Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Tuesday February 28th

Another blustery day with heavy rain midday and few birders out in the field.

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Great White Egrets were on Dosthill NR and also North Pit. On Jubilee a Ringed Plover and two Stonechats (Geoff Williams).
Warks: A Great White Egret roosted and ten Little Egrets were in the farm paddocks early evening. At the Silt Pool, 883 Starlings were counted (Steven Pick).

West Mids: Same Stonechat and Little Egret on Wishaw Lane, with the Egret now on the football pitch (Carl Hiles).

A Sand Martin was seen at Rutland Water today, one of four in the country over the past seven days. So maybe one in our area by the end of the week.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Monday February 27th

Middleton RSPB
Warks: A Bittern was seen flying from Fisher's Mill to the reed pool just to the north this morning (RSPB).

West Mids: A Little Egret along Wishaw Lane mid-afternoon (Carl Hiles).

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Sunday February 26th

Kingsbury WP
A Curlew, four Oystercatchers, 277 Shoveler, four Goldeneye and two Shelducks were on Cliffe and Otter Pools (Steve Cawthray).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Great White Egret, 13 Shelduck, 22 Lesser Black-backs and seven Stonechats on Jubilee Wetlands. Eight Goldeneye on Dosthill NR with five Goosanders on the river (Karl Sargent, Geoff Williams).
Warks: A Starling roost is beginning to assemble at the Silt Pool. At least 1,000 were present tonight and if past events are repeated we should see an increase to 10,000 in March (Steven Pick). These are migrants returning north and re-fuelling in our area.

Tamworth - Old Warwickshire Moor
Four Stonechats (three males) With thanks to Sean Allison & P Malys (?).

Whitacre Heath
A Stonechat present there too today (Katherine White).

West Mids: The regular Stonechat still at the muck pile (Carl Hiles).

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Saturday February 25th

Ladywalk NR
A drake Pintail, five Shelduck, three Goosander, 59 Shoveler, 72 Wigeon, 56 Gadwall and two Oystercatchers. Also a Willow Tit (Adam Archer).

RSPB Middleton
Staffs: Great White Egret on Jubilee Wetlands with two Little Egrets, 15 Shelduck, seven Oystercatchers, three Cetti's Warblers and four Stonechats. Chiffchaff at Dosthill NR and Egyptian Goose still north of North Pit with a Black Swan (Steve Atkinson).

I'm still hearing about new Stonechats arriving throughout various parts of Warks and West Mids at the moment. An early migrant ahead of the more obvious summer arrivals due in a week or two. I think there was at least one House Martin in the country yesterday; they get earlier each year.

Friday February 24th

Warks: The two Barnacle geese were still on Mill Pool today (Jon Morgan).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Great White Egret at Dosthill NR and a Chiffchaff by the river bridge (RSPB).
Warks: The heronry held 41 Little Egrets and two Great White Egrets this morning, the latter flying out at 0638hrs. Also two Ravens flew over (Steven Pick). At Dosthill Lake, Egyptian Goose and eight Oystercatchers (Tom Perrins).

West Mids: A Stonechat remains at the muck pile on Wishaw Lane (Carl Hiles).

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Tuesday February 21st

Kingsbury WP
Two Oystercatchers at Broomey Croft.

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: The Greenland White-front continues to wow at the north end but other species remain under-recorded. There were five Stonechats on site but no details as to where (per Birdforum).

The County Bird Recorders consult the information on the Blog in the absence of information sent in to them via traditional means, be that record cards or letters, phone calls, email/Twitter or more recently BTO Birdtrack. In the case of Middleton RSPB, we currently (unfortunately) have birds which fall into either of the two counties of Staffs and Warks (the reserve boundaries cover both counties with Warks having about two thirds of the reserve area). Unless the county is made known to us, records cannot be used for any purpose other than for the Blog and for RSPB internal planning; birds will be un-recordable and lost to the respective county databases. This seems a shame.

As well as the county recorders the RSPB too, appreciate knowledge of where birds are seen so may I make a plea for more information so that all parties can benefit. If anyone needs more information about the county boundaries give me a call or email/tweet. Thanks.

POSTSCRIPT: Thank you to Stu C who replied to my request for more info and we can now use his data. The five Stonechats were in Staffs.


Monday February 19th

Ladywalk NR
The Bittern re-appeared today at Hide B (Carl Seebode).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: The Greenland White-front and Egyptian Goose were still at the north end (Brian Stretch).
Yesterdays Black-headed Gull marked TENA was ringed as a nestling in Poland in June 2011. It has been seen at Kingsbury WP too and has also been seen near the ringing site again in June 2015. So coming up to its 6th birthday and seen 1380km from the ringing site. Thanks Steve Pick and quick work by the ringers in Poland.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Sunday February 19th

Ladywalk NR
A Mealy (Common) Redpoll was present with singing Chiffchaff and Redwing (Steve Cawthray).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Greenland White-front and Egyptian Goose still, 50 yards south of the swing bridge. 14 Shelduck was a good count and seven Oystercatchers. Black-headed Gulls are arriving to breed and at least 2000 were present with two Great Black-backed Gulls. A ringed Black-head had a letttered ring - "TENA". A Great White Egret was at Dosthill NR and Willow Tit and two Chiffchaffs too. Two Stonechats were around Jubilee Wets.
Warks: A Great White Egret was sat in the heronry as early as 1730hrs and five Lesser Redpolls were in the woods
Thanks today to Steve Pick & Karl Sargent for their precise recording, also Geoff Williams on Birdforum and Phoenixbirder on Twitter.

It seems as though Waxwing can turn up pretty much anywhere at present. With the lack of Rowan berries now, I saw 34 eating tree buds by Halfords on Kingsbury Rd at Tyburn and nearby, 50 were at Castle Bromwich at the same time.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Saturday February 18th

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: We could do with a fresh set of birds as it's getting a little predictable. The Greenland White-front is still present at the north end and two Great White Egrets were there yesterday 17th with one reported today, 18th. The Egyptian Goose was seen both days.
Yesterday, 17th, nine Goldeneye at Dosthill NR and two Oystercatchers at Dosthill Lake (Warks) Thanks to Steve Pick.
Warks: 32 Snipe dropped in to Fisher's Mill area.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Thursday February 16th

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Great White Egret, Egyptian Goose, Greenland White-fronted Goose . Six Oystercatchers, four Ringed plovers and three Stonechats. I suspect the Oystercatchers may have been at Dosthill Lake, clarification for County recording purposes would be appreciated (Pete Forbes, Geoff Williams).

In the words of Birdguides, two or more Waxwings at Halford Street today.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Wednesday February 15th

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: The Greenland White-front was at the north end with a Great White Egret nearby. Also a Stonechat. 500 Golden Plovers were over Jubilee Wetlands (Kevin Whiston et al).
Warks: A Great White Egret was at Fisher's Mill briefly before moving into Staffs.

Shustoke village
A Blackcap was in a garden on Castle Lane today.

32 Waxwings on Glascote Lane, near Wilnecote church (Twitter)

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Tuesday February 14th

Coton Lakes
The WEBS count today revealed a surprising 904 Tufted Ducks (almost the same as December). Perhaps there's life in the winter yet ! Also 134 Pochard, 124 Mute Swans, seven Shelduck and a Scaup (imm male on Lake 1B). Large numbers of Black-headed Gulls were packing together on Lakes 1A & B towards dusk, with a couple of thousand probably involved.

Middleton RSPB
Warks: A female Marsh Harrier was reported flying south over the carpark. If anyone can provide details it would be appreciated.
Staffs: Two Great White Egrets remain; one on North Pit and one at Dosthill NR (RSPB).

Monday, 13 February 2017

Monday 13th February


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I have also linked this from the blog.

Kingsbury WP
Today's WEBS count showed unsurprisingly that birds have greatly reduced since last month. The main species was very much Shoveler, with good numbers still at Cliffe and Otter Pool. 351 were present there and 25 were at the south end.
Other species of some note: Goldeneye 15, Great Crested Grebe 43, Gadwall (only) 25, Wigeon (only) 25, Tufted Duck 93, Oystercatcher 2 (Bodymoor Heath Water).

Ladywalk NR
Highlight today was an Egyptian Goose (yes, really). Also a pair of Mandarins on the river and two Oystercatchers (James Kenny, Pete Sofley).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Two Great White Egrets still present and a White-fronted Goose, maybe the same as last week, flew in from the south (Birdforum). WEBS highlights were 135 Shoveler, 14 Goldeneye, 195 Lapwing, 126 Coot, ten Shelduck and 13 Little Egrets. I will try and get these into a recordable format for the respective counties.

Shustoke Res
At dusk, ten Goosanders. No Gull roost apart from a few Black-headed.

An escaped Red-breasted Meadowlark (aka Red-breasted Blackbird, I believe) on the Kingsbury edge of Dosthill may cause an ID problem some day soon. One was apparently photographed in a garden on Saturday.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Sunday February 12th

Alvecote Pools
Staffs: A Great White Egret reported on the Anker west of The Pigs Pool (Birdguides). A Curlew flew south.
Ladywalk NR
The WEBS count was made in poor weather and a Black-tailed Godwit was a reward . It flew off early morning. Also, four Shelducks, 78 Teal, 57 Gadwall, 40 Shoveler and 35 Wigeon (Ben Eaton).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Two Great White Egrets and a Curlew (briefly)were on Jubilee Wetland (Geoff Williams).

c.30 Waxwings this afternoon by Mr Tyre on Campion Drive, Ketlebrook (Mark Priest).

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Saturday 11th February

Alvecote Pools
Seven Little Egrets but otherwise quiet (Bob Duckhouse).

Ladywalk NR
A female Mandarin and 1-2 Bitterns are still present but rather elusive.

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Some late news for Friday 10th: A Red Kite and two Stonechats were also present (Mark Priest).

Greenland White-front taken yesterday by Mark Priest
Staffs: Today at the reserve there is no sign of the Greenland White-front amongst 280 Greylags. Two Great White Egrets, three Oystercatchers and a Ringed Plover were present (Steve Atkinson & Tom Perrins).
Warks: Four Oystercatchers were around Dosthill Lake (Tom Perrins).

Friday, 10 February 2017

Friday February 10th

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: The Greenland White-front was best viewed from the canal towpath earlier today. Also a Great White Egret, Ringed Plover (Julian Allen)

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Thursday February 9th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: Two Whooper Swans reported today and no sign of the Great White Egret since February 3rd. That ties in with two being at RSPB Middleton also from 3rd (Roy Smith).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: The Greenland White-front was at the north end again. Also a Great White Egret, Dunlin, Ringed Plover (Julian Allen) and a Common Sandpiper (Michael Pittaway).
Warks: A Great White Egret roosted at the heronry at 1717hrs with at least 43 Little Egrets (Steven Pick).

Greenland White-front by Julian Allen

Stonechat today by Steve Atkinson 

Some late news for February 5th (my fault)
Kingsbury WP
Three Oystercatchers and the Black Swan at south end (P Gurney).

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Wednesday February 8th

All Duck counters on standby please for the coming weekend #WEBS  Thank you !

Ladywalk NR
98 Wigeon and a female Pintail (Bob Duckhouse).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: The White-fronted Goose was present and is now thought to be confirmed as being of the Greenland race. Two Great White Egrets plus 11 Shelduck and Ringed Plover.
Warks: An additional five Shelducks were on Middleton Pool (all Steve Atkinson et al).

The Greenland White-front will become the sixth county record, if accepted, following the last, a three week stay at Belvide Res from November 26th 2013.

West Mids: 325 Golden Plovers (Carl Hiles).

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Tuesday February 7th

Ladywalk NR
A pair of Pintails this afternoon (Pete Lichfield). A Bittern was seen several times and as mobile best viewed from Riverwalk hide (Pete Sofley). Peregrine again on the pylons.

Monday February 6th

Kingsbury WP
On Cliffe and Otter Pools today, 490 Shoveler was a pretty high count (Steve Cawthray).

Ladywalk NR
A Peregrine was on the pylons . Down at the hides, no sign of Bittern up to 3pm at least.

Middleton RSPB
Warks: 44 Little Egrets left the roost this morning. The Great White Egret remained till after the Little Egrets and the observer left (Steven Pick).
Staffs: The White-fronted Goose remained on Jubilee Wetland and a Great White Egret, 300+ Lapwing, 260 Golden Plover, 11+ Shelduck.
A Red Kite flew south at 1045hrs (J & P Fincham). Any brighter weather just now seems to result in a Kite record in or around the Valley.

West Mids: 426 Golden Plovers were off Wishaw Lane (Carl Hiles)

Monday, 6 February 2017

Monday February 6th

Wally J Eley
As most will know Wally passed away over the Christmas/New Year period. There was a post mortem and now funeral arrangements have been released. This will be at Nuneaton Crematorium on Monday March 6th at 12 noon. (Address Eastboro Way, Nuneaton, CV11 6WZ) Donations can be made in lieu of flowers please and the beneficiary will be the RSPB at Middleton Lakes. The family will be very pleased to see you if possible.

Sunday February 5th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: A Pink-footed Goose was with the Canada Geese near Railway Pool (Roy Smith). Barn Owl nearby at dusk (Simon Rose).

Ladywalk NR
There was a Bittern close in to B Hide today. Often too close. This unusual shot by Dave Hutton.

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: A White-fronted Goose was with Greylags on Jubilee Wetlands (per Twitter). Two Oystercatchers and Ringed Plover still.
Warks: The Great White Egret roosted at the heronry at 1718hrs (Steven Pick).

Saturday February 4th

Ladywalk Nr
At least one Bittern but mobile. A drake Pintail was new in (Martin Weaver)

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: The first returning Ringed Plover with two Great White Egrets, 11 Shelduck, 13 Golden Plover and Oystercatcher (Steve Atkinson et al).

Friday, 3 February 2017

Friday February 3rd

Alvecote Pools
Warks: Two Barnacle Geese still and a Whooper x Mute Swan hybrid at Decoy Pool. A Great White Egret still.
Staffs: A Red Kite seen over Laundry Lane wood (Roy Smith).

Coton Lakes
A Red Kite flew south-west at 1235hrs and an adult Yellow-legged Gull roosted(Simon Rose)

Ladywalk NR
Two Bitterns were at B Hide again as was Mr Pete Lichfield. A Red Kite went over during the sunny part of the day; this was probably the Coton bird (Steve Cawthray).

by Pete Lichfield
Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Two Great White Egrets, Oystercatcher and 18 Golden Plovers (Steven Pick).
Warks: One of the two Great White Egrets ventured as far as Fisher's Mill (Steven Pick). Also the immature Scaup was there (as per Birdguides). At the heronry one Great White Egret roosted at 1702hrs with no others by 1735hrs (Steven Pick).

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Thursday February 2nd

Alvecote Pools
Warks: Great White Egret still (Roy Smith).

Ladywalk NR
Two Bitterns were at B Hide but not when the World Wetland Day guided walk visited (Julian Allen).

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Wednesday February 1st

Alvecote Pools
Warks: Great White Egret on Gilman's Pool. Also 20 Little Egrets, nine Goosanders and a Jack Snipe (Simon Rose).

Coton Lake
The Gull roost formed but few were present and they then dispersed. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was present for a time; most Black-headed Gulls moved off towards Shustoke Res (Alan Dean).

Hams Hall
The ringed 'Siberian' Chiffchaff was at the outfall for a short time. Alan Dean comments, "the call is okay.....the bird clearly lacks the evident olive and yellow livery of nominate Common Chiffchaff but the 'tan-brown and buff' hues of classic tristis are rather weakly expressed. It's a bird which requires a 'second look' to check that it meets the 'current criteria' ". Also four Common Chiffchaffs (Alan Dean).

Kingsbury WP
The regular Yellow-legged Gull at Bodymoor Heath Water has achieved February for the first time in many years http://deanar.org.uk/wmgulls/YlG/BHW/ylgstudies.htm (Alan Dean).

Ladywalk NR
Two Bitterns were present today (Pete Lichfield)
The image by Bob Duckhouse, below, seems on markings, to be the same bird as Monday, feeding below B Hide. Please approach the hide quietly and when in the hide do not speak loudly.

by Bob Duckhouse

A new Bittern, which we think arrived Sunday/Monday, toured the Reserve today and visited both main pools as well as the keyhole pool in front of A Hide. It found plenty of fish and the image below was well captured by Pete Lichfield.

by Pete Lichfield

Marston Fields
Green Sandpiper and 20 Wigeon (Alan Dean).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: An immature Scaup on Jubilee and three Stonechats (Geoff Williams). Also 450+ Golden Plover and at least 490 Lapwing. Great White Egret on the east side of Jubilee (RSPB et al).

World Wetlands Day - February 2nd

I am leading a party around Ladywalk NR tomorrow as part of this World event. Book through Tame Valley Wetlands Project  01675 470917     1.30 pm at the car park.     Limited availability