Monday, 29 June 2009

29th June 2009

Highlight of an evening visit today was seeing a Common Sandpiper at Engine Pool. Also at Engine Pool were the usual 2 Mute Swans and singing Reed Warbler. Some Common Terns were present as usual, and I reckon these are birds breeding at Marsh Lane NR and coming to Earlswood for food, as I've seen birds leaving the lakes and heading in the same direction on a number of occasions now, and none seem to stay for the night. Anyway, I stayed at the lakes quite late this evening and was surprised to see that the last 3 Common Terns didn't leave until 10:06 pm! As it was quite dark when I left the lakes, I decided to check out fields along some of Earlswood's "quieter" roads, hoping for a hunting owl, but only encountered morons behind wheels (chavs shouting abuse at me and some idiot with headlights on full beam driving fast towards me). *sighs*
M.P. Griffiths

Sunday, 28 June 2009

28th June 2009

Nothing new seen during an evening visit to the lakes on the bike, just the 2 Mute Swans and a singing Reed Warbler at Engine Pool again. Saw a lone Black-headed Gull at Windmill Pool, which I've noted on one or two previous occasions recently.
M.P. Griffiths

Saturday, 27 June 2009

27th June 2009

Went birding with John Yardley elsewhere in Warwickshire, and noted the 2 Mute Swans were still at Engine Pool whilst passing along the causeway.
M.P. Griffiths

Friday, 26 June 2009

26th June 2009

During the early afternoon, set out on my bike during some very light rain and no sooner than a minute or so into the journey the precipitation became rather more heavy. I didn't want to turn back and got a really good soaking as a result. For braving the weather being so foolish, I only saw the 2 Mute Swans and usual Common Terns at the lakes.
M.P. Griffiths

Thursday, 25 June 2009

25th June 2009

Cycled to Earlswood during the early morning, and left sometime after midday. My first sighting was a Kestrel along Norton Lane at c. 7:10 am. At the lakes, 2 Mute Swans and a singing Reed Warbler were still at Engine Pool, and I was also able to confirm that there is a Coot brood of 5 at Windmill Pool. I then pedalled along some of the roads to the south and east, observing 13+ Collared Doves, 3+ Coal Tits, a Grey Wagtail and a Goldcrest as I did; best sightings though were along Spring Brook Lane where I had 2 Linnets (my first at this part of Earlswood). Lastly, had a look at the Sewage Treatment Works and saw 2 more Grey Wagtails, 3 Pied Wagtails and a Buzzard over, with 2 Stock Doves nearby, but also saw a man in his company van driving away who no doubt had been to check the works and so I might've missed anything more unusual than what I saw.
On my travels in the area, saw what I believe was an adult Hobby; though it was a quite distant and very brief sighting, I thought I saw the characteristic reddish vent.
M.P. Griffiths

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

24th June 2009

Yet another late afternoon visit to the lakes produced 2 Mute Swans (1 new since my previous visit) and a singing Blackcap at Engine Pool. A dogwalker told me that there's a Coot brood of 5 at Windmill Pool (probably the same brood I saw earlier this month).
M.P. Griffiths

Sunday, 21 June 2009

21st June 2009

Cycled to Earlswood during the late afternoon. Saw up to 11 Common Terns at a time at the lakes; noted 5 birds (2 with food in beak) leaving the lakes and heading northeast, presumably to Marsh Lane NR where I believe some breed. Also seen at the lakes were 1 Kingfisher (after an absence), 6 or 7 Grey Herons, 5 Tufted Ducks, 2 Grey Wagtails, 7 Pied Wagtails (5 juveniles) and a family of 4 Common Whitethroats.
M.P. Griffiths

Saturday, 20 June 2009

20th June 2009

During the early afternoon, counted 9 Common Terns at the lakes before John Yardley picked me up to go birding elsewhere.
M.P. Griffiths

P.S. We went to Upton Warren and saw a Black-tailed Godwit at the Moors Pools, which was a lifer for me.

Friday, 19 June 2009

19th June 2009

Went to Earlswood during the late afternoon to meet John Yardley to do some birding elsewhere. Best birds I noted were 4 Herring Gulls, but John said he heard a Reed Warbler singing from one of the Engine Pool reed islands.
M.P. Griffiths

P.S. In Warwickshire with John, had two lifers with 2+ Green Sandpipers and a Barn Owl seen.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

18th June 2009

Cycled to Earlswood during the late afternoon and saw that there were 7 terns at the lakes, most over Engine Pool. I thought they'd all be the usual Common Terns, and indeed 6 were - the other was an Arctic Tern!!! Seeing one in the midlands at this time of year is unusual, as they're normally seen on passage, but I was able to watch it for a long time and see all of the distinguishing features so am 100% sure of its ID. Arctic Terns have been reported at Earlswood on a number of occasions this year, although that doesn't mean all were correctly identified (I'm still a little suspicious as I never connected with any of the reported birds, though I'm told they don't stay long at sites during passage). Another bird unusual for Earlswood at this time of year was a Sand Martin also seen over Engine Pool. Other birds observed were 60+ Swifts over lakes, 2 Common Whitethroats around Terry's Pool and 1 Reed Warbler at Engine Pool. I thought I saw a raptor, possibly a Hobby, distantly for a split-second passing the engine house from Engine Pool, but very unsure about it.
M.P. Griffiths

P.S. I only reported the Arctic Tern to Brian Stretch (West Midlands Birding). So who reported it on BirdGuides on the 19th as seen today (18th)?! Did you see it yourself?

Sunday, 14 June 2009

14th June 2009

Was at Earlswood all morning. Among the birds seen at the lakes during my WeBS counts were 2 Tufted Ducks and a brood of 4 Coot chicks (finally!) at Windmill Pool, as well as a total of 7 Common Terns which were seen at all three pools. Afterwards, heard 2 Reed Warblers singing at Engine Pool, one at each of the reed islands. In Big Clowes Wood, saw 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 3+ Coal Tits, 2 Treecreepers and a Jay, and heard 2 or 3 singing Chiffchaffs.
M.P. Griffiths

Thursday, 11 June 2009

11th June 2009

During the late afternoon, best birds seen during c. 70 minutes of observation at the lakes were 8 Common Terns and 25+ Swifts.
M.P. Griffiths

Sunday, 7 June 2009

7th June 2009

Another late afternoon visit on the bike produced nothing unusual. From the causeway, saw just 1 Common Tern, 20+ Swifts, 15+ House Martins and some Swallows (including 6 juveniles resting on Windmill Pool's concrete embankment and being fed regularly by adults). Also, saw 2 Tufted Ducks at Terry's Pool, and heard a Goldcrest singing nearby.
M.P. Griffiths

P.S. I think I should've said more in the last post about the "something about Earlswood" that I've been writing. I've now scrapped the idea of writing a "Birds of Earlswood" article (see post "News for 2009", posted 1st January 2009), and so basically the main bit in this "something" that I don't think I've already mentioned on here will be that my plan now is to produce a book/report that covers the birds observed in the Earlswood area during the period 2000-09; the main advantage of this is that the publication can be as long and as detailed as I like. However, I'm also hoping to produce a history/handbook of the birds of Earlswood, which will cover a much greater period of time.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

6th June 2009

After much rain today, I cycled to the lakes during the late afternoon. From the Malthouse Lane causeway, I saw 7 Common Terns, 50+ Swallows, 30+ House Martins, 8+ Swifts and 1 Jay (over Windmill Pool). After all the recent dry weather we've been having, I'd noticed that the water levels of the lakes had been falling and was hoping that the Engine Pool island would soon be uncovered; therefore I was a little disappointed to see quite a lot of water coming over the weir from Terry's Pool into Engine Pool.
M.P. Griffiths

P.S. Apologies for the lateness of the previous three posts. I've been pretty busy lately, and one of the things I've been doing is writing something about Earlswood for the WMBC Bulletin. For the next two weeks, I'm afraid that I may only be able to visit Earlswood during the weekends - would still appreciate people sending me their sightings though.

Friday, 5 June 2009

5th June 2009

Met John Yardley at Earlswood during the late afternoon, and saw that the Mute Swan was still at Engine Pool - I keep mentioning this bird because before it came Mute Swans hadn't been a regular feature at the lakes, but I'm gonna stop now until it leaves.

Recently, I've been hearing 2 Tawny Owl fledglings and 1+ parent in gardens near mine, which I think's great. This evening, just the 2 fledglings were heard.

M.P. Griffiths

P.S. Thanks to John, I had 2 lifers today at Upton Warren (Worcestershire), which were Curlew and Curlew Sandpiper. I've had plenty of other lifers there, some of which I don't think I've mentioned on this blog.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

3rd June 2009

During the late afternoon, a Reed Warbler was singing again from the same reed island at Engine Pool as previously (the one nearest Terry's Pool). The first-summer Mute Swan was still at Engine Pool.
M.P. Griffiths