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Bramblings, Wyre Forest

Knowles Mill, Dowles Brook

Only my second Worcestershire sighting of this winter finch, at Lodge Hill Farm which is a mile or so along the old railway track from Bewdley to Tenbury Wells. I walked in from the Bridgnorth road thinking what a lovely train ride that would have been, occasionally high above Dowles Brook but certainly surrounded by trees. That’s not something we Brits enjoy much of but Wyre Forest is large enough to convey the feeling.

I was visiting in response to BirdGuides postings of hawfinches. They were not to be but the bramblings made up, along with siskins and redpolls, those other woodland finches, and yellowhammers, unusual for the habitat. A pair of ravens had also cronked over and a few small flocks of stock doves.

No visit to the area is complete without trying for dippers so beyond the Farm I dropped down to Brook level and carried on into the woods. Instant result: one bird that was even singing. Further upstream another dipper, hopefully female, was also hunting.

This route committed me to a long walk round but it was worthwhile on a warming late winter day. It compensated for Saints later inability to get so much as a point from their domination of Walsall – the real purpose of my Midlands trip.

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