Friday, 25 March 2011

Bunkers Hill Wood, Stourbridge....23/03/2011

A walk around the perimeter of Bunkers Hill Wood in the hope of seeing a Stonechat and/or Wheatear in the fields and paddocks was fruitless as far as these 2 species were concerned but it was still an eventful walk as it turned out. Two Buzzards soared above the fields as I parked my car, always a treat to see. Blue and Great Tits were seen and heard on almost the entire length of the walk and Long-tailed Tits were almost as abundant. Robins singing around every corner and Blackbirds made a dash for cover once they had spotted me as I made my way to the top end of the wood. A flock of Yellowhammers in their usual chosen field looked stunning as the sun shone on them! Chiffchaffs were heard in several areas and a G S W was drumming. A flock of Chaffinches suddenly alighted as I walked past a large tree, making me jump in all! Mistle Thrush and Goldfinch were also seen in the top fields. I saw several Peacock Butterflies enroute, lovely to see them flitting about again! There are many mature Rhododendrons at Bunkers Hill Wood. They are budding up now and will look a treat in a few weeks time. I will return and take a few pics of them in flower. The Wood was once privately owned but is now owned by the Woodland Trust.

On the way down the path I came across a clearing of scrub/grass and witnessed what I now know is called a Dust devil! Dried leaves fluttered, fell and rose again in a vortex of air, raising the leaves appproximately 2-3 feet into the air, this spectacle lasted for 10 - 15 seconds! The same thing happened again three more times with a space of a few feet between each fountain of leaves. I have never seen such a sight, it was truly amazing! It was a warm, sunny afternoon with not a hint of a breeze, so to see such an event was a surprise and quite surreal!
I had been in two minds whether to walk the whole perimeter of the wood as I was on my own and felt a little apprehensive but I am so glad I did not cut the walk short as I would have missed the Dust devil! Funny how things turn out sometimes as I now feel I was destined to do the whole walk!

View overlooking fields with the Clent Hills in the distance.

A small flock of Helmeted Guineafowl are in a garden by the entrance to the woods, they are soooo noisy but cute!

How many Yellowhammers are there?

Common Buzzard soaring in the sunshine!


  1. A nice account of your woodland walk Pam,glad you finally got to see some sunshine.....the pics look great....I reckon about 6 Yellowhammers?
    What a wierd occurence you witnessed,I've never even heard of a Dust Devil!!
    Will look forward to seeing those blooming Rhodos in a few weeks!

  2. Close Ruth, I spotted 8 and there may even have been a couple more! Thanks for having a go!

    I hadn't heard of the term Dust devil either so now we have both learnt something...keep em peeled when out and about! It was a surreal and magical experience!

    Thanks for your kind comments! All being well Rhodos pics shortly!

  3. Nice photos! Love the blog. thanks for sharing!

  4. Kind of you to comment, thank you very much Mike!