Saturday, 3 May 2008

South Shropshire - Raptors & Warblers galore....

After the excitement of the previous evening, could the standard be maintained?

Andy L, Yvonne C and yours truly were on a South Shropshire mission for Dotterel, Goshawk and Warblers..... The first few minutes in the car were interesting, how long would the 'f' word be kept under wraps? It lasted all of one minute and then we had a fantastic day, lots of laughs and went places a Renault Laguna really shouldn't go (I've still got my exhaust - just!!)

The Longmynd was first with stops at Boiling Well, Pole Cott, an offroad dodgy adventure and the 'sheep fields'. Not a Dotterel in sight but we had a few cracking raptors. Red Kite, Kestrel and then an unfortunate Buzzard entered into Merlin territory where the feisty pair set about him in no uncertain terms!!

Bury Ditches was fairly quiet but at least we added Goshawk to the list, a distant bird displaying well! Garden Warblers pretty vociferous but unseen - at least the Redpoll were obliging.....

Clunton Coppice was alive with Warblers and a normally reclusive Garden Warbler showed exceptionally well (pics courtesy of a sharp-eyed Yvonne!).

As did possibly the highlight of the day - Wood Warblers!! Two superb singing males with Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff also in the area.

Another raptor watch over Black Hill turned up another Goshawk together with the ever increasing count of Buzzards (shedloads, whatever!)

Several stops on the way back to Clun added more Warblers, Pied Flycatcher and Redstart.

A final stop on the Mynd and following a 'Dottereless' breezy walk around the flanks of the sheep fields, we added a pair of Hobbies, Kestrel and Merlin. Then, back to VP where there was not much of interest at all!

Andy was on form as ever - you want a Goshawk? - here's a Goshawk etc.....

The moral? Sometimes you have to travel to find decent local birds - we did on both counts! Another five year ticks added to my year list: Goshawk, Garden & Wood Warbler, Pied Fly and Hobby. For me, so early in the year, the UK '200' is now in sight (currently on 188)

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