Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Plantsbrook Nature Reserve.

Nice trip out to Plantsbrook Nature Reserve which borders Pype Hayes and Walmley districts where it was good to see the Mute Swans that always have a nest here before leading the Cygnets to Pype Hayes fishing pool have relocated to Plantsbrook and are clearly getting ready to breed because the male was letting nothing or no one near the female, there was also another pair of Mute Swan on one of the other pools who also maybe getting ready to set up a nest, if they do I hope they find a good place on that pool because it's unfortunately hard to set up one with no difficult human access and not everyone is nature loving like you and me. Talking of nests it was nice to see two Coots on nests on separate pools which are far enough away from the waters edge to be safe, I can't wait to see the little punky Coot chicks scooting around on the water.

Birds seen today were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Song Thrush, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Cormorant, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Canada Goose. I also saw House Sparrow and Starling today but they were on the journey home and not at Plantsbrook.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Salford Park, Aston.

Trip out to Salford Park in Aston today which also took in a wander under and around Spaghetti Junction and the adjacent Birmingham and Fazeley canal.

Salford Park funnily enough isn't a great place for waterfowl even though it's a great stretch of water, it's main problem is it's location, i.e. being sandwiched between Spaghetti Junction and the huge volume of traffic that attracts and the other areas surrounding it being built up and the added advantage of Lichfield Road which is another busy road which contains many lanes of traffic, still there are still some birds which make it home, mainly Mallard, Tufted Duck, Canada Geese, Moorhen and Coot, today there was also a solitary Cormorant present. It's nice to see that the Canada Geese are already pairing up on the Park and canal, but it was also a shame there were no Mute Swan present, the first time that's ever happened when I've visited this location. It was also nice to hear the welcome return of the song of the Chiffchaff.

Spaghetti Junction and the bridges are also home to many Woodpigeon and Feral Pigeon, a pair of Kestrel have also paired up under Spaghetti Junction in exactly the same place as the last few years, the Kestrels were having a hard time today with a pair of Jackdaw, I've not heard Kestrels so vocal before as they were literally screaming at the Jackdaw, one of who came close to be being a Kestrel meal.

Birds seen were Kestrel, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chiffchaff, Robin, Dunnock, Wren, Song Thrush, Jay, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Cormorant, Moorhen, Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Canada Goose.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Kingsbury Water Park.

Nice trip out to Kingsbury Water Park in North Warwickshire today where it was very mild with no threat of rain whatsoever, in fact the ground was surprisingly dry with only a few patches of boggy grass and my boots didn't even warrant a clean when I got home. 

All the usual birds were present and correct including many Tits and Finches as well as some friendly Robins and Chaffinches who were only to eager to take up my offer of some bird seed. On one of the farmers field that border the park was a nice flock of Redwing. I know I bang on a bit about the House Sparrow but it's hard no too when they've had such a dramatic decline in recent years, so it was nice yet again to report they numbered in the hundreds yet again today with them spotted all around my walk today,  I did a special mixture of bird seed, sunflower hearts, suet pellets and mealworms this morning because I know of some hedgerow where large numbers congregate so I left it in a good spot for them and suffice to say when I finished my walk it had practically all gone, so when I left I put down the bird seed I'd got left of which they will no doubt will enjoy. Waterfowl it was nice to see Shoveler, Goosander, Gadwall and the resident Greylag Geese and lone Domestic Duck.

Birds seen today were Buzzard, Kestrel, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Starling, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Redwing, Jay, Blackbird, Collared Dove, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Grey Heron, Cormorant, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Shoveler, Goosander, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Domestic Duck, Greylag Goose and Canada Goose.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Lady Bradford's, Castle Bromwich.

Nice early morning trip to Lady Bradford's in Castle Bromwich for a spot of birding and seeing some of the plants and trees coming to life again with the warmer weather.

Highlight of the day had to seeing a Treecreeper going about it's business, it's always great to see a Treecreeper being as there so hard to spot in the first place and they're a great looking bird as well.

Birds seen today were Treecreeper, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Wren, Starling, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon and a Grey Heron flying overhead.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Aston Park.

Thought I'd do a little something today namely that of going to Aston Park which is basically the grounds around Aston Hall and are also adjacent to Villa Park, the home of the mighty Aston Villa Football Club.

Spot of the day was seeing and hearing a flock of two hundred or more Redwing who were residing in amongst the many ancient trees which adorn this park, it always a pleasure to see birds in such big numbers especially on places like this that are surrounded by huge urban areas. It was also nice to see Tits and Finches in decent numbers as were one of my favourite birds, the highly underrated but ever amiable House Sparrow.

Birds seen today were Blue Tit. Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Robin, Starling, Song Thrush, Redwing, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon and Feral Pigeon.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Sheldon Country Park.

No rain again so my planned trip to Sheldon Country Park went ahead for a bit of birding, plane spotting and train spotting at the park, Birmingham International Airport flight path and Marston Green Train Station respectively.

Highlight of the day was hearing plenty of Skylark song with at least two pair present, the only problem being that they are at the end of the runway where the planes take off, I think this is due to the constant and ongoing construction work at the airport, the patch where they were before is now a building site so they've been forced more into the open grass, fingers crossed they'll be okay and even hopefully breed this year.

Today was the largest amount of House Sparrow I've seen and heard in a long while with them easily numbering in the hundreds, they were present on all of my destinations today and were especially loud and visible by the houses around Marston Green Train Station, with many females collecting nest material.

Birds seen today were Buzzard, Skylark, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Wren, Robin, Starling, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Jay, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie and Mallard some of whom were unfortunately flying across the flight path of the planes but thankfully I didn't see any get hurt.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Shustoke Reservoir, Warwickshire.

Nice trip out to very balmy Shustoke Reservoir in Warickshire where strangely enough after all the rain we've had lately the reservoir was very low compared to usual and the waterfowl count was the lowest I've ever known it. It's still hard to believe that Spring is less than nineteen days away when apart from the rain we've had there has been no Winter as such, there's hardly been a frost all Winter, which is amazing.

Highlight of day was a toss up between seeing and definitely hearing a flock of two to three hundred Redwing who were in a line of trees adjacent to the reservoir by a farmers field, they were making an absolute racket which was maybe a deterrent to the five Buzzard circling above the fields, it was a sight to see so many Redwing at once, it's a shame we'll be saying goodbye to this wonderful Thrush soon. The other highlight was seeing a mixed flock of c.100 Siskin and Lesser Redpoll feasting on the ample alder berries in the copse behind the fly fishers pool adjacent to the river, it was great observing and listening to these wonderful birds for a good twenty minutes it's especially pleasing to see them hanging upside down feeding on the alder branches also seen in the same area was another great little bird, namely the ever wonderful Treecreeper, it's always great to watch them climb up a tree looking for grubs etc. watch it fly back down and then climb back up again.

Birds seen were Buzzard, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Treecreeper, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Redwing, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Pheasant (Cock), Pied Wagtail, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Coot, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Wigeon, Mallard and Canada Goose.