Thursday 2nd February:
It was yet another dull, damp day on the and for today's visit I decided to undertake a walk around the upper section of the common starting and finishing at the main car park. It was interesting to see the heather and gorse taking a foothold where the plantation woodland was but sadly the walk was devoid of birdlife. That said things were slightly better on the fungi front especially along the wooded path that runs along the eastern edge of the site. Here I recorded more Velvet Shank, Witches Butter and a new fungi for my year list called Tripe Fungus.
Tripe Fungus (Auricularia mesenterica)
Sunday 5th February:
The dull grey weather continues but at least it wasn't so damp today. The first part of my visit was again spent on the upper section of the common. It was nice to see that the Hazel tree near the main car park was now in bloom with a great show of the male catkins and the smaller red female flowers. Birdwise there was more activity today although a highlight was hearing a Song Thrush that was in great voice (the first one I have heard singing this year). Also of note was a Kestrel that was hovering over the common.
Hazel (Corylus avellana) in bloom
From the common I headed over to Hillditch pool where I undertook a short walk. During the walk a ♂ Sparrowhawk flew past and perched up briefly in one of the tall Oaks that line the footpath above the pond. It was in stunning plumage and had it's full peachy/orange flush on it's chest. Sadly though the beggar flew off before I managed any clear photos of him.
The undoubted highlight of the day came when on returning to my car I heard a Willow Tit singing from the wooded area across the road from the pool. It sang fairly regularly for 10 minutes or so and I decided to take a recording of it on my mobile phone as a record. Willow Tit is a very scarce species in Worcestershire these days as it has seen a countywide collapse in numbers over the last 20 years. As it is private land I was unable to get in to locate the bird but it certainly bodes well for future visits.
Willow Tit (Poecile montanus) - Worcestershire, 5th February 2017