Since I last blogged I've only been off on two birding expeditions. Last Thursday I explored the Alvecote Pools Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which is on the Warwickshire/Staffordshire borders. It consists of about 129 hectares spread over several reserves & other areas. I found a useful map from a link on Archie's British Birding Blogz (Surfbirds Archive)....here's the link.
We'd moored on the Coventry Canal beside Pooley Fields, a 26 hectare site managed by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust (it's not labelled on the map, but it's the area that includes the Canal Pool). It has several pools, formed due to coal mining subsidence, along with some woodland (wet & dry), marsh, grassland & a huge spoil heap. The sun was actually out so I had a pleasant wander, even though I didn't find much, the best being a Garden Warbler alongside the canal. There was also a fairly happy Jay, feeding on a large pile of bread & posing for the camera.
|A Jay ....|
|....not worried about his waist-line|
|The view from the top of the spoil heap, along with its rather odd monument.|
|Alvecote Meadows.....a bit too wet|
|Knob Flashes from Laundry Lane.....a bit too dry!|
My second outing was a re-visit to Whitemoor Haye in Staffs on Saturday. I ended up walking there from Fradley Junction again, so it was a 7 mile round trip. Last time I was chuffed at finding Tree Sparrows & a Little Owl, but dipped on Grey Partridge & Corn Bunting. I started off well, finding another colony of Tree Sparrows, including lots of juveniles. Then I inspected the Little Owl tree & was pleasantly surprised....
|And then there were two! Play 'Spot the Little Owl'!|
|The Corn Bunting was singing in the middle of the field ....somewhere!|
|A very enlarged Corn Bunting|
|The waders were on the far side by the entrance (near the buildings)|
Just as I walked up to the gates I was startled by 2 birds that suddenly dashed out of the hedge and along the gravelly bank towards the vegetation. I was all of as fluster trying to get to my bins & then trying to get a shot as they vanished. Phew! I not only managed to ID them, but even got a record shot of my first Grey Partridges of the year!
|A Grey Partridge doing the 10 yard dash!|
Year List now on 196 + 2 sub-species