Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Kings Norton Nature Reserve 09/04/16

On Saturday I took my weekly trip to my local patch, and ended up getting rather soggy. The 10% chance of rain forecast manifested itself as several heavy showers of rain and hail, interspersed with drizzle! Although this led eventually to me curtailing my visit after a couple of hours (I had to rescue my poor laundry from the garden too) I still had a few nice sightings.

I saw 34 species in all, no new ones this week - still no Blackcap, I think the weather was subduing a few songsters as I also barely heard any Chiffchaff song. No Willow Warbler either - I think the one I saw last week was just passing through. I had an interesting online conversation about it with another birder who brought to my attention Northern Willow Warblers (subsp. acredula). The bird I saw was very grey, so grey that I had had to watch it for quite some time and make sure I saw and heard it sing before I was convinced it was definitely a Willow Warbler. Its song was also rather on the subdued side compared to the Willow Warblers I am used to hearing. These are both characteristics of the Northern subspecies, I found some more info here and some nice comparison photos! So possibly that is what I saw...

Here are my highlights:
  • Yet more lovely Jay action - three again near British Waterways Meadow, and one of them singing - yay!
  • I heard four Chiffchaffs singing or calling - most of them fairly briefly.
  • Two Buzzard sightings - one flying over Wychall Reservoir, and another low over the Paddocks being mobbed by Carrion Crows in the rain.
  • I was walking through the trees in the West Extension when a Great Spotted Woodpecker suddenly popped out from behind a tree trunk at ground level just next to the path - I don't know who was more surprised, her or me!
  • Always worth looking up when you hear all the small birds panicking - upon hearing Long-tailed Tit alarm calls I peered through the trees and saw the silhouette of a female Sparrowhawk drifting over.
  • Four Teal still on Wychall Reservoir. I didn't count the Tufted Ducks on Merecroft this week as by this point my efforts were becoming hampered by rain!
Here are a few photos - I didn't take so many this time as I was trying not to let my camera get too wet...

The Peafields/West Extension (HDR).

Primrose (Primula vulgaris) bank behind Wychall Reservoir (HDR).

Primrose (Primula vulgaris) bank behind Wychall Reservoir (HDR).

Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum) just starting to flower.

Weir on Wychall Lane (HDR). There is so much Wild Garlic around here, it's going to look brilliant when it all flowers!

I'm away at a music festival next weekend so there'll be a gap in my visits. Surely I will find a Blackcap at the reserve the following weekend!


    Blackbird Great Tit Nuthatch
    Blue Tit Greenfinch Robin
    Bullfinch Grey Heron Song Thrush
    Buzzard Herring Gull Sparrowhawk
    Canada Goose House Sparrow Starling
    Carrion Crow Jay Stock Dove
    Chiffchaff Lesser Black-backed Gull Teal
    Coot Long-tailed Tit Tufted Duck
    Dunnock Magpie Woodpigeon
    Goldcrest Mallard Wren
    Goldfinch Moorhen
    Great Spotted Woodpecker Mute Swan

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