Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Kings Norton Nature Reserve 05/03/16

I took my weekly stroll around my local patch on Saturday. I saw 39 species in all; no new ones, I'd been hoping maybe for my first Chiffchaff of the year but no sign yet. Surely my next trip will be the one! As on my last visit, the weather was cold but fairly calm with sunny spells; good raptor weather again. Here are my highlights:
  •  AMAZING views of a Water Rail feeding out in the open, in the wet area across the path from the south end of Merecroft Pool! I don't often venture down here as it involves crossing a sea of mud (I may be exaggerating slightly, but not much) but thought I'd give it a go this time. As I came round the corner I spotted two lanky birds in the water and thought 'it'd be great if one of those was a Water Rail - been a while since I saw one here'. Looking through my binoculars they were both revealed to be Moorhens, doh. But then I saw another bird at the far end of the pool and this one definitely was a Water Rail! I managed to sneak forward a few paces to sit on a large log, and watched the Water Rail feeding for around 20 minutes around the fringes of the pool, occasionally disappearing behind vegetation before reappearing again.
  • A large flock of Goldfinches with several Siskins among them, in the same place as I've seen them previously - the large bushes betweet British Waterways Meadow and Pinehurst Meadow.
  • Multiple female Sparrowhawk sightings throughout the reserve - the same one several times, or more than one individual?
  • A Buzzard over the Merecroft Pool part of the reserve.
  • I heard, but didn't see, a Green Woodpecker near Wychall Reservoir.
The Water Rail was difficult to photograph through the vegetation but I didn't want to get any closer in case I scared it off. These are my best efforts!

View full size to find the Water Rail!
View full size to find the Water Rail!
The Water Rail was at the far end of the pool over on the right (HDR).
There was a lack of wildfowl this week - no sign of the Mandarin Duck, no Goosander or Shoveler, and only two Tufted Ducks on Merecroft Pool and two Teal on Wychall Reservoir. I guess most of them are heading back to their breeding grounds now, but hopefully soon there'll be an array of new species arriving for the spring! Despite the recent cold weather there are plenty of signs of spring around the reserve; it was looking especially nice today in the sunshine.

I got a good photo of the Mistletoe this time.
British Waterways Meadow (HDR).
British Waterways Meadow (HDR).
Pinehurst Meadow (HDR).
The West Extension (HDR).
The West Extension (HDR).

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

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