Another Monday off so it was to Croxall GP at 06.00. Was hoping for a bit more wader action (to myself hopefully) but forgot about the rising waters from Sunday. The water was up about 18 inches covering all of the shallows so no waders showing. Birds noted were Common Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Cuckoo, Lapwing, Great Tit, Canada Geese, Mallard, Woodpigeon, Tufted Duck, Chiffchaff, Dunnock, Wren, Cormorant, Blackbirds, Willow Warbler, Gadwall, Reed Bunting, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Greenfinch, Black Headed Gull, Carrion Crow, Common Tern, Swallow, Coot, Great Crested Grebe, Ringed Plover, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Little Ringed Plover, Magpie, Greylag Geese, Blue Tit, Rook and Starling. I was present at Croxall between 06.00 and 07.30 and I was suprised to hear of a Bar-tailed Godwit only because the water levels were high and rising. Anyway!!!!
Cannock Chase - Punch Bowl & Sheerbrook Valley.
After me and the dog had our brecky it was off to Cannock Chase to hopefully nail a nice year tick, a Pied Flycatcher. Not too tricky, I thought, as I know a couple of places where they are usually seen. Ha ha, doesnt work like that in the animal kingdom does it. I parked at the Punch bowl car park walked down to the stepping stones then into Sheerbrook Valley where I walk upto where there is the remains of a concrete bridge and weir, a place where I had great views of Pied Flycatcher last year. Birds noted around Punch bowl were Willow Warbler, Wren, Chiffchaff, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Sparrowhawk, Chaffinch, Tree Pipit, Robin, Buzzard, Blue Tit, Green Woodpecker, Cuckoo, Pheasant, Coal Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Song Thrush. Around Sheerbrook Valley I noted Redstart, Wren, Woodpigeon, Cuckoo, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Willow Warbler, Tree Pipit, Green Woodpecker, Pheasant, Jay, Blackbird, Common Whitethroat, Jackdaw, Great Tit, Magpie and Great Spotted Woodpecker. No, no Pied Flycatcher today. I will have to return. It was a very enjoyable walk, the Tree Pipits were in full song and doing their flights then parachuting back to the trees, ace.
I had the dog with me so I couldnt go around the bays but as I was near I thought I would walk the causeway and maybe land on a Black Tern. As it happens there was no white ones let alone black ones. From the causeway I noted Starling, Greylag Geese, Tufted Duck, Coot, Mute Swan, Carrion Crow, Cormorant, Oystercatcher, Woodpigeon, Skylark, Buzzard, Blackbird and Black Headed Gull. Not very stunning so I drove around to the dam and had a scan from the sailing club car park and only added a Lesser Black-backed Gull. Whoooopeeeeee.
It was back to the good old local patch and I decided to walk around the lanes first and then check out the pool, however it didnt all go to plan. birds noted around the lanes were Swifts in their hundreds - the southerleys over the weekend must have helped them finally arrive in numbers, Tree Sparrow, Woodpigeon, Swallow, Skylark, Starling, Lapwing, Carrion Crow, Linnet, Common Whitethroat, Dunnock, Corn Bunting, Kestrel, Chaffinch, Yellowhammer, Blue Tit, Magpie, Blackbird, Robin, Stock Dove, Buzzard, Mallard, Mute Swan, Goldfinch and Pied Wagtail. I was only about two hundred yards from the car when the dark clouds above unleashed hell in the form of huge blobs of rain along with thunder and lightening. The dog legged it and I just managed to get her back and into the car. The rain worsened as I parked up by the lake. I appeared to get better for a short time enough for me to add Greylag Geese, Canada Geese and Black Headed Gull to the site list. I was going to sit out the rain but half an hour later and mine and the dogs bellies rumbling I went home and ate.