Thursday, 15 February 2018

Rookery Park, Erdington.

Nice walk around Rookery Park this morning, a great little location this with many varieties of trees but it's sadly blighted by anti social behaviour including arson and litter of which there was plenty of the latter especially beer and pop cans.

Birds seen today were, Nuthatch, Wren, House Sparrow, Wren, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Robin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Redwing, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow and Magpie.

There were Nuthatch in most locations in the park, it's only a small site but that's still quite impressive, there are also Treecreeper and Goldcrest always present but I didn't happen to spot any today, it was a pleasure to see a small flock of Redwing who upon my arrival were in the trees but as I left they were all foraging on the grass, I didn't actually see any House Sparrows but you could hear their unmistakable chirping coming from the bushes that back onto the houses.

It's always nice to see the buds emerging on the trees at this time of the year as is the arrival of daffodils and crocuses.

Finally I have to sadly report that a deceased Fox was found in the park this morning by a member of the public.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Shustoke Reservoir.

Great visit to Shustoke Reservoir where it was lovely, crisp and cold with lush bright blue skies which in my opinion is proper winter weather.

I thought the day was doomed before it had even started when shortly after taking photos of the above robin in the car park I dropped my camera on the floor, worrying it hit the floor with such a thud that the memory card popped out of it's slot, strangely there appears to have been no damage sustained, which is quite amazing considering the sound it made when it hit the deck.

Today was one of the days when there's a mixture of both good and bad news to report and they are both from exactly the same location which is the area just to the right of the Fly Fisher's Pool as you enter from the direction of the reservoir, first the good news, this area has a great mixture of trees which attract a wide variety of birds, in this small area alone all of the following birds were spotted this morning, a flock of Siskin, Goldcrest, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Robin, Dunnock, Wren, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow and Jackdaw, the bad news is that the River Bourne is going to be re-routed through this exact area to aid the fish which sounds great until you realise that this now means destruction of many of the trees and the immediate habitat, sadly none of the trees have 'Tree Preservation Order's,' even the trees the surveyors were marking the 'important trees' that will try to be saved will probably go, a lot of the trees that are now earmarked for felling are alder and ash which I pointed out were very important to feed the birds through the autumn and winter, sadly it fell on deaf ears, don't get me wrong, they are only doing their job but they were very unsympathetic to the habitat loss and knock on effect it will have for the birds and wildlife let alone the loss of yet more well established trees, as if that wasn't bad enough as I was told a lot of the trees 'will have to go' anyway because of getting the plant and machinery in and out of the location, as per usual I can't see this ending well for the wildlife, the work is due to take place in the next 1-2 years so if want to raise your objections/concerns then you have to contact Severn Trent Water who operate and 'maintain' the reservoir and the land, this project is totally down to them and not the fly-fishers.

It was a bit quiet on the water fowl front but at least the birds present were enjoying the sunshine and it was especially nice to see Teal, Pochard, Great Crested Grebe and Little Grebe as well as Mute Swan which you don't always see at this location.

Birds seen today were, Goldcrest, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Siskin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Starling, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Collared Dove, Pied Wagtail, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Coot, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Canada Goose.

When I was at the reservoir, in Coleshill and even in my back garden I've noticed House Sparrows checking out prospective or maybe even previous nesting sites, let's hope they raise as many young as they can as there's one thing for sure, you can never have too many House Sparrow's !

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Southfields Farm, Coleshill.

Regular readers of this blog probably thought I'd gone away but fear not I'm back again for my first post of 2018, hopefully there will be many more to come as well.

I thought it was only right and proper to start this birding year as I'd finished the last one, namely that of a visit to Southfields Farm in  Coleshill to see all the good work that John does attracting and looking after the wild birds on his farm.

It was nice to see plenty of flocks of birds in good numbers, there were c.200 Linnet, c.200 Redwing, c.100 Starling and c.50 Woodpigeon, the Redwing and Starling flocks were in a field that backs onto houses where there is a lone tree, in that tree there was a very impressive looking Buzzard which kept flying down to the flocks of birds but strangely they moved just a few feet from wherever the Buzzard landed, clearly there was a rich food source that they didn't want to give up, also in among the Redwing and Starling there were Fieldfare but only about twenty or so, the Linnet were in one of the fields where the wild bird seed is sown, there was probably many more but they were flying to a tree and back to the floor again and the Woodpigeon were on a path which I rudely interrupted them from feeding from when I turned around the corner, they all flew into two nearby adjacent trees which made them slightly easier to count.

It goes without saying but there were hundreds of House Sparrow close to the outbuildings, they are always a treat to see and hear, in the tracks where John puts the seed down over the winter there were the usual delights which included, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Robin, Collared Dove and a large amount of Blackbirds.

Birds seen today were, Buzzard, Yellowhammer, Linnet, Reed Bunting, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Robin, Starling, Collared Dove, Redwing, Fieldfare, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie and Pheasant (cock).

Hopefully you enjoyed reading this blog and all being well there will plenty more to come this year.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Southfields Farm, Coleshill.

Vary rare for me to visit the same location three times on the spin in fact this may be the first time ever but it was definitely worth it. 

After seeing and hearing the cacophony that is the resident House Sparrow colony practically the next bird I saw was a real highlight, namely that of a sighting of a Hobby, it flew along the edges of the small pool by the house with it's unmistakable v-shaped wings at a very rapid speed, not sure whether it got anything but it was silent in that  area after it flew by, other highlights were seeing c.200 Linnet foraging in the field where the seed that is grown for the birds in the Autumn/Winter and the first photo is one of those two fields, too watch them taking to the air and swirl around is really something to see as was observing hundreds of Redwing and Fieldfare in the air, there were too many to count but that can't be a bad thing.

Birds seen today were, Hobby, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Wren, Robin, Starling, Redwing, Fieldfare, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Mallard and Moorhen.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Southfields Farm, Coleshill.

Another great visit to Southfields Farm today where I had the pleasure of seeing John (the owner of the farm) during my walk, it was good to see him and have a quick chat.

I really wanted to see some Autumn/Winter visitors today and was only slightly let down because I saw plenty of Redwing and Fieldfare which possibly numbered in the hundreds, I only ever saw them flying overhead or from one tree to another in the distance so I didn't get to observe them closely but all the same it was great to know they were there especially in those numbers, funnily enough it was a similar story with the Linnets, even though they were present in good numbers I only saw them briefly fly up into the air only to come back down again in another part of the field where the over winter seed is grown for them by John, it was also only at the very end of my walk where I was lucky enough to see Yellowhammer in the hedgerows.

Birds seen today were, Kestrel, Buzzard, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, c.40 Goldfinch, Linnet, Yellowhammer, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Starling, Robin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Fieldfare, Redwing, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie and Woodpigeon.

Being as John grows plenty of seed for the birds he hasn't put any seed  down on the track yet, that will be around Christmastime so it will be well worth visiting then when the tracks will be awash of birds including, Yellowhammer, Tits, Finches, Robin, Dunnock, House Sparrow and Blackbirds.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Southfields Farm, Coleshill.

After what seems like an eternity I finally got out do some much needed birding today which was to Southfields Farm in Coleshill because I thought it wouldn't disappoint and of course it didn't, what's not too like about hearing literally hundreds of House Sparrows chirping away before you've even got out of the car, they adorned the hedgerows all around the farm house, what a wonderful sight and sound !

Apart from the House Sparrows other highlights were seeing a flock of c.20 Yellowhammer, seeing the return of the Linnets where the autumn/winter feed is grown especially for them also observed in among their number was a Stonechat which is a bird I haven't seen for a very long time, above the same field Skylark were present which could be heard as well as seen, in the adjacent field there something you very rarely see these days, sightings of hundreds if not birds numbering in four digits, there were literally hundreds of Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Jackdaw (that's some in the last photo), Carrion Crow Starling and Black Headed Gull, it was a sight and half when I disturbed them and they all took to the air, thankfully as soon as I'd walked passed they went back to their foraging.

Birds seen today were, Yellowhammer, Stonechat, Linnet, Skylark, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Robin, Jay, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Magpie, Pied Wagtail, Pheasant (cock), Cormorant (flying overhead) and Mallard on on the small pools.

The only disappointment was not seeing any Fieldfare or Redwing, hopefully there will be some present on my next visit.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Shustoke Reservoir.

Great to have a trip out to North Warwickshire today to visit Shustoke Reservoir where the weather was perfect for a spot of much needed birding. 

It was just a pity there wasn't a lot of birds around but it was nice to start the day with a sighting of Goldcrests and Song Thrush in the car park, then it was off the water where there were plenty of Lapwing, Little Grebe, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Mallard and Canada Goose, also seen to the left of the reservoir there was a Kestrel (unsuccessfully when I observed it) hovering above the fields looking for prey. 

On the area around the Fly-Fishers Pool all of the following were spotted, Nuthatch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Wren, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Moorhen, Great Crested Grebe and plenty more Little Grebe.

Birds seen today were, Kestrel, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, House Sparrow, Starling, Wren, Robin, Song Thrush, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Cormorant, Pied Wagtail, Lapwing, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Pochard, Moorhen, Coot and Canada Goose.

If you follow my Twitter account you'll already know I've been having a horrendous time with a Sparrowhawk because it's been far too successful in taking birds from my garden especially my House Sparrows, since it's last observed kill on Monday 9th October the gardens been as quiet as I've ever known it, no bird song and virtually no visiting birds, even the Sparrows that do come get one seed from the feeders and they then dive into the pyracanthas, you can literally see how scared they've become, I've gone from filling up the feeders twice a day to not even having to fill them up at all in a whole week even the sunflower hearts in a globe that hangs in the tree aren't being touched, so it looks like the Sparrowhawk has won the battle in my garden but lost the war because there's nothing visiting for it to kill anymore and of course I'm the loser as well because I'm not having the pleasure of feeding the birds or even observing them, I know it's nature but it's just a shame as the whole situation has seen no winners in my opinion.