Saturday, 28 September 2013

Pype Hayes Park.

Quick early morning trip around a misty Pype Hayes Park.

Birds seen were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Robin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Muscovy Duck and Mallard.

The rescued mistreated Muscovy Duck who was brought to the pool by the RSPCA is still looking fine and fitting in well with his new mates, the Mallards.

Also seen today were a House Sparrow colony but they weren't technically at the park but they were in hedgerow and on the roofs of houses on the edges of the park, there were some nice big Sparrow size holes under the eaves, so hopefully they'll have somewhere to live at this site for many a year yet.

I also saw plenty Starling today but unfortunately they were only seen in Castle Vale shopping centre car park and not foraging on the grass in the park like they should be doing, but that's maybe because a fun fair is at the park at the moment.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Sheldon Country Park.

Nice trip out to Sheldon Country Park today which is 300 acres, comprising of open grassland, wetlands, old hedgerows and some mature woodland. It's also directly under the flightpath of Birmingham International Airport and Marston Green Railway Station, so it's ideal for birdwatching and plane and train spotting.

Spot of the day had to be seeing a Green Woodpecker foraging on the grass until it flew up into the trees. It was also nice to see double figure numbers of (very noisy) Jay and Collared Dove. I also saw a great mixed Tit flock compromising of many Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tit. Also nice to see was around fifty House Martin even though they were hunting directly in the flightpath of the planes, hopefully they all survived to see another day. Also nice to see and hear was the resident House Sparrow community especially as their habitat has been greatly reduced by the airport ripping out large swathes of the hedgerow that they like to be in, thankfully they border onto houses with mature gardens.

There were also many apple trees bursting with fruit and they same could be said for the Hawthorn, Rowan, Black Byrony and Oak trees and bushes which is good news for the birds in the winter.

Birds seen were Kestrel, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Robin, Wren, House Sparrow, House Martin, Grey Wagtail, Green Woodpecker, Jay, Blackbird, Collared Dove, Woopdigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie and a Grey Heron flying overhead.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Newhall Valley Country Park.

Trip out to a very humid Newhall Valley Country Park in Sutton Coldfield today where the highlight on most visits would have been seeing two pairs of Goldcrest which was still a great spot in it's own right but beating even that was the sighting of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, just as I was in prime position with camera at the ready a songbird, possibly a Robin, spooked it and it flew off, still it was great to see a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker all the same. There was also a good flocks of various birds around including c.50 Goldfinch, c.20 Long Tailed Tit, c.30 mixed Tit, c.50 Jackdaw and c.200 Woodpigeon. The Woodpigeon were seen flying into the air in all possible directions, seconds after I heard a Buzzard in their general locale, talking of the humble Woodpigeon I must have also seen around fifty juveniles today, which is good being as they often predated.

Birds seen today were Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Starling, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Grey Heron, Moorhen and Mallard.

Good news today as it's been reported that the House Sparrow population decline show signs of halting, it would be a crime if we were to lose this charismatic bird from these isles.

A link for the above story is here.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Babbs Mill Nature Reserve, Solihull.

Trip out to Babbs Mill in Solihull today where unfortunately the adult Domestic Goose numbers have fell from fourteen to eight since my last visit, I didn't speak to any locals today so I have no idea why, it's even more tragic because they've only successfully bred one offspring this year. Also alarming was seeing two adult Mute Swan constantly harassing another adult Mute Swan around the lake which went on during the entirety of the visit, which will surely eventually tire the bird out, it's a pity it didn't fly onto the adjacent River Cole or even to the nearby Shard End Lake or Meriden Park but it did seem reluctant to leave the lake, hopefully they left it alone and calm was restored to the lake.

Birds seen were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Robin, Wren, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Collared Dove, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Domestic Goose and Canada Goose.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Cannon Hill Park, Edgbaston.

Trip out to Cannon Hill Park yesterday entering via the entrance opposite Edgbaston Cricket Ground and just like on my last visit there were more friendly Grey Squirrel around than anywhere else I visit as well as the very sociable Moorhen, Coot, Mallard and Canada Goose communities, the Moorhen here are especially friendly including the ones who are always in the bushes by the "Sons of Birmingham" Boer War statue memorial, this years juvenile Moorhen in this area let you get very close until you push your luck and then they are off like a shot into the bushes.

Birds seen on my ninety minute visit were Blue Tit, Robin, Dunnock, Goldfinch, (fighting) Nuthatch, Pied Wagtail, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Moorhen, Coot, Mallard, Canada Goose as well as the following juveniles, Robin, Blackbird, Woodpigeon and Moorhen. 

If you've checked my Flickr since Sunday you'll notice I went to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Sunday partly to walk around and partly to bird watch but unfortunately it is way too wet and windy to see any birds properly but for the record birds seen who were not captive were were Blue Tit, Wren, Robin, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Tufted Duck and a female Pintail and Starling flying overhead.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Moseley Bog and Sarehole Mill.

Trip out to Moseley Bog and Sarehole Mill where JRR Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings grew up and was inspired to write the aforementioned tomes.

My last visit here was last September and thankfully the Bog has remained unchanged and was just like walking into England as it was hundreds of years ago apart from a small amount of litter. On my last visit The Mill Pond at Sarehole Mill was undergoing major renovations and had been completely drained but now it has been fully restored and looked great replete with Mallard and Tufted Ducks, apparently there is also a Grey Heron who visits often but I didn't see it today.

On the whole it was very quiet bird wise today with the most oft bird spotted by being Robin and the birds heard the most was squabbling Corvids.

 Birds seen were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Wren, Robin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackbird, Collared Dove, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Tufted Duck and Mallard.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Edgbaston Reservoir.

Overdue trip to Edgbaston Reservoir today, it's been nearly a year since my last visit. The water level was surprisingly low but nowhere near the catastrophic low levels of last summer.

The birds present all seemed to be faring well apart from one of the years juvenile Moorhen who I unfortunately found deceased near the waters edge, how it died was a complete because it had no obvious signs of trauma or injury, needless to say I moved the poor bird to a more fitting resting place.

Birds seen were Treecreeper, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Wren, Robin, Starling, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Mallard, Canada Goose and the following juveniles, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Robin and Blackbird.

On my travels yesterday I saw a flock of c.200 Starling foraging on grass in the Eastside area of Birmingham City Centre and a further flock of c.100 Starling sitting on rooftops in the Ward End area of Birmingham, hopefully many of these magnificent birds will make it through the winter and grace us with the there presence for many a year to come.

Sadly my nemesis, the Sparrowhawk made a successful House Sparrow kill on Monday, as per usual it came out of nowhere and snatched a poor unfortunate bird from one of the feeders so I promptly went out in the garden but all I did was scared it off, carrying it's prey, I know it's got to eat but it really upsets me when it kills a bird in my garden when all it's come for is a bit of bird seed.

One of Birmingham City Centre's Starling population and one of this years juveniles at that.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Lady Bradford's, Castle Bromwich.

Had a walk around Lady Bradford's, St. Mary and St. Margaret church and the kirkyard in Castle Bromwich for a change, where on the whole it was very quiet bird wise but the one major difference from my last visit was the change in the vegetation, there are are now many thousand Teasel, which is good news for the Finches, also the Bramble, Rosebay Willowherb and Nettles have completely run riot leaving some of the paths completely impassable, hopefully that means plenty of Blackberries for the birds in the winter months.

Birds seen were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Willow Warbler, Wren, Robin, Starling, Great Spotted Woodpecker, (many) Song Thrush, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon and Feral Pigeon.

After I got in and had a shower I was greeted to the sight of the Sparrowhawk above swooping in and narrowly missing the House Sparrows on the feeders, thankfully they flew into the pyracanthas in a flash but even that didn't stop my foe standing on top of the pyracanthas and try and grab one of my Sparrows and yes I do mean my Sparrows being as we're the only people in my house who bother to feed them around my area and invest time and money trying to keep them safe, hopefully they'll all live to see today and many more days, the garden would be a much duller place without the humble House Sparrow.