A trip to Witton Lakes and the adjacent Brookvale Park today, which was wasn't good for spotting song birds being as it was very windy, overcast and damp, but on the flip side it was great for watching the waterfowl. Birds spotted at Witton Lakes were, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Pied Wagtail, Ruddy Duck, Shoveler, Teal, Wigeon, Gadwall, Pochard, Silver Appleyard, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Mute Swan and Cormorant. Birds seen on the short trip to Brookvale Park were, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Robin, Pied Wagtail, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Grey Heron and Cormorant. Today was the first time I'd ever seen Ruddy Duck, so I did a little research and there are less than 120 of them in the country due to a Government led cull which began in 2005, apparently it costs the British taxpayer, £915 for every bird killed, so that's money well spent then, the RSPB also backs this cull as it does with the Corvids (Carrion Crows, Ravens, Rooks, Jackdaws etc.) Parakeets, Canada Geese, Cormorants, Badgers and Deers etc, which for all the good they do, is why I won't join their organisation. There were three Silver Appleyard's (two male and one female) It is a Mallard/Domestic Duck hybrid developed in the 1940s by the famous duck breeder Reginald Appleyard who was aiming to produce a prolific egg layer and ideal table bird and these three were huge. Also, I don't know whether it's been a good year for breeding Pied Wagtails or just a coincidence, but I see them everywhere I go, including Birmingham city centre, unless the numbers have peaked due to the losses they'll suffer over the winter.
Saturday, 26 November 2011
A trip to a dark, damp and moody Castle Bromwich today. Not a great day for birding really, more a day for investigating the undergrowth again. The only thing of real note on the bird front was when I came out of the the wooded area, I was greeted by a Buzzard about twelve front in front of me, absolutely huge it was. Birds seen were, Buzzard, Song Thrush, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Wren, Robin and Starling. This post is dedicated to my Sister's cat Lace, who unfortunately had to be put to sleep yesterday, she was just like Fudge, she was always the first on your lap and if you fussed her for two hours, she'd still want more. I think she also ate a lot of mice because she didn't meow it was more of a funny little squeak. R.I.P. Lace.
Thursday, 24 November 2011
First trip to Shustoke Reservoir in about six weeks, where thankfully the water levels have got back to their normal levels. Birds seen today were, Kestrel, Pheasant, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Redwing, Song Thrush, Siskin, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Wren, Robin, Pied Wagtail, Lapwing, Pochard, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, Mute Swan, Cygnet (4) Pekin Duck and Cormorant. On the last visit the Mute Swan and Cygnets were conspicuous in their absence, but they have relocated to the Fly Fisher's pool, but unfortunately the Cygnets numbers are down to four from the original seven. Best spot of the day was the Siskin, firstly because they are great little bird and secondly because I don't see them very often. The Redwing count was very high today, they were nearly everywhere I went, so far this year I haven't seen any Fieldfare, I should have gone to Kingsbury Water Park yesterday because a fellow birder said he saw upward of six hundred. Other wildlife seen today was, Grey Squirrel, Sheep and Rabbit.
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Had a walk along the Birmingham and Fazeley canal, starting under the B.T. Tower in Birmingham City Centre up to Salford Park, and then obviously a walk around Salford Park itself. It was a pleasant enough walk, just as long as you ignored the copious amounts of litter (especially in the canal) the beer cans, empty bottles of Frosty Jacks and the discarded junkie needles. All birds spotted today were, Kestrel, Blue Tit, Great Tit, House Sparrow, Robin, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Mute Swan, Cygnets (the five are getting big now and the whites feathers are becoming more prominent) Moorhen, Canada Goose, Mallard, Coot and Cormorant. There were two Kestrels on the girders under the Junction, so I tried to take a photograph of the pair, which they didn't like, so they flew a bit further down the Junction and rested up again until a Carrion Crow took exception to them and starting mobbing them, which was entirely my fault..... Oops !
Saturday, 19 November 2011
Another Funghi fest today which consisted of a trip to Pype Hayes Park to see how the four Cygnets are doing (they're still fine) and then a walk around Plantsbrook. Birds spotted on the quick walk around Pype Hayes were Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Redwing, Wren, Great Tit, Starling, Moorhen, Mute Swan and Cygnet. There is a batch of trees in the one corner by the fishing pool and your are almost guaranteed to see a Treecreeper or Nuthatch in one of these particular trees, it is a proper quality batch of trees for songbirds. Birds seen at Plantsbrook were Bullfinch (female) Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Wren, Dunnock, Shoveler, Water Rail, Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, Moorhen, Grey Heron and Cormorant. There was just one lone male Shoveler at Plantsbrook, hopefully there will be more Shoveler arriving soon for him to be with, plus they are a cracking looking water fowl. I'm also hoping for some more rain and damp conditions, not only to rise the water levels in the rivers and lakes etc. but also to produce some more great Funghi, like today's fine examples.