Thursday, 10 March 2016

Hoopoe at Hinksford, Staffordshire

The Hoopoe at Wall Heath in Staffordshire had recently clocked up its 100th day at the site. First reported on the 25th November it was still present at the beginning of this week. 
Today we finally made the 140 mile trip around the M25 then up the M1 and across the M6 motorways eventually arriving at the quarry at Wall Heath around 7.45am. There had been no reported sightings of the bird the previous day and after nearly an hours searching we had not managed to locate it. Skylarks were displaying high above us and Meadow Pipits were flitting about along the fence line, as I scanned the pipits on the fence again a small movement in the grass below caught my eye. It was the Hoopoe!
It remained in the same area for over an hour until it was harassed by the Meadow pipits and had to fly to the nearby trees to escape them. But would return to it's favoured feeding area soon after.

Dudley Cemetery was only 5 miles away, so we stopped off to take a look at the grave of Duncan Edwards, Manchester United footballer who died from injuries sustained in the Munich air crash in 1958.

 Duncan Edwards grave

From here we dropped in at RSPB Nature reserve Sandwell Valley. A small inner-city reserve close to West Bromwich. Click Here to view there web page. A very nice reserve which is probably no more than a mile to walk around and is run by friendly staff and is very well maintained.

A stop at the feeders right outside the reserve centre quickly added what had been so far this year the elusive Bullfinch to my year list. Having previously not seen one this year I watched eight coming into the feeders and perched in nearby trees. A walk down to the hide was rewarded with an unexpected sighting of a very early Little Ringed Plover. I grabbed a record shot with my phone handheld to the scope. Male Goosander and male and female Goldeneye were also noted along with Grey Wagtail.

Little Ringed Plover

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