Saturday, 17 June 2017

Rookery Park, Erdington.









Quick visit to Rookery Park in Erdington this morning being as I was in the area, I had planned to visit Southfields Farm in Coleshill but the hot weather put me off, hopefully I'll get there next week instead.

Highlight of the day was a joint one today because I very rarely see either, first in alphabetical and chronological order was the wonderful sighting of juvenile Goldcrest, what a truly amazing wonderful little bird, the sighting was slightly spoiled though because the tell tale call of Sparrowhawk was heard above me shortly before it swooped into a tree and maybe caught a bird, then secondly the just as equally sighting of a pair of juvenile Nuthatch, they were so young they still had their fluffy downy feathers, they were a great sight to see, other juvenile birds spotted were, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Chaffinch.

Birds seen today were, Sparrowhawk, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Wren, Robin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackbird, Swift, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Carrion Crow and Magpie.

As well as all the wonderful trees that adorn this park there are also lots of great wildflowers and plants, sadly though judging by what I saw today it looks like they are shortly to be all mown down, which would be a real shame because they are in their prime and they bring a bit of colour to the grounds.

Sadly there also has to be the inevitable downside of the visit which as per usual is committed by irresponsible people, namely that of huge amounts of litter strewn across the park which largely consisted of discarded takeaway rubbish, drinks containers, school text books and literature and full dog poo bags. I will never understand why some people have no respect for nature and wildlife at such locations and have total disregard for us decent people that wish to visit these places, depressing as earlier stated a lot of this is done by schoolchildren, if they are the future then God help us !  

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Southfields Farm, Coleshill.








Another great trip to Southfields Farm in Coleshill today which I'm pleased to say was awash with juvenile birds.

Before you even get out of the car you could see and hear huge amounts of House Sparrow which obviously given the perfect environment they live in included an impressive number of juveniles, then literally a few steps into the walk three Collared Dove were spotted and one of those was a juvenile then further down in a wooded area by the river was not only today's highlight but one of the highlights of all time because standing in one spot for ten minutes it was juvenile bird heaven with all of the following spotted, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, to be honest I could only differentiate between the Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler juveniles because I saw them being fed by adults, flocks of juvenile Blue and Great Tit were also seen on four different other locations around the farm, seeing baby Coal Tits made the day for me, what a wonderful little bird !

Birds seen today were, Buzzard, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Starling, Song Thrush, Skylark, Collared Dove, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Pied Wagtail, Swift, House Martin, Swallow and Grey Heron. 

One of the fields had huge amounts of red and pink poppies while the wildflower meadow is just getting started with large amounts of Oxeye Daisy, Birds Foot Trefoil, Common Knapweed, Cornflower and Red Clover.

In the back garden in the last seven days all of the following juveniles have been seen, House Sparrow, Blue Tit, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Woodpigeon and Magpie, in among the House Sparrow that visit my garden there is a leucistic female House Sparrow, I shall post a photo if I can get a decent enough image.

I was also at a garden centre near to Coleshill recently and where there were bird boxes for sale in the open area there were Blue Tits who were feeding their babies in one of the boxes, it's the first time I've seen anything like this with my own eyes, lets hope human interference is kept to a bare minimum and they all successfully fledge. 

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Chester Road Canal, Birmingham.







Being as I enjoyed the walk along the canal I thought it would be nice to drive to where I last got to and walk further along the canal from there which took in location's such as The Boat Inn and Curdworth Village.

Thankfully there was none of the drama of Tuesday and ironically the Mallard and her fourteen ducklings were the first waterfowl I saw which was great because they were much further down the canal than when I saw them before (fate again ?) and normally you wouldn't be able to differentiate between Mallards but as you can see in the first photo she is quite distinctive, it was great to see all fourteen ducklings still with us, I did try and get all of them in one photo but it was impossible with them constantly darting off in different directions.

Birds seen today were, Skylark, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chiffchaff, House Sparrow, Wren, Robin, Starling, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Collared Dove, Stock Dove, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Grey Heron, Moorhen, Mallard and Canada Goose as well as the following juveniles, Mallard Duckling (14), Moorhen (4) and countless Starlings.

The only downside of today was seeing a Mallard with a very poorly leg and hearing from locals about the go ahead of plans to destroy and build upon 175 acres of green belt land at Peddimore which is adjacent to part of the canal on this walk which will clearly be devastating to the local wildlife and will be a compete and utter environmental disaster. Peddimore green belt plans.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Chester Road Canal, Birmingham.






Great trip to one of the many canals that can be found in Birmingham which was two weeks later than planned due to the recent weather and other events out of my control but that was maybe down to fate giving the drama that unfolded this morning. 

The drama seems a good place to start, so here goes, whilst walking along the canal and approaching one of the locks a woman spoke to us and explained that there were four ducklings trapped in the lock and making it sound like it was in the past tense, to my horror when I approached the lock four little ducklings were trapped in the lock with no way out whatsoever and they were constantly calling for their mother who was further down the canal under the bridge with ten other little babies and she was also constantly calling out for them, so there was absolutely no way in the world I was going to leave them there, but what to do, fish them out of the water - no, try to make them jump out the side of the lock - no chance it was far too high, fashion something from the surroundings to scoop them out - there was nothing suitable so after about twenty minutes of frantically trying to stop them from getting them out of the other end of the lock (which had been left open by the aforementioned woman) where there was fast flushing water leading to a drain I happened upon the idea of finding a branch so they could walk up the branch and run to freedom to their mother, I'm happy to say after another ten minutes of risking falling in the canal and running back and forth like a maniac to get the birds in the right position to help them, I actually managed to get all four to walk up the branch so they could run down the path to be reunited with their mother, I did it all for them but I did feel a great deal of satisfaction for helping the little ones out, they are in the first photo by the way.

Talking of baby birds also seen today were twenty four Ducklings, three Moorhen juveniles, two Canada Goose Goslings, Blue Tit and Starling juveniles as well as hundreds of House Sparrows where a good quarter of their number were juveniles, which is even more amazing when you consider they were all seen in about a one mile stretch of the canal.

Birds seen today were, Blackcap (male) who was having a good old sing song, Blue Tit, House Sparrow, Robin, Wren, Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Starling, Collared Dove, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Moorhen, Mallard and Canada Goose.

I'm also pleased to report that according to a local a pair of Kingfisher have successfully raised young further down the canal to where I walked, great to know there are juvenile Kingfisher on the canal !

Sunday, 14 May 2017

New Hall Mill, Sutton Coldfield.






Nice visit to New Hall Mill in Sutton Coldfield today on their first Open Day of 2017.

Not really a proper birding trip but wherever I go I'm doing some birding on one level or another, also included was a walk courtesy of RSPB where the spot of the day occurred, I hate to brag (not really) but even then it was me that spotted it, namely that of a pair of Grey Wagtail feeding a juvenile on the river that leads into the mill, it was worth the visit to see that wonderful sight alone, also observed were a pair of Great Tit taking food to their young, unfortunately the hole into the building where there nest was located was where everybody was entering the grounds so the Tits were reluctant to enter the nest, luckily they grabbed every opportunity to take food in when it was quieter. Other birds seen constantly collecting food were Blackbird and Robin so they presumably had nests at this location as well.

Birds seen today were, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Bullfinch, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Starling, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Grey Wagtail and Mallard.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Shustoke Reservoir.






Great visit to Shustoke Reservoir in North Warwickshire this morning even though I was supposed to be visiting Kingsbury Water Park but a diversion put paid to that because the diversion was right by the entrance to the reservoir so it was easier just to visit there.

Highlights of the day started off with the very first sighting of the day, namely that of a magnificent looking juvenile Song Thrush, a pair of Kestrel performing mid-air courtship, something which I've never witnessed before,  a nesting Great Crested Grebe nesting on the fly-fishers pool (a rarity at this location), the returning Swallows, House Martins, Swifts and Sand Martins flying over the water in their hundreds, sightings of a Whitethroat and Nuthatch and the seeing Mallard Ducklings, all fifty eight of them ! Including a female with thirteen young ones. 

Non birding wise the highlight was seeing a stoat chasing a rabbit, when I saw them they quickly disappeared into the undergrowth so whether the rabbit escaped the stoat will always remain a mystery.

Birds seen today were, Kestrel, Whitehroat, Chiffchaff, Nuthatch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Song Thrush, Jay, Blackbird, Collared Dove, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Pied Wagtail, Swallow, House Martin, Swift, Sand Martin, Cormorant, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Canada Goose.

Also seen were the following butterflies, Orange Tip, Speckled Wood, Green-Veined White and Small White.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Southfields Farm, Coleshill.







I wasn't supposed to be visiting the farm this morning, it was a last minute decision but when the birding and wildlife is a good as it always is here then I can't go wrong.

Highlights were were seeing the usual high number of House Sparrow, the relatively high number of Yellowhammer with approximately twenty seen in the same area, observing the wonderful flight of the Skylark, the return of Swallows this year, hearing many Chiffchaff and seeing plenty of Tits and Finches. There is also evidence that the wildflower meadow is ready to burst into life, going on last years experience it should be an amazing spectacle.

Birds seen today were, Buzzard, Yellowhammer, Skylark, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chiffchaff, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Swallow, Blackbird, Collared Dove, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Moorhen, Mallard and Grey Heron and Cormorant flying overhead.