Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Meriden Park, Solihull.

Early morning trip to Meriden Park in Solihull where I also paid a visit to the adjacent Colebank Nature Reserve and a walk along a stretch of the River Cole which is inbetween both venues.

Highlights were seeing a Kingfisher, seeing and hearing large amount of Tit flocks which included many juveniles, unintentionally scaring a Green Woodpecker who was foraging on the floor who in turn unintentionally had Rabbits flying in every direction when it flew off screeching, walking around a tree to be confronted with a male Blackcap singing right in front of me until it noticed my presence and flew further up the tree.

Birds seen today were, Kingfisher, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Wren, Robin, Starling, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Raven, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Grey Heron, Moorhen Coot, Canada Goose as well as the following juveniles, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, House Sparrow, Starling, Moorhen, Coot, Mallard, Carrion Crow and Magpie.

If you read my last post concerning my last visit to this location you will remember my concern about a pair of Coots nesting directly below the bridge well thankfully they have managed to raise a juvenile, pity it's only one but that's better than none, there was no sign of the Mute Swan pair though and the locals I spoke to barely knew what a Swan even looked like (I still find that quite shocking) so at the moment I don't know whether they had any young or if they were on the island or river.

In Colebank Nature Reserve it was wildflower and butterfly city, I can honestly say I've seen so much Birds Foot Trefoil in one location, to say it was abundant would be underplaying how much is there as is evident in the fifth picture, other wildflowers seen were, Toadflax, Southern Marsh Orchid, Oxeye Daisy, Meadow Cransebill, Wild Blue Geranium, Red Campion and White Campion.

Colebank Nature Reserve is also a prime site for the day flying moth Six-Spot Burnet sadly I didn't see any of those but I did manage to see the following butterflies, Large Skipper, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood and Ringlet.

I must also mention that if you like Rabbits there are plenty at Colebank, they can be seen at almost every turn, which is nice to see.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Southfield's Farm, Coleshill.

Another visit to Southfield's Farm in Coleshill, North Warwickshire today to see the wonderful array of birds and wildflowers. Before I got out the car I could hear what sounded like and probably was hundreds of House Sparrow, the ground was literally littered with huge amounts of fledglings and juveniles and even better than that was I could still see adults taking insects into bird boxes and under eaves etc.

I was hoping to see Yellowhammer today and I thought I wasn't going to until I was in the very last field I visited where I saw two singing on a telegraph wire and what a great song they have, talking of birdsong it was also great to here Skylark, Blackcap, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chiffchaff Blackbird and Robin singing.

I think I went a bit early to see the wildflower meadow in full flow but it did look great all the same, among the flowers in the meadow were, Common Knapweed, Musk Mallow, Field Scabious, Cornflower, Birds-Foot Trefoil, Oxeye Daisy and Field Poppy, I shall definitely be making a return visit to see the meadow in all it's glory, there was also many insects present in the field but I am by no means an expert on them, all I can say is that were many Banded Demoiselle.

Birds seen today were, Buzzard, Kestrel, Yellowhammer, Blackcap, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chiffchaff, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Robin, Wren, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Lapwing, Swift, House Martin, Swallow, Peacock, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie as well as the following juveniles, Blue Tit, House Sparrow, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow and Magpie.

Other wildlife spotted today were, Hare, Rabbit and Speckled Wood.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Southfield's Farm, Coleshill.

Nice to do something a little different today, which was a visit to Southfield's Farm in Coleshill, North Warwickshire organised by Tame Valley Wetlands and Natural England to see what great work the farmer does in conjunction with Natural England to subsidise approximately ten per cent of his land to the the birds and wildlife in general and to manage the land for the birds and insects such as creating wildflower meadows, planting crops such as kale to feed the birds for the winter, providing supplementary food for the birds when the kale has gone during the quiet months from January to April, correct and wildlife friendly management of the hedgerow especially during the breeding season and crop rotation with birds and insects taken into consideration.

I must say the farmer does a great job managing the land which is evident in the birds I saw today which were, Buzzard, Yellowhammer, Skylark, Linnnet, Reed Bunting, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chichaff, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Wren, Starling, Robin, Woodpigeon, Stock Dove, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Raven, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, House Martin, Swallow, Swift, Red-legged Partridge, Lapwing, Moorhen and Mallard also seen were Hare and Rabbit.

Not only did I see quite a few Yellowhammer which was the highlight of the day, there was clearly a pair feeding young in among one of the hedgerows, the Skylarks could only be seen and obviously heard high in the sky but it still a real treat to see and hear them all the same, walking along the rapeseed field we accidentally flushed out a pair of juvenile Whitethroat, who were great to see, personally it was also great to see Stock Dove, a lot of people find them boring but I always like to see them, a pair of Lapwing were also clearly with eggs or young because as we approached them they were not very happy but thankfully they were in an adjacent field which we didn't enter apart from seeing all the wonderful wildflowers it was great to see Red-legged Partridge and Hare, which I don't see very often. 

I must say thanks to the farmer and the personnel from Tame Valley Wetlands and Natural England for providing an enjoyable and informative visit to the farm.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Shustoke Reservoir.

Great visit to Shustoke Reservoir this morning especially as this wasn't the intended location but like I say it didn't disappoint.

Highlights were seeing a Treecreeper foraging up a tree quite literally a few feet in front of me while also listening to a Reed Warbler singing right behind me, seeing and hearing Skylarks above one of the farmers fields, watching a Song Thrush accidentally scare a Green Woodpecker which in turn scared the Song Thrush so they both flew up from the grass and over the other side of the reservoir, observing juvenile Blue Tit, Great Tit and Mallard Ducklings (thirteen in total), watching a Coal Tit and a Wren going off with insects and they were clearly feeding young nearby and finally getting decent photos of a Pied Wagtail, one of which is above.

Birds seen today were, Buzzard, Skylark, Treecreeper, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Green Woopdecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Swift, Sand Martin, House Martin, Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Canada Goose.

Great to see Bird's-foot-trefoil all around the grass which was near to the waters edge, large amounts of Teasel ready to spring into life, as well as two decent amount of areas of wildflower which included Cuckoo Flower,
Red Campion, White Campion, Oxeye Daisy, Field Poppy and Foxglove, in turn these areas also contained butterflies which were Peacock, Orange Tip and Small White.

The only downside of the day apart from the litter in the car park was seeing the building work happening at the cottage between the reservoir and the fly-fishers pool, where they have unfortunately completely blocked the eaves access for the birds which meant for the first time ever I didn't hear a single House Sparrow around the cottage and didn't see a single House Martin and Swallow there or even on the telephone wires which was a real shame, I know people are free to do what they like with their own property, it's just a shame the birds weren't taken into consideration.

I'll end the day on a high note though, when I got home the feeders were completely empty and there were juvenile House Sparrow in the pyracanthas, in the tree, on the floor, basically they were everywhere along with the 30-40 juvenile Starling who are also coming into the garden everyday, great to have so many baby birds coming into my patch :)

Monday, 6 June 2016

Newhall Valley Country Park.

Great day for a visit to North Birmingham to visit Newhall Valley Country Park even though it did get a bit too warm near midday especially after four hours walking.

Great to see more juvenile birds today even though it was a bit disappointing not to see any Mallard Ducklings especially on the river where I normally see them at this time of the year but there was a lot of growth either side of the river so there may have been some there but I did see eight Canada Goose Goslings, four Moorhen chicks as well as juvenile Starling and Magpie.

Birds seen today were, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chiffchaff, Robin, Dunnock, Wren, Starling, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Grey Wagtail, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Moorhen, Coot, Mallard and Canada Goose.

At this location there are two huge areas where the council don't cut the grass to let the wildflowers flourish, amongst the wildflowers seen today were, Meadow Buttercup, Ragged Robin, Red Campion and Oxeye Daisy.

I was expecting to see a large amount of butterflies today well I was completely wrong as I only saw two, a Speckled Wood and a Small White, the latter seen through the car window while exiting the car park.