Saturday, 31 December 2011

Pype Hayes Park.

Last trip out of the year for 2011, which was a trip to an overcast, drizzly but surprisingly warm Pype Hayes Park. I had planned a birding outing on Thursday but the heavy rain curtailed that idea, so I ended up going into Birmingham City Centre where I paid a visit to Project Pigeon where they have a spectacular all white muff foot, Mealey, Blue Cheq, Blue Bar, Silver Grizzle and of course Birmingham Rollers, the birds are currently housed at the back of Boxxed nightclub in Digbeth, which has recently closed down so the birds are going to have be re homed, hopefully they'll find somewhere soon. Birds spotted today were Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Redwing, Jackdaw, Siskin, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Starling, Pied Wagtail, Grey Heron, Mute Swan and Moorhen. The Siskin were a flock of about twenty being very noisy at the top of a tall tree, I had to move around the other side of the tree to identify them what with it being overcast, it was definitely worth it though, it always a pleasure to see some Siskin, just a pity you don't see more of them. Hopefully it will get a bit colder soon and get the birds moving about a bit more, they seem to be happy where they are, I was seeing flocks of 100 plus Redwing and Fieldfare this time last year especially at wooded areas like Pype Hayes, I've also seen very few Shoveler, Goosander etc. A Happy New Year to everybody who reads this nonsense I put on here, hopefully there will be plenty more birding, nature and wildlife observing in the forthcoming year, which is the year when the keeping of battery hens is made illegal in Europe, that's it I'm off to get my 2012 British Garden Birds calender ready :)

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Plantsbrook Nature Reesrve.

Post Christmas amble around Plantsbrook today in the unseasonably warm weather. Birds spotted today were Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Reed Bunting, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Redwing, Pied Wagtail, Grey Heron, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen and Tufted Duck. It was nice to see a Mistle Thrush having a good old sing song today as well as a small flock of Goldfinch feeding on alder seeds. Well done to 'Kauto Star' yesterday, no one comes near him.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Pype Hayes Park.

A Christmas Eve visit to brisk, overcast Pype Hayes Park, perfect conditions for a bit of birdwatching. Personally I prefer birdwatching at this time of the year, it's nice to get your winter coat on and get out there in the elements and hopefully see some winter migrants like Fieldfare, Redwing, Shoveler, Goosander etc. Birds spotted today were, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Redwing, Jay, Song Thrush, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Wren, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Starling, Pied Wagtail, Mute Swan and Moorhen. The Mute Swans, Mallards and even the Gulls were appreciative of their brown bread we gave them, I also put some bird seed down by the bushes at the side of the pool, which the Blue Tits, Great Tits, Dunnocks and Robins enjoyed but it went a bit haywire when the Magpies, Carrion Crows, Woodpigeons, Feral Pigeons, Grey Squirrels and even a Rat decided they wanted their little bit as well, they've all got to eat I suppose. Today I also met a cross Labrador/Alsation cross Welsh rescue dog called Scooby Doo ! A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everybody who reads this blog from me and Hip Hop super group Run DMC.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Babbs Mill Nature Reserve, Kingshurst.

First trip out of Winter 2011, which was very strange because it was more like a day in early Spring, bright and sunny was the order of the day. Birds spotted today were, Bullfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren, Robin, House Sparrow, Jay, Redwing, Song Thrush, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Shoveler, Great Crested Grebe, Moohren and Tufted Duck. It was great also to see plenty of Blackbirds, Carrion Crow (including the resident flock of 100 plus birds) Woodpigeon, Moorhen and Coot, If I see plenty of those birds I always think there must be plenty of food about and some ideal habitat. I had to make the most of today because if you believe the Mayan Long Count calender, it will the end of the world this time next year.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Middleton Lakes.

Another visit to the always excellent Middleton Lakes and today certainly didn't disappoint. I had two virgin spots today, the first being Rook and the second being Smew, I also saw my first Fieldfare of the year as well. It was also a good day for seeing flocks of birds, on the side of the road on the way in to the lakes there was sixty plus Goldfinch foraging by the side of the road. I have never seen a Rook before today then I go and see one hundred plus in the trees on the woodland trail leading up to the lakes, they weren't very hard to miss though, being as they were making a proper racket, almost as much noise as my idiot stick neighbour. In the fields just before the lakes, there were fifty plus Fieldfare, and fifty plus Redwing in the trees along the canal. At the lakes there were a hundred plus Lapwing. Also at the lakes two hundred plus Greylag Goose flew in shortly after of me arriving there, which was an awesome sight in itself, but I've never seen more than one Greylag at any one time, anywhere else before. Finally, along the River adjacent to the lakes, there was a small flock of twenty plus Redpoll. All birds spotted today were, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Redpoll, Reed Bunting, Dunnock, Robin, Fieldfare, Redwing, Song Thrush, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Rook, Pheasant (Hen) Grey Partridge, Pied Wagtail, Starling, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Magpie, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Smew, Shoveler, Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall, Little Grebe, Greylag Goose, Cormorant, Mute Swan, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Coot, Mallard and Canada Goose. Other wildlife seen today were, Horse, Cow, Sheep, Rabbit, Farmyard Ducks (including Silver Appleyard and Pekin) and of course plenty of Grey Squirrels. All in all, as you can see, it was a great days birding and wildlife observing.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Plantsbrook Nature Reserve.

A trip to Plantsbrook today to enjoy some of the last Autumnal goodness with Winter just a couple of weeks away. Birds seen today were, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, House Sparrow, Robin, Pied Wagtail, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Kingfisher, Goosander, Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, Moorhen, Grey Heron and Cormorant. The water fowl enjoyed my Sisters contribution of a loaf of bread, Mallards and Coots were present but unusually so were plenty of Tufted Duck and a couple of Moorhen, who are usually indifferent to a bit of bread. It's hard to believe that this time last year the water in the lakes etc. had been frozen over for nearly a month, hopefully we won't have a harsh winter this year for the wildlife's sake, especially for the Kingfisher, who's numbers have been hit hard by the last two bad winters, it's easy to forget what a stunning and charismatic bird they are until you see one close up diving for fish like I did today.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Lady Bradford's, Castle Bromwich.

Nothing too exciting to report from a short trip to a windy Castle Bromwich today. Birds spotted were, Kestrel, Jay, Song Thrush, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Robin and Starling. Just before I got to the best birding spot, my friend the dog walker from a few weeks back appeared and flushed all the birds out again, what with that, it being windy, and a Kestrel hunting it wasn't very easy to spot birds, the Magpies and Woodpigeons seemed particularly agitated by the Kestrel. The only other thing to report was a Sparrowhawk in the back garden yesterday when I got up, which again seemed to unsettle the birds.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Save The Albratoss.

Save your stamps from Christmas cards and help to Save The Albatross. By simply saving your stamps this Christmas and sending them to the RSPB, you can help stop the slaughter of the Albratoss who get killed by longline fishing vessels and trawlers. Here's the link with all the relevant details. Simples :)

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Shustoke Reservoir.

A trip to Shustoke Reservoir and the surrounding areas today, where Jack Frost was very much in evidence. It was a great day for getting up early to do a spot of birding, with nice clear skies, no wind to speak of and the trees and bushes looking very bare. Birds spotted were, Kestrel, Buzzard, Siskin, Nuthatch, Bullfinch (Female) Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Wren, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Starling, Robin, Redwing, Song Thrush, Jay, Pied Wagtail, Pheasant (Cock and Hen) Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Pekin Duck and Cormorant. The Siskin seen were having a bath in a small inlet of water by the side of the River Bourne, which was nice to see. Even though I saw lots of Redwing today, there was easily 100 plus foraging in one of the farmers fields when a jogger came from one of the adjoining fields and scared them all off, I could have hit him ! It was also great to see some Coal Tits, being as I don't see them very often. Even if I do say so myself, I do love my photo of the train, very nice :)