|Whooper Swan, Whitemore Haye|
Took a short trip into Staffs today to spend the morning birding Whitemore Haye area, with the targets Tree Sparrow, Peregrine, poss Corn Bunting, Red-legged Partridge and the wintering Whopper Swans. On arrival I was shocked to see the state of the place. Birders lost the main lake to an activity centre years ago which was fair enough, at least its something different.
Now the area around the microlight field is being utilised for gravel extraction for HS2 and is in the process of being excavated. Whilst this should provide habitat for waders its not going to be much help for Tree Sparrows and any Corn Bunting that might still be lingering.
I walked the lane seeing only a couple of Yellowhammer, its difficult to view as the spoil for the extraction has been banked up against the road. I gave up and returned to the car. I searched through a flock of c.50 Mute Swan but apart from c.150 Lapwing there were no Whopper. I then walked down towards the farm but the lie of the land made viewing difficult. I could see a herd of Swan in the distance so I drove down and found the Whopper quite close.
I had been there less than five minutes when a car pulled up and Roger Broadbent emerged. I have known Roger a long-time back to my Valley days and bump into him occasionally when out birding. I had recently spoken at length with him on the phone, so it was nice to continue our conversion face-to-face.