Monday, 14 March 2016

Kings Norton Nature Reserve 13/03/16

Yesterday I was back at my local patch, in glorious springtime weather! It was very sunny and mild, and I really was hoping that today would be the day that I found my first Chiffchaff of the year. However it was not to be, but I didn't mind at all as three of the 36 species I saw were new ones for me at this site, taking my patch list up to 60! Here are the highlights:
  • The first new species I heard (but unfortunately didn't see) was a Reed Bunting, in the reeds and scrub to the northwest of Wychall Reservoir.
  • It was another raptor-tastic day thanks to the clear, still conditions. My second new species was Peregrine - a pair soaring very high up, seen from the River Rea path near Westhill Road.
  • The final new species I saw was one I'd been expecting for a while, as it is on the Friends of Kings Norton Nature Reserve's logo and I was starting to wonder where it had got to! It was of course Great Crested Grebe - a pair had arrived on Merecroft Pool and were engaging in their lovely courtship behaviour. I guess they spent the winter on a larger water body somewhere else. I saw them do the full dance - upright on the water, presenting bits of water weed to one another. I just caught the end of it in a short video, in which there is also lots of head-waggling:
  • More raptors - a maximum count of five Buzzards over the reserve, and a Sparrowhawk too.
  • A Treecreeper on Popes Lane.
  • Seven Tufted Ducks on Merecroft Pool - I wonder if any are resident and will stay all year round?
  • Five Teal on Wychall Reservoir.
  • Superb views of a Muntjac Deer in the area behind Wychall Reservoir - it saw me coming but I managed to stop a sufficient distance off so that it didn't scarper straight away, but instead had a good look at me before sauntering off.
  • My first butterflies of the year! A Peacock basking in the sun, and also a Small Tortoiseshell not on the reserve, but on my walk home.
  • Loooooads of frogspawn in the pools behind Wychall Reservoir.
Spring was well and truly in the air! I saw lots of birds getting paired up - no mixed tit flocks any more, even the Long-tailed Tits have abandoned their usual family groups to check out potential nest sites with their mates. There's nothing else like it, and now I'm feeling super-excited for the coming spring and all the delights it will bring!

Behind Wychall Reservoir (HDR).

Behind Wychall Reservoir (HDR).
Behind Wychall Reservoir (HDR).
Behind Wychall Reservoir (HDR).
Lovely Great Crested Grebe pair.
Peacock butterfly warming up.

Blackbird Great Crested Grebe Moorhen
Black-headed Gull Great Spotted Woodpecker Mute Swan
Blue Tit Great Tit Peregrine
Bullfinch Grey Heron Reed Bunting
Buzzard Herring Gull Robin
Canada Goose House Sparrow Song Thrush
Carrion Crow Jackdaw Sparrowhawk
Chaffinch Jay Teal
Coot Lesser Black-backed Gull Treecreeper
Dunnock Long-tailed Tit Tufted Duck
Goldcrest Magpie Woodpigeon
Goldfinch Mallard Wren

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