Tuesday, 29 March 2011

28-3-11, Cannock Chase - Rifle Range.

Another full Saturday at work then a few beers on Saturday night. With the clocks going back, late night and my rubbish clock getting me up at 05.00 BST to watch the grand prix I was pretty much cabbaged for the whole day. I couldnt keep awake all day and a fell asleep on many occasions. This meant I was nice and fresh for a day off on Monday and I planned to head to the chase to nail one bird, the Great Grey Shrike. I and many other birders have spent a few hours hunting this bird down and today I didn't want to leave without it on my year list. I was very worried when I woke up and there was a dense fog in the Trent valley, hopefully it would lift as I got towards the chase. Through Rugeley it was just as bad but then driving up towards the bend for the rifle range the weather cleared. Superb. A 20 minute walk and I was around the shooting butt/valley/old quarry area. Now time for the Shrike to show. I hung around for about an hour with no sighting at all. thinking what to do and where to go I remebered someone saying when we were waiting for the Woodchat Shrike to show that they were known late rises, sometimes mid morning before they became active. I decided to take notice of this bit of advice and headed off to my next site. Birds noted whilst here were Magpie, Robin, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Wren, Long-tailed Tit, Woodpigeon, Song Thrush, Yellowhammer, Chiffchaff, Woodlark, Carrion Crow and Stonechat. * 28-3-11, Belvide Reservoir. * Only down the road and another nice new bird for my year list was present at Belvide, a Black-necked Grebe. I battled through the, still lingering, fog and arrived at Belvide. I couldnt see the dam from the Scott Hide, let alone a any birds on the water. Doh. I headed up to the furthest hide (sorry fogot the name), hung around before the fog was starting to lift before heading back to the first hide via the other hides. Birds noted were Chiffchaff, Pheasant, Woodpigeon, Chaffinch, Robin, Great Tit, Wren, Carrion Crow, Nuthatch, Bullfinch, Dunnock, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Mute Swan, Coot, Gadwall, Song Thrush, Long-tailed Tit, Goldfinch, Teal, Mallard, Jay, Starling, Mistle Thrush, Oystercatcher, Reed Bunting, Sand Martin, Shoveler, Grey Heron, Curlew, Lapwing, Goldeneye, Pied Wagtail, Linnet, Magpie, Little Ringed Plover, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Wigeon, Pochard, Rook, Tree Sparrow, Cormorant, Black-headed Gull, Black-necked Grebe and Fieldfare. Nice. Good to get the grebe and a couple of othe year ticks but my mind was still on that bloody shrike. Nope, its no good. * 28-3-11, Cannock Chase - Rifle Range. * My plan was to head up the M6 to Stoke for, hopefully, Black Redstart and Wheatear but I decided to head back for the shrike. was it the correct decision...........oh yes. I headed down the track and near the old quarry, perched on a sapling was the Great Grey Shrike. A cracking bird but it didnt show for too long before flying off. I needed to do some shopping so I headed off home. Birds noted here were Great Tit, Magpie, Coal Tit, Robin, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Green Woodpecker, Jay, Meadow Pipit and Kestel.

28-3-11, Whitemoor Haye.

With the evenings an hour lighter, I cracked on with a few jobs before heading out for the last couple of hours. Birds noted were Tree Sparrow, Black-headed Gull, Blackbird, Linnet, Carrion Crow, Pied Wagtail, Woodpigeon, Robin, Lapwing, Buzzard, Canada Geese, Yellowhammer, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Skylark, Grey Partridge I saw two and also heard at least one calling, Mallard, Corn Bunting, Reed Bunting, Mute Swan 34, Meadow Pipit, Wren, Wheatear, Pheasant, Greylag Geese, Blue Tit, Magpie, Stock Dove, Mistle Thrush, Rook, Tufted Duck, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Redshank and Chiffchaff. A nice day all in all.

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