Sunday 6 May 2012

A Morning on Cannock Chase

A nice relaxing Sunday morning stroll around Cannock Chase this morning provided a much needed fix of Spring migrants. After the appalling weather over the past few weeks, the sun was shining and the birds were certainly making the most of it.  The obvious highlights were the recent arrivals from the African continent who choose our glorious islands to raise their next generation.  At least one Cuckoo was spotted hunting caterpillars on the heathland and at least four Wood Warblers showed well in various parts of the woodland.  A pair of Pied Flycatchers remained elusive and a handsome male Common Redstart sang its heart out high in the canopy.  An added bonus was a flock of 18 Common Crossbill, a few of which performed well feeding on pine cones just above our heads.

Treebeard (left) meets Nadia (right)!

Other highlights included my first Garden Warbler of the year, numerous Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Willow Warbler and single sightings Common Whitethroat and Tree Pipit.  The best of the resident bunch of woodland specialities included Sparrowhawk, Nuthatch, Treecreeper and Goldcrest.

Unfortunately I am unable to provide exact locations of my sightings due to the continued risk of egg-collectors operating in the area. Whilst out in the field at this time of the year please remain cautious of what information you pass on to folks. Already this Spring there have been instances where a known local egg thief has been targeting scarce breeding species.  If you witness any suspicious behaviour then please gather as much information as possible, including detailed descriptions of the individuals concerned and take a note of car registration numbers if possible.  Do not hesitate to pass this information onto the Police at the earliest opportunity. 

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