Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Swallowed

On Monday, Mrs Reg and I paid a visit to Upton Warren. Mrs Reg was keen to have a look at the avocets, and news of a mandarin at the Moors Pool on Sunday morning was also of interest. Sadly, the mandarin had moved on, but the Moors Pool did hold a redshank and a goosander. I didn't see the latter bird myself as the East hide was packed to the rafters. Anybody would have been forgiven for thinking that Wilson's phalarope had dropped in again, but it turned out that Arthur Jacobs was showing a large group of birders around the reserve.

As soon as I heard the mandarin had gone, I decided our time would be better spent at the flashes, though there was still time to see my first swallow of the year on the way back to the car. At the flashes we had the eight avocet, at least a couple of little ringed plover, two oystercatchers, a few snipe, a reed bunting, and a few of the usual suspects, such as black-headed gulls, shelduck and the commoner ducks.

Conditions were ideal for a few photos, a selection of which follow:

Avocets

Lapwing

Little ringed plover

Common snipe

Common snipe

Oystercatchers

On the way home, I took the usual detour through Hopwood to see if the little owls were on display. One of my goals this year is to get a reasonable photo of these birds, but so far, they have evaded me. Ironically, when I birded the patch on Sunday, one was in full view, but without the scope I had no chance of snapping it. Sadly, there was no sign of them on Monday, so I'll have to wait for another opportunity to present itself.

Finally, we stopped off in Brick Kiln Lane to see the cattle egrets that frequent the area. As usual, all three birds were showing well.

Wythall's cattle egrets

Can I just say, if anybody is keen to come and see these birds, can they show the residents of Brick Kiln Lane a bit of respect and park sensibly. Last April, some fool blocked the road, bringing Wythall to a veritable standstill.

What Next?

I had planned to visit Earlswood Lakes next Sunday, but having done a bit of research, I think I might be better off waiting until the weekend after, when there is a good chance of picking up a willow warbler there.

Therefore, plans are afoot to venture a bit further afield to look for something that won't be a lifer, but will definitely feel like one. On that cryptic note, I'll sign off.

Until next time, happy migrant hunting!

8 comments:

Dean said...

Great set of pics, Reg.
Incidently, 99% of my birding is done on foot.
Have a good year.

midlands birder said...

where is brick kilm lane.if its anywhere near wythall expect to see me there in the weekend

midlands birder said...

please dont tell me i just fell for an april fools joke,please

Anonymous said...

Would that be one or two?

Reg The Birder said...

Sorry, midlands birder - looks like you 'swallowed' the bait!

Cattle egrets in Wythall? Not just yet, but give it a few years and who knows?

Kay said...

Hook, line, sinker Midlands Birder!

You never know - the famous Belted Kingfisher was found on April Fools day and lots of birders ignored it, thinking it was a practical joke. Before my time though.

Middleton Lakes is fast becoming Egret Central, with a Cattle Egret today, hot on the heels of the Great White Egret.

Reg The Birder said...

Just call me Nostradamus!

I didn't exactly predict Wilson's phalarope at Upton Warren, but I did keep harping on about it turning up locally.

Now, what do we want next? I know ... a snowy owl at Earlswood Lakes. If we want it enough, it could happen!

midlands birder said...

na make it a white throated kingfisher.that'll be a good bird 4 earlswood
and as for the massive bummer shame on you