Sunday, 5 May 2019

Earlswood all-dayer - Spring 2019

A total of 64 bird species were recorded at Earlswood during the West Midlands spring all-day birdwatch yesterday. When putting this into context with our previous spring all-dayer totals, it's interesting to note that, with one exception, we seem to have a tendency to record a very similar number of 64-65 species each year! Previous totals as follows:
2018 - 64 spp.
2017 - 65 spp.
2016 - 77 spp.
2015 - 65 spp.

The weather conditions yesterday weren't great for migration at this time of year really, with a cool northerly wind, and apart from good numbers of hirundines at the lakes there appeared to be few other new arrivals. The most notable birds reported were Lesser Whitethroat, Cuckoo, Raven, Skylark and Common Sandpiper. All of the resident species were recorded, but amongst the visitors that weren't, Common Tern was the most surprising. The full bird list in alphabetical order was as follows:

  1. Black-headed Gull
  2. Blackbird
  3. Blackcap
  4. Blue Tit
  5. Bullfinch
  6. Buzzard
  7. Canada Goose
  8. Carrion Crow
  9. Chaffinch
  10. Chiffchaff
  11. Coal Tit
  12. Collared Dove
  13. Common Sandpiper
  14. Coot
  15. Cuckoo
  16. Dunnock
  17. Feral Pigeon
  18. Goldcrest
  19. Goldfinch
  20. Great Crested Grebe
  21. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  22. Great Tit
  23. Green Woodpecker
  24. Greenfinch
  25. Grey Heron
  26. Grey Wagtail
  27. Greylag Goose
  28. Herring Gull
  29. House Martin
  30. House Sparrow
  31. Jackdaw
  32. Jay
  33. Kestrel
  34. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  35. Lesser Whitethroat
  36. Linnet
  37. Long-tailed Tit
  38. Magpie
  39. Mallard
  40. Marsh Tit
  41. Mistle Thrush
  42. Moorhen
  43. Mute Swan
  44. Nuthatch
  45. Pheasant
  46. Pied Wagtail
  47. Raven
  48. Reed Bunting
  49. Robin
  50. Sand Martin
  51. Skylark
  52. Song Thrush
  53. Sparrowhawk
  54. Starling
  55. Stock Dove
  56. Swallow
  57. Swift
  58. Tawny Owl
  59. Treecreeper
  60. Tufted Duck
  61. Whitethroat
  62. Willow Warbler
  63. Woodpigeon
  64. Wren


Three of the team including myself went for drinks at the Red Lion, and I wonder if others might be interested in doing this at a local pub in future all-dayers? For me as a lightweight, a couple of pints meant that birding for a couple of hours afterwards was, erm, interesting but at least now I know Rosie's Pig and Doom Bar taste good! 😁 Here's a few members of Team Earlswood at the causeway!
Left to right: John B, Janet, Jim, John S, Jon C

Earlswood came 15th out of a record total of 23 sites across the midlands that participated, which was pretty good considering most of the patches with better scores are managed nature reserves or gravel pits. Sites and species totals for the day as follows:
  1. Ladywalk - 102
  2. Middleton Lakes - 97
  3. Branston GP - 91
  4. Brandon Marsh - 90
=5. Belvide - 89
=5. Grimley - 89
=7. Upton Warren - 84
=7. Chasewater - 84
=7. Salford Priors GP - 84
=7. Sandwell Valley - 84
 11. Marsh Lane - 82
 12. Doxey Marsh - 70
 13. Venus Pool - 69
 14. Dairy Farm NR - 65
 15. Earlswood - 64
 16. Morton Bagot - 63
 17. Elmdon Park - 60
 18. Avon Meadows - 58
 19. Halesowen patches - 57
 20. Edgbaston Res - 55
 21. Sutton Park - 51
 22. Fens Pool / Saltwells - 50
 23. Trittiford - 47

My thanks to John Sirrett for collating the bird species reported at Earlswood over the course of the day, to Phil Andrews for collating the site totals for the all-dayer overall, and to the following 11 birders who made up the rest of Team Earlswood this spring: John Bishop, Jon Chidwick, Barry Durman, Paul Fitzgerald, Yvonne Heward, Janet James, Mike Jeeves, John Oates, Joe Owen, John Sirrett and Jim Winsper. The next all-dayer in the autumn will probably be in early September.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Earlswood all-dayer - New Year's Day 2019

For the first time ever, some midlands patches including Earlswood competed in a winter all-day birdwatch on New Year's Day this year, like those we've been doing each spring and autumn in recent years. The results with species totals were as follows:

  1. Belvide - 77
  2. Middleton Lakes - 76
  3. Sandwell Valley - 74
  4. Upton Warren - 70
  5. Doxey Marshes - 66
  6. Whitemoor Haye - 61
  7. Morton Bagot - 58
  8. Earlswood - 56

So we came last, but with a superb adult male Common Scoter being found at Engine Pool, who can complain?! A great start for hopefully another productive year. Earlswood day list with initials for single-observer records and scoter as follows:
  1. Mute Swan
  2. Greylag Goose
  3. Canada Goose
  4. Mallard
  5. Shoveler
  6. Tufted Duck
  7. Common Scoter (JM et al.)
  8. Goldeneye (JJ)
  9. Goosander
  10. Little Grebe (JK)
  11. Great Crested Grebe
  12. Cormorant
  13. Grey Heron
  14. Sparrowhawk (JOw)
  15. Kestrel (JD)
  16. Moorhen
  17. Coot
  18. Golden Plover (JHS)
  19. Common Snipe (TRP)
  20. Black-headed Gull
  21. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  22. Herring Gull
  23. Feral Pigeon (TRP)
  24. Stock Dove (MPG)
  25. Woodpigeon
  26. Collared Dove
  27. Tawny Owl (MPG)
  28. Green Woodpecker (JJ)
  29. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  30. Grey Wagtail
  31. Pied Wagtail
  32. Wren
  33. Dunnock
  34. Robin
  35. Blackbird
  36. Fieldfare
  37. Redwing
  38. Song Thrush
  39. Mistle Thrush (JJ)
  40. Long-tailed Tit
  41. Blue Tit
  42. Great Tit
  43. Coal Tit
  44. Marsh Tit
  45. Nuthatch
  46. Treecreeper
  47. Jay
  48. Magpie
  49. Jackdaw
  50. Carrion Crow
  51. Raven
  52. Starling
  53. House Sparrow
  54. Chaffinch
  55. Goldfinch 
  56. Bullfinch (JJ)
Thanks to John Bishop, Jon Chidwick, Judy Donath, Harry Hopkins, Janet James, James Kenny, Joe Martin, Joe Owen, John Sirrett, Rob Strong, Tony and Barbara Philp for their reports and/or offering to fill in gaps in the list. Rematch in the spring!