Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Sandwell Valley Sunday

We popped out whilst the sun was shining on Sunday afternoon, Tina hadn't been well since our trip to London and we kept the jaunt out short so as not to hinder recovery.

We decided unusually to start from the Visitor Center car park (normally we park at Forge Mill). So we had a quick look on the feeders by the old center. Not much about, a few tits and a pair of Bullfinches which is always nice, so we preceded down to the hide for our obligatory coffee stop.

The screens on the way down weren't worth stopping at as there was a work party clearing and burning just down from the screen. Once in the hide, first priority was coffee then have a look around. The island in from of the hide wass very quiet, just a solitary Lapwing:
A few goldfinches were scooting around, then a pair of Goosander sailed in front of the hide, typically at this point the sun had gone in and there was a bit of rain about:
I then spotted a couple of Snipe flying in and landing on the shore to the left of the hide, we then had a fun 15 minutes trying to get the others in the hide to find them as there were few reference points (to the right of the bright green leaf brought a few smiles!)

Other than that from the hide were some Wigeon, Teal, Coot, Moorhen, a single Gadwall and Gadwall, some spotted a Goldeneye, but we couldn't find it. so we decided to walk around and see if we could see it.

Just a bit around from the hide some Wigeon were gathered on the remaining ice:
On we went around the Lake we added more Gadwall and some Shoveler. There was next to no activity in the trees, just the usual, Blackbirds, Magpies, Woodpigeons, Crows, and Robins.

Once at the ramp at Forge Mill Car Park, we could see that there must have been 30-40 Goosander, probably the most we have seen in one go, we added some Pochard,Tufted Duck, and a Little Grebe, as well as Mute Swan, Canada Geese, BHG, LBBG and a Herring Gull, but no sign of the Goldeneye. The hybrid duck from last year was also still about.

So we continued the walk and had a last coffee at the bench directly opposite the hide, the only addition to our list was a Wren:
So onward back to the Car and one last look at the Feeder, this provided Marsh Tit bringing the 90 minute total to 29 and 59 for the year.

So probably no post now for a while as we are off to Scotland next week. But whill post all the details when we get back, with hopefully sightings of Crested Tit, Crossbill, Red Squirrel, Red Deer, Grouse, Dippers, Mountain Hares etc. Fingers Crossed!

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