Monday, 31 October 2011

Babbs Mill Nature Reserve, Kingshurst.

Another trip to Kingshurst today where it was very quiet on the songbird front, birds seen were Kestrel, Buzzard, Jay, Wren, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Starling, Grey Heron, Pied Wagtail, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Cormorant, Mute Swans and the five Cygnets. Apparently the adult Mute Swans with the three young have killed one of the adults of the two young and the other adult has flown away so unfortunately the two Cygnets have been left on their own but hopefully they'll be okay. There is also four resident Cormorants at the lake at the moment, that is until the chavs with sticks, sorry I mean fisherman, shoot them like they have in previous years !

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Pype Hayes Park.

Best day of the year so far for getting out and about with Autumn and all the colours it brings, and the leaves dropping off the trees. Spot of the day was between seeing a flock of fifty plus Siskin along the river, a pair of Goldcrest and a small flock of Redpoll. Birds seen today were Siskin, Goldcrest, Redpoll, Blackcap (female) Nuthatch, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Dunnock, Robin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Song Thrush, Pied Wagtail, Moorhen, Mute Swan and the four Cygnets. It was great to see all the birds feasting on the many berries over Pype Hayes even the Tits were sampling them.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Birmingham City Centre.

A bit different to my normal post this one. Whilst in Birmingham City Centre and after visiting Project Pigeon in Digbeth, I decided to have a a walk from the Custard Factory to the car park of the site of the old Curzon Street Railway Station (a derelict Grade I listed building) and up along the adjacent canal. In the sixty minutes this took, in between taking photos... I saw a surprisingly high number of birds, namely Pied Wagtail, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Robin, Starling, Blackbird, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon and Common Gull, nice to see so many birds near to the centre of Brum. I saw some Dunnocks foraging for food in the Custard Factory car park by the River Rea, and then remembered I'd seen a Rowan tree and people were treading on the fallen fruit, so I decided to gather a bag full (which brought some amusing looks from the passers by) and took them back to the car park and left them for the Dunnocks or whichever birds or wildlife found them first. The back gardens also getting busier now Autumns here, visitors this week have been Blackcap (female) Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Dunnock, Robin, House Sparrow, Starling, Blackbird, Collared Dove, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon and juvenile Collared Dove and Woodpigeon.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Pype Hayes Park and Plantsbrook Nature Reserve.

Short trip to Pype Hayes to see the Cygnets then across the road to Planters, ironically I was only at Pype Hayes for about 30 minutes, yet saw more birds there than at Plantsbrook. Birds seen at Pype Hayes were Treecreeper, Mistle Thrush, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Goldfinch, Wren, Robin and House Sparrow, Pied Wagtail, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Cormorant, Mute Swan and the four Cygnets. One of the Coal Tits seen was singing it's little head off at the top of a medium sized tree. The Mistle Thrush swooped in from the woods and had the Blackbirds, Sparrows, Tits etc, diving for cover in the bushes, they must have thought it was a raptor, which to be honest I did at first. There was about fifty Goldfinch in the trees on one side of the pool, which is always good to see. Birds seen at Plantsbrook were Long Tailed Tit, Robin, Grey Heron, Shoveler, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Tufted Duck and Cormorant. It's great to see the Shoveler back, I always love to see them, I only saw two males today and no females.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Babbs Mill Nature Reserve, Kingshurst.

A trip to Kingshurst today for a walk around the lake, along a section of the River Cole and around the Yorks Wood. Birds seen today were Buzzard, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Wren, Robin, Grey Heron, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Wigeon, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Tufted Duck, Moorhen, Cormorant, Mute Swan and the five Cygnets. It was good today to get some decent shots of a couple of Grey Heron, they didn't seem bothered at all by my presence. It was also great to see the hybrid Greylag/Canada Goose, it's the same one that was there last year. Along a stretch of the River Cole it was Carrion Crow city, in your eye line there was easily more than a hundred of them.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Middleton Lakes, RSPB Nature Reserve.

A excellent trip to Middleton Lakes which resulted in a wide variety of birds spotted. Birds seen today were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Robin, Redwing, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting, Starling, Kestrel, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Lapwing, Shoveler, Wigeon, Gadwall, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Cormorant, Mute Swan and a couple of Cygnets. Unfortunately today there was also a dead Mute Swan on the edge of one of the lakes. It was also Raptor City today, wherever you went there was always some raptor action going down. 

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Lady Bradford's, Castle Bromwich.

Another trip to where a lot of the locals look down their nose at you, ironically due to the proposed Parliamentary boundary changes, they might be moving into the ward of Birmingham and where I live might be moving to the ward of Solihull. Autumn's definitely here now because today I saw my first Redwing and it's a bit easier to spot the birds with less leaf cover. Birds seen toady were Redwing, Nuthatch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Wren, Dunnock, Jay, Song Thrush, Starling and House Sparrow.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Edgbaston Reservoir.

Strange trip to Edgbaston Reservoir today. First the good, which was the highlight of the day which was spotting some Goldcrest, then the bad, the shockingly low level of the reservoir and then seeing eight Magpie kill another Magpie, I first noticed them attacking it's back end and pulling it's wings away from it's body so I went down to have a closer look and noticed it had an injured leg and they were basically eating it alive but that's nature I suppose. Getting back to the reservoir, all of the above photos were taken standing in where the water should have been (and believe me the photos don't do it justice) A very surreal experience, I thought Shustoke Reservoir was low but this was unbelievable, talking to a local, he told me that the reservoir was built by Thomas Telford in the 1820's to (and still does) feed water into Birmingham's vast canal network system, but the problem being at the moment that the waters going out of the reservoir but only a trickle of water is coming in from the other end, he told me that in just two hours the water level had dropped a couple of feet, which is amazing when you think when it's full it has a circumference of 1 3/4 miles. It was a truly memorable sight to see it the way it was, even when you'd walked all the way around it was still hard to believe. Hopefully we'll have a decent amount of rainfall soon, especially for the Moorhens, the poor things looked lost. As a matter of interest, he also told me that the buoy marked with a 'B' is to let the members of the Edgbaston Sailing Club know that it denotes a 30 foot wide by 30 foot deep crater, created by the German Luftwaffe bombers during the Second World War when they were trying to bomb an aluminum factory just down the side of the reservoir. Birds spotted were Goldcrest, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Robin, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pied Wagtail and plenty of Herring Gull. It was also Grey Squirrel city today, they were everywhere collecting nuts. A bird count and a free history lesson, what more do you want ?

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Babbs Mill Nature Reserve, Kingshurst.

A trip to Kinghurst today and a good walk around Yorks Wood. Birds spotted were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Jay, Song Thrush, Wren, House Sparrow, Buzzard, Grey Heron, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Mute Swan, Cygnet (5) Cormorant and Herring Gull. Also seen today was a very impressive flock of 100+ Woodpigeon and a Buzzard being mobbed by Magpies, Carrion Crows and various Gulls. Of the Cygents, two from one family, three from the other, the two are still grey while the other three are nearly all white now. It's also really unusual to see Cormorants at Kingshurst, nice to see them there for a change.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Shustoke Reservoir.

A trip to a brisk and windy Shustoke today. Birds spotted were Sparrowhawk, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Dunnock, Robin, Collared Dove, Pied Wagtail, Common Tern, Cormorant, Herring Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Tufted Duck and Pekin Duck. Also saw a bird which I can't identify, all I can say is that it was similar to a female Ringed Necked Duck. I can only presume the Pekin Duck has esacped from a nearby farm because I've never seen one here before, it seemed to be getting on well with the Tufted Ducks. There was also a very lucky escape for a Great Spotted Woodpecker, just as I was watching it go in and out of a hole in a tree trunk, one time when it was exiting said hole, a Grey Squirrel appeared from the other side of the tree and made a grab for the Woodpecker, missing it by millimeters, almost as lucky as a Woodpigeon's escape in the garden, the rag tag neighbours, rag tag cat appeared from next door and missed the Woodpigeon  by millimeters as well, thankfully both animals fought to live another day.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Plnatsbrook Nature Reserve.

Not a great day bird (or Funghi) spotting today, it was very windy though, hence the lack of songbirds. Birds seen were Wren, Long Tailed Tit, Great Tit, Robin, Grey Heron, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen and Tufted Duck. Strangely enough I didn't see any Canada Geese today, hopefully the gippo's haven't eaten them all.