There were 2 Dippers at Longnor
We both set off early in overcast skies and headed to the south of the county again. First stop was Trench Pool and here the pool was 50% frozen over. In the center there were, 73 Tufted Ducks, 20 Pochard and 2 Great-crested and a single Little Grebe. Again we stopped off to look at the 4 adult Whooper Swans and nearby a male Merlin landed in a tree above us as we drove down a single lane near Venus Pool. We carried on and a look over the bridge at Longnor produced 2 Dippers just below us. Over the Long Mynd it was completly covered in low cloud. As a result we did not see anything, but as we made our way down towards Bridges, a raptor came out of the mist and turned out to be a Red Kite! Over the Stiperstones there were 7 Red Kites showing well, but distant. The sun burnt off the mist and for the rest of the day it was blue skies. We returned to the same stubble field as yesterday near to Clunton Coppice. In this area there were over 100 Bramblings, 130 Skylarks, 60+Chaffinch, 10 Goldfinch and a single male Bullfinch. Later in the day, yesterdays 150+Yellowhammers came in and joined the finches. Most of the time Siskins and redpolls were flying over or heard in the area. There was also a single Marsh Tit and we witnest 2 different Buzzard kills on Grey Squirrels next to the lane we were on. From the stubble field I scanned across the valleys and counted over 40 each of Raven and Buzzard in the air at the same time with a single Red Kite. Looking across the same area, an hour later, we were amazed to see over 140 Ravens twisting and turning together at the side of a hill in one of the valleys with 3 Red Kites and 10+Buzzards!!
Male Merlin in a Oak showed very well in the dull light near Venus Pool.
Dipper at Longnor
The first of the 7 Red Kites coming out of the mist at Bridges
Siskins were heard everywhere and included this female at Clunton.
Half an hour before dark, we quickly drove up the Long Mynd for Red Grouse and got two birds fly across the road in front of us. Returning back the Mynd, a male and female landed on the road, directly in front of us, and stayed there for a good two-three minutes with excellant views had by all.
On the other end of the white socks is a Red Grouse!