Thursday, 30 March 2017

Baddesley Clinton NT

On Mothers Day we took ourselves off to the National Trust property at Baddesley Clinton for the afternoon, the primary goal being an NT cream tea!

Of course we took the bins and camera just in case, we didn't have loads of time so we had a walk around the gardens and the short nature walk, stopping for an obligatory coffee on one of the many benches. Being Mothers Day you can imagine it was fairly busy so we didn't expect much, but a couple of Goldcrest showed briefly in the Yew trees, followed just a minute later by a Treecreeper,
not bad, we continued our walk around one of the pools and two Nuthatch showed, both coming down onto the path,

After that it was just the usual suspects, there were a couple of Canada Geese on the pool, Mallard, Moorhen. Blackbird, Robin and Chaffinch were about,
The other stars today were the Daffodils,

Last but not least a Pied Wagtail put in an appearance while we were having our cream tea.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Avocet Time at Upton

Thursday took us off to Upton Warren, primarily for our first views of the Avocets now that they have returned, from various forums we knew that they were now back in good numbers, it was just a shame that after a couple of days of glorious sunshine, that the only day we could get there was rather dull! But here are a few Avocet photos anyway,

Other birds at the Flashes at Upton were; Shelduck, Shoveler, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Black-headed Gull, Lapwing and a glimpse of a Curlew.
One of the many Lapwing
Walking back to the car park a couple of Goldcrest put in an appearance, but wouldn't give me a good view for a photo, this was the best I could do!
At the Sailing Pool we counted at least 10 Great Crested Grebe, all looked like they were pairing up and doing some courtship posturing, but no weed dancing yet!

We popped over to the Moors Pools and stopped at all the hides for a while, although it was fairly quiet, we added Tufted Duck, Cormorant and Little Grebe to the list of Waterfowl,

The feeders to the right of the concrete (Water Rail) hide were busy with Greenfinch, Reed Bunting, Tits and Dunnock with the odd Chaffinch showing up.

A couple of Canada Geese performed in front of the hide,

A pair of Bullfinch did show briefly, but thats about it apart from the Rats!

So 40 species in all today, with the Avocet bringing us up to 97 for the year.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

A Belated Sandwell Valley Report!

A couple of weeks ago we mad a trip to the Valley with our good friends Wendy and Tim. We started of from the Forge Mill car park and did the RSPB 'bit', sadly the hide was shut as there were works going on on the paths, so we detoured down the muddy paths cutting out part of the reserve.

Tufty's were showing well as usual,
 and it was nice to see the Black-headed Gulls back in their Summer plumage,
 a couple of Oystercatchers were sunning themselves,
 and if you look closely there is a single Snipe on the left of this photo, keeping the Lapwing company.
 I was surprised to find two Yellow-legged Gulls, keeping to themselves away from the hoards of Black-headed Gulls.
 Even though Buzzards are now a common sight, I still love taking photos of such a brilliant bird.
Other birds of note at Forge Mill were plenty of Goosander, although none came close enough for a decent photo, likewise a few Pochard were about, and a pair of Shoveler seen from one of the screens. The feeders at the visitor centre provided Bullfinch, Greenfinch, the usual Tits, but unfortunately no sign of Willow Tits this time.

So after a good walk we popped back in the car and went over to Swan Pool for another walk.
At first sight nothing to special, but like Buzzards, Great Crested Grebes are always worth a photo or three!

A pair of Goldeneye were out in the middle of the pool:

always worth seeing. We then saw our first Stonechats of the year,

 The pools through out the Valley held plenty of Tufted Ducks,
 Grey Heron
 and as we wandered back, this Cormorant was seen showing off.
 The finally a Song Thrush popped out by the Car Park.

 A total of 39 species were seen, so not great but not bad either!