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 honesty.lol! 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!




4 comments:

  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!

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  2. Close Ruth, I spotted 8 and there may even have been a couple more Yellowhammers.lol! 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!

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

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

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