Thursday, 31 March 2016


These two Buzzards were full on displaying over Cressage today - slow, deep wingbeats, calling like mad and chasing each other.

31st March

Walked down to Ironbridge and along the river to Cressage Bridge, then back along the lanes through Sheinton where, in the beautiful sunny weather there were plenty of signs of spring with my first Willow Warbler of the year singing just downstream of Leighton Hall, my first 11+ Sand Martins of the year scattered along the river with several birds already investigating likely looking sections of bank, my first Swallow of the year hawking over Cressage and a total of 34 singing Chiffchaffs along the whole route.

                Other birds included 4 Kingfishers in Ironbridge noisily chasing each other around, 3 Oystercatchers, a Green Sandpiper, 16 Goosanders, a single drake Shelduck, a drake Tufted Duck in Ironbridge (slightly unusual on the river!) and a single Brambling and a handful of Fieldfares still hanging on.



Sand Martins


Stock Doves


Tuesday, 29 March 2016

27th - 28th March

27th MARCH
Still windy but bright and sunny, so I managed to catch a few birds first thing including a Chiffchaff, a Long-tailed Tit, a Redwing and a few Finches; there was little time to do much else with the grand opening of the new Observatory but Avocets were up to 13 on Kilnsea Wetlands along with 3 Goldeneye, a pair of Gadwall and a drake Shoveler.

 28th MARCH
Heavy rain and wild winds overnight and through the rest of the day limited things but a window of a couple of hours sometime in the morning let me open a few nets which showed there were a few new birds in with two male Blackcaps the highlight (the first of the year) – one of which had a big fat score and weighed 21.9g while the other was quite skinny and weighed 14.9g, so presumably the fat one was heading out and the skinny one was coming in!   Other birds caught included 4 Chiffchaffs, a Chaffinch and 2 Goldfinches while there were 16+ Fieldfares, 20+ Redwings and a Brambling also present.
A very wet look at Sammy’s Point late morning then produced single Firecrest, Goldcrest and Chiffchaff.




Great Black-backed Gull

Pied Wagtail

24th - 26th March

24th MARCH
Arrived at Spurn at lunchtime and caught a few Blackbirds in Church Field before a walk round the wetlands produced 12 Avocets, a Greenshank, 5 Goldeneye and 4 Gadwall.

25th MARCH
A few hours of ringing at Kew before the charity bike ride produced a few new Blackbirds, a Redwing, 2 Greenfinches and single Chaffinch and Goldfinch while a Grey Wagtail, 2 Siskins and 3 Rooks flew overhead; the bike ride was very pleasant in the sunny, calm weather and produced my first Butterflies of the year – single Small Tortoiseshell, Small White and Peacock.

26th MARCH
A complete change in the weather with very strong winds and heavy cloud but there were new birds around including 7 Chiffchaffs, 18+ Goldcrests, 2 White Wagtails on Holderness Field, 10+ Redwings and a few Finches during a walk first thing.   The wind steadily picked up through the day but there was a cracking Firecrest at Sammy’s Point where there were also a few more Goldcrests and 2 Peregrines – adult male and adult female.

Firecrest at Sammy's


Common Gull


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

21st - 23rd March

A good total of 55 Mute Swans were at Venus Pool on 21st (roosting overnight before heading off to feed on the surrounding fields) – by far the highest count I’ve had here; there were also 3 Oystercatchers, 13 Shelduck, 61 Shoveler and hanging on, 19 Bramblings and 3 Goldeneye still.   A couple of hours spent up on the Long Mynd on 22nd then produced plenty of calling Red Grouse and a cracking adult female Merlin – pretty scarce in Shropshire really!

                Then, late afternoon on 23rd there was a huge brute of a female Goshawk cruising along the hedgerow just past New House Farm, seriously upsetting the local crows – an awesome bird and only the second I’ve seen around Wyke!
Little Grebe at Venus Pool

Great-spotted Woodpecker


Partially leucistic Meadow Pipit on the Long Mynd

Plus a couple of colour ringed Mute Swans at Venus Pool

Orange 28N was an RSPCA rescue bird from Coventry in March 2015 and was released in Bewdley where it stayed until mid-July 2015 - this is the first re-sighting since

Blue 71BA is a bit more local having been ringed in Shrewsbury in September 2014

Saturday, 19 March 2016

19th March

Walked along the River Severn from Cressage Bridge to Ironbridge where the highlight was probably brilliant but extremely brief views of a big dog Otter at very close range on the bank below me just downstream from Leighton flats; birds seen included my first three singing Chiffchaffs of the spring, 5 Mandarins, the wintering Common Sandpiper and a total of 42 Goosander while more notable in terms of this stretch of river was a Great-crested Grebe at Cressage Bridge (my first on the river since February 2006!) and a single Coot between Leighton flats and Buildwas (the first on the river since 2011!).



Treecreepers poking out