An early start was required this morning after news of a juvenile Woodchat Shrike filtered through late last night. I arrived at Whitemoor Haye at around 6.20am to find a small selection of the most dedicated St*ffordshire County listers milling around. Despite hanging around on site until 7.20am, this West Midlands MEGA failed to show in the emerging sun. For the lucky few that connected yesterday evening this a species that could well remain a County blocker for some time based on past records in the region. On a positive note it was great to see at least 14 Grey Partridge amongst the set-aside fields. This a species that seems to be in real trouble in the West Midlands as well as in numerous other parts of England unfortunately. Other sightings during my brief stop over included Yellow Wagtail, Common Whitethroat and Tree Sparrow.
A scene of sheer misery.... a covey of heart-broken St*ffordshire birders ponder over what might have been.
For any St*ffordshire County Listers that may have been affected by this blog please call.....
The Samaritans on 01782 213555
Woodchat Shrike in the West Midlands Region
If accepted this will be only the fourth ever record of Woodchat Shrike for the West Midlands region, with the latest sighting being the first for Staffordshire. This would constitute only the first ever Autumn record too. The previous records are as follows:
- 1893 - Weatheroak Hill, Worcestershire - 14th May - a pair (dodgy perhaps?)
- 1999 - Longmoor Valley, Sutton Park, West Midlands (old Warwickshire) - 1st to 14th June male
- 2009 - Brandon Marsh, Warwickshire - 29th May - adult
- 2010 - Whitemoor Haye, Staffordshire - 8th September - juvenile