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Saturday, 3 January 2009

Cannock Chase on 25th December, 2008

On Christmas day, it is the norm for my wife and I to go out into the countryside for a picnic Christmas lunch (and then have our main meal in the evening). This year our chosen venue was Cannock Chase. I little thought as we set out, that I would be the instigator of a 'mini-twitch' - my first.

We started with a walk from Chase Rd. Corner car park. Our only sightings of any interest were a couple of Stonechat. The first, an adult, was in a rather dark location, so no useable photos. The second, a juvenile was in a lighter location, and so photography was just about possible, as shown below.

After a walk we headed off to the car park at Coppice Hill for our picnic, which we had in the main car park. Having finished lunch, we investigated the area and found the feeding station in the extension to the car park, where we virtually had the place to ourselves. Having parked up, we spread some seed (always got some in the car) and sat quietly with the window open, watching the action. As well as the usual run of tits, there were plenty of Willow Tits, looking quite splended in their winter colours, and a pair of Yellowhammers. Next, a Waxwing was spotted in a bush behind the feeding station, but it did not stop long. Suddenly I noticed the arrival of a female Hawfinch. Fortunately, unlike most of the birds, this placed itself where I could take photos, although the light was awful. The session was rounded off nicely by a group of eight Fallow Deer arriving, some of which came to within about 8ft of us! My reporting the sighting of the Hawfinch seems to have resulted in an otherwise quiet part of the car park being inundated with birders!!

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