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 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).