Staffordshire Bird News

Saturday, 24 May 2014

May or May not 2014

I've seen some decent birds in previous months of May.
In May 2002, a Sunday afternoon trip to Lincolnshire saw a nice Lesser Sand Plover at Rimac.

In May 2005, a trip to Aberdeenshire saw a Barrow's Goldeneye, and a trip to Suffolk saw a Trumpeter Finch.


In May 2009, a double tick trip saw a Crested Lark in Kent and a singing Collared Flycatcher on Portland.


More recently, an Oriental Pratincole in May 2011 and an Orphean Warbler on Hartlepool Headland in 2012 were also quite nice.


But not just nationally has May been a good month. In Staffordshire, several decent birds have turned up in May.
May 31st 2004 was quite a decent day with a Squacco Heron at Blithfield and a Bufflehead at Whitemoor Haye.


May 2006 saw a Roseate Tern at Blithfield.

May 2007 and a Great Reed Warbler was singing at Barton GP 
May 2011 saw a Lesser Yellowlegs at Uttoxeter Quarry

and finally May 2012 saw a quite nice singing Bluethroat at Doxey.

And now to May 2014. The reason for no blog since April is that there hasn't really been much to write about. There hasn't been a single day trip. In fact, the last Clayhead excursion was way back in mid March to Scotland! Its also the first May since 2000 I haven't seen a single rare bird during the month.
Highlights for May 2014 have been two Little Terns at Blithfield on 5th, three Black-tailed Godwits and a Bar-tailed Godwit at Branston on the 10th, and a Grey Plover there on 17th. On 24th, I saw a Wood Sandpiper and Bar-tailed Godwit at Blithfield and another Bar-tailed Godwit at Branston. 

Three Black-tailed Godwits at Branston 

and a patch tick with a Grey Plover

Roll on June, the start of the summer months when it goes quiet, but not for the first two weeks I hope. We're approaching those special last days of spring when hopefully, things will happen with one of those magical after work trips we've enjoyed in previous Junes.


Monday, 5 May 2014

The rest of April 2014

April didn't quite live up to expectations. I had my first dip of the year, but then when I did some research, I've only had one tick in the last eight Aprils, and that was a resident bird in Bedfordshire somewhere.

Belvide was visited on quite a few occasions between 10th and 12th April. It took me three visits before I saw the GLOSSY IBIS. I also managed to see all eleven Scaup on one occasion too: the Velvet Scoter, Long-tailed Duck and Slavonian Grebe all showed well during my visits here.

Three visits to add Glossy Ibis to my Belvide list



Long-tailed Duck showed nicely

My first dip of the year was the CRAG MARTIN on Flamborough. With ticks very few and far between now, when one did arrive I managed to make two wrong decisions (including a fatal hesitation) over the weekend. Oh well, I will just have to wait for the next one to arrive. At least we had excellent views of the lighthouse while we were there on the Friday afternoon. 

Showing well when we went. 

Evening trips are possible now, and one Friday evening we saw this stunning Wheatear.



A trip to the moors saw several bits and bobs, including this hare and a very nice Red Grouse.


Both photos by Phil Jones

On 4th May 2014, pops celebrated his 80th birthday. He didn't want any presents, just donations to the British Heart Foundation. If you would like to donate anything, just click on the link below.