Sunday, 9 August 2009

9th August 2009

Earlswood was more productive than usual today. Whilst cycling along Cleobury Lane on my way to the lakes during the early morning, I stopped at the farms and at Big Cleobury Farm saw 3 Yellowhammers, which had only a hint of yellow on their heads so I guess they were immatures. This was an Earlswood tick for me, and has become the only record of this species in the area in the last decade that I'm aware of - very saddening.

At the lakes, I noted up to 9 Common Terns from the causeway. However, at c. 8:20 am I heard an unfamiliar call and then amongst the terns saw what I eventually identified as a juvenile Black Tern - I reckon it arrived at that time. Another birder (who I've met at the lakes on previous occasions) arrived not long after I spotted the tern, and confirmed the identification. Also seen were a Kingfisher at Windmill Pool and a Mute Swan at Engine Pool; whilst a Chiffchaff was heard singing along Valley Road. The Black Tern was still present when I left at c. 11:30 am. Coming home along Wood Lane, I noticed that a field had been recently ploughed and another harvested, whilst a combine harvester was at work in a field near Earlswood railway station.

I returned to the lakes during the late afternoon, and saw that the juvenile Black Tern was still present (still was when I left at c. 7:30 pm). Came back along Wood Lane again, and saw that the ploughed field had attracted 12+ Mistle Thrushes. Now that some of Earlswood's fields are easier to check for birds, I'd love to hear from people who see other birds like Yellowhammers, Linnets, partridges, etc attracted to them.

M.P. Griffiths


midlands birder said...

the yellowhammers could be adult females or winter plumaged males as these show small amounts of yellow on their face/head.juvs on the other hand doesent have much yellow on it at all,but i may be mistaken,if you see them again could you let me know as cleobry lane is just above where i do the job and the field opposite the house has been newly cut so they could stick around.

Matthew Griffiths said...

You might be right. I haven't had much experience with Yellowhammers tbh, and before now I think I'd only seen summer-plumaged adults.