Saturday, 10 March 2012

Saturday 10th March - Same old Staffs!

Another day spent in Staffordshire. We visited Westport where a bit of drizzle got our expectations up, but in the end we saw nothing new. There was a bit of movement though, with thirteen Mute Swans flying in, giving the lake its highest count of swans since Sept 2010!

We were at a complete loss as to where to head to next. Staffordshire is going through a bit of a stale patch at the moment. Spring is here, but its not quite yet arrived and we are still waiting for those migrants to drop in en masse. In the end, we headed up to the moors. First stop was for DIPPER. We were soon watching two birds showing well, plus a pair of Grey Wagtails. We then saw two RED GROUSE, but unfortunately, we found out they were in Derbyshire. We had a brief check of a few sites in Staffs, but time was marching on and we soon gave up.

Next stop was Branston Pits as per usual. There was an amazing ten birders on site today, among them bloggers Local Birder, Alrewas birder, Regional tick, Man in a Blue Van, ochrurus and veteran British birding stalwart DIM Wallace. Branston was alright today, but most of the birds were the same as we'd seen on previous visits. The immature White-fronted Goose was still present (first found 11th Feb), the Knot was still present (found 4th Feb) plus four Ruff, seven Green Sands, Redshank, Curlew etc. Bird of the day was found by Richard - a pair of Pintail. These are only my second Pintail at Branston GPs, the first way back in Dec 2001!

The five waders on the Sandy Pit - three Ruff, a Redshank and the resident Knot

The immature White-front

A Pintail