Last weekend was just one of those times, where you put the effort in but not much in return. I nearly didn't bother blogging about it. But no, I always intended this to be a warts-and-all tale, within reason of course.
Saturday 14th November.
Starting off at the quarry in Uttoxeter:
1 Redshank, 2 Green Sandpipers, 140 Golden Plover, 300 Lapwing, 55 Teal, 3 Wigeon, 60 Fieldfare.
Then at Blithfield, 4 Redshank and 6 Dunlin in Tad Bay. Any thoughts of checking the gull roost at the causeway were thwarted when an almighty shower came in.
Sunday 15th November.
A much calmer morning, so a walk around the Katyn memorial area of Cannock Chase was called for. And not a bad selection actually, considering the time of year. A few Stonechats, a single Redpoll, Skylarks, Reed Buntings, Fieldfares, Redwings, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
The afternoon was then spent in the Trent valley, most of the time at Whitemoor Haye to scan for farmland birds. Which produced very little really, the call of a Partridge got me excited for a short while, but it was Red-legged and not the Grey I was hoping for. To break the lack of birds, a short visit to Branston Water Park produced a Water Rail and 4 Snipe in the reeds at the southern end.
And that was as good as it got really. Must be a sign that the best of autumn has passed. In fact, this was the most exciting thing I saw at Whitemoor Haye. Alongside Sittles Farm is a small airstrip, about to be put to the test here........