Tuesday 11 July 2017

6th July - Sightings

RSPB - report of 3 Black Tern flying south 1.05pm (per RSPB) Also Dunlin, 2 Black-Tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper, Greenshank Jubilee Wetlands. Hobby, 5 Avocet Dosthill NR. Ringed Plover, 2 Green Sandpiper, 6 Oystercatcher Hall Lake (G Williams. S Atkinson et al)

5th July - Sightings

RSPB - 11 young Little Egret will fledge from 3 nests in heronry (per RSPB)

4th July - Sightings

RSPB - 2 Mediterranean Gull, 5 Avocet, 8 Redshank, Common Sandpiper Jubilee Wetlands (S Pick)
Ladywalk - 4 Peregrine (ad, 3 juv), Hobby (P Sofley et al)

3rd July - Sightings

Shustoke - Common Sandpiper, Oystercatcher, 50 Lapwing (P Forbes)
Kingsbury - 12 Black-Tailed Godwit Cliff Pool. Mediterranean Gull(ad) Canal Pool (S Cawthray)
RSPB - 1+ Garganey, Curlew, Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, 17 Black-Tailed Godwit, 5 Avocet, 7 Redshank, 6 LRP, 2 Ringed Plover (S Cawthray)
Ladywalk - Hobby, Green Sandpiper, 37 Lapwing, 3 Little Egret, 2 Teal, 2 Peregrine, Ringed Plover, LRP (P Sofley et al)

2nd July - Sightings

RSPB - 10 Black-Tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper Jubilee Wetlands. Green Sandpiper Hall Lake (J Allen et al)

1st July - Sightings

RSPB - Black-Tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper, 5 Avocet, 3 Broods Gadwall (8,8,1) Jubilee Wetlands. Avocet Hall Lake (TP et al)

30th June - Sightings

RSPB - 7 Black-Tailed Godwit, Curlew, new brood of 3 Redshank Jubilee Wetlands (S Pick)

29th June - Sightings

Shustoke - 4 Common Scoter (S Cawthray)
RSPB - 4 Black-Tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, 4 LRP (S Atkinson et al)
Ladywalk - Black-Tailed Godwit, Ringed Plover, 3 LRP, 4 Oystercatcher (P Sofley)

Wednesday 28 June 2017

27th June - Sightings

RSPB - Ruff, Dunlin, Green Sandpiper, 2 Black-Tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper, 10+ Redshank Jubilee Wetlands. 18 Little Egret roosted by river (S Pick, RSPB et al)
Ladywalk - Ringed Plover, LRP, 2 Oystercatcher, 68 Lapwing, 3 Common Tern, 3 Little Egret, 2 Cuckoo, Hobby, 3 Peregrine, brood of 13 Gadwall (7th brood this year) (P Sofley) Also probable Bittern (per P Sofley)

25th June - Sightings

RSPB - Black-Tailed Godwit, 10 Redshank, 5 Ringed Plover, 3 LRP, 12 Avocet, Peregrine Jubilee Wetlands (J Allen et al) 6 Avocet again in evening Hall Lake. Also Green Sandpiper, juv Water Rail (S Pick)

22nd June - Sightings

RSPB - 6 Avocet (2ad + 4 yng), 4 Green Sandpiper, 2 Oystercatcher, Shoveler, Gadwall + 2young Hall Lake. 10 Redshank (inc 3 chicks), 6 Avocet, Ringed Plover, 3 LRP, Hobby, Cuckoo Jubilee Wetlands (S Atkinson, TP et al)

Wednesday 21 June 2017

20th June - Sightings

RSPB - Ruff, Green Sandpiper, 2 LRP (juvs), 3 Cuckoo Jubilee Wetlands (G Williams et al)
Alvecote - Common Sandpiper Railway Pool (R Smith)

19th June - Sightings

RSPB - Ruff, Snipe, 2 broods Avocet Jubilee Wetlands. Green Sandpiper Southern Meadow. Egyptian Goose + 1 young Dosthill NR (G Williams et al)
Ladywalk - 2 Great-White Egret, 8 Little Egret (4 juvs), 5 LRP (3 juv), 48 Lapwing, 56 Gadwall (inc 3 new broods (7,8,9) - 6 broods so far in total), 2 prs Shoveler (P Sofley)

17th June - Sightings

RSPB - Bittern reported somewhere (per RSPB)

16th June - Sightings

Ladywalk - Osprey high over reserve 14:50. Also 4 LRP (inc 3 juv) (R King per P Sofley)

15th June - Sightings

RSPB - 2 Hobby Dosthill NR. Hobby Fisher's Mill. All 8 young Avocet still present with the first brood now flying (S Atkinson)

Wednesday 14 June 2017

14th June - Sightings

Great-White Egret (Colour Ringed) - Adam Archer

Alvecote - Great-White Egret(colour ringed) Mill Pool. 3 Avocet Teal Pool (A Archer, R Smith, S Rose)

Monday 12 June 2017

10th June - Sightings

Cattle Egret (Adam Archer) and Red-Necked Phalarope (Steve Pick)

RSPB - RED-NECKED PHALAROPE(fem) Jubilee Wetlands till dusk (per RSPB et al). The first here since April 2000.

Of more interest Pochard and Egyptian Goose have bred on Dosthill NR (per G Williams)

Kingsbury - CATTLE EGRET Otter Pool 6.15pm-7.15pm (Alan Horsley et al) No sign 7.50 - 9.30pm (TP)

Alvecote - Corncrake until 07/06 only. Possibly 2 birds involved (A Archer et al)

Monday 29 May 2017

Sunday May 28th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: The Corncrake was still present today and called well into dusk, allowing many a chance to hear it after a mad chase over there. Thanks to Simon Rose for confirming it was still present and actually existed. Also Grasshopper Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat.

Ladywalk NR
A Curlew, six Little Egrets, seven Lapwings, two Oystercatchers, two Cuckoos (Pete Lichfield).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: There are eight Avocet chicks (two broods) present and probably due to fully fledge. Two other nests that were due to hatch in early June failed last weekend due to corvid predation and possibly flooding. A Little Ringed Plover nest nearby was successful (Steve Pick).

Shustoke Res
Cuckoo (James Kenny).

Sunday 28 May 2017

Saturday May 27th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: CORNCRAKE ; One today calling from Teal Pool (Roy Smith).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Sanderling  - One (Julian Allen).

Friday 26 May 2017

Friday May 26th

Still no major news as Summer takes a grip.

Last Friday's ten Warwickshire Bee-eaters seem likely to be the eight seen yesterday in Co. Durham. The Warks observer only saw eight once and thought two were down in trees so I might relegate the record to eight in the circumstances.

A Reed Warbler caught again at Ladywalk this week is at least 12 years of age and since first ringing as adult in 2006 it has been re-trapped in five different years. A well travelled bird.

Red Kites have begun to turn up the past few days. One in Meriden and Alvecote today. Late-May and June influxes are a feature of recent years. In 2015, 202 were seen over Nanjizel (Cornwall) on June 8th including one flock of 80. 166 were seen at another Cornish site the next day. Yesterday, 43 were seen at a Devon watchpoint and 50 went West in Cornwall in 3.5 hours. So tomorrow might see a few more WMBC records.

Tuesday 23 May 2017

Tuesday May 23rd

There have been few recent notable sightings apart from continuing good numbers of breeding warblers, odd records of Hobby and, it seems, a good showing of Cuckoos, compared to recent years. At Ladywalk, a new brood of six Goosanders appeared along the river and four pairs of Great Spotted Woodpeckers were very vocal whilst feeding young.

Today's news

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: A small inland movement of Sanderlings and Little Stints was reflected at Jubilee Wetlands. Two Little Stints, a Sanderling and six Dunlins were present mid-morning at least (RSPB).
Warks: A female Marsh Harrier flew south at Fisher's Mill at 1835hrs (Julian Allen).

Friday 19 May 2017

Friday May 19th

News for yesterday (18th)

Ladywalk NR
A useful ringing session provided three re-trapped Cetti's Warblers. Two Ladywalk birds were a female which was ringed as adult in 2013 and still survives plus a male hatched last year. The third was ringed at Tring (Herts) per Dave Clifton.

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: A Curlew was an unusual visitor for mid-May; it was chased off by Avocets. Also the same first year Little Gull seems to have returned and was on Jubilee north.. Three Dunlins too (Steve Pick).

Today's news

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Ten Avocets plus eight chicks were present plus a Hobby and two Cuckoos (RSPB).

A small number of Arctic Tern records were strung south-east - north west through Midland counties today. Perhaps Shustoke Res might be worth checking. 

Wednesday 17 May 2017

Wednesday May 17th

A rather wet day by all accounts.

Ladywalk NR
A presumed migrant Spotted Flycatcher was near B Hide today with three Cuckoos, including a rufous morph, two Water Rails and two drake Shovelers (Pete Sofley).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: The Avocets were effectively sheltering their young today. Also three Redshanks and a Dunlin (Steve Atkinson).

Tuesday 16 May 2017

Tuesday May 16th

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Sanderling, Turnstone, Dunlin and 12 Ringed Plovers on Jubilee today (Steve Pick, Tom Perrins). Also a second brood of Avocets appeared during the morning and by this evening there were three chicks and maybe one to come. The first brood of four are doing well (Steve Pick).

Monday 15 May 2017

Monday May 15th

Ladywalk NR
A brood of just one Goosander appeared on the river today. Normally pretty good at parenting, perhaps the other eggs were predated. Also a Hobby and five Black-tailed Godwits flew over (Pete Sofley).

Saturday 13 May 2017

Saturday May 13th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: Two Ravens and four Sedge Warbler territories were estimated around Teal and Mill Pool (Bob Duckhouse).

All breeding bird counts are gladly received by the County Recorders. Thanks Bob.

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Four Avocet chicks are present with Black-tailed Godwit and Dunlin (Adam Archer, Tom Perrins, Karl Sargent).

Reed Warbler by Dave Hutton

Warks: Two Dunlin were on Fisher's Mill today (Dave Hutton).

Friday May 12th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: Dunlin

Red Kite over to the east late afternoon (Steve Atkinson).

Kingsbury WP
Little Gull, presumably the Middleton bird, on Cliffe Pool (Steve Pick).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Three Turnstones, Greenshank, four Dunlins, two Common Sandpipers and Black-tailed Godwit. The first three Avocet chicks showed today, hopefully more to follow. Drake Garganeys were on West Pit and North Pit  (Steve Atkinson & Steve Pick).

A nice capture by Mark Priest
Incorrporating a slight drizzle of mud to celebrate today's Masterchef final

Warks: A Red Kite flew over the car park area at 1700hrs (John Harris).

Thursday 11 May 2017

Thursday May 11th

Ladywalk NR
A Wood Sandpiper mid-morning was a good bird at the Reserve (Richard King). Also Whimbrel through, two Teal, Ringed Plover and two Little Egrets (Pete Sofley et al).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: The wader pools are still attracting late migrants with some new and some birds from previous days.

both images by Steve Atkinson

Greenshank, Turnstone, Black-tailed Godwit, two Common Sandpipers, nine Ringed Plovers, two Dunlins, Wigeon and three Hobbies (Steve Atkinson et al).

Wednesday 10 May 2017

Wednesday May 10th

Alvecote Pools
Hobby (Bob Duckhouse).

Ladywalk NR
Egyptian Goose and Redshank

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Greenshank, five Dunlin, two Hobbies and three Cuckoos (RSPB). Wood Sandpiper, Turnstone, two Common Sandpipers and Little Gull this evening (Tom Perrins).
Warks: Snipe at Fisher's Mill (Tom Perrins).

Tuesday 9 May 2017

Tuesday May 9th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: The Shelduck family consists of four young. Also Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, three Common Sandpipers, Hobby and two Arctic Terns at 1215hrs (Simon Rose).

Ladywalk NR
Another bird missing from the Bird Race was a rather surprising Green Sandpiper. Birds in May usually arrive at the end of the month and are failed breeders returning south but today's is probably a very late non-breeder moving as far north as it feels like. This individual probably means that we will record birds in every month this year (Pete Sofley).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: A Whimbrel, Greenshank, five Common Sandpipers, three Dunlins and the Little Gul this evening (Steve Pick).

Monday 8 May 2017

Monday May 8th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: A Shelduck with three young today (Roy Smith).

Ladywalk NR
The Shoveler seen today would have been more useful on the Big Bitd Race day. Also similarly the Red-legged Partridge (Pete Sofley).

Dosthill Lake
Three Egyptian Geese (Geoff Williams).

Shustoke Res
A Whimbrel flew over and 300 Swifts were present for much of the day. 600 Swallows, 400 Sand Martins and 50 House Martins were present until mid- morning (Pete Forbes).

Sunday 7 May 2017

Sunday May 7th

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: A Black Tern was on Jubilee Wetlands this morning (Dave Hutton), increasing to four later. Also the Little Gull, four Dunlins and two Common Sandpipers (Steve Atkinson).
Warks: Black Tern at Fisher's Mill.

A Cuckoo (Sean Allison)

Saturday May 6th

Bird Race Results

Congratulations to the Middleton team for their winning score of 104 species. The list can be viewed at  http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=200195&page=108 Grey Wagtail to be added.

Within the Tame Valley, Ladywalk also competed and scored a very good 93 species, consistent with last years total.

Ladywalk NR
The day's highlights were: Greenshank, Redshank, Ringed Plover, four Dunlin, three Common Sandpipers, Water Rail, Hobby, an amazing early morning roost of 18 Goosanders (prior to dispersing along the rivers), two Teal and Otter (Team Ladywalk).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: A feature of the day at both of these sites was the very early start which enabled birders to connect with a movement of waders through the area, most of which had left by 0830 - 0930hrs. Highlights were 11 Grey Plovers, three Whimbrels, two Turnstones, Sanderling, Greenshank, 18 Ringed Plovers and seven Dunlins. Also c.500 Swifts over Dost Hill, Little Gull, Pintail and two rufous-morph Cuckoos were claimed. See list for full details.

By Adam Archer

Warks: A Great White Egret left the heronry (Team Middleton).

Friday 5 May 2017

Friday May 5th

Bird Race Day Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the Big Bird Race day across the WMBC area. If anyone wishes to join in, Tame Valley teams are competing at Ladywalk and RSPB Middleton. Of course there are other sites that could be covered eg Shustoke Res or Whitacre Heath NR too. Counts can be submitted via the usual channels for a placing in the League Table. Otherwise turn up and find birds at either venue to help out.

Kingsbury WP
15 Swifts which represents a significant increase on yesterday and still a fairly good total for the Spring thus far (Bob Duckhouse). But exceeded at 1845 hrs at Shustoke-see below.

Ladywalk NR
Common Sandpiper still (Pete Lichfield).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: A rufous-morph female Cuckoo was one of the best and most striking birds of the week. Also Little Gull still present. (David Taylor).

by David Taylor

Shustoke Res
The best total of Swifts this year in cool conditions at 1845hrs: 130 present (Simon Roper). Later a swift with aberrant characters including whitish rump and undertail and two Little Gulls (Mark Maddox).

Whitacre Heath NR
Cuckoo opposite Church Pool Covert.

Thursday 4 May 2017

Thursday May 4th

The Belfry
An Osprey was seen over the A446 this morning (M Hodson on Facebook).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: The Grey Plover and first-winter Little Gull are still present with 20 Swifts  (Steve Atkinson). This afternoon a Whimbrel was on Jubilee Wetlands (M Pittaway).
Warks: A Marsh Harrier flew west over South Meadow this afternoon and the Little Gull was on Fisher's Mill  (Bob Duckhouse).

Wednesday May 3rd

Alvecote Pools
Warks: Three Greenshanks and a Whinchat (Roy Smith).

Ladywalk NR
A Turtle Dove near the river at 1350 hrs was a pleasant surprise but no further sign. Also three Dunlin for a short time, two Common Sandpipers, Snipe, two Teal, two Shelduck and three Cuckoos (Pete Sofley, J & J Morris).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Grey Plover still, Little Gull, Common Gull, Pintail and Hobby Mark Priest, Tom Perrins). A pair of Cuckoos along the river, the female of which was a rufous-phase bird (Pauline Day).

Shustoke Res
Two Shelducks, two Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, three Little Ringed Plovers and 34 Common Terns and 30 Swifts (Pete Forbes, Steve Cawthray).

Tuesday 2 May 2017

Tuesday May 2nd

Seemingly just back to dribs and drabs after the busy weekend.

Ladywalk NR

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: The first-winter Little Gull was still present this morning as was the Grey Plover plus a drake Pintail (Steve Pick et al).
Warks: The Black Tern on Fisher's Mill wandered into Staffs in the evening and the Little Gull fed in Warks along the river. The river is often overlooked for this species (Steve Pick).

by Steve Pick

Shustoke Res
Arctic Tern mid-morning with far fewer Common Terns today.

Monday 1 May 2017

Monday May 1st

Alvecote Pools
Warks: Two Black Terns briefly, Arctic Tern through, Ringed Plover, Dunlin and two Black-tailed Godwits (Adam Archer, Tom Perrins).

Kingsbury WP
Two Black Terns and a first-summer Little Gull (Bob Duckhouse).

Ladywalk NR
Pintail (fem), Teal, seven Goosanders, two Common Sandpipers (Pete Lichfield).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Grey Plover, 10 Ringed Plovers, 16 Dunlin, a Ruff, three Common Sandpipers, Goosander two Black Terns, a first-winter Little Gull, Hobby, Stonechat, Wheatear and Garden Warbler (Pete Forbes et al).
Warks: The two Black Terns were on Fisher's Mill and maybe down at KWP too.

Shustoke Res
Four Black, one Arctic and 15 Common Terns (Dave Hutton).

Sunday 30 April 2017

Sunday April 30th

A good day in the Tame Valley. A blustery easterly or south-easterly wind resulted in the Valley scoring with a notable influx of waders and also enjoying the product of a national movement of Black Terns, with fewer, less widespread, numbers of Arctics too.

Alvecote Pools
Warks: Six Black-tailed Godwits, six Common Sandpipers, Wheatear, Common Tern (Jon Morgan).
This evening a first-winter Little Gull was on Railway Pool (Bob Duckhouse) and 17 Arctic Terns went NE through Mill Pool at 1825 hrs. Also two Ringed Plovers (Adam Archer).

Ladywalk NR
Nine Garden Warblers, Snipe, fledged Grey Wagtails (Nick Barlow, Pete Sofley). Dunlin, Ringed Plover and a minimum of four Whitethroats (Pete Lichfield).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: The early birders scored with a Spotted Redshank until 0830 hrs only (Rob Strong) ; three Bar-tailed Godwits, a Sanderling, five Black-tailed Godwits, three Avocets, four Dunlin, eight Ringed Plovers, Whimbrel, a Pintail and two Arctic Terns were all new arrivals (Tom Perrins et al). Later, another Whimbrel flew through (Paul Hyde) and a Grey Plover was reported. Also Whinchat and Wheatear still.
Warks: Whimbrel at Fisher's Mill (Tom Perrins).

Shustoke Res
Eight Black Terns on arrival increased to nine around 1230hrs and they were still present early evening at least, with a fairly constant 30 Common Terns throughout (SMH). Two Arctic Terns passed straight through (Roland Hopkins). Also two Hobbies (Dave Hutton), Raven and two Common Sandpipers (SMH) and four Little Ringed Plovers (James Kenny).

Black Terns
I arrived at Shustoke for a third visit at 1950hrs and noted the Terns flying in a tight non-feeding group. They went back and forth at the east end of the Res before rising gradually to 5-700 feet and appeared to leave in a north-easterly direction. At all times the birds were closely packed and took ten minutes before finally disappearing into the dusk at 2010hrs. Migration in action.

Saturday 29 April 2017

Saturday April 29th

Alvecote Pools
Staffs: White Wagtail (Roy Smith).
Warks: Five Black-tailed Godwits, Whinchat, Redstart, Hobby, Arctic Tern (Tom Perrins).

Ladywalk NR
Dunlin (Pete Lichfield).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Arctic Tern and five Common Terns. Cuckoo, Lesser Whitethroat (John Mathers).

Shustoke Res
Seven Swifts, 15 Common Terns Common Sandpiper.

Friday April 28th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: Three Whinchats, Redstart and four Black-tailed Godwits (Roy Smith).

Ladywalk NR
A Marsh Harrier through at 1215 hrs (DAD et al).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Two pairs of Egyptian Geese, two Whinchats, Cuckoo (Karl Sargent).
Warks: A minimum of four Grasshopper Warblers, Lesser Whitethroat (Karl Sargent) An Osprey drifted south at Fisher's Mill at 1630hrs (RSPB).

Shustoke Res
15 Common Terns, two Common Sandpipers and two Swifts.

Wheatears continue to be seen in small numbers at most suitable sites with exceptional numbers at some paddocks, bean fields and potato fields at higher altitudes.

Thursday 27 April 2017

Thursday April 27th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: The five Black-tailed Godwits are still present plua a Whinchat (Bob Duckhouse).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Garden Warbler, four Whinchats, Wheatear, three Yellow Wagtails, Arctic Tern, five Swifts, Egyptian Goose (various observers). Garden Warbler was present yesterday (Steve Cawthray).

by Paul Casey

Shustoke Reservoir
32 Common Terns, two Common Sandpipers, 300 Sand Martins

Wednesday 26 April 2017

Wednesday April 26th

Alvecote Pools
Staffs: Four Common Sandpipers at Pigs (Roy Smith).
Warks: Five Black-tailed Godwits still (Bob Duckhouse).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Four Whinchats, two Wheatears, Hobby and some kind birders (Claire Workman, Kevin Whiston).

Shustoke Res
30 Common Terns, Swift, c.600 mixed hirundines, White Wagtail, two Wheatears (Pete Forbes).

Tuesday 25 April 2017

Tuesday April 25th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: Three Whinchats, White Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail (Simon Rose). Five Black-tailed Godwit in the evening (per Adam Archer)

by Simon Rose

Ladywalk NR
Three Cuckoos, Common Sandpiper and 11 Common Terns through (Pete Sofley)

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Four Whinchats and two Wheatears at North end of Reserve (RSPB). Whimbrel and 11 Black-tailed Godwits (Staffs Bird News). Five Dunlin (Steve Pick).

Shustoke Res
33 Common Terns plus Swift this afternoon. Also Little Ringed Plover, Yellow Wagtail (Steve Pick et al).

A total of five Wheatears (Carl Hiles).

Monday 24 April 2017

Monday April 24th

Ladywalk NR
Hobby, eight House Martins, two Cuckoos, five Whitethroats, six Sedge Warblers, two Garden Warblers, two Shovelers, six Teal (Pete Sofley).

Middleton RSPB
Another Osprey was seen today over the river.
Staffs: 12 Black-tailed Godwits, six Dunlins and four Common Sandpipers on Jubilee wetland. Five Wheatears at North Pit (Dave Hutton, RSPB). Two Whinchats (Mark Priest).
Warks: Two Egyptian geese, 12 Oystercatchers (Geoff Williams).

Shustoke Res
Five Swifts, 200 Sand Martins, 200 Swallows and odd House Martins. 15 Common Terns, two Arctic Terns and fledged Grey Wagtails (Pete Forbes, Dave Hutton, SMH).

Warks: A total of 12 Wheatears, three Yellow Wagtails and Peregrine (Pete Forbes).

25-30 were spread across paddocks and rough areas in North Warks today.

Sunday April 23rd

Ladywalk NR
Two Cuckoos, Ringed Plover, pair Linnet and a male Wigeon (Pete Lichfield).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: 12 Black-tailed Godwits, five Dunlins, two Common Sandpipers, Cuckoo (Tom Perrins, Dave Hutton)
Warks: Black Tern (Julian Allen), Common Sandpiper, Lesser Whitethroat (Tom Perrins).

Warks: Whinchat, Wheatear (Pete Forbes).

Saturday 22 April 2017

Friday April 21st

Ladywalk NR
Cuckoo, White Wagtail, five Goosanders (Pete Lichfield).

by Pete Lichfield

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: 47 Black-tailed Godwits, two Dunlins, Common Sand and a few House Martins (Steve Atkinson)

Shustoke Res
17 Common Terns, two House Martins (Kevin Whiston).

Saturday April 22nd

Alvecote Pools
Warks: Grasshopper Warbler.

Ladywalk NR
Cuckoo and Common Sandpiper (Pete Sofley).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: 45 islandica Black-tailed Godwits, two Dunlins (Adam Archer).

Three Swifts over village (Kevin Whiston).

Wednesday 19 April 2017

Thursday April 20th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: A Common Sandpiper and two Wheatears (Bob Duckhouse).

Middleton RSPB

Pretty, pretty, pretty Good
Dave Hutton

Staffs: Sixty two Black-tailed Godwits were on Jubilee Wetlands this morning (Steve Pick), with 86 and then 93 this evening (Edward O'Connor). This follows an extraordinary 557 at Rutland Water (Leics) yesterday and 49 at Grimley (Worcs) this morning. The Green-winged Teal was reported as present, but briefly. Also Dunlin and Common Sand.
Warks: Swift over Fisher's Mill (Pete Forbes).

by Steve Pick

Shustoke Res
13 Common Terns and a Common Sandpiper (Kevin Whiston).

Wednesday April 19th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: Great White Egret on Railway Pool, Teal and Redstart Mill Pool area and Osprey reported over (Roy Smith).

Ladywalk NR
Three Otters on view today from Hide B. Also Grasshopper Warbler (Pete Sofley, J&J Morris). A Cuckoo again, from Hide B (Pete Lichfield).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Green-winged Teal flew in to West scrape early afternoon. Also three Black-tailed Godwits (Dave Hutton).

by Dave Hutton
Also Wheatear by East screen, two Grasshopper Warblers and two Egyptian Geese (Steve Atkinson). Two Green Sandpipers flew north (John Harris).

by Bob Duckhouse

Tuesday 18 April 2017

Tuesday April 18th

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Green-winged Teal : a drake on West Scrape early evening (Edward O'Connor). This species has been seen in the past three years in Staffs. Also two Whimbrels which flew south at 0730hrs. Five Black-tailed Godwits and two Common Sandpipers (RSPB). Greenshank on Jubilee (Karl Sargent).
Warks: An Osprey flew over Fisher's Mill into Staffs this morning (Pete Forbes).

Shustoke Res
13 Common Terns, two Egyptian Geese (Steve Pick).

Monday April 17th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: The male Redstart is still in the area known as The Dingles (David Taylor). Great White Egret still and a Swift (Roy Smith).

Kingsbury WP
Hemlingford area: 11 terns, including at least one Arctic, two Yellow Wagtails, and Sedge Warbler (Matthew Pollock).

Ladywalk NR
Great White Egret flew from the north and left south-east mid-afternoon. Also Cuckoo, upto five Goosanders and three Teal (several observers). Five Willow Warblers off the Reserve (Kevin Whiston). Late news of a Red Kite on April 9th (Anthony Butcher).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Three Whimbrels mid-morning (Geoff Williams). Also three Dunlins, three Black-tailed Godwits, three Common Sandpipers, four Yellow Wagtails. A passage group of eight Redshanks were on North Pit (Steve Pick). Three Grasshopper Warblers and five Swifts (RSPB).
Warks: Lesser Whitethroat at Fisher's Mill (Geoff Williams) Also Common Sandpiper and two Grasshopper Warblers.

Shustoke Res
15 Common Terns, 200 Swallows, 200 Sand Martins and 10 House Martins (SMH).

A suspicious character was observed and photographed at Middleton this evening, seemingly engaged in obsessive and close observation of breeding birds. Details have been sent to the appropriate authorities and other local Reserves. It is possible that he was on site last week too when similar behaviour noted.


Sunday 16 April 2017

Sunday April 16th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: Great White Egret on Mill Pool and Redstart nearby (Adam Archer). Also, Wheatear.

Dosthill Lake
Egyptian Goose, nine Oysercatchers and Common Tern.

Ladywalk NR
A surprise find today was a male Pied Flycatcher near Hide B (Pete Sofley). One of only a handful in the UK today, this was the second Reserve bird in two years after a female on April 30th and May 1st last year. Warks saw birds at an unprecedented, of late, six sites in Spring 2016. Also, four Common Sandpipers, Yellow & White Wagtail and a Whitethroat.

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Four Black-tailed Godwits and a Curlew
Warks: A drake Garganey at Fisher's Mill (Dave Hutton).

Pied Flycatchers

I wrote in 2014 that there were "no records again (in Warks) and that there were only seven records in the past five years". Similarly I gave the Kiss of Death to Greenshank records and after taking them out of a tabulated summary that year, there was a good series of records in 2015. Hence, I would like to think I am able to give the Kiss of Life to certain species and confidently predict another record Spring for Pied Flys. As always "Look to the Hills" for the best return.


A predicted north-easterly airflow, with overcast and cool conditions tomorrow might result in larger numbers of hirundines and the odd Little Gull or Arctic Tern, or maybe not.

Saturday 15 April 2017

Saturday April 15th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: Great White Egret and Common Sandpiper (Roy Smith).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Four Black-tailed Godwits and four Dunlin. Grasshopper Warbler, Whitethroat, Sedge and Reed Warblers (Steve Pick).
Warks: Two Egyptian Geese on Dosthill Lake (Geoff Williams). Three Garganey (two drakes) still at Fisher's Mill (Steve Pick et al). Also Osprey north at 1210hrs (Ken Summers) and two Pochards. In the heronry, four Little Egrets.

Friday 14 April 2017

Friday April 14th

Alvecote Pools
Staffs: A Great White Egret still at The Pigs (Adam Archer).

Bodymoor Heath
Two Wheatears, two Yellow Wagtails and a Corn Bunting over (RSPB).

Kingsbury WP
Three Common Terns, two Yellow Wagtails and 20 Pied wagtails (Matthew Pollock).

Ladywalk NR
Two Common Sandpipers, two Shelduck, Water Rail, Tawny Owl (Claire Workman).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: A possible hybrid Mediterranean x Black-headed Gull is on North Pit. Three Dunlin and four Blacl-tailed Godwits on Jubillee Wets (Karl Sargent).

West Mids: Three Wheatears plus three White Wagtails (Dean Baker, Carl Hiles).

Thursday April 13th

Ladywalk NR
Great White Egret flew through at 1325hrs plus a Common Sandpiper (Pete Lichfield).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Five Black-tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper, a second-summer Mediterranean Gull, Yellow & White Wagtail (RSPB).

Shustoke Res
Six Common Terns again (Kevin Whiston).

West Mids: Two Yellow & three White Wagtails (Carl Hiles).

Wednesday 12 April 2017

Wednesday April 12th

Ladywalk NR
Six terns over this evening, presumably Common, heading back up the valley from Shustoke. Egyptian Goose, Common Sandpiper and Wheatear today (per Pete Lichfield).

 by Pete Lichfield
Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Great White Egret , five Black-tailed Godwits.
Warks: Grasshopper Warbler at Fisher's Mill (RSPB).

West Mids: Two Yellow Wagtails, four White Wagtails and two Wheatears (Matthew Pollock).
Warks: Two White Wagtails, two Grey Partridge (Chris Doyle).

Tuesday 11 April 2017

Tuesday April 11th

Alvecote Pools
Staffs: Great White Egret at Pigs Pool still (Roy Smith).

Ladywalk NR
The first Reserve Reed Warbler now in with a drake Pochard on B Pools (Pete Lichfield).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: I've added a late record of Great White Egret for Sunday, the first for a while.
An Osprey flew north over both counties at 18.10hrs this evening (Arthur Warden). Eight Black-tailed Godwits earlier.

Right place at right time by Arthur Warden

Warks: Three Garganeys on Fisher's Mill again. Whitethroat on south meadow.

West Mids: "Several" White Wagtails (Geoff Williams) and two Yellow Wagtails (Carl Hiles). Seven Wheatears, five White Wagtails, 29 Linnets (Steve Cawthray).

Monday 10 April 2017

Monday April 10th

Kingsbury WP
Three Yellow Wagtails on the meadow by Church. 500 Sand Martins and 20 Swallows at Hemlingford.

Ladywalk NR
Four Black-tailed Godwits flew over seemingly without pausing (J&J Morris). Still a Common Snipe present.

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: The above group of four Black-tailed Godwits were seen at Jubilee Wetlands later (Mark Priest).

Shustoke Res
Six Common Terns late afternoon (Kevin Whiston et al).

West Mids: Four Wheatears by the pylon on Wishaw Lane (Carl Hiles).

Wheatears are present in good numbers at present but as usual the best chance of finding a few is to aim for higher ground and check ploughed potato fields or set a side stubbly fields. The small paddocks and sheep pasture which circle Shustoke Res will also hold birds.

Sunday 9 April 2017

Sunday April 9th

Alvecote Pools
Staffs: Great White Egret still.
Warks: Garganey still on Mill Pool, also Little Egret and eight Shelducks (Bob Duckhouse).

Ladywalk NR
A pair of Mediterranean Gulls was a great record for the Reserve, possibly a first (Ben Eaton).

Middleton RSPB
Seven Black-tailed Godwits, three Egyptian Geese and Wheatear (Adam Archer).

Warks: This evening a Sandwich Tern was found on the Silt Pool, reflecting other records today elsewhere in the Region (Julian Allen).
Staffs: Two Goldeneye and a Great White Egret on Dosthill NR (John & Pauline).

Saturday April 8th

Ladywalk NR
Otter and Redshank. 500 Black-headed Gulls (Ken Bentley).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Black-tailed Godwit still, with Willow Warbler nearby.
Warks: Drake Garganey at Fisher's Mill with Reed Warbler and Blackcap there (Steve Atkinson).

Friday 7 April 2017

Friday April 7th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: A Great White Egret was at Mill Pool and Railway Pool this morning with the Garganey still present & three Swallows  (Bob Duckhouse, Jon Morgan, Roy Smith).
Staffs: Two Peregrines, Raven, Great White Egret (Bob Duckhouse).

Kingsbury WP
Two Yellow Wagtails and 14 Pied Wagtails on Kingsbury Meadow (Matthew Pollock).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Black-tailed Godwit and Garganey (RSPB).

Rare Breeding Birds

Many birders do not realise the rarity of some of the species we sometimes take for granted in the Tame Valley. These species are generally in decline in the UK and can suffer disturbamce from birders, often unintentionally, but also through ignorance of their status and rarity.

If a species is frequently seen in the Tame Valley it almost without exception does not mean that there are similar populations elsewhere in the county. In the case of Willow Tit and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker the county population can be counted on less than the fingers of two hands. Please protect the few that remain.

I would, therefore, like to draw notice to the link below, which highlights the species most at risk. These species are reported to the Rare Breeding Birds Panel by the county recorders, to whom records should be sent, in confidence.


Thursday 6 April 2017

Thursday April 6th

Alvecote Pools
Warks: A drake Garganey was on Railway Pool today (Roy Smith)

Kingsbury WP
A Great White Egret on Otter Pool and the Greenland White-front is on Cliffe Pool (Steve Cawthray).

Wednesday 5 April 2017

Wednesday April 5th

Ladywalk NR
A Great White Egret spent some time on both main pools before leaving firstly to the south and then to north (J & J Morris et al).

Tuesday 4 April 2017

Tuesday April 4th

Alvecote Pools
Staffs: Two Great White Egrets were on Pigs Pool today.

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Nine Shelducks, two Egyptian geese.
Warks: Pair of Garganey still (Chris Vaghela).

Shustoke Res
Two Common Terns and two Shelducks (Pete Forbes).

Monday April 3rd

Kingsbury WP
A Common Tern on Hemlingford and 20 Pied Wagtails on the meadow (Matthew Pollock).

Ladywalk NR
Five Egyptian Geese, including the Shustoke four, two pairs of Goosanders, Curlew, two Little Ringed Plovers, two Oystercatchers (Pete Lichfield).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: A male Wheatear by the north pit. Garganey on Jubilee Wetlands with Ringed Plover and two Little Ringed Plovers. Sedge Warbler still by the screens (Karl Sargent et al).
Warks: Two Garganeys remain on Fisher's Mill (Karl Sargent).

by Mark Priest

Shustoke Res
Four Egyptian Geese, Common Tern and Oystercatcher. 100 Sand Martin and a Swallow in the evening (Pete Forbes).

Sunday 2 April 2017

Sunday April 2nd

Kingsbury WP
Common Tern at Hemlingford (following on from one at Marsh Lane NR yesterday) plus a Swallow (Dave Hutton).

Ladywalk NR
An early Common Whitethroat was across the river today. The average first arrival in the WMBC Region is currently April 7th. Also, five Blackcap, seven Willow Warblers, three Swallows, 67 Shoveler, 12 Wigeon, 17 Teal (Pete Sofley).

Middleton RSPB
Warks: Three Garganeys still (John Mathers).
Staffs: Four Little Ringed Plovers (John Mathers).
Other reports not assigned to a county, Scaup, and Sedge Warbler.

Shustoke Res
Probably a site first was the magnificent two Egyptian Geese flying over today. Also two Shelducks (Pete Forbes).

Rare breeding birds will not be advertised on this Blog and we would urge folk to not tweet about them or discuss them in hides etc. There are many active eggers in the Coventry area, especially, and we would not wish to put these, already threatened species, into further decline. Please think very carefully about publishing information and photographs on social media.

Saturday 1 April 2017

Saturday April 1st

Alvecote Pools
Warks: Two Great White Egrets on Mill Pool, six Swallows and a House Martin (Adam Archer). Redshank  (Bob Duckhouse).

Bodymoor Heath
275 Fieldfares by Dog & Doublet and Greenland White-fronted Goose near Water Park entrance but mobile (Dave Hutton).

Coton Lakes
Ten Swallows, five Willow Warblers, four Blackcaps and "hundreds of Sand Martins" (Dave Hutton).

Kingsbury WP
c.500 Sand Martins, three Swallows, three Blackcaps and two Willow Warblers (Dave Hutton).

Middleton RSPB
Staffs: Sedge Warbler near East screen (RSPB).
Warks: Three Garganeys still on Fisher's Mill with a female Goldeneye (Dave Hutton).

Shustoke Res
100 Sand Martins and four Swallows (Pete Forbes).

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).