WMBC_blackredstart_logo2014

West Midland Bird Club

Studying Birds in Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands since 1929

Attend Local Branches and Field Trips  -  Visit our Reserves  -  Record your Bird Sightings

Supporting the West Midland Bird Club is a positive step in conserving important habitat for birds and other wildlife. You will also be contributing to the ornithological knowledge of the region. Get the most from your birding activities by becoming a member today. Using this website will provide you with all the information that is required in making you aware of how this Club functions, how to become involved in Club activities and to encourage you to further your birding interests by developing your knowledge of the birds of the region.

There is plenty of information at hand within these pages, however, please do not hesitate in using the contact us page via the menu or the info@westmidlandbirdclub link at the foot of all pages if you would like to take a personal approach to gathering information; the Club Secretary will be pleased to deal with any enquiry. There is great scope to become involved in a wide range of Club activities, likewise you can go about your birding activities on a personal level and simply enjoy what the West Midland Bird Club has to offer in assisting your interests.

Recent Sightings BR Sub adult male

2016 - Regional Black Redstart Survey

This is a joint survey that has been organised through the combined efforts of the West Midland Bird Club and regional network of the British Trust for Ornithology. Throughout 2015 announcements of this survey have been placed on this website and in the Clubs Newsletter to provide an awareness of the project in preparation for the survey commencement date on January 1st 2016. This survey will benefit from your involvement and everyone is welcome and encouraged to take part. Please use the link below to visit the dedicated survey pages in order to find out more about the survey and how you can become involved.

2016 - Regional Black Redstart Survey

Undeveloped plumage male Black Redstart

Coleshill, Warwickshire - September 22nd 2011

ageing the bird at approximately 15 months

Photo - Dave Hutton

Local Branch Indoor Meetings and Field Trips

Make the most of your membership by visiting your local branches and enjoy the excellent talks that are taking place throughout the WMBC branch network. Likewise, book a seat on one of the Clubs Field Trips, visiting some of the UKs top birding sites. Detailes for all Branch and Field Meetings can be found on this website by visiting the appropriate location via the menu. The WMBC Newsletter also carries the same information.

Not a member, not a problem! please go along and enjoy the evening or trip, you will be made most welcome.

2013 Report Cover image 2013 Report Cover image

The West Midland Bird Club

80th Annual Report is now available.

 

For further information about obtaining this Report or becoming a member of this Club please visit the Join or Our Publications pages of this site. All members of both membership categories of the West Midland Bird Club will receive a copy of the Annual Report.

An Analysis of Staffordshire Bird Records 2005 - 2014

Take a look at the papers submitted by Nick Pomiankowski concerning his analysis of records for resident and migrant bird species in Staffordshire. Nick, the County Recorder for Staffordshire, has put together a first class presentation that reveals some very interesting trends. To view these papers choose the Research page in the menu and enjoy the documents via their links; it stimulates thoughts on how we can extend the use of accumulated data in an informative manner. This information also provides a simple research access tool via this site.

North Warwickshire Barn Owl Scheme

Following on from previous Club activities concerning the well-being and status of the Barn Owl in Warwickshire, Steve Haynes the Warwickshire County Recorder, has taken up the role of projecting the scheme forward. Barn Owl continues to be a Warwickshire Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species and while their conservation is at the forefront of this project, other bird species will benefit, probably involving the south of the county too. The forward thinking by Steve on this conservation scheme is vital to its all round success and it is hoped that Little Owl, Turtle Dove, Willow Tit and other fast-declining species will also become beneficiaries.

Any action taken in providing assistance with the breeding and wintering status of these threatened bird species is welcomed and to this end the West Midland Bird Club have also stepped up-to-the-mark by backing Steve's initiative in financially supporting the project.

The Club's Executive Committee thoroughly encourage this type of initiative and looks forward to being able to "make a difference" at a time when so many changes are affecting the fortunes of some of our iconic species.

Preparation work is already on-going and from here on, as appropriate, the progress of this scheme can be viewed via a link on the Research page of this website.

Summer birding in our region

As the summer progresses we await the arrival of return passage birds into our region. However, such expectancies can be overshadowed by some of the summer visitors that can turn up. It is often the case that some rare individuals can put in an appearance, often unexpected but nevertheless very welcome. The summer plumage Black-necked Grebe at Earlswood Lakes, shown in our heading image, was found by local patch birder Matt Griffiths while carrying out a waterfowl count at the site and subsequently photographed by Ahley Grove. Don't be put off from going about

Worcestershire County Recorder

After taking up the position of Worcestershire County Recorder in 2009, Steven Payne has decided to retire from the post upon the appointment of his successor. Steven has dedicated himself to the work involved and I am certain that everyone who has submitted records to him or simply been in contact with him would agree that he has not only done a first class job but conducted himself impeccably at all times, making the recording of birds in this county a pleasureable experience. When the time arrives for his departure he will be remembered with great respect.

Anyone who is interested in becoming Stevens successor to the position of Worcestershire County Recorder and who feel that they can carry out what is a demanding, important and satisfying role, should contact - Steven Payne at: - worcs-recorder@westmidlandbirdclub.org.uk where Steven will provide all the information that you require about the work involved and the role itself. Alternative contacts are: - chair@westmidlandbirdclub.org.uk and: - secretary@westmidlandbirdclub.org.uk where in both instances you will receive full assistance.

The West Midland Bird Club welcomes all those who wish to seek information about this position.

West Midland Bird Club 2017 Cannock Chase Bird Survey - Volunteers Required

This planned survey is of huge importance to the conservation and all future management plans for this nationally important site. The Club is asking for volunteers to help and anyone who is interested in taking part please contact stafford@westmidlandbirdclub.org.uk for further information. This essential survey has the potential to be a very rewarding exercise for all those who take part and, by design, in having a great bearing on site habitat and wildlife, your assistance will be most appreciated.

Black-necked Grebe - Earlswood Lakes - Ashley Grove

West Midland Bird Club

Studying Birds in Staffordshire, Warwickshire,

Worcestershire and the West Midlands since 1929

Black-necked Grebe - Earlswood Lakes June 2016 - photograph

Female Long-tailed Duck - Alvecote Pools - Dave Hutton Great Skua - Westport Lake - Steve Seal June 2016

your birding activities by this mid-summer period being regarded as a quiet birding time, when things happen it can be very exciting. The images above of Great Skua at Westport Lake photographed by Steve Seal on 15th June and the female Long-tailed Duck at Alvecote Pools photographed by Dave Hutton on 18th June are examples of what might change your day if you are out there watching.  

First breeding of Little Egret in Warwickshire and West Midland Bird Club Region  

This long awaited event has now happened. A pair of Little Egrets have raised three young in a nest located in the Grey Heronry at Middleton, Warwickshire. This bird is now a familiar species in many parts of our region and it has simply been just a matter of time before breeding took place here. This site at Middleton, along with others nearby,

Young Little Egrets - Steven Pick - Middleton Wark Young Little Egrets - Nick Martin - Middleton Warks

Two of the three young - Photograph Steven Pick and all three together - Photograph Nick Martin - Photos July 2016

 

has also been a roosting location for the adult birds, such sites are favourable for both purposes and it has been expected that this site in particular might well produce the first record. It's not that long ago, particularly in terms of ornithological status changes, that I made a trip to the south coast to record my first UK Little Egret as birds began to colonise the British Isles and, it's an even shorter period of time when the late Edwin Hopkins and myself watched a single bird on the island at Dosthill Lake in the Middle Tame Valley, both of us being delighted at finding this then regional rarity. How times change, what might be our next regional avian event?

Little Egrets - Ladywalk - Peter Lichfield

No need to make extensive journeys any more to get such splendid sights as a group of Little Egret feeding in front of you on a fine summer day. This stunning photograph was taken at our Ladywalk Reserve by Peter Lichfield in June 2016. Eight birds in total made up this feeding group, six are portrayed in the photograph. The regional status of this bird now includes breeding in its resident make up.

HS2 An Opportunity to Help Birds?

The West Midland Bird Club Deputy Chairman Roger Broadbent is also the Clubs front man in all things HS2. Roger has put together a paper with some important and interesting information on how we can help the birds and habitat that could be affected by the construction and ultimate operation of this project. You may very well be able to help with supplying valuable data that will in turn assist all those concerned in making important decisions, while at the same time supplying equally valuable information on under recorded areas and habitat that may hold key species of both fauna and flora. The image of a Curlew in lowland grassland habitat may soon become a vision of the past.  

Eurasian Curlew - Ashley Grove

The breeding population of this bird has declined dramatically in recent years, so much so that it is now afforded Red Data status in the UK on the list of species that offer the greatest concern, It is also the subject of a BTO appeal to try and understand the reason behind this dramatic decline. Taking on board the suggestion put forward by our Deputy Chair in his paper may well contribute toward some important findings for the Curlew and other species that are under threat by having a rather frail foothold in the British countryside. To read what Roger has to say , use the link below.  

Eurasian Curlew in a flower meadow - Photograph Ashley Grove

HS2 An Opportunity to Help Birds