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Sunday, 21 March 2010

Yellowhammers (et al) on Cannock Chase - 19th March, 2010

I have bemoaned the fact that all my recent visits to Cannock Chase have resulted in my arriving in dull weather. Thursday (when I dropped in with my wife on our way back from a day out in Shropshire) was no exception. When Friday dawned bright and clear I thought that I'd take my chance! I arrived at the feeding station to find the best spots occupied by people who had parked their cars side-on, so for an hour I was a bit distant from the best action (when the Redpolls arrived, for example). However, I did get half an hour in a prime position before the skies greyed over. In this time I concentrated on my main objective - the Yellowhammers. However, there was plenty of other action too, with Bullfinch, Willow Tit and Jay providing some variety. On this day, the water was proving to be as much an attraction for the birds as the food - hence the several rather unnatural shots at the water bowl. Must return and try my hand at some better shots of these last birds - and who knows; I might even be lucky enough to get something a little better than a record shot of Redpoll!

Yellowhammer (males)

Willow Tit

Great Tit

Lesser Redpoll (female)

Lesser Redpoll (male)

Long-tailed Tit

Bullfinch (female)

Bullfinch (male)

Having decided that I'd had the best of the light, I set off back homewards. I'd not gone half a mile before a Jay flew across in front of me and settled in a tree on my left - had to twist myself into an awkward angle to shoot through the passenger window!



  1. Great pictures Richard! Where and what is Cannock Chase?! Looks like a great place to photograph! I find it really tricky to get good photos of Yellowhammer and Bullfinch etc!


  2. Hi Ben. Thanks for your kind comment. Cannock Chase is a very large area of common, woodland, etc. in Staffordshire. It's big enough to have two Visitor Centres. It is to be avoided at weekends as it gets very busy with people from nearvy Birmingham and Wolverhampton. It has some specialities - usually gets Waxwings and Crossbills in the winter. My next task is to try and find the Dartford Warblers here.

    The particular place that I go to for Yellowhammer usually has about half a dozen showing if you stay for a couple of hours. I'm not prepared to publish details here - the place is already too busy with birdwatchers, photographers, and locals who just come to look at the large numbers of birds that gather here - also the deer. If, however, you let me have your direct e-mail address, I will give you the details. With best regards. Richard

  3. Sorry Ben - senility must be coming quicker than I thought - of course, I have got your e-mail address!! I will sent you the info tomorrow!!!

  4. Lovely set of pictures, especially the ones of the Yellowhammer. I was lucky this winter to have a visit from a male Lesser Redpoll in my garden. This Redpoll came a couple of times and one of those times when I was doing my bird count for the RSPB, how lucky that was:-)

  5. Looks like you had a great weekend Richard, some great images especially the Yellowhammers.


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