Saturday, 28 May 2011

Shustoke Reservoir.

An excellent days birding and wildlife observing at Shustoke as always. Birds spotted were Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Siskin, Willow Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Wren, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Song Thrush, Pied Wagtail, Robin, House Sparrow, Starling, Willow Warbler, Buzzard, Common Tern, Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, Cormorant, Mute Swan, Cygnet (7) Duckling (20) Gosling (5) Also seen today were Sheep, Horse, Cow, Rabbit and Grey Squirrel, being a city dweller I always love to see any country side animals. Highlights of the day were seeing a pair of Great Spotted Woodpecker going to and from a hole in a tree feeding some very noisy chicks, a Willow Tit collecting some insects for the chicks and seeing some young noisy Great Tits being fed by adults in a tree above me. On a personal note, I've had the first juvenile Starlings in the garden over the last couple of days.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Plantsbrook Nature Reserve and Brookvale Park, Erdington.

                   Plantsbrook Nature Reserve.

                   Brookvale Park.

First off today was a quick visit to Plantsbrook to see if the Cygnets had hatched and indeed they had, five of the little blighters, at one point, all five had climbed on their mothers back, which was quality to see. Also, the Canada Goose on the footpath has had her Goslings, she was still on the footpath with the little ones under her wing because you could see the wing moving and also hear them making noises. I'm also glad to say that the Blue Tit chicks are still in the tree hollow, the adults were still busy feeding them today. Birds spotted were Grey Wagtail, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Collared Dove, Starling, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Grey Heron, Cygnet (5) Coot (15) Duckling (6) All the Goslings must have been hiding because I didn't see any, it was raining though. Then it was off to Brookvale Park in Erdington, were I saw my first Great Crested Grebe chick of the year and a female Mallard with nine ducklings, I also saw Blue Tits, Great Tits and House Sparrows feeding their fledglings in trees above me. The Mute Swan and quite a few Coots are still on the nest. Birds spotted were Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Song Thrush, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren, Chaffinch, House Sparrow, Starling, Grey Heron (4 including 1 juvenlie) Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe chick (1) Coot chick (9) Duckling (9) and Gosling (4). At both places I also saw a large amount of Grey Squirrels.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Meriden Park, Chelmsley Wood.

A trip today to Meriden Park near Chelmsley Wood town centre. Birds spotted were Mistle Thrush, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Robin, House Sparrow, Starling, Pied Wagtail, Grey Heron, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Cygnet (7) Coot chick (9) and Gosling (4). There was also three Coots on the nest including the one in the last picture using a shopping trolley as part of it's nest, unfortunately (being as it's in chav ville) the nest was at the base of a bridge which you could see straight down on top of, hopefully they'll be okay though. The highlight of the day was seeing my first Cygnets of the year, seven of them, including at one point two hitching a ride on their mothers back. Hopefully it's the same pair of Swans who successfully raised six chicks into adulthood last year at Meriden Park.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Small Heath Alliance relegated.

Didn't go birding this weekend, had a chicken balti madras instead for my sisters birthday, but without a doubt the highlight of the weekend was (apart from the madras) seeing the scum get relegated, couldn't happen to a better club and bunch of fans ! Made me a very happy chappy seeing them get relegated to the championship, may they remain there for a very long time. It was also nice to see the mighty Aston Villa finish as the highest team in the Midlands again. A.V.F.C - The Premier League Pride Of Birmingham :)

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Ward End Park, Pype Hayes Park and Plantsbrook Nature Reserve.

                   Ward End Park.

                   Pype Hayes Park.

                   Plantsbrook Nature Reserve.

First of all today was a quick trip to Ward End Park mainly to see how this years new arrivals are doing. Birds of note spotted were Great Spotted Woodpecker (2) Nuthatch, Gosling (12) Coot chick (6) and Moorhen chick (1) Then it was off to Pype Hayes park for a quick visit, birds spotted were Chaffinch, Starling, Gosling (11) and Ducklings (8) Then finally it was off to Plantsbrook Nature Reserve for a couple of hours, birds spotted were Kingfisher, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Grey Wagtail, House Martin, Swift, House Sparrow, Robin, Collared Dove, Gosling (5) Ducklings (8) Moorhen chick (3) Coot chick (17) The number count of the chicks is only what I saw, there was probably more, especially of the Moorhen chicks as they were hiding in amongst the reeds. The Canada Goose was still on the nest on the footpath, also still on the nest was the Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe and a couple of Coots. Last but not least, was first of all hearing, then finding a Blue Tit nest in the hollow of a tree about five foot off the ground, I had a very quick look as not to disturb them too much, and there was approximately five or six chicks, the male and female were working non stop feeding them with insects. The only problem was, I wasn't the only one to spot the nest, a Magpie did as well, which temporarily stopped the feeding of the chicks, but they soon went back to business once the Magpie had gone.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

River Cole, Hodge Hill.

Had a walk along a stretch of the River Cole today from the Bailey Bridge to behind 'The Raven' public house up to Burney Lane, Stechford. The River Cole is getting critically low in places now, you can walk from one bank to the another, where it's normally about two to three feet deep, Mallards are supposed to swim not walk. Bird species of note that were spotted were Bullfinch (a male having a bath in the river) Swift, Song Thrush, Blue Tit, Collared Dove, Starling, House Sparrow and Grey Heron, I also saw a field mouse darting across the footpath back into the undergrowth. The House Sparrow population is thriving along the River Cole, obviously down to the habitation and plentiful food sources, it gets on my nerves when people go on about declining bird populations, when you go to the natural habitats of wild creatures, they seem to be doing all right to me, it's not rocket science.