There was a sighting of a Marsh Harrier on Friday at Croxall. As it is these days I didn't react to it. Would be a nice year tick and Staffs tick for me. Anyway, it was also spotted on Saturday at Alrewas GP. I hatched a plan and headed out just before dawn to get on site. The bike was loaded by 06.30 and I was off. I arrived ten minutes later it was just getting light but I couldnt see a bloody thing. Fog, thick fog. Aaaaaargh. I couldnt see twenty metres in front of me let alone a Marsh Harrier. I hung about as the sun came up and managed to hear the following. Magpie, Coot, Robin, Wren, Meadow Pipit, Long-tailed Tit, Blackbird, Dunnock, Greenfinch, Skylark, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Reed Bunting and Pied Wagtail. I also managed to just make out a pair of Mute Swans. I decided to head over to the arboretum, slowly, and then hope the fog would lift, do the other sites and re-trace my steps. On the way to the arboretum the fog did start lifting and I added Blue Tit, Carrion Crow, Mallard, Pheasant, Teal, Snipe and a Grey Heron. On the return trip the fog had dispersed but I only managed to add Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe and Pochard.
17-10-10, National Arboretum.
The fog situation had starting to disperse so as every minute went by, the more I could see. During my walk through the arboretum I noted Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Carrion Crow, Blackbird, Wood Pigeon, Dunnock, Starling, Chaffinch, Canada Geese, Cormorant, Robin, Wren, Skylark, jackdaw, Tufted Duck, Meadow Pipit, Mallard, Great Tit, Pheasant, Mute Swan, Black-headed Gull, Jay and Reed Bunting.
17-10-10, Junction Pit.
As usual, a quick look at Junction Pit. You never know what might be on here, very wadery (if there is such a word). Birds noted were Blackbird, Moorhen, Blue Tit, Black-headed Gull, Carrion Crow, Lapwing, Wren, Mallard, Coot, Great Crested Grebe, Wood Pigeon, Grey Heron, Jackdaw, Skylark, Pied Wagtail, Long-tailed Tit, Lesser Black-backed Gull, and Magpie.
17-10-10, Croxall GP.
From the arboretum it was a quick bike ride over the Tame and inti Croxall nature reserve. A slow wander and a visit to the hide got me Robin, Long-tailed Tit, Skylark, Wood Pigeon, Mallard, Coot, Tufted Duck, Moorhen, Teal, Grey Heron, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Pied Wagtail, Magpie, Linnet, Jackdaw, Mute Swan, Reed Bunting, Snipe, Redshank, Pochard, Litte Egret, Kingfisher, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Dunnock and Bullfinch. A bit quiet compared to other visits, there was also quite a few dog walkers ignoring the no dogs signs around the reserve.