Very Dull and Cold day on HC.

Just a Bird count today:- 5- Chaffinch, 3- Robin, 2- Blue Tit, 3- Dunnock, 2- Wood Pigeon, 1- Magpie, 1- Great Tit, 1- Carrion Crow, 1- Buzzard, 10+ Long-tailed Tits, 1- Treecreeper, 1- Blackbird, 1- Great-spotted Woodpecker, 1- Marsh Tit, 1- Jay.



When I arrived at HC my car temperature said 2.5ºC, but believe me it felt way colder. Added a new bird to the HC Year List, A pair of Mallard flew over. Other birds seen:- 2- Marsh Tit (photo), 4- Blue Tit (photo), 5- Chaffinch, 1- Jay, 2- Carrion Crow, 1- Pheasant, 1- Magpie, 2- Wood Pigeon, 5- Great Tit, 2- Coal Tit (photo), 1- Blackbird, 3- Robin (photo), 1- Dunnock, 4- Jackdaw, 1- Buzzard. 39 species.

It must be tuesday, Work Party Day….


Going to be a very interesting few weeks, when the work finally starts. I will have to change my route while work is undertaken. But long term, I really believe this needs doing….


With only a few hours over HC this afternoon, only managed to get photos of the usual suspects…

Its a funny time of year for this Blue Tit to be losing its beautiful blue crown feathers…


Marsh Tit….


Coal Tit…


This Robin was working hard, to keep its Red Breast clean. Does anyone else think it looks like a heart shape, when its cleaning its breast. That because everyone loves Robins. Just wish they would learn to love each other. They never eat the food I put down, way to busy fighting for the right to eat. By the time they finish, its all gone anyway!

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What a beautiful sunny sunday morning walk over HC today! I was joined on my walk today by Ken, Dave and Simon. I added two more birds to the HC year list, they were:- 3- Sisken (+)(photo), and 1- Reed Bunting (+)(photo). Other birds noted:- 4- Great Tit, 3- Blue Tit, 1- Marsh Tit, 1- Robin, 1- Blackbird, 3- Redpoll (photo), 1- Green Woodpecker (interesting photo), 6- Jackdaw, 10- Wood Pigeon, 1- Great-spotted Woodpecker, 1- Magpie, 4- Goldfinch, 2- Carrion Crow, 1- Coal Tit, 2- Redwing, 1- Kestrel (photo). That takes my year list to 38.

Distant Redpoll, noted 3 today taking a drink in the undergrowth, only managed this photo, as they moved deeper into the wood….


Thinking we had a small flock of Redpoll I quickly noticed the bright yellow of 3 Siskin, (new to year list) these were also flying down for a drink, but then went back up high in an Alder Tree, eating seeds from the small Alder cones….

IMG_4410 IMG_4402Also new to year list was this female Reed Bunting, this was also keeping in the undergrowth…


Found this fascinating, and thanks to Simon for this great piece of knowledge. I now know how to identify Green Woodpecker faeces. Simon told us it could easily be mistaken for cigarette ash (I can see why). But on closer inspection, you could make it out as faeces…


The next 14 photos (yes I said 14) is of a female Kestrel showing how to turn round on a telephone wire. Love things like this, sometimes using a car as a hide works really well. This Kestrel just totally ignored me, it did this and just carried on scanning the fields in White House Lane. Seem to be having good luck with female Kestrels just lately. Nice to see them becoming more numerous again…..

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Staffordshire Wildlife Trust – Winter Bird Walk 17.1.15.

Meeting at The Wardens Office at 10am on a Sunny but Cool morning, the walk took us round The Forestry Commission grounds, and through the Birch Coppice car park, then back down The Common to the Wardens office. It took us about 2 hours. I decided to have a Camera and Notebook free day, and just take my Binoculars. In hindsight this was a mistake by me for a number of reasons. If I had taken my camera, I could have recorded the group members and size (approx 15). Also missed the most docile Jay I have ever seen, it just sat there, never moved even when we walk passed. The Jay even raised its crest, which I’ve never seen let alone photographed..What a chance missed.

The exact bird species and count will follow, when Adam the Warden emails them to me. But I can remember these:- Blackbird, Jay, Green Woodpecker, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wood Pigeon, Song Thrush, Chaffinch, Robin, Long-tailed Tits. Also earlier in the day putting food down for the walk, I observed 4 Marsh Tit. Marsh Tit was also noted on the walk.

Heard but not seen:- Goldcrest and Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Would also like to thank Hannah for making a fantastic cake. Also the warm cup of tea was very welcome on a cold day, back at The Cory Community Centre!

All round a very enjoyable couple of hours!!!

Well Done Staffordshire Wildlife Trust!



Beautiful morning at HC today, almost felt like a spring day.

Nothing new on the bird list, which included:- 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Buzzard (photo), 9 Great Tit, 4 Blue Tit, 1 Bullfinch (photo), 5 Chaffinch, 2 Coal Tit, 1 Treecreeper (photo), 10+ Long-tailed Tit, 1 Sparrowhawk (which seems to be hunting Long-tailed Tits), 2 Wood Pigeon, 4 Carrion Crow, 6 Linnet, 2 Jackdaw, 1 Robin, 2 Marsh Tit, 1 Magpie.

Other Flora and Fauna included Cup Lichen (photo) and Witches Butter fungi (photo).

Decided to take a look at the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust feeding area by the Wardens Office, to my surprise there was this male Bullfinch in the tree the feeders are in. Yet again like the Great spotted Woodpecker the other day I was not quick enough. But it did stay close enough for this photo…


Buzzard, getting warm in the early morning sunlight…


The Cup Lichen finally seems to be developing some cups…


Watched this Treecreeper search every nook and cranny for an insect to eat. First time I have noticed a Treecreeper pull tree bark off. It was worth it, because no sooner had it done this, it flew off with what looked like a larvae of some sort…

Looking on the Right Side.


Looking on the Left Side…


Wasn’t really going to post this Witches Butter fungi photo, but with me getting desperate to photograph some Invertebrates in this cold barren spell, and after seeing the Treecreeper (above) show me how to do it. I thought I would show you how a 50 year old, misses things even under his own nose…..Note White Circle..it would have made a good photo if I had seen it. No chance of an Identification…..



A Snowy 14.1.15.

With heavy overnight snow, I was quite looking forward to a crisp snowy day walk. But with the sun being so bright, and above freezing temperatures, it was more of a frosty looking scene, than a snowy scene.

The Highgate Common year bird list got 2 more additions today. Firstly a Song Thrush (photo), which I did think I may have seen by now, being the 14th of January. Also as I was watching the small feeding area by the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Wardens office, I noticed a Pied Wagtail (photo) fly up onto the snowy roof. Luckily Adam one of the Wardens noticed it fly nearer so I got a better photo. Other birds noted:- 1 Buzzard (photo), 2 Coal Tit, 5 Great Tit, 6 Chaffinch, 2 Marsh Tit (photo), 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Magpie, 2 Carrion Crow, 1 Jay, 1 Blackbird, 4 Blue Tit (photo), 1 Dunnock, 2 Wood Pigeon, 3 Robin (photo) (fighting). Takes my year list to 36 bird species for the year.

A Snowy Highgate Common…


Well at least this Robin is in the snow, that makes a change at least…


Marsh Tit…


Blue Tit in the snow…




New to the year list, this Pied Wagtail, outside the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Wardens Office…


Also new to the list, this Song Thrush on the snowy grass…




Only managed 1 Hour over Highgate today. But I did add 1 bird to my Highgate Common year list. It was a Lesser Black-backed Gull. Other birds were:- 2 Coal Tit, 3 Robins (fighting), 10 Chaffinch, 6 Blue Tit, 2 Carrion Crow, 2 Magpie, 3 Wood Pigeon, 2 Blackbird, 2 Dunnock. Plus a male Great Spotted Woodpecker (photo). Really missed a great photo opportunity with this Woodpecker, it was less than 2 metres away from me, but when i did turn my lens on it, it flew off.

Takes my year list to 34 bird species.

Great Spotted Woodpecker, note red on nape, showing its a male….