Sunday, 1 March 2009

1st March 2009

Up early and back on the bike today. Around 7:30 am I saw 10 Meadow Pipits near the Hungry Horse. At the lakes, Terry's Pool was particularly productive even though I only watched it from near the easternmost corner, with 5 Goosanders, 3 Pochards, 2 Shovelers, several Tufted Ducks, 1 Kingfisher and 3 Jays seen. Elsewhere at the lakes, viewed from the causeways, I saw a Grey Wagtail at Windmill Pool and 5 Cormorants at Engine Pool. On two widely spaced occasions, I possibly heard a Raven calling from around the lakes. My last good sightings within the area were at Forshaw Heath, with a Buzzard over and my first bumblebee of the year. The rest of my birding today was spent in Worcestershire...

Surrounding areas
Despite living less than half a mile away from the land of Worcestershire, I'm afraid I've done very little birding in this county (a short visit to Ipsley Alders Marsh NR being my only serious birding outing) up 'til now. My main aim for today was to check out the Bittell Reservoirs and surrounding areas in the hope of adding some more species to my life list; this was achieved! On my way to the reservoirs, I had my first lifer of the day when I saw a Little Owl perched in an oak tree (thanks Reg for the info!), and also saw 1 (possibly 2 or more) Raven, 3+ Rooks, 3+ Buzzards, and 2+ Lapwings. I was impressed by the Bittell Reservoirs, especially the Lower Bittell - excellent waterbird habitats. I'd hoped to see a wader at Lower Bittell but couldn't see any, though I did see 4 Goosanders and a number of Teal, Shoveler, Pochard and Tufted Duck there. Upper Bittell was rather empty, which I found surprising for a reservoir that's much larger than any of the Earlswood pools, though there was a very large number of Grey Herons present. I proceeded on to Cofton Reservoir, knowing it to be a small waterbody and not expecting to see anything unusual; therefore, a male Pintail on the lower/overflow pool was a very nice surprise and my second lifer of the day. I was really tired when I got home because of the distance travelled and some struggles up hills, but it was well worth it for the two lifers.
M.P. Griffiths

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