Saturday, 13 January 2018

Friday 12 January

Sandwell Valley

My son expressed an interest in going to the football on Saturday so Joy and I went over and purchased a couple of tickets, afterwards we popped into the Sandwell Valley seeing upto 12 Ring-necked Parakeets around the feeders plus a fine Brambling. We walked from here to hilltop in search of the Firecrest we saw before Xmas, but saw nothing.

Middleton Lakes RSPB

Had a quick look for the Hawfinch at Lea Marston without success then drove straight to Middleton Lakes RSPB

The area around the feeders held a lot of water so the expected Water Rail didn’t materialise, birds here were in short supply although the rats look well fed. The walk through the woods yielded a flock of c.60 mixed finches with Redpoll and Siskin prominent. At Fishers Mill there was a distinct lack of wildfowl, whilst on Jubilee wetlands a mobile flock of c.350 Lapwing eventually settled. It was whilst estimating the size of this flock that I picked up a Redshank, found out later that there was also a Dunlin but I hadn't carted my scope with me so I didn’t see it.

The bird we were looking for was the Firecrest that has been present a week or so. We searched the bushes along the river seeing plenty of Long-tailed Tit, Redpoll, Goldcrest, Bullfinch, Blue and Great Tit plus a couple of Treecreeper. Joy thought she saw the Firecrest briefly on the other side of the river but couldn’t be certain.

There were around four Little and two Great Egret and I counted eight Shelduck, there may well have been more. A Kingfisher flew past and there were two Egyptian Geese on the pool on the other side of the river.

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