September WeBS Day

  Chilly south-westerlies and cloudy skies meant shorts were a bad idea. Between 7:00 and 8:30 this morning a total of 57 Meadow Pipits battled southwards in little groups, the maximum being 10. A Yellow Wagtail flew north over Rudd Pool and may have landed on the marsh. The riverside willows and poplars were dripping with roving flocks of tits and a few crests as well as about 20-30 Chiffchaffs. The huge flocks of hirundines continue along the river too, skimming and swirling round the trees. The numbers were made up of mainly House Martins with smaller numbers of Swallows and about a dozen Sand Martins in the mix early on. All this of course attracted a Hobby and they quickly scattered.

  Out on the water, the duck numbers are slowly building up. 77 Gadwall and 53 Teal was nice to see though no Wigeon as yet and the Goosanders were absent today. Disappointingly not a single wader was to be seen, though I’m sure a few Snipe are lurking somewhere. The Kingfishers continue around B pools despite the grisly demise of their friend earlier in the week and it was good to see Little Grebes feeding chick(s) on Angling Pool this late in the year. Our crop field is coming along nicely (below), I can’t wait to see what takes advantage of this bird buffet.


Species List;

Little Grebe 14, Cormorant 12, Little Egret 3, Grey Heron 4, Mute Swan 21, Canada Goose 101, Mallard 155, Gadwall 77, Shoveler 8, Teal 53, Tufted Duck 12, Water Rail 2, Moorhen 29, Coot 79, Black-headed Gull 13, Lesser Black-backed Gull 2, Kingfisher 2.


Autumn All-Dayer

  A pleasure as always to take part in the West Mids All-Dayer on a glorious Saturday in early September. The weather though perhaps became too good as the day progressed, settled and sunny weather meant passage and movement was limited.

  Early on the thick riverside mist smothered the fields and so hiding the usual Barn Owls from us, though we still managed a total of 4 Tawny Owls and later a Little at the E.ON Meadows. A promising start over Bittern Hide included about 25 Meadow Pipits, 1 Tree Pipit, 2 Sand Martins and an early Siskin. Though we had to wait longer for a couple of Yellow Wags but the Swifts never appeared for us. Lesser Whitethroats were to be had up by the car park and the Hobby briefly appeared around midday after being absent on Friday.

  Out on the pools it was encouraging to see a pair of Water Rails with chicks at B pools. Adding this sighting to the records of broods in New Bay, Keyhole and North Pool Sluice suggests 3 or 4 breeding pairs this year, a brilliant breeding season for the species. Small numbers of most duck were present but no sign of any of the Wigeon seen earlier in the week. Ladywalk as always was lacking in wader variety, just the usual Lapwing, 4 Snipe unusually in Keyhole Scrape with single Green and Common Sands floating around.

   As for the gaps in our list, Garden Warbler was a bit of a shocker whilst our breeding Great Crested Grebes have inconsiderately left us. Yellowhammer, Skylark and Red-legged Partridge will hopefully become more reliable as we sow and develop our arable crop patches along the river. 

  Thanks go to the team, Pete Sofley, Steve Cawthray, John Allton, Pete Lichfield, Ken Bentley, Ben Eaton and Kevin Whiston.

Species List;

Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mallard, Gadwall, Shoveler, Teal, Tufted Duck, Goosander, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Hobby, Peregrine, Pheasant, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Snipe, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Feral Pigeon, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Tawny Owl, Little Owl, Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Sand Martin, Swallow, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Tree Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Marsh Tit, Willow Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Magpie, Jay, Jackdaw, Rook, Crow, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Siskin, Bullfinch, Reed Bunting.

84 species

Missed species;

Yellowhammer, Garden Warbler, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Barn Owl, Skylark, Cuckoo, Swift, Common Tern, Redshank, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Wigeon, Shelduck, Great Crested Grebe.