Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Pype Hayes Park.

I nearly didn't venture out this morning because I didn't feel very well, which doesn't happen very often, but I'm glad I did because taking pride of the place on Pype Hayes fishing pool was a lone Cape Shelduck, a bird which you are very lucky to see in the 'wild', it's not actually a true wild bird because it is almost certainly an escapee from somebodies private collection, but it was a pleasure to see it all the same. They normally live in Africa and winter in India. It was about a third bigger than a Tufted Duck and had more of a (very loud) honk than a quack, it wasn't hard to miss being a large rusty orangey brown duck, it certainly seemed to fit in with all the Mallard and was keen enough to try some bread.

Birds seen were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Goldfinch, Robin, Starling, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Redwing, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Ruddy Shelduck, Mute Swan, Moorhen, Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Canada Goose.

In the back garden I saw a female Blackcap yesterday but I also saw a female Sparrowhawk on a house opposite, fortunately looking the other way.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Nice early morning mooch around Birmingham City Centre armed with my camera before venturing onto Birmingham Botanical Gardens in Edgbaston where it was mild with nice blue skies, a far cry from last Sunday's downpour.

As I've stated before I'm not a fan of birds or any animal in captivity, all the same birds seen in captivity today were, Blue and Yellow Macaw, Green Winged Macaw, Blue Fronted Amazon Parrot, Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Superb Spreo Starling, Purple Glossy Starling, Quaker Parakeet, Azure Winged Magpie, Zebra Finch, Gouldian Finch and Saffron Finch. Birds of the wild variety seen were Nuthatch (a pair), Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Robin, Starling, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Pintail, Pochard, Tufted Duck and Moorhen.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Witton Lakes and Brookvale Park, Erdington.

Witton Lakes.

First off today it was a trip to Witton Lakes just as the sun was rising. 

There wasn't too many songbirds about even though there were plenty of our friend the humble House Sparrow in attendance as well as a large Carrion Crow and Feral Pigeon population. Waterfowl wise there were four Mute Swan, loads of Coot and Mallard as well as a few unusual water birds, namely the resident Ruddy Duck, Silver Appleyard Duck, Indian Runner Duck as well as some hybrid Domestic/Greylag Goose. 

Birds seen at Witton Lakes were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Wren, Robin, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Grey Wagtail, Mute Swan, Little Grebe, Ruddy Duck, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Silver Appleyard Duck, Indian Runner Duck,  
Moorhen, Coot, hybrid Domestic, Greylag Goose and Canada Goose.

Then it was off to the nearby Brookvale Park.  

Brookvale Park. 

As you can see the highlight of the day was seeing a Black Swan  (Cygnus atratus) not only was it great to see a such a magnificent bird but that coupled with the fact that there are only about 45 of them in Great Britain. It's slightly smaller than a Mute Swan with bright white primary feather in the wings which are hidden until they flap their wings, they also have a red bill has a white subterminal band, if you live near the area and you want to see this great bird then it's residing on the lake near the entrance by the boat yard. They are not indigenous to this country, they are a native of Australia and any feral Black Swan in this country are believed to have escaped from private collections. If you go you'll no doubt see the resident c.50 Mute Swan and c.25 Cormorant. You'll also see and hear plenty of House Sparrow all around the lake and near the houses on the trees and bushes. There are also some Silver Appleyard on this lake as well as a Pekin Duck and at least 6 hybrid Domestic'Greylag Goose.

Birds seen at Brookvale Park were Buzzard (circling high above), Great Tit, Dunnock, Robin, House Sparrow, Starling, Blackbird, Carrion, Crow, Margie, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Black Swan, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Silver Appleyard Duck, Pekin Duck, Mallard, hybrid Domestic/Greylag Goose and Canada Goose. 

You'll get a better look of the Black Swan on my Flickr paghere.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Babbs Mill Nature Reserve, Kingshurst.

An early morning trip to Solihull was the order of the day today where bird wise there wasn't much happening at all, in fact the spot of the day was seeing .c50 Goldfinch fly over the house when I arrived home. Since the first snow fall a couple of weeks back the Pied Wagtail who came when the snow was on the floor has still been visiting on a daily basis for a good forage around the garden, I presume when it warms up and there are more insects are about he'll be off until we have snow again.

Back to Babbs Mill, birds seen today were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Starling, Jay, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Pied Wagtail, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Domestic Goose and Canada Goose. 

The last but one picture is where the council are supposedly creating a brand new reed filter bed over 1000 meters deep, I think they mean wide, a silt trap and weir refurbishment, I hope they do a better job than they did on the new cycle path, which is the last picture, which is a complete joke where the path and all the surrounding areas are completely flooded including the grass which is ankle deep in places, pathetic !

I also had the misfortune to meet the one of the most odious, ill mannered, self righteous and foul mouthed women I've ever had the misfortune to meet, she had at least seven dogs running riot, chasing the geese and ducks into the water, which she seemed to think was acceptable, in fact the water fowl were getting in the way of her dog walking, she also let the dogs crap wherever they felt like it without even picking it up, she then proceeded to shout, rant and swear at one the local elderly dog walkers for having the audacity to walk his dog, which was on lead near the dogs she was walking, when she'd finished with him it was my turn to be on the end of her foul mouthed rant for allegedly taking photographs of her, which I hadn't and isn't against the law anyway, she even then threatened to phone the police which I actually encouraged her to do, I stood my ground with her, I've had better arguments with people bigger and uglier than she was, without lowering myself to her language and attitude. As if this wasn't bad enough she wasn't walking the dogs for fun, she was doing it for a living, absolutely unbelievable, she works for Walkies Pet Service in Solihull, phone number 01675 442 442 (a Coleshill number) and her company vehicle registration was YD57JKE. If by any chance you are that woman and you read this, sue me, because I've already reported you to the council and the police and apparently you're known for this kind of behaviour, you horrid piece of work.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Ward End Park.

Another quick trip somewhere whilst passing through the area on to another location, namely Ward End Park today, I still managed to get a good hour's birding in, early this morning.

Spot of the day was seeing a Goldcrest foraging around the circumference of a tree.  As is always, it was great to see some House Sparrow, this time they were my side of the train tracks, feeding on a feeder at the bottom of some flats. There was a couple of Goosander on the pool, a male and female. On the pool and the grass there were over 100 Canada Goose, unfortunately one of them had a broken leg which had clearly been stuck on some fishing line and had to pull it's leg free leaving the tell tale mark around it's leg, damn them chavs with sticks. It was also nice to see a Mute Swan on the pool, up to a few years ago there used to be a resident pair, but alas no more. There was also a Coot already making it's nest for the breeding season, I have seen them doing this the first week in February before at this location.

Birds seen were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Goldcrest, Robin, House Sparrow, Starling, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Redwing, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Pied Wagtail, Mute Swan, Goosander, Moorhen, Coot, Mallard, Silver Appleyard Duck and Canada Goose.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Meriden Park, Solihull.

Quick one hour visit to Meriden Park in Solihull while passing through the area where there was an omnipresent threat of rain which didn't actually materialize. A nice little location this close to Chemsley Wood shopping centre, there's always a good mixture of birds, on the water and in the air, it's a shame that 99% of the people that live here or walk through don't even appreciate it or even see the natural wonders around them.

Highlight of the day was seeing a noisy flock of c.50 Siskin foraging in a couple of Alder trees. It was great and a real surprise to see a Little Grebe on the river under the bridge, I've never seen one of these little fellas in a built up area before. It was also nice to see plenty of waterfowl about, with Mallard and Canada Geese flying in all the time.

Birds seen were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Siskin, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Grey Wagtail, Mute Swan, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Domestic Goose (Greylag hybrid) and Canada Goose.    

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Pype Hayes Park.

Trip out this morning to Pype Hayes Park where there wasn't to much bird action but it was nice to get out all the same especially with rain stopping play on Thursday.

I saw a small flock of Lesser Redpoll that was unfortunately just going out of sight as I noticed it which also held some smaller birds that were almost certainly Siskin but I couldn't get the binoculars on them quick enough, then literally a few paces after that I spotted four Bullfinch. Around the pool, which is flooded yet again, there was plenty of Tits and also a very noisy pair of squabbling Nuthatch. I also saw my very first ever Rook at this location. A Buzzard was also seen today but that was seen off after being mobbed by a solitary Carrion Crow. Unfortunately during the cold snap when it snowed, one of this years Cygnets sadly died, leaving only two of last years five that were born still with us, hopefully the two that are left will survive.

Birds seen were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Nuthatch, Lesser Redpoll, Robin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Buzzard, Rook, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Mute Swan, Moorhen, Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Canada Goose.

It's also nice to see that Spring is just around the corner, with all the plants and trees ready to flower again.