Monday, 28 December 2015

Parakeet the only highlight today

28th December 15           morning               mid section

cloudy,  10-11°c,   1014 mb,  SW 14

A brighter day than of late ( that's the weather not the birding ) and a good start with three little grebe from the old bridge on Meadow View and a robin singing, but the star was a calling parakeet in the large trees by the corner, it eventually flew and perched in the canal side trees of Station Paddock and then back again. It was still calling when I left for the Paddocks where I had it again, it left the area to the south. Two male pied wagtail by the Wetland pool and two redwing which flew from the Barleyfield Annex to Lower Alders and a female great spotted woodpecker flew to the trees between the prefabs and canal before going over Compton Rough to the railway trees were as good as it got today.

Little Grebe 4 S&W canal
Ring Necked Parakeet 1 Meadow View
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1♀ Prefabs
Pied Wagtail 2♂ Wetland Field
Robin 6 singing mid section
Song Thrush 2 singing mid section
Redwing 2 Barleyfield
Long Tailed Tit few Lower Alders
Great Tit 1 singing The Paddock

Thursday, 24 December 2015


Walk to pool hall yesterday produced little of note.
Best was 4 goldcrest all at different spots to the 3 had earlier in the week.
a complete lack of redwing which seem to have deserted the valley altho still being seen in the suburbs like reans and pendeford, suspect this reflects food supply and numbers of  ornamental roadside trees.
At the pool itself no coot and only 1, female, tufted duck but 6 shovellor and a water rail.  this is explained by the surprisingly low water levels on the bottom pool.
Two unringed adult female mute swans on canal on way back and 4 little grebe.
North today and 3 little grebe though I think duplication of 2 but no sign of the winter plumage bird.
Only other catch up is a flock of 25ish lesser redpoll in the stadium last week.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

A race around Dunstall Park

22nd December 15           morning              Dunstall Park

dull & cloudy,  13°c,   1006 mb,  SE 25 mph

 Don't tell Angus but I've been trespassing on Dunstall Park. Got my timing wrong though as there was a race meeting, which meant I only had an hour on site. Not to worry a quick walk to the pool was all I needed, one circuit round and i'm done. Plenty of gulls c500 mostly black headed, 24 canada geese ( and another two on the pool) a flock of c200 starling ( so this is were they all are ) and c60 lapwing  on the grass. On the water 2 shoveler, 13 teal, 3 coot, 1 moorhen and more gulls. Then a rush back to the hotel before I was trampled by racing horses.

Canada Goose 26 Dunstall Park
Teal 13 Dunstall Park
Shoveler 2♂ Dunstall Park
Moorhen 1 Dunstall Park
Coot 3 Dunstall Park
Lapwing c60 Dunstall Park
Black Headed Gull c500 Dunstall Park
Lesser Black Backed Gull present Dunstall Park
Song Thrush 1 singing Dunstall Park
Starling c200 Dunstall Park

Monday, 21 December 2015

grey geese and treecreeper

21st December 15           morning            mid section

cloudy, cold,  6-9°c,  1009 mb,  S  12-23 mph

Mid winter's day, the shortest day of the year and at least it was cold compared to recent mornings. Met Ian on the Barleyfield who had just had a cormorant flyover the Wetlands. Whilst stood in the middle of Barleyfield a stock dove landed not far away and 4 grey geese flew over to the north but to distance to identify down to species. We later had six little grebe on the canal, a treecreeper and about ten siskin by Double Pennant.

Little Grebe 6 S&W canal
Mute Swan 2 S&W canal Double Pennant,
Grey Geese 4 flying NE over Wolves Academy twds West Park, too far away to ID species,
Moorhen 1 imm Prefab weir,
Stock Dove 1 Barleyfield
Wren 1 singing Lower Alders
Robin 3 singing mid section
Goldcrest 1 Compton Lock
Long Tailed Tit few Double Pennant
Coal Tit 2 Newbridge Boat feeder
Treecreeper 1 Double Pennant
Chaffinch 1♀ Newbridge boats feeder
Goldfinch 2 Wetlands
Siskin 10+ Double Pennant
Bullfinch 2 mid section

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Unseasonably mild weather temps bird song and flowers 

17th December 15          morning                mid section

v/mild cloudy,  12-13°c,  1011 mb,  S 13 mph

  A barmy 12 degrees in a warm southerly breeze and it feels more like late autumn or early spring than mid winter. Which is probably the reason we have the same bird species day after day. We need some proper winter frost preferably with plenty of sunshine to move the birds around. The small finch flock flew around the Wetland site this morning but didn't settle, so I presume its the usual siskins with a few goldfinch. The usual three little grebe. A count of the mallard (19♂ 8♀) and moorhen (17 inc 3 imm) just to change my routine.

Little Grebe 3 S&W Canal
Mallard 19♂ 8♀  counted btw Compton Rd - Tettenhall Rd,
Buzzard 1 over Tettenhall Ridge
Moorhen 17 (inc 3 imm) counted btw Compton Rd - Tettenhall Rd,
Black Headed Gull 30 Compton Field
Lesser Black Backed Gull 1 Compton Field
Wren 2 singing Barleyfield
Robin 7 singing mid section
Song Thrush 2 ( 1 singing) mid section
Great Tit 3 singing mid section
finch flock c25 flew around WL before leaving to NW, prob same as mon/tue ie SK & GO,
Chaffinch 1♀ Eddies Alders
Goldfinch prob few in with SK flock  WL,
Siskin prob making up most of flock c25 WL,

Monday, 14 December 2015

Winter song and siskin flock

14th December 15          morning             mid section

cloudy, mild, 7-8°c,  1014 mb,  SSE 8 mph

Had Ians company this morning . The Wetland area provided most of the interest with a flock of 30 plus siskin feeding in the surrounding alders along with a few goldfinch and a couple of chaffinch. Two bullfinch here were the first of several more contact with this colourful finch. The mild weather tempted some bird song including robin (7), wren (2), dunnock (1) and song thrush (1).

Little Grebe 3 S&W Canal
Sparrowhawk 1♂ >> N over Tettenhall Ridge
Black Headed Gull 7 Compton Field
Wren 2 singing Barleyfield
Dunnock 1 singing Meadow View
Robin 7 singing mid section
Song Thrush 3 ( 1 singing) mid section
Long Tailed Tit c6 Last Tree Standing
Coal Tit 1+ Newbridge boats feeder
Chaffinch 1♂ 1♀ Eddies Alders
Goldfinch c5 Eddies Alders
Siskin c30 Eddies Alders
Bullfinch 6+ mid section

catch up

This post is a round up of records additional to Geoff's regular postings and covers approx. the last 4 weeks.
Little grebe; not much to add other than I assume that my summery bird mentioned in his post I am assuming is the bird I regularly see at Aldersley junction. Although never seen in flight birds seem to move quite quickly up and down the canal.
Mallard; a survey of  the whole valley in mid-November produced 86 birds of which two-thirds were male.
Moorhen; the same survey produced a count of 66 birds of which only 25% were juveniles. This is surprisingly low but it was noticeable that the largest brood was 4 and there were few double broods, (in other years birds have been triple brooded and 6 was a common clutch)
Peregrine; a suspected juvenile male flew from the direction of the town centre quite low over my head at Wightwick lock on 16 nov.
Treecreeper a bird with a mixed flock on the old railway just north of the access rd to the aldersly stadium was the first for a while and possibly a second in the flock.
Much more interestingly a calling but unseen bird seemed to be in the adjoining gardens and sounded just like a lesser spotted woodpecker. this was early dec and will revisit when get chance.
Blackcap a female in the hole, sw corner barleyfield, at the end of the month -a male has been seen in crowther rd
Chiffchaff a fleeting glimpse of a possible by the canal feeders turned into a confirmed with mixed flock above old bridge.
Grey wagtail regular bird around old bridge/ area

Friday, 11 December 2015

Bit and pieces 

11th December 15         morning         mid section

cloudy,  6-7°c,  1019 mb,  SW 10 mph

The holy trinity of wren,dunnock and robin all in song greeted me at Meadow View, a trio that's been rare this year here, at least all singing. Also the pale little grebe swimming south under the old bridge, this one was picked up on the return journey at Meccano Bridge. The Barleyfield came back to life today after a few weeks of  hibernation, a redwing flew to the Alder plantation bordering the Wetlands pool ( Lower Alders ) to join a chaffinch, three siskin and two lesser redpoll, also here a moorhen feeding amongst the bullrushes. Another redwing at the top of the field with two greenfinch and in the nearby Annex four male and three female bullfinch a redwing and a single jay. The summery little grebe was back near the Prefabs weir and a winter plumaged grebe near the Tennis Courts. The garden feeders just south of Meadow View and the feeders by the moored boats at Newbridge boat yard was alive with coal tits ( hard to count as they continually fly in and out ).

Little Grebe 3 1 s/p ,  1 pale, 1 w/p,
Moorhen 1 Wetland, 1 imm Prefab weir,  1 imm Meccano Br,  3 imm Newbridge Boats,
Green Woodpecker calls  prob Tettenhall  Ridge, heard from BF,
Wren 1 singing Meadow View
Dunnock 1 singing Meadow View
Robin 6 singing mid section
Redwing 3 Barleyfield
Coal Tit 1+ Newbridge feeder,      4+ Newbridge Boats feeder,
Jay 1 Annex Barleyfield
Chaffinch 1♂ 4♀ mid section
Greenfinch 7+ mid section
Goldfinch 1 Compton Rough
Siskin 3 Lower Alders
Redpoll 2 Lower Alders
Bullfinch 12 mid section

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

A nice walk

8th December 15           morning              mid section

partly sunny,  10-11°c,  1016 mb,  SSW 13 mph

  Very quiet again, just one little grebe sums the day up. Although some species not encountered for a while including a calling green woodpecker,the buzzard and a couple of redwing. The finch flock flew around the Wetland just once and disappeared over Lower Alders, probably mostly goldfinch but you never know.

Little Grebe 1 w/p S&W Canal  tennis court
Buzzard 1 over Tettenhall Ridge
Moorhen few including 4 imm S&W Canal 
Black Headed Gull 17 Compton Field
Green Woodpecker calls Tettenhall Ridge
Robin 4 singing mid section
Redwing 2 Annex Barleyfield
Coal Tit 2+ Newbridge boats feeders
finch flock c15 Wetlands
Bullfinch 1♂ 2♀ mid section

Monday, 7 December 2015

Parakeets investigating nest holes

7th December 15         morning          valley

partly sunny,  12-14°c,  1022 mb,  S 10

Changed my routine today and covered most of the length of the valley. Three redpoll in the Paddocks but otherwise quiet as was the Barleyfield. The canal held six winter plumaged little grebe, but the summery individual from the weir was absent and no sign of Ian's ruddy coloured bird from a week or so ago. Calling ring neck parakeets from a small wood ( I won't say where just incase they breed next year ) turned out to be three birds high up in a dead tree with three or four large holes, which one of the birds was very interested in, nearly disappearing into at times. Occasionally being set upon by the local corvids. A short distance away another one was calling.

Little Grebe 6 S&W canal
Ring Necked Parakeet 3  in small wood  (1 investigating holes in dead tree  ),   another calling some distance away,
Wren 1 singing Meadow View
Robin 5 singing valley
Coal Tit 3+ Newbridge boats feeders
Nuthatch 1 calling Newbridge wood
Redpoll 3 The Paddock
Bullfinch 3 valley

Saturday, 5 December 2015

PUFF PUFF and i'll blow your house down

5th December 15          morning             mid section

cloudy, v/windy, 11°c,  1014 mb,  SSW 20-18 mph

 A very windy day and as would be expected little happening in the trees and bushes, just the odd sighting of dunnock, wren and blue tit but little else apart from bigger things like corvids and gulls. Only two little grebe this morning the summery one in its usual location near the weir, and over the canal the calls of numerous goldfinches from the Compton Rough roosting bushes, but not seen. The other grebe a standard winter plumage bird near the Tennis Courts. 
 The headline refers to proposed houses to be built on the old tree nursery site  (the WEC).

Little Grebe 1 (w/p) Tennis Courts,  1 (s/p) Prefab weir,
Black Headed Gull 27 Compton Field
Goldfinch calls Compton Rough  roost bushes,

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Another mixed bag

3rd December 15           morning               mid section

O/cast v/mild,  11-13°c,  1018 mb,  SE 4-S 10 mph

 The kingfisher seen twice was probably the highlight today, it flew to a perch below Compton Lock before flying off and a little later I had it or another fishing on the Smestow brook, from the bridge at Prefabs, it eventually flew north. A sparrowhawk high to the south of Barleyfield mobbed by two crows and later ether the same or another was briefly seen over Tettenhall Ridge, flying north. Just three little grebe today, the usual summery bird south of Prefabs and the two standard winter plumaged birds one either side of Meadow View bridge.

Little Grebe 3 S&W canal
Sparrowhawk 1  S of Barleyfield mobbed by 2 crows,  later 1 over Tettenhall Ridge,
Moorhen 1 imm Prefab Weir
Kingfisher 1 mid section
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1♀ Hanging Grds
Pied Wagtail 1 Wetlands Field
Robin 4 singing mid section
Redwing 1 over Wetlands
Long Tailed Tit 15 Barleyfield
Great Tit 1 singing Graiseley Reedbed
Greenfinch 3 Top Roses
Bullfinch 2 mid section

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

All the water birds again

1st December 15       morning            mid section

mostly sunny, mild,  11-12°c,  1019 mb, SW 9-12 mph,

All the action was again on the canal, two winter plumage little grebe together by the Tennis Courts and the summery one by the weir at Prefabs, where  a grey wagtail flew from the weir over canal to Graiseley brook and the kingfisher was flushed by a walker on the towpath passing over the Graiseley brook. I was on the bridge over the Smestow when it emerged from Graiseley to Smestow brook and flew north. So all three water birds within a few metres. 

Little Grebe 2 w/p Tennis Club,  1 s/p Prefab weir,
Moorhen 1 calling  Wetlands,  1 imm Prefab weir,
Kingfisher 1 flew N Prefabs Smestow
Grey Wagtail 1 Prefab Weir
Pied Wagtail 1 Wetlands Field
Wren 2 singing Mid Section
Robin 4 singing Mid Section
Great Tit 1 singing Station Paddock
Chaffinch 1♀ Graiseley Cnr
Greenfinch 5 Top Roses
Bullfinch 2♂ 2♀ Graiseley Cnr