Monday, 13 February 2017

Southfields Farm, Coleshill.






Another visit to Southfields Farm in Coleshill this morning which is one of my favourite places to go birding because thanks to all the great work John the farmer does you always guaranteed to see a great mixture of birds including Yellowhammer, House Sparrow, Reed Bunting and Linnet.

Saying that I never thought I would ever see one of the most amazing sights that I saw today namely that of c.50 Yellowhammer feeding on one of the locations where John leaves supplementary winter seed for the birds, just a pity a Buzzard flew over and 'spooked' them, I did see them on further locations around the farm in among the many hedgerows but that wasn't as good as the sighting of seeing so many feeding on the floor, the other wonderful sight you are guaranteed is seeing and hearing is the hundreds of House Sparrow around the cottage, farm outbuildings and the trees and bushes around that area, for somebody who loves House Sparrows, the sight of them being literally everywhere is truly wonderful as was seeing c.100 Linnet still feeding on the area where John grows plants for the birds, even though the food is supposed to be long gone they are still finding from it there.

At the one location where the supplementary winter seed is located there were, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird and even a cheeky Moorhen feeding while the other location was being monopolized by Dunnock with at c.20 feeding there.

As per usual there were plenty of Tits and Finches just a shame that a lot of the Finches were blighted with the deadly disease Trichomonosis which is caused by people who feed the birds and/or provide water for them but don't clean the feeders and birdbaths, so if you feed the birds please make sure you clean them on a regular basis.

Birds seen today were, Buzzard, c.50 Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, c.100 Linnet, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Starling, Collared Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackbird, Pied Wagtail, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie and Moorhen.

Also great to see was a Hare bounding across one of the fields, they sure can run.

After the birding was done it was nice to see John and have a chat and he also treated us to a hot drink, thank you John, it's always a pleasure to see you. 

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Thursday, 9 February 2017

Rookery Park, Erdington.





Not really a birding trip today but I visited Rookery Park because I was in the area and I thought I would record what I saw on my short visit.

Birds seen today were, House Sparrow, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Starling, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie and Feral Pigeon.

Even though these were the only birds seen they were there in good numbers especially House Sprrow, Blue and Great Tit, Chaffinch and Goldfinch, Blackbird, Robin and Woodpigeon.

There is a good mixture of trees and bushes at this location and it was especially nice to see a couple of flowering Viburnum grandiflorum trees.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Shustoke Reservoir.






Great day to get up and go out birding with the weather being quite clement and not a single cloud in the sky, in fact the day started off wonderfully because when I was filling up the feeders in the back garden the first thing this morning I was treated to a Dunnock serenading me with it's wonderful song, what a great little bird.

Highlight of the day was seeing a Sparrowhawk being chased by a Carrion Crow, even though it was over in a matter of seconds it was a splendid sight to see, it all happened adjacent to the reservoir on the edges of the farmers field, they came darting down and the Sparrowhawk went into the trees just above ground level were presumably shook off the attention of the Crow. Other than that it was very quiet but all the same it was especially nice to see the following birds, Goldcrest, Treecreeper, Coal Tit, Wren, House Sparrow as well as plenty of Great Spotted Woodpecker pecking at trees and even a pair fighting each other and it was also nice to see and hear a large amount of Song Thrush and Robins singing.

Birds seen today were, Sparrowhawk, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Treecreeper, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Pied Wagtail, Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Pochard, Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Mallard.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Southfields Farm, Coleshill.






Another great to visit to Souhfields Farm in Coleshill today, this time for a winter farmland bird walk courtesy of Tame Valley Wetlands and experts from Natural England and of course the owner of the land, 'John The Farmer'.

As I've stated on many occasions before this location is a wonderful place for the wildlife and John does outstanding work creating ideal habitats for everything from the birds and butterflies right down to Hares and encouraging insects to the farm to create an ideal location for all of our great birds, insects, flora and fauna that we are lucky enough to have in this country.

If you've read this blog before you'll already know that I love the humble House Sparrow and I've said before that this location is replete with many of these wonderful and charismatic birds, so it was great to hear John say that their numbers have gone back to their 1960 levels, they are literally all around the farms outbuildings, always a pleasure to see and hear them.

Like I said beforehand John does a great job on the farm for the birds which ranges from creating the right habitats for them all year around such as cutting, leaving them alone at the appropriate times and creating new hedgerows for nesting birds and creating fallow fields for nesting Lapwing and Skylark in the summer, planting bird friendly crops such as kale, linseed and oilseed rape for birds such as Linnet, Redpoll and Thrushes and providing them with much needed supplementary food in the Autumn/Winter months and creating a huge wildflower meadow field which really is something else to see when it's in full flow in late Spring, with wildflowers such as Common Knapweed, Musk Mallow, Field Scabious, Cornflower, Birds-Foot Trefoil, Oxeye Daisy and Field Poppy present in large numbers.

Highlight of today was seeing so many Yellowhammer with forty to fifty seen in total, about ten were seen at the beginning of the walk by the first path where supplementary food is located and a up to c.30 located on the second path near the end of the walk, other birds seen taking advantage of this much needed food source were, Reed Bunting, Dunnock, Robin, House Sparrow, Greenfinch and even the odd Magpie, also seen flying overhead was a small flock of Linnet and three Buzzard circling high above in one field and another two Buzzard in an adjacent field. I didn't see a wide variety of birds as I have seen on previous visits but if you saw the same birds every time you went out, where would the fun be in that ? But it was still nice to see plenty of Tits, Finches, Redwing and of course Yellowhammers, House Sparrows, Linnets and Reed Buntings.

Birds seen today were, Buzzard, Yellowhammer, Linnet, Reed Bunting, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Robin, Redwing, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow and Magpie.

I hope you've all enjoyed reading this entry to the blog especially you John, you do great work, keep it up !

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Castle Vale Waxwing special !






I'd originally planned to go to Sutton Park today, then decided that the fog forecast wouldn't make the trip worthwhile.....then I noticed that my good internet friend Ragged Robin, blog raggedrobinsnaturenotes and Twitter CarolineIrwin3 had alerted me to the presence of Waxwings on Castle Vale in Birmingham so I thought I'd go regardless of the weather, what a great decision, c.100 Waxwings and blue skies and sunshine.

Only one word sums up the Waxwings, WOW ! What a completely amazing bird, it looks, sounds and even flies with such grace, when I arrived there at approximately 8am, there they were 100+Waxwing singing away in a tree, unfortunately for them the main source of berries were rowan trees adjacent to the road so as soon as they got near the berries traffic would go past and scare them up into the air, if they actually managed to get in one the trees with no traffic on the road then one of the Mistle Thrush present in the nearby trees would fly in and scare them away form 'their' berries, as well as that I also witnessed a Kestrel taking an interest in them twice. All the same it was an absolute pleasure to see them for the first time in my life.

Also seen in and around the area in the four hours I was there, are the following birds, Redwing, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Linnet, Reed Bunting, (an abundance of) House Sparrow, Wren, Robin, Starling, Pied Wagtail, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow and Magpie.

Obviously the highlight was seeing the Waxwing but it was great to see and hear so many House Sparrow, I've never realised  before that this location was a stronghold for the humble House Sparrow, they were literally everywhere in the area, from in front of the swimming baths, right the way down to the stables, long may that continue.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Castle Vale Conservation Area.






Great day to visit Castle Vale Conservation Area and do something I've always wanted to do, namely that of partaking in a spot of tree platning, this was done thanks to the lovely people at Tame Valley Wetlands just a pity the weather was a bit of a letdown, instead of the blues skies and sunshine that was forecast it was instead misty and dank, all the same it didn't stop anyone having a good time and do what we came to do, plant trees !

I also got there nice and early and did a spot of bird watching but I'll come back to that, the trees to plant came in six different varieties, Alder, Wild Cherry, Field Maple, Pedunculate Oak, Common Lime and Silver Birch, being as I was given the choice of two to plant, I predictably opted for bird friendly Alder and Silver Birch, the Alder is in the top photo, the birds in the second photo were right in front of me when I was planting my trees and what a sight they were. It was nice to see so many people planting trees, especially children, hopefully this will lead to many of them understanding and appreciating nature and wildlife for many years to come.

So what about the birding I hear you ask, in the very first field past where the horses are kept there was one of the best sights I've seen in a long while, namely that of c.200 Fieldfare, there were so many that's probably an underestimation because they covered the floor and were in all the trees in the surrounding area, including the one in the second photo, when I'd done a full lap of the area, they had then been joined by Redwings, what a wonderful sight to see a large field and all the trees surrounding the area filled to the brim with Fieldfare and Redwing, also seen in the field was a Green Woopecker, large flocks of Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Greenfinch, three pairs of Bullfinch, small flocks of Blue and Great Tits and last but not least a Fox which very nearly had a male Blackbird for it's lunch, always great to see a Fox, especially in the daytime especially when it's not being chased by a load of posh people who should know better, who's sole intention is in killing the animal, what scum those 'people' are, we should be enjoying our wildlife and not trying to eradicate it.

Birds seen today on my short walk were, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Bullfinch, Dunnock, Robin, c.200 Fieldfare, Redwing, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackbird, Pied Wagtail, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Carrion Crow and Magpie.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Kingsbury Water Park.






Great trip to North Warwickshire to visit Kingsbury Water Park where the highlight of the day could easily have been seeing .c200 Lapwing take to the sky and have a fly around which was a wonderful sight in itself, or could have been observing .c20 Little Egret congregating on of the islands but as you can see by the first photo the highlight had to be seeing a Black Swan, this is only the second time I've ever seen one, the other being at Brookvale Park in Erdington which was sadly killed and eaten by Eastern Europeans (which is not conjecture by the way, that information came directly from the park ranger), I actually walked past the bird at first but didn't notice it because it was with two Mute Swans and in the direct sunlight they all appeared to be Black Swans, what a wonderful bird to see which certainly made the trip worthwhile for that sighting alone.

On the water it was great to see Goosander, Gadwall and Pochard and large numbers of Great Crested Grebe while elsewhere it was nice to see Redwing and of course it's always a pleasure to see Goldcrest, Siskin, Coal Tit and my personal favourite, the humble House Sparrow.

The only downer on the day was seeing a one legged Mallard, which has now been at the park for many years, such a pity that anglers don't get rid of their rubbish properly, it's such a shame to see him hopping around and it's also not nice to see so many of last years Greylag Goose juveniles with angel wing at least they were fed bird seed today by myself. 

Birds seen today were, Goldcrest, Siskin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Robin, House Sparrow, Wren, Redwing, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Pied Wagtail, Cormorant, Pied Wagtail, Lapwing, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Black Swan, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Goosander, Gadwall, Pochard, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Greylag Goose and Canada Goose.