Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Pastures New 19th April (Swell Wood , Greylake)

Well we thought we'd try somewhere new today and headed off to Swell Wood and Greylake, both RSPB to see what they are like.
Swell Wood:
What a wonderful little place, we parked up in the small car park which had a number of feeders and was really busy: Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long Tail Tit, Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Marsh Tit and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

We then walked the 70m to the hide, which is in the woods directly underneath the Heronry, that currently has if I remember correctly 69 occupied nests!! That was pretty amazing:
Just one of the many!
In front of the hide was a small boggy pool, we were treated to a stream of visitors, the time just flew by. We clocked up here, all the tits again, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Wren, Chaffinch and for Tina at last a Goldcrest! so I can take the +1 off our stats!
Then the spot of the day, a Goshawk winging its way through the Heronry! A lifer! Sadly it didn't hang around and just passed through. So a few mediocre pics, I have to get a better lens!

In addition to the above we were also entertained by some very busy Voles and a cute tiny Dormouse scurrying in front of the hide.

We reluctantly left Swell Wood and headed the few miles up the road to Greylake. It's a short walk to the hide, as we approached the hide we called hear a Cetti's Warbler in the reeds but just couldn't find him even though he was only a couple of feet away.
Anyway we entered the large posh hide and saw nothing! Well that was the first impression, this was then compounded by a dodgy shelf on which Tina had place her bins, which then slid off and landed eye piece first badly damaging it, they are now out of alignment! Any one know of a repairer in the Halesowen/Cradley area? We need them again soon as we are off to Mull!
Then as I was trying to see if I could sort them 2 Peregrines swooped in after something in the short swampy grass just in front of us, they stayed around for a while and landed some distance away, by which time I had given up on Tina's bins and got the camera out:
Just for the record!
At least the Pergrines spooked some of the birds on the flats, so we saw Lapwing, Mute Swan, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Swallow, Sand Martin, Coot, Moorhen, Mallard and Gadwall but that was about it.

We had our lunch and left, the Cetti's was still singing away in the reeds and finally we spotted him:
Obviously playing I Spy!
By the car we added a Buzzard and some Goldfinch and Chaffinch. So back in the car, I was just setting the Sat Nav to go by Ham Wall on the way back to the caravan when this landed next to us:
Only Sparrowhawk of the week
So after that we did drop by Ham Wall and added another couple of ticks for the week, a Great White Egret and a Kingfisher.

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