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

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.

Tree Pipit 1 Dave Hutton C Chase

West Midland Bird Club

2017 Cannock Chase Bird Survey

In memory of Frank Gribble MBE

Cannock Chase is a site of regional and national importance and 2017 will see the continuation of bird survey work at this site that has been carried out at five yearly intervals since 1992. The links below provide information concerning the 2017 survey that has been organised by the Stafford Branch of the West Midland Bird Club under the guidance of project manager Roger Broadbent

 

The Tree Pipit is one of a number of iconic bird species that breed at this site. Photographed here by Dave Hutton on the chase in May 2016.

Targeting certain species is an integral and important feature of this survey.

Aims of the Survey Methodology and Survey Commitment Survey Recording Requirements Cannock Chase Target Species Front Cover 2014 Annual Report 2

West Midland Bird Club

2014 Annual Report

The West Midland Bird Club Annual Report for the year 2014 has now been distributed to the membership. This annual production provides a historic record of the wild birds that have been recorded in Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands in a specific calendar year. This report is a culmination of two years work involving over 300,000 records of 229 species at around 1000 sites and recorded by over 1,300 contributors. Our Report is the only authentic source of information on the avifauna of our four counties.

Once again the Club is indebted to the Report Editor, the four County Recorders, the photographers who submit their work for inclusion in the report, all of those who are associated with the content and production of this publication and, by no means least, to all those observers who have submitted their records.

All members of the Club receive a copy of the report as part of their annual subscription. Anyone wishing to join the Club can find details of membership plus information on other membership benefits by visiting the join page of this website.

The current 2014 report is now available for purchase at a cost of £12.00 plus £2.00 p&p from the WMBC Secretary  -  Mark Rickus  -  27

Ringmere Avenue, Castle Bromwich B36 9AT. Cheques should be made payable to: West Midland Bird Club. For further information concerning all Club activities please contact:  secretary@westmidlandbirdclub.org.uk

Tree Pipit - Cannock Chase - photo Dave Hutton

Sand Martin leaving nest - Bob Normand

Spring Birding

The first of our summer residents will arrive in our region soon with Sand Martin and Northern Wheatear typically the first birds on the scene. With favourable weather conditions and a huge helping of good luck, the earliest arrivals are expected during the first half of March. The movement of migratory birds gathers in pace as the months progress, resplendent males in summer plumage are eagerly awaited and none more so than the Yellow Wagtail, particularly when found in newly arrived groups.

The Clubs Annual Report is an essential work when learning of arrival and departure dates for our summer residents. Using our two migratory feature birds, Sand Martin and Yellow Wagtail as examples, both species are supported by 79 and 78 years respectively of recording history. This information is available in our archived reports here on this website. Favoured arrival destinations can also be found in the report. It will come as little surprise to learn that the Clubs reserves feature strongly as being ideal staging points or the final destination in these migratory journeys. Tracking the arrival time of summer residents, passage migrants and visitors to our region is greatly assisted by the information provided in the West Midland Bird Club Annual Report.

Yell Wag 1 Nigel T Belvide

Sand Martin leaving excavated nest site - photo Bob Normand

Yellow Wagtail - Belvide Reservoir Reserve - photo Nigel Talbot

Spring heralds the breeding season and for some of our regional resident birds, nest building and egg laying can be well underway by the time migratory birds arrive. Finding the more unusual species in our region and visiting the type of habitat that attracts these birds is always a thrill. However, and for whatever reason, those amongst us who are disinclined to travel too far for their birding enjoyment, then look no further than your garden or local patch and the resident bird population that inhabits the area. Here for example, you can witness the fascinating courtship behaviour of the Dunnock. This common and rather unobtrusive bird is in fact a delight of intricate plumage at close quarters. Unlike most birds the Dunnock does not form a pair partnership but breeds in small sexually interactive groups of up to three males and three females, two males and a single female being the most common grouping. Watch for the wing flicking characteristic to attract you to their presence and courtship behaviour.

One of the best ways of locating Dunnock or any bird species for that matter is to learn their song and calls. Bird song is all around us right now and this will intensify over the coming months as a greater number of birds and wider variety of species become involved in announcing their presence in their patch. Learning bird song and call is one of the most valuable assets of bird identification, springtime being the ideal opportunity to locate and identify the singing birds around you. Simultaneously watching and listening to a vocal bird is good practice.

Birding is for everyone, everywhere, enjoy it whenever and wherever you are so inclined.

Listen to a singing Dunnock by using this link

Close the link by using the back arrow        when finished to return to this page.

Dunnock song Dunnock - Dave Emley - Staffordshire

West Midland Bird Club - Regional BTO

2016/17 Regional Black Redstart Survey

Work on this survey has now been completed 28/02/2017

 

The WMBC and BTO would like to thank all who have been involved in the survey work of the region and to those who have submitted casual/roving records to the survey too. Now follows the procedure of collating all of this information and a full report of all findings will be published upon completion of this work.

The outcome of this survey will enable the Club to evaluate the annual status of the Black Redstart in our region with current information. This can then be used as a benchmark for all future studies.

Thanks again - Jim Winsper WMBC and Steve Davies BTO 

Dunnock - Staffordshire - photo Dave Emley

 

The highly acclaimed and informative West Midland Bird Club publications, the Annual Report and quarterly Newsletter are received by members as part of their Standard annual subscription of £20.00. An Inclusive annual subscription of £30.00 purchases all of this and includes access to all four West Midland Bird Club Reserves. All details for the entire Club structure can be found on this website.

Male Black Redstart - Warwickshire

photo Dave Hutton

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