Saturday, 28 July 2012

Babbs Mill Nature Reserve, Kingshurst.

Had an early morning trip to Kingshurst this morning in more of the pleasant weather we've been having of late which consisted of a walk around the lake, along a stretch of the River Cole and around the meadow fields. Birds spotted were, Kestrel, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Reed Warbler, Goldfinch, House Martin, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Grey Heron, Cormorant, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Greylag Goose, Domestic Goose, Canada Goose and the following juveniles, Cygnet (7), Song Thrush, Goldfinch and House Sparrow. There were numbers of Goldfinch upward of fifty in the trees, bushes and in the thistles along the River Cole, with plenty of movement it was hard to tell exactly how many there were but at least you could tell there were many juveniles amongst their ranks which was also the same area I saw a fine looking but very shy Song Thrush juvenile. The council have left a large part of the land which they normally wreck with their lawnmowers untouched for a change and it looks truly great with many wildflowers thriving, the variety and colours are excellent but it was also a cut through which the chavs used but now it's left for the animals, plants and flowers instead, much more preferable in my opinion. Talking of chavs, the so called fishermen have left behind loads of rubbish which we picked up and actually managed to put in a litter bin (it's not rocket science), as per usual the minority give the majority a bad name, like I've stated before these 'people' are not fishermen they are just chavs with sticks.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

New Hall Valley Country Park.

A trip to New Hall Valley Country Park was the order of the day today and instead of the very inclement weather of late it was actually too warm if anything what with there being no breeze at all but at least we were blessed with wonderful blue skies for a change. Birds spotted were, Buzzard, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Bullfinch (male), Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Whitethroat, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Robin, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Grey Heron, Mallard and the following juvenile birds, Goldfinch, Blue Tit and Duckling (8). There was at least two Bullfinch when I spotted them in a tree this morning but I could only identify a male, hopefully it was a male and female pair though. Whilst walking along the Plants Brook I heard plenty of Wren's but unfortunately I didn't actually spot one but they were along the stretch of water making their very audible chirping. When I was feeding the birds in the back garden after I got up, I couldn't help see or hear the many swift in the air, when it was wet you were lucky to see five but there was easily fifty or more early today. which was nice to see.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Shustoke Reservoir.

A trip out to Shustoke Reservoir today which upon arrival was misty and foggy but that soon gave way to a glorious hot and sunny day. Birds spotted were, Green Woodpecker, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff, House Sparrow, Robin, Swallow, House Martin, Blackbird, Woodpigeon,  Carrion Crow, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Common Sandpiper, Pied Wagtail, Common Tern, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Canada Goose and the following juveniles, Cygnet (4), Great Crested Grebe (4), Coot (numerous), Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Pied Watail, Swallow and House Martin. The Green Woodpecker was only spotted by default in the meadow when a Buzzard swopped down, possibly for an unsuspecting mouse or vole, of which it didn't capture anyway, but it did manage to flush out a very panicked Green Woodpecker, which flew into a tree over the train tracks where I then lost sight of it. There was a lot of Buzzard activity today around the reservoir and in the fields, of which were very vocal for some reason, they were probably excited by all the songbird activity making the most of the unseasonal warm sunny British summer. With the sun making a visit for a change, it was great to see plenty of butterfly and insect activity, I saw hundreds if not thousands of butterflies and blue damselfly, as well as plenty of tiny insects, so it was no wonder there were thousands of Swallow and House Martin having a feeding frenzy including many of this years juveniles. Talking of feeding frenzies, the House Sparrow's in the back garden are eating the bird seed like it going out of fashion, you'd think seed had just been invented, I'm filling up the feeders at least twice a day at the moment and they're stripping them clean, saying that there seems to be more juveniles every day, there's certainly no shortage of House Sparrow by me, they could easily be numbering in the hundreds. Hopefully I'm off to Edgbaston next week for some more reservoir goodness. 

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Lady Bradford's, Castle Bromwich.

A trip over to Castle Bromwich today where birds spotted were, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Robin, Starling, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon and the following juveniles, Reed Warbler, Great Tit, Starling and Blackbird. The Mistle Thrush (a pair) where seen on one of the flat grassy open spaces, feeding along with Song Thrush and Carrion Crow. The Reed Warbler, adults along with some fine looking juveniles were seen amongst the reeds and trees in one of the small swampy areas over Lady Bradford's, thankfully these are virtually inaccessible to humans, so they are mainly left in peace, the other side of this particular area is where the Pheasant and Foxes reside, I heard the Pheasants today but didn't actually get a sighting of them. The rain has had a dramatic effect here with the grass, wildflowers etc, over eight foot high in places, almost making the paths inaccessible, which isn't a bad thing because it keeps the undesirables away and leaves the place to people who actually want to be there for the nature and wildlife like me. There was also plenty of fresh Teasel's in evidence, they were easily numbering in the thousands, which will be great for the many finch visitors, especially the Goldfinch who always in this area. It's also great to see the juvenile Starling now with their mature plumage appearing, they look like somebody has just painted a patch of black on their stomachs and added a some white spots, they appear to have had a great breeding year, hopefully so anyway.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Rookery Park and Brookvale Park, Erdington.

Rookery Park.

Brookvale Park. 

A quick look around Rookery Park before visiting Little Poland (Erdington for the enunciated) for a bit of shopping then off to Brookvale Park for a walk around the lake. Birds seen at Rookery Park were, Kestrel, Blue Tit, House Sparrow, Starling, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, as well as juvenile Long Tailed Tits and Robins. Even though it was a short visit to Rookery Park I did see plenty of juvenile Robins as well as the drama of seeing a Kestrel very nearly picking off one of the juvenile Long Tailed Tits, I think my presence put it off, but judging by the racket the Tits were making I'm sure it didn't go hungry today. Then it was off to Brookvale Park after sampling the many foreign, mostly Eastern European accents of Erdington High Street, birds seen at Brookvale Park were as follows, Wren, House Sparrow, Robin, Starling, House Martin, Swallow, Swift, Cormorant, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pekin Duck, Greylag Goose, Greylag/Domestic Goose hybrid, Herring Gull, as well as the following juveniles, Great Tit, Robin, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Duckling (7), Coot (3) as well as the following nesting birds, Great Crested Grebe (1) and Coot (3). As always at Brookvale Park it was Mute Swan city, I didn't do a count today but there were easily fifty or more. Just like Rookery Park there was plenty of juvenile Robins about, so the recent wet and windy weather doesn't seemed to have have affected them breeding. There was easily over a hundred House Martin present today, they always nest in the eaves of the houses adjacent to the lake, probably because the houses are the original brick buildings built many years ago that have many more angles than today's boring houses. Also present today were at least three Cormorants, looking resplendent in their full breeding plumage of purple and green glossy feathers, what a magnificent looking bird ! The Greylag/Domestic Goose had apparently only appeared this week, whether they had been introduced by the council or just left there I don't know, but very nice they looked on the island. There may also been many more juvenile waterfowl and nesting birds but the water side vegetation was too high and wide to see probably, I certainly heard more juvenile birds, such as Coots, than I actually saw.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Ward End Park.

Early morning trip to a slightly overcast Ward End Park where even though rain was in the air thankfully it stayed dry. Birds spotted were, Blue Tit, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Starling, Swift, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Collared Dove, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Moorhen, Coot, Canada Goose, Mallard plus Moorhen, Robin and Blackbird juveniles. There was also what appeared to be a hybrid Mallard and Muscovy Duck, that's what it's colours and size suggested anyway, unfortunately it was asleep on of the islands, so I couldn't get a photo of it. There was also (what appeared to be a resident) flock of at least twenty Collared Dove on the edge of the park backing onto some houses with large established trees in the gardens, not far from there is the railway line where there are at least a hundred Carrion Crow, that's probably an underestimate though, talking to one of the locals there is a pair of nesting Peregrine Falcons at the other end of the park of whom the Carrion Crow's give a torrid time every time they're hunting, especially the Hen. The only problem with Ward End Park, apart from it's far from ideal location is the litter, lager monsters and druggies, for some reason the people who actually feed the waterfowl just drop the carrier bag or bread bag straight on the floor, Ward End Park is the only place where nearly everyone does this, it's a shame because it's a nice park which unfortunately looks a dump. The community centre in the park known as TS Dolphin was painted and all the litter cleaned up for Lord David Cameron's visit back in 2010, but soon as he'd been it was left to go back to it's grotty former state, anyway rant over apart from me saying you'll probably notice I'm not one political party or the other because basically they are full of shit and have all got their noses in the trough and none of them have got our best interests at heart.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Plantsbrook Nature Reserve.

I've been a bit spoiled this week with two trips out replete with blue, sunny skies, the blue damselflies were certainly taking advantage of the weather, with mating pairs all around the water edges. It was a bit quiet on the songbird front though, I hardly heard any let alone saw any, birds spotted were, Blue Tit, Swift, Blackbird, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Canada Goose, as well as the following chicks, Coot (6) and Moorhen (1) and three nesting Coots. With the lack of bird activity, it was just as well there was plenty of wildflowers, insects, Funghi and Slime Mould to observe, including a great specimen of Yellow Slime Mould, 'Fuliga Septica' also known as 'Dog Vomit' for the obvious reason, the pictures don't do it justice though, it was a very vibrant bright yellow.