Monday, 9 November 2015

Kings Norton Nature Reserve 08/11/15

Yesterday afternoon I took my weekly trip to my local patch, Kings Norton Nature Reserve. I'd been looking forward to it particularly as I was feeling a bit gloomy after faring pretty dreadfully in a psychometric test I'd done that morning as part of a job application! So although the weather was rather grey, drizzly and windy I knew a change of scenery and looking at birds wouldn't fail to cheer me up :o)

This week I saw 32 species, two of which I hadn't seen previously on the reserve. These were:
  • Stock Dove - one flying over while I mooched around Wychall Reservoir.
  • Siskin - as I'd been hoping with winter supposedly on the horizon (when is it actually going to get cold?) - heard one fly over near the horse paddocks. There are quite a few patches of Alders around so hopefully I'll see some on the reserve itself before too long.
I've now seen a total of 44 species on the reserve over four visits.....I'm hoping I might be able to reach 50 by Christmas! Inexplicably I STILL haven't seen any Canada Geese.....also according to the Friends of KNNR I can apparently also expect to see Great Crested Grebe on Merecroft Pool, and I'm sure I read something about Gadwall somewhere too - maybe one of the information boards. Some of the reed-fringed pools towards the west end of the reserve look like plausible Little Grebe habitat, they are quite small bodies of water but there are many of them. The reeds make it difficult to see anything so I'll have to listen out. I'm also surprised not to have heard or seen Green Woodpecker yet, as I've heard them from our house only a mile up the road, and seen them while walking to work (admittedly in the opposite direction from KNNR).

Other highlights from this visit included:
  • Nine Teal on Wychall Reservoir.
  • Three Goosanders on Merecroft Pool. At least one was definitely a male coming out of eclipse, he was looking a bit patchwork with a darkening head!
  • Four Grey Herons around Merecroft Pool.
  • Song Thrushes galore - I've noticed they have been easily found on all my trips so far, hopefully this is a good site for this declining species. Will be interesting to see how many singing males there are in spring.
The water levels in Wychall Reservoir and along the River Rea were noticeably higher than on previous visits:
The River Rea - the concrete area in the foreground was high and dry previously. I did not attempt the stepping stones this time!

I also had fun trying to take a few autumnal pics using my smartphone and hand lens of Spindle berries (the BEST autumn berry) and an unidentified fungus growing on a dead tree stump (I need to get better at fungi ID). Here are my best efforts:

Spindle berries (Euonymus europaeus).
Spindle berries (Euonymus europaeus).
Unknown fungus.
Unknown fungus.
By the time it started to get dark, as hoped for I was indeed feeling in much higher spirits thanks to the distraction provided by some nice patch birding. Hurrah!


Blackbird Great Tit Mute Swan
Black-headed Gull Grey Heron Redwing
Blue Tit Grey Wagtail Robin
Buzzard Herring Gull Siskin
Carrion Crow Jackdaw Song Thrush
Coot Jay Stock Dove
Dunnock Lesser Black-backed Gull Teal
Goldcrest Long-tailed Tit Tufted Duck
Goldfinch Magpie Woodpigeon
Goosander Mallard Wren
Great Spotted Woodpecker Moorhen

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