Friday, 31 March 2017

Friday March 31st

Alvecote Pools
Warks: A Great White Egret has returned to Gilman's Pool (Roy Smith).

Coton Lakes
Six Blackcaps, 25 Sand Martins and a Goosander (Alan Dean).

Kingsbury WP
Two Goosanders, two Shelducks, eight Sand Martins, Willow Warbler and Willow Tit (Alan Dean). Along the canal from the Dog & Doublet the Greenland White-fronted Goose is still consorting with Canadas and is said to be "extremely tame" at present.

Ladywalk NR
At least four Willow Warblers, Green Sandpiper , two Little Ringed Plovers and six Lapwings (Pete Lichfield).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Two Great White Egrets were on Jubilee Wets this morning and two Willow Warblers by the river. Two Avocets , "many Sand Martins and a few Swallows" (RSPB).
Warks: Three Garganeys still at Fisher's Mill (Rob Williams, J & P Fincham). Swallow at farm.

Mmmm, Nice !
by Mark Priest

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Thursday March 30th

Ladywalk NR
Willow Warbler and two Blackcaps were fresh arrivals. An Egyptian Goose still present (Ken Bentley).

Middleton RSPB
Warks: A Firecrest was present in bramble by the canal at Fisher's Mill at around 10.00am (RSPB). The Great White Egret was at south meadow and three Garganeys were still on Fisher's Mill Pit as well as 20 Sand Martins (Karl Sargent, RSPB).

from Twitter - image by Bob Cooper

Staffs: A pair of Pintails were on North Pit (RSPB).

Shustoke Res
Blackcap singing was new in. Also 50 Sand Martins (Pete Forbes). 100 Sand Martins at 18.00hrs (Kevin Whiston).

Yesterday's wandering Great White Egret was also seen at the R Blythe bridge along the Shustoke Road at around 14.00hrs.(Pete Forbes)

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Wednesday March 29th

Alvecote Pools
Swallow (Bob Duckhouse).

Ladywalk NR
85 Shovelers, two Oystercatchers and a brief Great White Egret, which flew downstream at 1415hrs after 15mins on site (Pete Lichfield). Great White Egret is still scarce in the county away from Middleton Lakes and it seems another one has passed me by.

by Pete Lichfield

Middleton RSPB
Warks: Three Blackcaps and many Chiffchaffs in the wood. Three Garganeys on Fisher's Mill - two drakes  (Steve Atkinson).
Staffs: 100 Sand Martins were present this morning, with three Little Ringed Plovers and three Redshanks (Steve Atkinson). Also, thanks to J & P Fincham.

Shustoke Res
Five Little Gulls (three adults, two first-summer) were present , generally feeding at c.200 feet, at 1500hrs at least (SMH et al). Six Little Gulls later (Steve Cawthray). Six singing Chiffchaffs around the reservoir.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Tuesday March 28th

The gentle easterly with poor visibility remained overnight but by mid-morning at least, the reported wind is south-west. Continued easterlies could have prompted a repeat of yesterday's minor Little Gull event across the Midlands and maybe the odd Avocet too.
Nearby sites saw good numbers of Sand Martins with the onset of rain at 1630hrs (eg. 70 at Marsh Lane NR).

Ladywalk NR
Curlew and two Oystercatchers still, along with good numbers of Shoveler (150). Wigeon and Teal numbers are falling fast (Pete Lichfield).

Middleton RSPB
Warks: Two Great White Egrets were in the heronry this evening (Steve Pick).

Shustoke Res
The Little Gull was not seen mid-morning but was present earlier (Steve Cawthray). Little Gulls in particular often flycatch much higher over the reservoir and drop down periodically. A Swallow and c.30 Sand Martins were present at 10.30am (Pete Forbes). At 1915hrs, 40 Sand Martins and two Goosanders (Kevin Whiston).

Monday, 27 March 2017

Monday March 27th

A cloudy morning, with poor visibility and a gentle breeze, mainly from the east, produced a small number of Little Gulls across many of the Midlands counties. First thing rather more Sand Martins than of late were evident.

Ladywalk NR
Curlew, Green Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, and c.180 Shoveler, of which 160 were males (Pete Lichfield).

by Pete Lichfield

Shustoke Res
A cloudy morning resulted in the best arrival so far of Sand Martins; c.60 present and the two Shelducks. Later, a Little Gull, Goosander and Little Ringed Plover and in the village, a Wheatear (Pete Forbes).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Two Egyptian Geese, five LRP, four Redshanks, Dunlin and White Wagtail (Birdforum).
Warks: Great White Egret, the pair of Garganeys still and Blackcap (Bob Duckhouse et al).

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Sunday March 26th

Ladywalk NR
A Siberian Chiffchaff singing near the old Hide D by the old fishing pools this morning. I'm guessing it's been in the area since the last records, earlier this year (Dave Hutton). Also today three Egyptian Geese, 150 Shoveler, 13 Goosanders, seven Shelducks and Curlew (Pete Lichfield).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Two Great White Egrets, two Egyptian Geese, four Redshanks and a Little Ringed Plover seems to be a bit of a clear out from the past few days (Karl Sargent, Steve Pick).

Shustoke Res
Two Shelducks this morning (Pete Forbes).

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Saturday March 25th

Ladywalk NR
Two Egyptian Geese which flew north, Curlew, eight Goosanders, four Shelducks. On the river a Common Sandpiper near Car Park (Kevin Whiston).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: The Garganey, at Fisher's Mill first thing, were on West Scrape (Birdguides). Also, despite no sign in the morning, Black-tailed Godwit (s) reported. A Great White Egret was still present (Mark Priest).

Warks Great White by Mark Priest

Warks: Two Great White Egrets left the heronry this morning. One was photographed by the south meadow. Pair of Garganeys still on Fisher's Mill (Tom Perrins). Blackcaps were heard by the farm and at south meadow (Geoff A Williams et al).

Friday, 24 March 2017

Friday March 24th

Ladywalk NR
Egyptian Goose and Curlew (Pete Lichfield).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Two Knot, four Black-tailed Godwits, two each of Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers, three Redshanks, pair of Garganey, Great White Egret and Egyptian Goose (Matthew Pollock et al)
Warks: Ten Snipe at Fisher's Mill (RSPB).

Thursday March 23rd

Ladywalk NR
Curlew, eight Goosanders, six Shelducks, 140 Shoveler, 100 Wigeon, 60 Tufted, Pochard, 17 Chiffchaffs, 120 Linnets (Steve Cawthray, Pete Sofley)

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Great White Egret, 14 Sand Martins.
Warks: At Fisher's Mill the pair of Garganeys still (Pete Forbes).

Another bright breezy day, another two Red Kites near the Valley. More to come.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Wednesday March 22nd

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Great White Egret, six Little Ringed Plovers, Dunlin and three Redshank(Steve Atkinson).
Warks: Fisher's Mill - The pair of Garganey reported late for yesterday were still present but again un-reported until late in the day (our thanks for digging out the news, Steve Atkinson).

Tuesday March 21st

Alvecote Pools
Warks: Four Jack Snipe at Mill Pool with 12 Common Snipe (Bob Duckhouse).

Kingsbury WP
Four Egyptian Geese flew in at Cliffe Pool and four Goldeneyes (Bob Duckhouse).

"Lovely" image by Bob Duckhouse

Ladywalk NR
LRP, Barnacle, seven Goosander, four Greylag and Otter (Pete Lichfield, Pete Sofley).

Excitement at Ladywalk today

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: On Jubilee Wetlands, three Avocet, two Ringed Plover, one Little Ringed Plover, two Redshank and a Dunlin (Steve Pick).
Warks: Great White Egret in the roost with a possible second bird also present (Steve Pick). On Fisher's Mill, the pair of Garganey were present, but elusive (Richard Eyres).

Shustoke Res
Two Sand Martins, 12 Fieldfares over, two pairs of Nuthatch, Siskins (Pete Forbes).

West Mids: Possibly the same as yesterday, a Wheatear again (Carl Hiles).

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Monday March 20th

Church Pool Covert
A Blackcap, possibly a UK wintering bird alongside three Chiffchaffs (Pete Sofley).

Middleton RSPB
Warks: Two flocks of ten Sand Matins were seen at Fisher's Mill during the heavy rain this morning.

I sat in a hide for a few hours today hoping for some rain affected migrants but it was desperately uneventful.

LATE NEWS: On Saturday 18th, seven Egyptian Geese were reported at Tameside NR, Tamworth. Quite a large group hereabouts (Marion Parnell).

Monday, 20 March 2017

Sunday March 19th

Ladywalk NR
Curlew, Little Ringed Plover, three Oystercatchers, Redshank, Barnacle Goose, two Shelducks and six Pochards (Ben Eaton).

by Pete Lichfield

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: A pair of Garganeys, two Avocets, 2-7 Little Ringed Plovers, 2-6 Ringed Plovers, four Redshanks, three Oystercatchers (Arthur Bladon, Kevin Whiston et al).
Warks: Five Pochard and Goldeneye at Fisher's Mill. Great White Egret flew from the now favoured south meadow to Dosthill NR and then to roost at the heronry at 1803 hrs. 25 Little Egrets were roosting (Steve Pick).

The counts of ringed-type plovers differed between observers today so the above totals are best guesses.

West Mids: At last, a Wheatear. At top of Wiggins Hill Road (Dean Baker).

Ladywalk NR continue to fill their new Blog. Here is a link to Moths & Muntjacs

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Saturday March 18th

Coton Lakes
Twenty plus Sand Martins this morning (Dave Hutton).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Four Avocets were around later this morning after three initially. The pair of Garganey and now three Little Ringed Plover were present, as well as four Redshanks, three Ringed Plovers and a second-winter Yellow-legged Gull. Great White Egret seen flying south, possibly towards the south meadow. This evening, Great White Egret at Dosthill NR and Barn Owl on reserve (Steve Atkinson, Kay Donaghy, Dave Hutton, Steve Pick, Tom Perrins et al).
Warks: Egyptian Goose and ten Oystercatchers at Dosthill Lake and 13 Sand Martins just north of Fisher's Mill (Steve Pick).

by Steve Atkinson

A singing Willow Warbler slightly off patch was an excellent date for the Region today and yesterdays Swallow still looks to be a very good first arrival date in the context of other records, or lack of them, much further south. Another Wheatear arrival today, a few miles to the east of the valley. Brambling records appear to be on a slight increase with presumed migrants moving through. Ten were reported to me today at three sites, again just outside the valley. The feeders at Middleton Hall should get odd birds in the next week or two.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Friday March 17th

Kingsbury WP
The first Swallow in our area accompanied 32 Sand Martins at Bodymoor Heath Water today and 30 plus Sand Martins were still there later this evening. Little Ringed and Ringed Plover were in the area (Alan Dean, Matthew Pollock). Four Oystercatchers were also in the area.

Middleton RSPB
Warks: Great White Egret in the southern meadow. Also Jack Snipe, 12 Common Snipe and LRP there (RSPB)
Staffs: Three Avocets have returned  from their usual early spring forays around the Region and were back on Jubilee Wetlands with a drake and then a pair of Garganeys (drake seen yesterday. Thanks for report, Gill Lovatt). Also a Ruff (RSPB).

Shustoke Res
Three Sand Martins a Pochard and eight Redpolls (Pete Forbes).

It takes a colder, windier day to turn up a few birds after the warm, sunny weather and today was a pretty typical late-March day. First Swallow date is early again. In 2016, Shustoke Res and Brandon Marsh recorded one on March 24th and then no more until 27th, with singles at Alvecote, Brandon and RSPB Middleton.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Thursday March 16th

Ladywalk NR
The Barnacle Goose, 130 Shoveler, nine Goosander (15 yesterday), a Red Kite over and last but least, a Ruddy Shelduck x Shelduck hybrid (Steve Cawthray et al).

Middleton RSPB
Warks: A Great White Egret roosted at 1833hrs, when 20 Little Egrets were also present (Steve Pick).

It seems as though Severn Trent are preparing to install Pay & Display at Shustoke Res. We shall see whether the irresponsible dog walkers ignore those notices too.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Wednesday March 15th

Alvecote Pools
A Redshank.

Ladywalk NR
Two Ruffs a Dunlin and a Barnacle Goose signalled some movement at least (Pete Lichfield). Also a female Pintail and eight Shelducks.

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Late news: Little Ringed Plover still, four Redshanks, Egyptian Goose and a Stonechat (Birdforum).

Chiffchaffs are increasingly widespread today in all habitats. Sand Martins continue to arrive but in clear warm weather they are often only seen early or towards dusk.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Tuesday March 14th

Ladywalk NR
A brief visit to one hide recorded a drake Pintail, two Oystercatchers, c.six Goosanders and eight Sand Martins.

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: The first Little Ringed Plover of the spring was on Jubilee Wetlands and three Pochard remain at Dosthill NR (Geoff Williams).
Warks: A Great White Egret roosted at the heronry at 1825hrs (Julian Alen).

Monday, 13 March 2017

Monday March 13th

Bodymoor Heath Lane
The Greenland White-front was near the Water Park entrance (Julian Allen) There were no geese this morning.

Kingsbury WP
WEBS highlights: 135 Shoveler, five Goldeneye, 65 Tufted Duck. Very low numbers of other species.
I hear that at least one of the islands in Canal Pool has a number of rat burrows, which will affect the breeding Gulls, Terns and Oystercatchers etc. Hope they can be eradicated, they get everywhere.

Ladywalk NR
Three drake Pintails beautifuly captured below by Pete Lichfield. Ten Sand Martins over B Pools and ten Snipe (Ben Eaton).

Middleton RSPB
Warks: A Great White Egret was in the South Meadow again (DAD). At Fisher's Mill a female Bearded Tit was seen again (Steve Cawthray et al). No Avocets again.
Staffs: Adult Mediterranean Gull on Jubilee Wetlands. Dunlin and two Redshank on North Pit (Birdforum).

There was a Wheatear in south Warks today. I can't recall another yet this year. Wishaw ALERT.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Sunday March 12th

Coton Lakes
WEBS highlights: 599 Tufted, 37 Pochard, 88 Wigeon, 143 Mute Swans, 48 Great Crested Grebe, 229 Coot, ten Chiffchaffs.

Ladywalk NR
WEBS highlights: Two Pintail, 95 Teal, 111 Shoveler. 34 Wigeon, 52 Tufted, six Goosanders, Water Rail, 27 Moorhens, two Kingfishers, thre Ravens and 12 Chiffchaffs in song (Ben or Pete).

Middleton RSPB
Warks: A Great White Egret flew in to the heronry around noon today (Per twitter).
Staffs: No sign of Avocets. Four Redshanks, seven Oystercatchers, 16 Shelducks, two Cetti's Warblers on Jubilee and Cetti's and 17 Lapwing North Pit, with Egyptian Goose nearby (Steve Atkinson).

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Saturday March 11th

Alvecote Pools
WEBS Count : 78 Tufted, 40 Wigeon, 14 Gadwall, 25 Teal, 68 Coot, 21 Moorhens, 19 GC Grebes, five Little Egrets (Bob Duckhouse). Egyptian Goose and Black Swan earlier this morning on Mill Pool (Roy Smith).

Bodymoor Heath Lane
Three Little Egrets on the flooded pool near canal bridge (Dave Emley ,BEM).
The Greenland White-front was in fields near KWP entrance again (John Galletly).

Ladywalk NR
Two Oystercatchers, four Shelducks, six Lapwings and Water Rail (Pete Lichfield).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Egyptian Goose still at North End (Tom Perrins). Ringed Plover, three Avocets, 14 Shelducks and three Oystercatchers on Jubilee Wetland (Karl Sargent). Great White Egret still on Jubilee too.
Warks: Two Great White Egrets were in the roost this evening, the second in at 18.20 hrs. Plus a Barn owl there (Julian Allen).

WEBS Counters early night please !!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Friday March 10th

Ladywalk NR
A pair of Pintails yesterday with just the female again today. Also two Pochard and four Shelducks (Pete Lichfield)
by Pete Lichfield
Middleton RSPB
Staffs: We now have three Avocets plus a Redshank on Jubilee Wetland. A Great White Egret was in reeds at Dosthill NR (Steve Atkinson).

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Thursday March 9th

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Avocet, 11 Shelduck, seven Oystercatchers on Jubilee Wetlands
Warks: The usual Great White Egret was still in the south meadow.

Shustoke Res
33 Pochard, nine Goosander, five Wigeon, eight Gadwall and eight Mipits (Pete Forbes).

Whitacre Heath
A Barn Owl was seen near the village at 22.30 hrs (Ben Merryweather).

A few Brimstones and Small Torts and Peacock today, a lovely spring day, hence no Sand Martins (look up very high if you want to see one, they're up there).

Wednesday March 8th

Bodymoor Heath Lane, Marston
The Greenland White-front was in winter wheat again (Birdforum).

Middleton RSPB

Staffs: A Dunlin on Jubilee today.
Warks: Some of the Grey Herons have small young in the heronry and today, the Great White Egret chose to feed in the South Meadow (RSPB).

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Tuesday March 7th

Ladywalk NR
Female Pintail still on B Pool and Marsh Tit (Pete Lichfield et al).

Monday, 6 March 2017

Monday March 6th

Ladywalk NR
A brief visit to one hide produced four Shelducks, two Oystercatchers and around 13 Cormorants on nests.

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: A single Avocet arrived back to Jubilee Wetlands on the same date as last year apparently. Also four Oystercatchers, two Stonechats (J & P Fincham & RSPB).
Warks: A Great White Egret roosted in the heronry at 1820 hrs. Starlings were up to 1,200 at the Silt Bed with two Sparrowhawks in attendance (Steve Pick).

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Sunday March 5th

Alvecote Pools
Staffs: Oystercatcher at The Pigs.
Warks: Great White Egret . Two Stonechats at Railway Pool plus Chiffchaff (Roy Smith).

Bodymoor Heath Lane
The geese were fewer in number until mid-afternoon by which time they were distant and facing away. Thus no sign of the Greenland White-front.

Shustoke Res
65 Pochard and 93 Tufted Duck on fishing pool (Dave Hutton).

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Saturday March 4th

Warks: Yesterdays flurry of excitement regarding Cattle Egrets subsided early today with three or four Little Egrets seen feeding with cattle near Teal Pool.

Bodymoor Heath Lane
The Greenland White-front was feeding on winter wheat opposite the Water Park with other geese today (Tom Perrins).

Ladywalk NR
Continuing the fine run of Stonechat passage, seven were seen either side of the river at north end. Also, Pintail, 217 Wigeon, 92 Shoveler, 12 Shelduck, eight Goosander, five Chiffchaffs, four Cetti's Warblers, four Siskin (Pete Sofley).

Some late news for February: 16th Merlin (DAD), Bittern on 20th, 24th and 28th. Jack Snipe on 21st.

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Seven Cetti's counted plus four Stonechats, four Oystercatchers and a Great White Egret (Steve Atkinson et al). Egyptian Goose still at north end (Tom Perrins).
Warks: Stonechat and Cetti's Warbler at Fisher's Mill (Steve Atkinson). The Great White Egret was in the heronry roost at 1809hrs plus at least 40 Little Egrets (Steven Pick).

958 Starlings by Steven Pick
At the Silt Pool the Starling roost was captured beautifully, as above, by Steven Pick.

Some of you were requesting details about Walter J Eley's funeral so a reminder that the service will be at Nuneaton Crematorium on Monday at 12 noon. Also, afterwards, a get together is now confirmed at Oakridge Golf Club near Ansley roundabout on the Arley Rd, CV10 9PH.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Friday February 3rd

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Great White Egret, the first returning Redshank, five Oystercatchers and 90 Teal (RSPB).

West Mids: The regular Stonechat was on the muck heap (Carl Hiles).

by Carl Hiles

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Thursday March 2nd

Ladywalk NR
Slightly ahead of my prediction three Sand Martins flew through today, being five or so days ahead of recent annual arrival dates in the county. I will check this better when I can access my records (Pete Sofley).

Wishaw area
West Mids: 110 Golden Plovers were over fields behind Asda at Minworth (Carl Hiles).

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Wednesday March 1st

Ladywalk NR
Bittern again at B Pools and Main Pool. Also pair Pintail, eight Goosanders, six Pochard, a pair of Peregrines and four singing Chiffchaffs (Pete Sofley).

RSPB Middleton
Staffs: Great White Egret on Jubilee (John Osborne). Also four Oystercatchers and a really good 21 Shelducks (Steve Atkinson).
Warks: The best news for a while was the presence of at least one Bearded Tits on Fisher's Mill today. A female was seen at both ends of the reed bed after being flushed by a work party but Katie says there was definitely another bird too. Also a Dunlin flew over there (RSPB). A Stonechat and a Raven were in the same area (Steve Atkinson).

Whitacre Heath NR
Two male Stonechats from the Flash Hide (Paul Casey).