Friday, 23 April 2010

23rd April 2010

2 Arctic Terns over Engine Pool, still present 7:00 pm. Also up to 11 Common Terns and 1 Common Sandpiper.

Grasshopper Warbler and Cuckoo at scrubland south of Windmill Pool yesterday.

M.P. Griffiths

Sunday, 18 April 2010

8th-18th April 2010

As I'm so far behind with updating this blog, here's some main highlights:

08/04/2010 = Had my first Common Sandpiper and Willow Warblers (2) at the lakes this afternoon at Terry's Pool. Also saw 17 Fieldfares quite high over Clowes Wood. Steve Lloyd had a total of 4 Willow Warblers around the lakes in the morning. Later, Kevin Bates noted 4 Common Terns and a Sand Martin. Bob Roberts had a Kestrel along Wood Lane and a Reed Bunting at Gypsy Lane.

09/04/2010 = Saw 4 Buzzards soaring around Earlswood Common. During evening 2 Greylag Geese appeared at Terry's Pool and there were 14+ bats around Engine Pool.

10/04/2010 = Had a Rook, singing Skylark and a Lapwing along Norton Lane early morning. 3 Shovelers and a Kingfisher noted at the lakes.

11/04/2010 = 25 Tufted Ducks at Terry's Pool was probably the most I've seen at Earlswood. Kevin Bates had a few House Martins and 2 Swallows over the lakes in the evening.

14/04/2010 = Saw 2 Rooks and a Kestrel fly over the lakes. Probably the same Barnacle Goose x Greylag Goose hybrid that I saw earlier this year flew in and landed on Terry's Pool.

15/04/2010 = The Barnacle Goose x Greylag Goose hybrid was at Engine Pool, with a Grey Wagtail at Windmill Pool.

16/04/2010 = At the lakes, David Scott had 2 Willow Warblers at Terry's Pool, plus 4 Common Terns.

17/04/2010 = Had a Common Sandpiper over Engine Pool then gain height and leave, plus a Kingfisher at Windmill Pool. Passing through "Springbrook Scrubland" found my first Common Whitethroat of the year and 4 Reed Buntings, plus a Fox and a Muntjac Deer. At Springbrook Lane, spotted a distant bird on the railway embankment which I suspected was a Wheatear (reckon I saw the same bird next day). Moving on to Terry's Green, saw 11 Fieldfares in a field near the STW, but there was no point checking the STW as there were workmen present. Tired, but managed to walk back to the lakes and was rewarded with a Grass Snake on the path around Terry's Pool.

18/04/2010 = A Mistle Thrush was singing along Wood Lane near New Fallings Coppice. During my WeBS counts, had 4 Common Sandpipers including 3 on islands at Terry's Pool, and 4 presumed Lesser Redpolls flew quite high over Engine Pool. Passing through "Springbrook Scrubland" saw a Lesser Whitethroat (Earlswood tick!) singing, as well as a Common Whitethroat. Spent an hour at Springbrook Lane and just before giving up a male Wheatear appeared on fence posts along the Spring Brook feeder channel and showed well for about 10 minutes before flying off.

Common Terns noted on almost every visit.

Another update soon, I promise!

M.P. Griffiths

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

7th April 2010

Easily the highlight of this afternoon's visit was an Arctic Tern with 5 Common Terns at the lakes, which I must've watched for over two hours because I knew it was very early and just had to make fully sure my ID was correct. With two Arctics also reported in Hertfordshire today, but none earlier that I'm aware of, this appears to be the joint-first Arctic Tern reported in the UK this year, and the earliest occurrence at Earlswood - well chuffed!!! Other birds of note were 15+ Sand Martins, a House Martin and 4+ Swallows.
M.P. Griffiths

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

6th April 2010

Another afternoon visit but quieter today, with 2 Common Terns, up to 5+ Swallows, 7 Sand Martins and a House Martin all at Windmill Pool being the most notable birds seen. Met a birder, Phil Stainton, who's been visiting the lakes for many years and is kindly going to pass some records of his on to me - I know I keep asking for them, but if anyone else has Earlswood records then they'd be gratefully received and acknowledged in the book.
M.P. Griffiths

Monday, 5 April 2010

5th April 2010

Bob Roberts saw a Common Tern, 12 Swallows and a Chiffchaff (others heard) around Windmill Pool, plus a total of 16 Tufted Ducks at the lakes.


During an afternoon visit, I finally noted my first House Martin of the year at Windmill Pool, plus up to 3 Common Terns, 15 Swallows, 3 Sand Martins and a Sparrowhawk. 8 Lapwings flew over the lakes, whilst 3+ Chiffchaffs were observed around the sides.
M.P. Griffiths

Sunday, 4 April 2010

4th April 2010

Walking to Earlswood along Norton Lane early morning, was nice to see a Skylark in song-flight over fields, plus c. 45 Fieldfares in trees and 8 Meadow Pipits pass over. Twenty minutes viewing lakes from causeway produced 2 Common Terns still, 2+ Greylag Geese and 4 Swallows.

I understand that 3 Common Terns were reported there later on.

M.P. Griffiths

P.S. For those who get the WMBC Bulletin, I'd like to point out that my "article" in last month's bulletin had four of the five maps I'd spent a good few hours on removed, with just Figure 1 printed, yet the text at the side referring to Figure 5 was left - bit disappointing. Yet a whole page was given to a write-up of Birmingham Branch fieldtrips to places well outside of the midlands...!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

3rd April 2010

A 10-minute visit to the lakes mid-morning produced 2 Common Terns visible from the causeway, plus a Chiffchaff heard nearby. Looks like they'd been reported on BirdGuides before I got there. So first apparently the earliest Common Tern in Warwickshire this year, now two and still none reported elsewhere in Warwickshire, Worcestershire and West Midlands county - nice to see Earlswood beating other sites in the midlands for a change! ;-)

Craig Reed text me during the afternoon, saying 2 Common Terns were still at lakes, plus 11 Great Crested Grebes, 5 Herring Gulls and a Mute Swan there; also a pair of Bullfinches in a Norton Lane garden.

M.P. Griffiths

Friday, 2 April 2010

2nd April 2010

Given the recent poor weather, the presumed same Common Tern was present for its third day. A female Goosander at Windmill Pool was unusual both for the time of year and location, showed for some minutes after appearing from nowhere, whilst up to 9 Swallows, 2 Sand Martins, 2 Grey Wagtails and 2 Kingfishers were also there. A male Blackcap was still singing around Engine Pool.
M.P. Griffiths

Thursday, 1 April 2010

1st April 2010

Presumably the same Common Tern was still present at the lakes and showing well at times. Other notable sightings were 2 Ravens and a Meadow Pipit over the causeway, a Chiffchaff heard nearby and 8 Herring Gulls. 15+ Swallows and a Sand Martin were over Windmill Pool, a Blackcap was singing around Engine Pool, and 4 Treecreepers were around Terry's Pool.
M.P. Griffiths