudy,  4-5°c,  1001 mb,  NW 8-15 mph

  Very quiet today in cold raw conditions after what looks like heavy o/night rain. The ground is really slushy and slippery. The best I could muster was two silent ring neck parakeet flying high west over the Paddocks. Still three little grebe, two of which are almost in full summer plumage. A noticeable  increase in blackbird numbers, many feeding on the ground.

Little Grebe 3 S&W Canal
Buzzard calls Barleyfield
Ring Necked Parakeet 2 >> W over The Paddock
Grey Wagtail 1 >> NW over Top Roses
Wren 5 singing mid section
Dunnock 7 singing mid section
Robin 8 singing mid section
Song Thrush 2 singing Barleyfield
Mistle Thrush 1 singing Tennis Courts
Long Tailed Tit 1 Graiseley Cnr
Great Tit 2 singing mid section
Chaffinch pr + 1♂+1♀ mid section

Friday, 4 March 2016

residents forum

Lovely sunny day at 8am this morning shame it didn't last.  Plenty of bird activity especiallyin the paddocks. I saw at least 7 song thrush and heard 3 so that was healthy.  Blackbirds were also prominent but as in recent days only one female and even a little song. A mistle thrush sang at the wetland.  It was only nearly back at nnew bridge when I saw my only non resident a little grebe.
Talking of which 3 were in the northern section at the end of Feb, inc. Avery summery bird and a very wintry one. 2 kingfisher sightings for Feb both opposite tennis courts one on canal one on smestow. Finally reports of the parakeets in the usual spot.