Thursday, 28 May 2015

Middleton Lakes, RSPB Nature Reserve, Tamworth.

To say a visit to Middleton Lakes was well overdue is an understatement, it's been over eighteen months since my last visit and it was like I'd never been away.

There is only one place to start today because I went to Tame Fest in Coleshill on Saturday which was an event celebrating Tame Valley Wetlands heritage and there was a stall from the RSPB at Middleton Lakes who informed me that there are Avocet chicks there ! So that was it I was off there today and I found them, all four of them, four hatched and thankfully all four are still with us at the moment and there is also another Avocet on the nest, which is just as exciting. They are the only Avocet chicks in Staffodshire at the moment and one of one two to fledge in the Midlands this year. Any other visit the Cuckoo I saw would have been top of the list but not today.

The friendly Robin who feeds out of your hand is still there, saying that there were at least four having mealworms from my hand and there were also friendly Nuthatch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Dunnock and a Pheasant quite happy to get the food left on the floor, the handrail on the bridge or from wooden stumps on the floor.

Other noteworthy birds seen today were Yellow Wagtail, who's colours were absolutely amazing even from a distance, Sedge Warbler, Reed Bunting, Mealey Redpoll, Whitethroat, Reed Bunting, Cuckoo, Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, and Shelduck.

Other than the four Avocet chicks I saw, juvenile birds spotted were seven Duckling, fifteen Canada Goose Gosling, six Greylag Goose Gosling and five Coot.

Birds seen today were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Starling, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Robin, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Bunting, Mealy Redpoll, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Cuckoo, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Jay, Blackbird, Rook, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woopdigeon, Feral Pigeon, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Pheasant (Male), Common Tern, Cormorant, Lapwing, Avocet, Oystercatcher, Little Ringed Plover, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Shelduck,
Gadwall,Tufted Duck, Mallard, Greylag Goose and Canada Goose.

I think it's safe to say that my next visit here will not be another eighteen months time !

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Plantsbrook Nature Reserve.

Amazingly this was my first trip to Plantsbrook Nature Reserve in over six months, it was a great time to go though with plenty of juvenile waterfowl and all the trees, bushes and flowers are in full bloom.
Juvenile waterfowl were thirty five Coot, five Duckling and three Moorhen, obviously there may have been more juveniles but it was hard to keep tracks with them going in and out of the reeds. Also on the nest were a Mute Swan and eight Coot. 

The Mute Swan has chosen a much better nesting site than in previous years, the nest in previous years has been accessible by foot if you wanted to wade through the swampy water, where this year she has nested in amongst the reed bed totally surrounded by large areas of water, which is a relief because in the past 'people' have tried to kill the adults and destroy the eggs or chicks. 

New additions since my last visit are a Muscovy Duck, Indian Runner Duck and a Domestic Goose, who all seemed to stick together wherever they went so I presume they were either dumped there are the RSPCA have left them there, saying that they did look fit and healthy, the only problem being that they had no fear of humans at all which doesn't bode well with some of the morons that visit here, time will tell, hopefully they will be fine.

Birds seen today were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Starling, Great Spotted Woodpecker,Song Thrush, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Grey Wagtail, Grey Heron. Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Muscovy Duck, Indian Runner Duck, Domestic Goose and Canada Goose.

I also had a quick walk over to Pype Hayes Park pool where there three Canada Goose Goslings and two juvenile Coot and Moorhen and one Canada Goose on the nest. Unfortunately there was also a dead male Mallard on the waters edge which looked like it had been run over by some idiot, I buried the poor beast at least.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Babbs Mill Nature Reserve, Solihull.

Great trip out in very pleasant weather with wonderful blue skies to Babbs Mill Nature Reserve and the adjacent Shard End Park to see what juvenile birds are present.

The main visit was to Babbs Mill but ironically there were more juvenile birds at Shard End Lake, there were a pair of Canada Geese with twelve very healthy looking Goslings, seventeen juvenile Coots, two Great Crested Grebe, five Mallard Ducklings, as well as juvenile House Sparrow, Starling and Great Tit. At Babbs Mill there were seven Cygnets, as well as juvenile House Sparrow and Starlings and Coot and one Great Crested Grebe on the nest. I've also got juvenile House Sparrow, Dunnock, Starling and Woodpigeon visiting the garden at the moment.

Other than that highlights were seeing a Kingfisher on the River Cole and observing three pairs of Whitethroat vising nests with insects.

Birds seen today were Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Blue Tit, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Jay, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Kingfisher, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Domestic Goose and Canada Goose.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Kingsbury Water Park.

Great trip out to Kingsbury Water Park in the sunshine with plenty of baby birds around and all the flora coming into it's own.

Highlight of the day had to be seeing a huge flock of Long Tailed Tits with many juveniles amongst there number, there were at least thirty there foraging from tree to tree along the waters edge, other juvenile birds seen were Great Crested Grebe (3), Duckling (11), Greylag Goose (6) and Canada Goose (5) as well as a Great Crested Grebe and Coot on the nest.

Birds seen today were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Wren, House Martin, Swallow, Starling, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Pied Wagtail, Common Tern, Oysrecatcher (taking food to young on one of the islands), Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Greylag Goose and Canada Goose.

Monday, 11 May 2015

New Hall Mill, Sutton Coldfield.

Nice trip out to Sutton Coldfield yesterday to visit New Hall Mill on their first open day of the year. New Hall Mill is a Grade 2 listed building and is one of only two water mills still surviving in the Birmingham area. The Mill and its meadow field are privately owned and managed by the New Hall Water Mill Preservation Trust.

Highlights of the day was observing two separate pairs of Treecreeeper feeding their young, one pair had young in a dead tree and the other was in a multi trunk tree, they didn't stop coming and going for food during the entirety of my visit. Other nests in the mill was a Grey Wagtail one located in an outhouse (as was the case last year) and a Great Tit nest in another outbuilding, as was the case with the Trrecreeopers they were feeding their young during the whole of my visit. Just outside the grounds in Newhall Valley Country Park it was nice to see Blue Tits feeding juveniles in the trees.

Birds seen today were Treecreeper, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Bullfinch, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Jay, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Grey Wagtail and Canada Goose and Mallard flying overhead.

Butterflies seen were Orange Tip and Small White.

In Friday it was brilliant to see the first of this years House Sparrow juveniles in the back garden, hopefully there's going to be plenty more to follow !

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Newhall Valley Country Park, Sutton Coldfield.

I hadn't been to Newhall Valley Country Park since the beginning of December last year so today was the day to visit again where there juvenile birds and nest building aplenty.

A pair of Mallard have had some babies in the exact same spot on the Plants Brook as they do every year, according to a local there initially twelve but there are now only nine and unfortunately one of them had a deformed foot, hard to tell whether it was born that way or it had got the leg trapped in some litter, it didn't look good either way. In the grounds of  New Hall Manor there were eight Goslings, a pair with five juveniles and a pair with three and another Canada Goose on the nest. Birds observed collecting nesting material building were Blackbird (lots of them), Bulfinch (two separate pairs), and Blackcap. Birds observed collecting food for nestlings were Robin and Coal Tit, the Robin was seen furiously collecting insects where the Ducklings were and going back and forth to the adjacent allotments while the Coal Tit was seen taking insects into a crevice in a very old wall in the moat that runs around new Hall Manor.

All the years of going to this location I have heard a Pheasant but never actually seen one, he/they reside in an area not easy accessible to the public and gets very overgrown this time of the year and throughout the Summer and today I actually spotted a male Pheasant through the dense growth, which was nice.

Birds seen today were Kestrel, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chiffchaff, Bullfinch, Blackcap, Wren, Robin, Starling, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Jay, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Grey Wagtail, Pheasant (Male), Grey Heron, Moorhen, Mallard, Canada Goose, Ducklings (9), Goslings (8) and one Canada Goose on the nest.