Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Kings Norton Nature Reserve 09/01/16

On Saturday morning I was back at Kings Norton Nature Reserve for my first visit of the year, and it was a good'un! In a nice change from a lot of my recent visits it was sunny and fairly cold so I was hopeful that I might see a few more 'cold-weather' species than on previous occasions.

The birds came thick and fast as soon as I entered the Rea corridor from Westhill Road and I had quite a hefty list before I even got to Merecroft Pool, before continuing on to Wychall Reservoir and finally skipping the West Extension as I'd run out of time (I was hungry so had to go home for lunch!).

I saw a smashing 39 species, the most I've ever seen in one visit! And of these, three were ones I hadn't seen previously here. Here they are, along with other highlights:
  • Finally, Canada Goose - inexplicably absent from all my previous visits, these had now appeared on Merecroft Pool.
  • One solitary male Shoveler feeding furiously! This was also on Merecroft Pool and as the Friends have informed me they are not regular there, was almost certainly brought by the cold weather.
  • A Little Grebe, also on Merecroft Pool. I was expecting to see one somewhere sooner or later somewhere on the reserve.
  • More cold weather arrivals - seven Goosander, the highest number I've seen yet, on Merecroft Pool. There were five very smart males and two females.
  • Finally saw a Treecreeper, having only heard one previously. This one was in ivy-covered trees over the stream, seen from the cul-de-sac road off Wychall Lane between Wychall Reservoir to the east and the Rea Valley route to the west.
  • Stock Doves were much in evidence, in comparison with previous visits when I have struggled to find them. I saw a pair in trees while walking along the Rea Valley route from Westhill Road, then a pair again twice around the Merecroft Pool area. It may well have been the same pair three times!
  • Three Grey Herons around Merecroft Pool. They will hopefully be showing signs of breeding activity soon on the island.
  • A flock of around 35 Redwings in the trees and hedgerows surrounding the Paddocks.
  • At least three Coal Tits, one of which was feeding on Alder catkins in adorable fashion!
  • A Bullfinch having a bath! The spot in which he was bathing seemed to be a favoured spot for such activities as I saw a few species having a splash.
  • Not a bird, but I also found loads of what I think are probably Muntjac hoofprints, along the muddy paths through the area behind and to the west of Wychall Reservoir.
Muntjac footprints.
Muntjac footprints.
It was also nice to bump into and chat to another birder, Adrian, who like me had recently adopted KNNR as his local patch. It'll be great to have more eyes around this underwatched reserve and more records on Birdtrack! I spoke too to a few visitors who were interested in what I was doing, although there aren't usually many birders around at KNNR it is very popular with local people and it's good to see people out and enjoying their local nature reserve.

I didn't see any Teals on Wychall Reservoir, it was probably a bit too early in the day as they normally seem to be there later. It was also sad to see that the Mute Swans were absent from Merecroft Pool - I'd heard from the Friends of KNNR that one of the pair usually on the pool had sadly died, so maybe its partner had flown off somewhere to try and find a new mate.

I had fun trying out my new zoom lens - most of the birds I photographed were a bit too far away for any particularly outstanding photographs but it's good for record shots, and a lot better (and lighter!) than the manual zoom lens I was using before.


Smart Goosanders.

Little Grebe.

Goldcrest peeping out!
Here are a few other scenes of the reserve.

British Waterways Meadow (HDR).

Debris at the stepping stones on the River Rea (HDR).

One of my favourite views of KNNR! (HDR).

I love Alder catkins and cones.


Blackbird Goosander Mallard
Black-headed Gull Great Spotted Woodpecker Moorhen
Blue Tit Great Tit Nuthatch
Bullfinch Greenfinch Redwing
Buzzard Grey Heron Robin
Canada Goose Grey Wagtail Shoveler
Carrion Crow Herring Gull Song Thrush
Chaffinch Jackdaw Starling
Coal Tit Jay Stock Dove
Coot Lesser Black-backed Gull Treecreeper
Dunnock Little Grebe Tufted Duck
Goldcrest Long-tailed Tit Woodpigeon
Goldfinch Magpie Wren

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