Monday, 2 November 2015

Kings Norton Nature Reserve 31/10/15

I took my weekly trip to Kings Norton Nature Reserve on Saturday morning, this time for a slightly different experience to my previous solo visits. The Friends of Kings Norton Nature Reserve run a monthly guided walk and it was this I was heading to! I was looking forward to meeting some of the Friends and learning a bit more about the reserve. The best bit of the walk turned out to be gaining access to areas which aren't open to the public - all the exciting-looking damp habitat in the heart of the reserve that is visible but out of reach from the Rea Valley path! 

Bird-wise I saw or heard 33 species, which included 4 I hadn't seen on previous visits, taking my total to 42. The new ones this week were:
  • Herring Gull - a juvenile and a subadult on Merecroft Pool.
  • Grey Heron - one on Merecroft Pool, one by Wychall Reservoir and one at the western end of the reserve near Wychall Road. Possibly the same one three times, but a couple of the Friends of KNNR members told me that there was a small Heronry on the island in the middle of Merecroft Pool, and that they regularly saw multiple individuals around the reserve.
  • Treecreeper - heard but not seen near Merecroft Pool.
  • Goosander - four redheads on Merecroft Pool.
Four Goosanders on Merecroft Pool. This is why I need an autofocus zoom lens.
Grey Heron by Wychall Reservoir.
Other bird highlights included a Fieldfare flying over with several Redwings, two Skylarks flying over, and a Magpie and Carrion Crow helpfully drawing our attention to the female Sparrowhawk they were mobbing.

Here are a few more pics including more HDR experiments!

The River Rea (HDR).
The River Rea (HDR).
Swan Mussel (Anodonta cygnea). These live in Merecroft Pool.

Merecroft Pool.
A few Ivy (Hedera helix helix) flowers still out.
Cut-leaved Crane's-bill (Geranium dissectum) still flowering.
Woody Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara) berries - a relative of tomatoes and the berries do remind me a bit of mini tomatoes.
Some recent wetland creation at the west end of the reserve.

What the above hole will probably look like in a year or two's time.
As mentioned above, the best bit of this visit was getting to see the large chunk of the reserve that is out of bounds to the public. This means that habitat can be created that otherwise wouldn't be allowed in a public area due to health and safety issues, and that it is minimally disturbed by people. There were loads of small ponds, scrapes and marshy areas with precarious raised paths running through them; also plenty of Willows at various life stages. The whole area can apparently flood when water levels get very high, and plays a part in protecting the surrounding housing from flooding at such times. I'm looking forward to checking it out in summer; I'm not sure it's got quite a big enough area of suitable habitat for Reed Warbler but you never know. Going to keep my eyes peeled for Reed Buntings too, and it looked like ideal Willow Tit habitat but they are so scarce round these parts nowadays that I think that would be an unlikely sighting indeed. Not that that will stop me looking!

A moody HDR of the wetland area!
Lovely stuff.
I've been thinking about what else I might expect to see as winter starts to take hold over the next few weeks. Hopefully Siskin and Redpoll - in fact on the afternoon of the same day we were out in the garden of our neighbours' house carving our Halloween pumpkins when I saw two Redpolls fly over, hurrah! Maybe I might see Brambling too? Fingers crossed...... I'll end with a photo of my spooky pumpkin!

It's meant to be a Raven!


Great Spotted Woodpecker
Mute Swan
Black-headed Gull
Great Tit
Blue Tit
Grey Heron
Herring Gull
Carrion Crow
Song Thrush
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Long-tailed Tit
Tufted Duck

No comments:

Post a Comment