Thursday, 10 December 2015

Kings Norton Nature Reserve 08/12/15

On Tuesday (for a change this week, as I'd had a very busy weekend with no local patch time!) I took my weekly visit to Kings Norton Nature Reserve. I'd forgotten that Tuesday is their weekly volunteer day, and when I arrived, encountered a veritable army of volunteers enthusiastically whacking various bits of undergrowth - no wonder I notice new signs of recent habitat management work so frequently on my visits! One of the volunteers turned out to be a former fellow Open University student so it was nice to catch up with him; I had a chat with another volunteer too who had been recording birds on the site for many years.

I saw 36 species, of which two were new ones for me at this site, taking my total after eight visits to 51 species. I'd hoped to reach at least 50 by Christmas so have smashed that target! Here are my highlights:
  • Finally saw a Green Woodpecker - hurrah. The birder I spoke to said he'd not seen any over the past few months either so it's not just me!
  • Another one I'd been expecting at some point - House Sparrows, near to the west end of the reserve adjacent to some houses and back gardens (unsurprisingly) along Wychall Road.
  • A Song Thrush doing what I can only describe as 'tuning up' - it was making some truly bizarre noises, snatches of which sounded like usual Song Thrush song, but most of which just sounded peculiar. Again I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of Song Thrushes around on the reserve generally.
  • Loads of Long-tailed Tits and Goldcrests - my walk along the narrowest stretch of the River Rea corridor east of Wychall Reservoir was accompanied pretty much the whole way by these little squeaky fluff-balls. 
  • I heard two Water Rails by Wychall Reservoir. Despite loitering there for ages I didn't manage to see them though!
  • Three Grey Herons on Merecroft Pool.
No Teals this time on the reservoir - they often seem to turn up later in the day, I've had more luck seeing them when I've visited in the afternoon (today's was a late morning/lunchtime visit). Someone told me via Twitter that the Goosanders I'd seen a few times do the rounds of local lakes so the fact that I haven't seen them recently probably just means they've been on other water bodies nearby.

A few wintery scenes from the reserve - it was mostly too windy again for many HDRs: 

Wychall Reservoir (HDR).

House Sparrows on the left, back gardens on the right.

Marsh west of Wychall Reservoir.

Marsh west of Wychall Reservoir.

Marsh west of Wychall Reservoir.

Reedbed west of Wychall Reservoir.

Lovely Teasels.

Blackbird Great Spotted Woodpecker Magpie
Black-headed Gull Great Tit Mallard
Blue Tit Green Woodpecker Moorhen
Bullfinch Greenfinch Mute Swan
Buzzard Grey Heron Nuthatch
Carrion Crow Grey Wagtail Robin
Chaffinch Herring Gull Song Thrush
Coal Tit House Sparrow Starling
Coot Jackdaw Tufted Duck
Dunnock Jay Water Rail
Goldcrest Lesser Black-backed Gull Woodpigeon
Goldfinch Long-tailed Tit Wren

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