Thursday, 16 November 2017

Southfields Farm, Coleshill.







After what seems like an eternity I finally got out do some much needed birding today which was to Southfields Farm in Coleshill because I thought it wouldn't disappoint and of course it didn't, what's not too like about hearing literally hundreds of House Sparrows chirping away before you've even got out of the car, they adorned the hedgerows all around the farm house, what a wonderful sight and sound !

Apart from the House Sparrows other highlights were seeing a flock of c.20 Yellowhammer, seeing the return of the Linnets where the autumn/winter feed is grown especially for them also observed in among their number was a Stonechat which is a bird I haven't seen for a very long time, above the same field Skylark were present which could be heard as well as seen, in the adjacent field there something you very rarely see these days, sightings of hundreds if not birds numbering in four digits, there were literally hundreds of Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Jackdaw (that's some in the last photo), Carrion Crow Starling and Black Headed Gull, it was a sight and half when I disturbed them and they all took to the air, thankfully as soon as I'd walked passed they went back to their foraging.

Birds seen today were, Yellowhammer, Stonechat, Linnet, Skylark, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Robin, Jay, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Magpie, Pied Wagtail, Pheasant (cock), Cormorant (flying overhead) and Mallard on on the small pools.

The only disappointment was not seeing any Fieldfare or Redwing, hopefully there will be some present on my next visit.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Shustoke Reservoir.






Great to have a trip out to North Warwickshire today to visit Shustoke Reservoir where the weather was perfect for a spot of much needed birding. 

It was just a pity there wasn't a lot of birds around but it was nice to start the day with a sighting of Goldcrests and Song Thrush in the car park, then it was off the water where there were plenty of Lapwing, Little Grebe, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Mallard and Canada Goose, also seen to the left of the reservoir there was a Kestrel (unsuccessfully when I observed it) hovering above the fields looking for prey. 

On the area around the Fly-Fishers Pool all of the following were spotted, Nuthatch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Wren, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Moorhen, Great Crested Grebe and plenty more Little Grebe.

Birds seen today were, Kestrel, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, House Sparrow, Starling, Wren, Robin, Song Thrush, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Cormorant, Pied Wagtail, Lapwing, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Pochard, Moorhen, Coot and Canada Goose.

If you follow my Twitter account you'll already know I've been having a horrendous time with a Sparrowhawk because it's been far too successful in taking birds from my garden especially my House Sparrows, since it's last observed kill on Monday 9th October the gardens been as quiet as I've ever known it, no bird song and virtually no visiting birds, even the Sparrows that do come get one seed from the feeders and they then dive into the pyracanthas, you can literally see how scared they've become, I've gone from filling up the feeders twice a day to not even having to fill them up at all in a whole week even the sunflower hearts in a globe that hangs in the tree aren't being touched, so it looks like the Sparrowhawk has won the battle in my garden but lost the war because there's nothing visiting for it to kill anymore and of course I'm the loser as well because I'm not having the pleasure of feeding the birds or even observing them, I know it's nature but it's just a shame as the whole situation has seen no winners in my opinion. 

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Kingsbury Water Park.







Great visit to Kingsbury Water Park today where summer is clearly a thing of the past and autumn has now well and truly arrived which is great because it's a great time of the year especially at the onset of rhe season.

Great to see a sizeable amount of Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Greylag Geese and even House Martin were still present.

With the leaves falling off the trees at a rate of knots it's lovely to see the Tits and Finches a bit more clearly but strangely enough I didn't see or hear a single Blackbird.

Birds seen today were, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Robin, House Sparrow, Starling, House Martin, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Greylag Goose and Canada Goose.

Now we've that moment that just has to be done on occasions...moan time...Even though there are a lot of locations where there are teasels I don't know why someone has taken it upon themselves to cut down large swathes of the plant for what seems to be no good reason, especially to do it at this time of the year.


Pity I didn't see a lot of Fungi but there's still plenty of time for that.



Thursday, 28 September 2017

Shustoke Reservoir.







Nice trip to Shustoke Reservoir in North Warwickshire which because of having other things to do and the bad weather was only my second birding trip out this month which by my standards is woeful.

It's always great to visit Shustoke when Autumn has started because of the amount of different trees it's always a riot of colour and then of course there's always plenty of funghi because there are lots of ideal habitats for it to flourish.

As soon as I got out of the car I was treated to the sight of a Song Thrush having a bath in a puddle, juvenile Woodpigeons and lots of Tit, Finch, Robin and Wren birdsong.

On the water there were c.100 Canada Goose, I know they are not everyone's favourite bird but I always like to see them, especially in those numbers, also in good numbers were Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Coot and Lapwing. Strangely I didn't see any Mute Swan, Gadwall or Moorhen apart from on the fly-fishers pool, they must have preferred it there because it was more serene.

Birds seen today were, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Dunnock Wren, Robin, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Cormorant, Lapwing, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Moorhen, Coot and Canada Goose.

Sadly there was much more litter than I normally see at this location, at least I retrieved as much as I could, even risking life and limb to get the plastic water bottles from the waters edge, still if I don't do it nobody else will, I just wish ignorant people wouldn't drop litter in the first place especially that which is hazardous and potentially lethal for our wildlife.

Let's hope I get much more birding done next month especially as Autumn is one of my favourite seasons, when there's always plenty to see and do.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Babbs Mill Nature Reserve, Solihull.







Strange visit to Babbs Mill Nature Reserve in Solihull today because the day started off foggy but very muggy which eventually gave way to a torrential downpour of rain which basically ended the birding session because I had other things to do after and as you might guess when I was doing them it was blue skies and sunshine, oh well that's how it goes I suppose.

Highlight of the day would be the highlight of most days if you were lucky enough to witness it, namely that of a sighting of Goldcrest juveniles, if that doesn't get you excited then you're doing the wrong hobby, even better than though was that there were at least four fledglings, I'd guess by the noise that they were making that there were more but it was hard to tell because they were high up in an apple tree but they were fairly easy to observe all the same and if that wasn't enough the tree also held Chiffchaff juveniles, what a great sight to see two sets of amazing juveniles in the same tree, other juveniles spotted today were Moorhen, Jay, Carrion Crow, Magpie and Woodpigeon including fourteen forging on the grass.

High in the skies both Buzzard and Kestrel were seen who were both ironically being mobbed by Carrion Crows.

Nothing out of the ordinary was spotted on the lake even though it was nice to see a Moorhen juvenile and a couple of Cormorant who have avoided the persecution of the local 'fishermen', there was more action above the water with hundreds of House Martin still present.

With the foggy and misty morning it was great to see all the spiders webs that you can't usually see, it even almost made the Himalayan Balsam look good, talking of the Himalayan Balsam it's gone completely out of control at this location with some paths almost unwalkable saying that the Wasps were taking full advantage of it because the plants were literally buzzing and along the main stretch where the dreaded plant is located between the lake and the River Cole there were two separate Wasps nests spotted. On a brighter note talking of plants getting out of control there were hundreds of blackberries so there will hopefully be plenty left in the Autumn and Winter for the Blackbirds and Thrushes to enjoy.

Birds seen today were, Buzzard, Kestrel, Goldcrest, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Wren, Robin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie, House Martin, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Moorhen, Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Domestic Goose and Canada Goose.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Shustoke Reservoir.







Nice trip Shustoke Reservoir today which was only spoilt by events when I got home but I'll come back to that at the end of this post.

Funny day because even though the sun was out and there was mostly blue skies there was still a chill in the air saying that I was supposed to visit this location yesterday, the boots were on and the car was loaded up when it started to rain which didn't stop all day so at least I was spared that today.

The water was quiet for the most part apart from the inaccessible stretch by the sailing club which held plentiful amounts of Lapwing, Canada Goose, Coot, Mallard and of course Gulls, also on the water in front of the club were fourteen Mute Swan which was great to see because you can visit this location on many occasions and never see a Swan.

Also nice to see were lots of this years juveniles still evident, among them were, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Blue Tit, Great Tit, House Martin, Mallard and Coot.

Like I just stated the water was very quiet so the action was with the other birds, namely that of seeing a Green Woodpecker in the car park, also seen were great amounts of Goldcrest, Coal Tit and Nuthatch among the many great mixture of trees that are adjacent to the reservoir.

Birds seen today were, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, House Sparrow, Wren, Robin, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, House Martin, Cormorant, Mute Swan, Lapwing, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Coot, Tufted Duck, Mallard and Canada Goose.

The only downer on the day was coming home and seeing plenty of House Sparrows on the feeders so I thought I'd leave topping up the feeders and cleaning and putting fresh water in the birdbaths until it went quiet, so I left it for ten minutes and then looked out, good it's quiet I thought, how wrong I was because there right in front of the kitchen window was a pile of feathers and to the right was a Sparrowhawk with it's 'prey', so I left it too it so it would hopefully not fly off and kill another bird, when I eventually ventured into the back garden there was yet another pile of Sparrow feathers so presumably it's taken two of my babies today. You can see a video of the Sparrowhawk on my Twitter account if you haven't already seen it on the following link. Sparrowhawk kill.

On a brighter note it was excellent to look out of the front window early yesterday morning to see two adult Woodpigeon foraging on the grass with four juveniles, don't think I've seen four from one family at once before.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Cole End Park Local Nature Reserve, Coleshill.






Nice early morning visit to Cole End Park Local Nature Reserve in Coleshill where there wasn't a huge amount of birds to see but that didn't mean that there wasn't some great sights to see all the same.

Highlights were seeing all of the following, Green Woodpecker, Blackcap, Willow Warbler and plenty of House Sparrow in more than one location.

Birds seen today were, Blaclcap, Willow Warbler, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Green Woodpecker, Collared Dove, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Moorhen and Mallard.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Edgbaston Reservoir.









Being as I was in the area attending Ladywood Fire Station Open Day it would have been rude not to visit the reservoir being as it's practically opposite the station and I don't visit this area as often I used to.

Even though I have seen the water levels much lower than today I was still shocked to see them so low, it was more like Edbgaston-On-Sea than a reservoir with parts completely taken by vegetation some of it six foot high, in the one 'corner' where the Coots, Mallards and Moorhens are usually happily swimming around there were foraging Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon and Carrion Crow, very strange ! Let's just hope the birds and wildlife adapt to these unusual conditions, which I'm sure they will.

Even though it was great to pay the reservoir a visit there was unfortunately not a huge variety of birds but that was made up by the fact that most of the birds that were observed were seen in large numbers, especially a colony of House Sparrow who numbered 40-50 of which 30-40 were dust bathing in the sand when I first saw them but that soon come to halt with an appearance of a juvenile Carrion Crow, it was hard to correctly count their number because they were in and out of the nearby vegetation but there were definitely 50+, which is great news.

Birds seen today were, House Sparrow, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Goldfinch, Wren, Robin, House Martin, Pied Wagtail (juvenile), Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Mallard and Canada Goose.