Great day out in the sun at Shustoke watching the birds and wildlife. Highlight of the day was not bird related for once, it was seeing a Muntjac Deer on the new footpath adjacent to the river and train line, I thought it was a dog at first but fortunately I got a second view of it. The bird highlights of the day were the returning migrants, namely Common Tern, Swift, Swallow, House Martin and Warblers. Notable bird species seen today were Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Marsh Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Robin, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Starling, Kestrel, Buzzard, Pied Wagtail, Common Tern, Tufted Duck, approx 70 Great Crested Grebe, Mute Swan (there was a female on a nest in the Fly Fishing pool.) Also seen today was the aforementioned Muntjac Deer, Horse, Pig, Rabbit and Grey Squirrel. It was also great to see the funghi, couldn't believe it when I saw it, excellent. Being as my last visit to Shustoke was only just over a fortnight ago it was amazing to see what was a barren farmers field two weeks ago, now was an amazing sight of yellow, five foot high Rapeseed (Brassica napus) plants to be exact, in fact everywhere you looked, plants, flowers and trees are in full growth now winter is behind us.
Thursday, 28 April 2011
First off today was a trip to Brookvale Park in Erdington, then a trip to Erdington high street to do some shopping then a short visit to Rookery Park for some scran and a quick walk around the gardens. Without a doubt the highlight of the day was a stunning but very shy male Mandarin duck at Brookvale Park, apparently it visits Brookvale every year until it gets chased off by other water fowl. Mandarin ducks in Britain are the descendants of captive-bred ducks which escaped or were deliberately released. Mandarins are one of the few duck species which are not hunted for food - apparently they taste really bad ! Other notable bird species seen today were a healthy amount of House Sparrow, House Martin, Goldfinch, Starling, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Grey Heron, Cormorant, fifty plus Mute Swan, and some day old Goslings. I also counted 14 Coots, 2 Great Crested Grebe and 1 Mute Swan on nests. Notable bird species spotted on the short visit to Rookery Park were Wren, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch and Robin.
Tuesday, 26 April 2011
Had a walk along the canal from The Tyburn House public house up to the island by Asda at Minworth and back again just for a change of scenery. Notable bird species seen today were Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Mistle Thrush (eating the last of last years berries on some trees overhanging the canal by the old Cincinnati Machine Tool Company) Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren, Robin, Collared Dove, Dunnock and House Sparrow. Also saw a couple of Canada Geese on nests as well.
Saturday, 23 April 2011
A walk around a very sunny Shard End Lake and the nearby adjacent River Cole today. Prize spot of the day was my first Willow Warblers of the year, Tree Sparrows that numbered in the hundreds if you were to total up all the days sightings, so at least they're doing well along the River Cole and around Shard End Lake, also saw a Grey Heron sunbathing on the local school playing fields. Notable birds species spotted were Willow Warbler, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Starling, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Moorhen and Tufted Duck. As you can see by my photos I also saw a Crane ;)
Thursday, 21 April 2011
A trip around a very warm Plantsbrook today. Notable bird species spotted were Treecreeper, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Wren, Robin, House Sparrow, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Grey Heron, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Mute Swan also saw my first Goslings of the year, three of them. There was also plenty of Grey Squirrels, Bees and Flutterbuys about, but the strangest spot of the day was a Tortoise eating plenty of vegitation on one of the small islands, first time I've ever seen one in the wild. Sadly there was also an abandoned Canada Goose nest with two eggs in it, for some reason the nest was practically on a footpath which was a shame but there you go, but there was still a Great Crested Grebe, a Mute Swan, Canada Geese and Coots on nests which all will hopefully have hatched by the time of my next visit.