Friday, 9 October 2009

9th October 2009

Walked to the lakes and spent most of the morning there, and glad I did because there was a good variety of birds present, plus I had a patch tick! There were 3 Gadwalls, including a lovely adult male, at Terry's Pool, as well as a Teal, 4 Tufted Ducks and 2 Kingfishers. There was a Grey Wagtail at the causeway, and at Windmill Pool I had my first Redwing of the autumn (just the one, flew from a tree over the pool and out of view pursued by a Goldfinch!), plus 2 more Teal and 3 more Tufted Ducks. Visible migration included 2+ Meadow Pipits over the lakes (though I didn't really pay much attention to them); more notable were 4 Skylarks flying southeast over the lakes, followed by 2 more heading in the same direction over the scrubland south of Windmill Pool.

Got my mom to pick me up and take me to Forshaw Heath again, where some hirundines had gathered around farm buildings, including 10+ Swallows and 1 House Martin.

M.P. Griffiths

P.S. Seems that two people, at least one of which works at the craft centre, saw an "unusual large bird" at the lakes recently, and they've come to the conclusion that it was a Sooty Shearwater!!! I'm not sure about this though. Firstly this would be a first for the West Midlands region (as far as I know). Secondly, there were more Cormorants present at the lakes today than usual, so if this has been the case during recent days (can't say for sure as I hadn't done a thorough search of the lakes since the 3rd), then perhaps this would make them more noticeable to the general public, some of which don't seem to be familiar with them and it is usually the Cormorant that people point out to me and ask what it/they are. Then again, the observers might be familiar with Cormorants and have been able to eliminate the species from a list of possibilities. Also, Earlswood has one previous record of a shearwater - an immature male Manx Shearwater shot at the lakes in 1896. But do Sooty Shearwaters get seen inland? (Thanks to Ashley Grove and John Roberts for passing this recent record on to me.)

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