Saturday, 30 March 2013

Middleton Lakes.

Unbelievably this was my first visit to the always impressive Middleton Lakes RSPB Nature Reserve in six months due to it being flooded and various other reasons. It was still very boggy in places and a large portion of the Lakes still being inaccessible due to the ongoing construction work on the north side to encourage more waders such as the Snipe to visit. So with a large parts of the lakes being out of bounds it was a good time to visit the meadow fields which house the English Longhorn cattle and are very shortly about to be home to some Konik Ponies. The meadows today also had a flock of c.100 Redwing in them feasting in amongst the hedges.

As usual it was great to see the always accommodating Robin, who appeared for some mealworms within seconds of my presence, also enjoying the mealworms, sunflowers hearts and cake were Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch and Dunnock. I also saw and heard my first Chiffchaff of the year. On the lakes there was a good gathering of c.70 Shoveler as well as a pair of Redshank. Also nice to see were Green Woodpecker, Water Rail, Oystercatcher, Goldcrest and Treecreeper.

Birds seen today were, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Goldcrest, Treecreeper, Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Song Thrush, Redwing, Green Woodpecker, Rook, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Blackbird, Grey Wagtail, Buzzard, Kestrel, Pheasant (Cock and Hen), Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Water Rail, Redshank, Oystercathcher, Lapwing, Shoveler, Teal, Wigeon, Goosander, Moorhen, Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Canada Goose.

The scent in the air along the woodland trail which leads up to the lakes was awash with the aroma of Wild Garlic (Allium Ursinum) which is an obvious sign of Spring time.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Lady Bradford's, Castle Bromwich.

Early morning trip to a snowy Castle Bromwich to check out how the birds are doing. I didn't see that many birds apart from plenty of Tits, Blackbirds and a Grey Heron flying overhead how is apparently taking advantage of Castle Bromwich Hall and Gardens ponds. Also nice to see was a flock of c.15 Redwing on the wing by the church who must have wished they'd already migrated when they awoke to snow filled landscape.

Birds seen were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Wren, Robin, Starling, Redwing, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon and Grey Heron. 

Needless to say I left plenty of bird seed, apple and bread on my travels today which were especially well received by the Robin population.

Unfortunately on Thursday morning when I went out in the garden to fill up the feeders and put fresh water in the birdbaths etc. I frightened off a female Sparrowhawk from the lawn under the tree, I say unfortunately because on the lawn was the remnants of an unlucky male Blackbird. It was my fifth sighting sighting of a Sparrowhawk in five days including one on Wednesday when I was fixing a fence in the garden when one whizzed past my head just inches away at an incredible speed it's no wonder the poor little Sparrows don't see it coming until it's too late.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Newhall Valley Country Park.

It was nice to actually get out and about for a change after having the flu and then the after affects of the illness and then the rain and other commitments. So I thought I'd go to Newhall Valley Country Park and see what birds were around and I had a treat when I was taking pictures of the hotel from the moat wall when this Robin appeared out of nowhere and sat on a branch a few inches from my head and started singing so I readily gave him some bird seed and he readily let me take a few photographs of him, which was worth the trip out alone let alone the variety of birds seen as well.

Birds seen today were Kestrel, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Bullfinch, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Nuthatch, Robin, Dunnock, Starling, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Carrion, Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Grey Wagtail, Grey Heron, Moorhen, Mallard and Canada Goose. I also heard Pheasant on a few occasions but didn't actually see any.

I surprisingly saw Greenfinch on no less than four occasions, which is very rare these days. The Lesser Redpoll were only spotted because they were in amongst a flock of Siskin I was observing. 

The above photograph is one of three Long Tailed Tits visiting the garden on a daily basis to feed on the coconut halves, I was topping up the feeders etc. when a couple of said Tits visited the tree oblivious to my presence and when I was kindly brought the camera, this little chap stuck around to have his picture taken. Other daily visitors to the garden at the moment are a pair of Goldcrest, who love to have a peck at the suet blocks and the fat smeared on the tree branches, a lone male Pied Wagtail who loves the mealworms left for him or he will just have a forage around the lawn, he did actually turn up with a female once last week but I haven't seen her again. Needless to say the fifty or so House Sparrow are always out there feeding on the forever topped up bird feeders, a pair of Great Tit who love the sunflower hearts, four Blue Tit, of which at least one lives in the ventilation brick in my bedroom. I have also noticed an upsurge in Dunnocks  and there pre breeding activity and of course the ever present Robins.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Bromford Canal.

Time for something a little bit different today, namely a trip down Bromford Canal. You're not really supposed to gain access nowadays but there's always a way in and there's always a few birds around with the otherwise lack of human activity. I'd actually planned a first trip to Middleton Lakes for the first time in over six months but the inclement weather put paid to that idea.

Birds seen today on the short visit were Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Wren, Robin, Starling, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon and Feral Pigeon.

Train tracks also run adjacent to the canal and with train tracks you always get loads of vegetation, bushes and trees and they held a nice mixed flock of Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch and Goldfinch, which was nice to see. The other side of the canal is also a wide, long strip of grass and pylons which held plenty of noisy Song Thrush while the Tits and Finches were more interested in the trees.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Shard End Lake.

Mute Swan (Cygnus Olor)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Cherry Blossom.

Pussy Willow.

Chinese Red Birch (Betula Albosinensis)

Common Orange Lichen (Xanthoria Parietina)

First time out birding in two weeks thanks to the flu, I've finally managed to shake it off and I can finally leave the house and at last end my birding hiatus.

There were plenty of House Sparrow to be seen and heard as well as plenty singing Robin and Dunnock. It's nice to see the Black Headed Gulls with their breeding chocolate-brown heads coming through, it's just a pity they're so noisy. There was also plenty of sightings of birds getting their nests ready for breeding, from the Tits up to the Corvids.

Birds seen today were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Dunnock. Wren, Robin, Jay, Fieldfare, Redwing, Collared Dove, Blackbird, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Canada Goose.

Birds see in the garden during my haitus were as follows, Goldcrest, Blackcap (female), Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Coal Tit, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Robin, Starling, Pied Wagtail, Blackbird, Magpie, Woodpigeon and Feral Pigeon. Also seen flying/hovering overhead were Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Buzzard, Grey Heron, Jackdaw, and Carrion Crow.