Friday, 6 January 2017

First visit to Sandwell Valley this year

Only 6 days in to the year and I'm already four days behind with this post, too busy putting the house back to normal after Christmas and the New Year.

So on Monday we managed to nip out for a couple of hours down to the Valley, we decided to have a walk around Swan Pool and up into Priory Woods for a change instead of Forge Mill and the RSPB Reserve. Quite forgot the Baggies were at home, but thankfully the Birmingham Road was clear as it was only a couple of minutes to kick off as we went by.#

We were rewarded for this change by a pair of Goldeneye on the pool, our first sighting was too far for a photo, so we walked on round to get closer, then I couldn't find them! But birds being birds they had now moved further away. I eventually found the female again so took a distant shot for the record:
However a pair of Little Grebe were a bit more obliging,
Other birds on the pool were, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Tufted Duck, Mute Swan, Canada Geese, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Wigeon and of course Coot and Moorhen.

We continued our walk into Priory Woods and around the Ice House and Cascade Pools, (only know these names because I have just looked on Sandwell's website for a map of the area!) We had hoped to see some woodland birds but only saw a few Blackbirds. As usual we found a bench (opposite the Cascade Pool that was mostly frozen) and stopped for our obligatory coffee.

The pool hood a a few Tufted Duck, Coot and Moorhen, but that was all apart from some Crows and a flyover by a Grey Heron, that took up residence quite high in one of the trees opposite.

We continued our walk past the Ice House Pool, where a number of Goosander were about, again a record shot as the light was fading fast,
so as the light was going and the temperature was dropping with the Sun we headed back to the car.

One word of caution if you haven't been to the Valley for a while, Sandwell Council have now implemented charges for parking, it's not expensive, just annoying!

Anyway another 6 species added to the list for the year.

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