Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Bittell Reservoirs and Hopwood area

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 45 votes, 4.78 average.
Old Thursday 21st January 2010, 18:49   #1
wmtlynx
Steven Peters

 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Birmingham
Posts: 95
Bittell Reservoirs and Hopwood area

Hi everyone,

Spent this morning doing a walk around Bittell Reservoirs to see what was about. Parked on the bend of Bittell Farm Road and walked north up the bridleway to the dam. Along the bridleway I encountered several mixed flocks of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits, Blackbirds, Robins and a Great-spotted Woodpecker. From the dam I could see the main reservoir was mainly frozen over, with Lesser Black-backed gulls and a large number of Black-headed Gulls standing on the ice, along with a Great-Crested Grebe and a Grey Heron. Back on the public footpath to the small duck pond, which was totally unfrozen there was a surprising amount of activity. Several Coots and Mallards here, along with a Little Grebe, another Grey Heron, 2 Moorhen and 15 Goosander which departed after a while. I then followed the North Worcestershire Path and saw Chaffinch, more Tits, several hundred Black-headed Gulls and Carrion Crows in neighboring fields. Then down the A441 and along the Birmingham and Worcester Canal where Wren, Collared Dove, Feral Pigeon, House Sparrow and Kestrel were added to the list. Around a dozen Mallard were on the Canal. Back through the farmyard and onto Bittell Farm Road where I viewed the southernmost pool at Bittell to see the water level very, very low and muddy and containing Coot, Mallard, around a dozen Teal and presumably the same 15 Goosander seen earlier. 3 Shoveller, a Mute swan and around 30 Canada Geese flew overhead during my visit, too.

All in all a very nice day. Nothing spectacular but thought I would post my findings in case anyone wondered what was there. May be worth keeping an eye on that water level on the lower pool - could get quite exciting if it stays muddy!

Regards,
Steve
wmtlynx is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 23rd January 2010, 14:38   #2
timmyjones
Registered User
 
timmyjones's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: York, England
Posts: 1,670
Excellent trip report Steve, you must of had real good views of the goosander on that small pool.

The levels on Lower are really low at the moment like you said and if it remains like that then it will certainly attract some very good wader species. Presumably there doing some work somewhere down the canal and as this is used as the canal feeder reservoir so heres hoping the levels stay at the current low level!
__________________
Tim Jones
My Blog
Me on Twitter
timmyjones is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 23rd January 2010, 16:43   #3
wmtlynx
Steven Peters

 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Birmingham
Posts: 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by timmyjones View Post
Excellent trip report Steve, you must of had real good views of the goosander on that small pool.

The levels on Lower are really low at the moment like you said and if it remains like that then it will certainly attract some very good wader species. Presumably there doing some work somewhere down the canal and as this is used as the canal feeder reservoir so heres hoping the levels stay at the current low level!
Yes Tim, I did have excellent views of the Goosanders on the duck pond. I was very surprised to see them on such a small piece of water, and to see so many in one place. Never so many in one place before, I think about half a dozen at Sandwell Valley is the most I've seen.

I think there may be work going on along the B&W canal as there were several portacabins and plant hire vehicles adjacent to the farm next to the canal.

Regards,
Steve
wmtlynx is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 23rd January 2010, 20:07   #4
timmyjones
Registered User
 
timmyjones's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: York, England
Posts: 1,670
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmtlynx View Post
Yes Tim, I did have excellent views of the Goosanders on the duck pond. I was very surprised to see them on such a small piece of water, and to see so many in one place. Never so many in one place before, I think about half a dozen at Sandwell Valley is the most I've seen.

I think there may be work going on along the B&W canal as there were several portacabins and plant hire vehicles adjacent to the farm next to the canal.

Regards,
Steve
There was 70+ reported there not long ago steve, the numbers there always seem to vary a lot.

I see, well lets hope the work goes on a bit longer then see if we can get a decent wader or two on to it!
__________________
Tim Jones
My Blog
Me on Twitter
timmyjones is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 27th January 2010, 16:19   #5
discors
Old Timer
 
discors's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: West Heath, Birmingham England
Posts: 266
Saw Green Sandpiper there (Lower) yesterday first overwintering record for me. Level is so low now it shows all the levels in the reservoir. The edge is quite shallow before it drops away. The fish must be concentrated now as the Goosanders (18) were having a quick success rate being mobbed by black headed Gulls.
Trevor Jones
discors is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 27th January 2010, 16:26   #6
midlands birder
Registered User
 
midlands birder's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: west midlands
Posts: 1,712
Quote:
Originally Posted by discors View Post
Saw Green Sandpiper there (Lower) yesterday first overwintering record for me. Level is so low now it shows all the levels in the reservoir. The edge is quite shallow before it drops away. The fish must be concentrated now as the Goosanders (18) were having a quick success rate being mobbed by black headed Gulls.
Trevor Jones
well done with this, ive only heard of 1 other green sand winering in worcester this year may be more tho
MB
__________________
Craig Reed
please visit my blog www.midlandsbirder.blogspot.com
midlands birder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 31st January 2010, 22:36   #7
Emma
Registered User
 
Emma's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: West Midlands
Posts: 629
To continue this thread.....

Went to Upper Bittell Reservoir for the first time today, it was an unplanned visit as we originally went to the Lickey Hills to have a look for the Crossbills (See Worcs thread) and a very kind gentleman told us of the Goosanders which are currenlty showing well at Bittell and gave us directions from the Lickey Hills...we didn't realise it was so close!

The walk down to the reservoir from the road was busy enough with the common waterfowl in the pools and a Raven was heard cronking overhead, this area has the potential to be teeming with birds from the Spring onwards! At the reservoir we were greeted with the view of 45+ Goosanders in 3 groups at either end of the reservoir. About 1/3 of the water was unfrozen and the main group of Goosander were close to the public footpath/bank (South Western bank) and so gave us super views of them! In the North-Eastern side of the reservoir the Goosander were in amongst Tufted Duck, Wigeon, BH Gulls, Cormorants and a line of 12 Grey Heron were seen along the reeds in the Northern end of the reservoir.

This turned out to be a super unplanned visit to Upper Bittell and we will definitely be returning here in the coming months!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	P1190464 [].JPG
Views:	380
Size:	52.6 KB
ID:	240766  Click image for larger version

Name:	P1190453 [].JPG
Views:	324
Size:	61.9 KB
ID:	240767  Click image for larger version

Name:	P1190474 [].JPG
Views:	355
Size:	57.4 KB
ID:	240768  
__________________
Emma

Last edited by Emma : Sunday 31st January 2010 at 22:55.
Emma is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 1st February 2010, 19:22   #8
Veracocha
Registered User
 
Veracocha's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Birmingham
Posts: 559
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emma View Post
To continue this thread.....

Went to Upper Bittell Reservoir for the first time today, it was an unplanned visit as we originally went to the Lickey Hills to have a look for the Crossbills (See Worcs thread) and a very kind gentleman told us of the Goosanders which are currenlty showing well at Bittell and gave us directions from the Lickey Hills...we didn't realise it was so close!

The walk down to the reservoir from the road was busy enough with the common waterfowl in the pools and a Raven was heard cronking overhead, this area has the potential to be teeming with birds from the Spring onwards! At the reservoir we were greeted with the view of 45+ Goosanders in 3 groups at either end of the reservoir. About 1/3 of the water was unfrozen and the main group of Goosander were close to the public footpath/bank (South Western bank) and so gave us super views of them! In the North-Eastern side of the reservoir the Goosander were in amongst Tufted Duck, Wigeon, BH Gulls, Cormorants and a line of 12 Grey Heron were seen along the reeds in the Northern end of the reservoir.

This turned out to be a super unplanned visit to Upper Bittell and we will definitely be returning here in the coming months!
These places (Lickey's/Bittell) are my usual Sunday walks and they do produce some worthwhile sights. You might already know it but you were just a short bridlepath away from the lower reservoirs but there was very little on show on either lakes on Sunday morning. If you look down and to the right of the road that intersects the two lakes there is a concrete sluice below you. There is usually Grey Wagtails there and is a favourite crossing place for mink. On the exact opposite side of the road there will be 4 mooring posts very close to the nearside bank. These are the best places to catch a glimpse of the Kingfishers.
Veracocha is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 1st February 2010, 20:14   #9
Emma
Registered User
 
Emma's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: West Midlands
Posts: 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veracocha View Post
These places (Lickey's/Bittell) are my usual Sunday walks and they do produce some worthwhile sights. You might already know it but you were just a short bridlepath away from the lower reservoirs but there was very little on show on either lakes on Sunday morning. If you look down and to the right of the road that intersects the two lakes there is a concrete sluice below you. There is usually Grey Wagtails there and is a favourite crossing place for mink. On the exact opposite side of the road there will be 4 mooring posts very close to the nearside bank. These are the best places to catch a glimpse of the Kingfishers.
Thanks for the info Veracocha! We knew there was a lower reservoir but didn't know exactly how to get to it, the information you have given me will certainly help for our next visit there!
__________________
Emma
Emma is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 1st February 2010, 20:23   #10
Veracocha
Registered User
 
Veracocha's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Birmingham
Posts: 559
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emma View Post
Thanks for the info Veracocha! We knew there was a lower reservoir but didn't know exactly how to get to it, the information you have given me will certainly help for our next visit there!
You're welcome. To be precise, from where your shots were taken you could have continued along the pathway, crossed the stile and continued along the footpath. That would bring you to the road splitting the lakes. Alternatively, as you walked back towards the two small lakes and followed the road to the left for two/three hundred yards and come to the same road. (this path has produced LSW).
Veracocha is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 3rd February 2010, 18:26   #11
discors
Old Timer
 
discors's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: West Heath, Birmingham England
Posts: 266
Went to Lickey yesterday. Stood on Cofton Hill searching for Crossbill but no joy. Did get good views of goosanders on Upper Bittell, counted 26!
__________________
Trevor Jones
Twitter @ discors1
discors is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 21st February 2010, 08:35   #12
Veracocha
Registered User
 
Veracocha's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Birmingham
Posts: 559
Been out since 6 in the snow over Bittell Reservoirs. 18 Goosander overflew the two lakes and dissapeared in the blizzard. Came across a Munjtac between the railways and the resers, lots of Teal by the causeway road. On my way back up towards Cofton Park I stopped at the sluice gate adjoining the old West Midland Transport lake. Just at the bottom I could see a water rail feeding away. Can't believe there's one of these on my doorstep. Had enough of the snow but what a cracking morning.
Veracocha is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 22nd February 2010, 11:30   #13
Pam_m
Registered User
 
Pam_m's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: West Midlands
Posts: 10,369
Blog Entries: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veracocha View Post
Been out since 6 in the snow over Bittell Reservoirs. 18 Goosander overflew the two lakes and dissapeared in the blizzard. Came across a Munjtac between the railways and the resers, lots of Teal by the causeway road. On my way back up towards Cofton Park I stopped at the sluice gate adjoining the old West Midland Transport lake. Just at the bottom I could see a water rail feeding away. Can't believe there's one of these on my doorstep. Had enough of the snow but what a cracking morning.
A great find with the Water Rail! I think another visit to Bittell Reservoirs will be the order of the day again soon!
__________________
Nature holds all the answers go outside and ask some questions open your heart and listen to the response! ~Amethyst Wyldfyre

'Flying High' My Blog
Pam_m is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 5th March 2010, 16:54   #14
wmtlynx
Steven Peters

 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Birmingham
Posts: 95
Had another visit to Bittell today. Saw a comparable array of species to those seen before. Goosanders present on Lower Bittell this time in large numbers (20+) and around half a dozen on Upper Bittell. Around a dozen teal on Lower Bittell, viewable from the canal at the bottom end. The highlight of the day (and the year so far!) was the 2 Ravens doing amazing aerobatics above Upper Bittell. They were showing off in spectacular style, flying with wings closed and even flying upside down!
wmtlynx is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 20th March 2010, 21:21   #15
discors
Old Timer
 
discors's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: West Heath, Birmingham England
Posts: 266
Lower Bittell is flooded again. I was hoping that the mud would attract spring migrants.
5 Goosander stilll present. Redwing and Fieldfare still in horse fields and Skylarks singing in field alongside ash path.
__________________
Trevor Jones
Twitter @ discors1
discors is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 24th March 2010, 15:24   #16
timmyjones
Registered User
 
timmyjones's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: York, England
Posts: 1,670
Not long back from Bittel where I saw 4 Whooper Swans on upper in the NE corner, also 4 Sand Martin through, an un-ringed Barnacle Goose behind the small pools at the back and a male Wheatear in the field at the end of the ash path.
__________________
Tim Jones
My Blog
Me on Twitter
timmyjones is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 4th May 2010, 09:16   #17
discors
Old Timer
 
discors's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: West Heath, Birmingham England
Posts: 266
Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Lesser Whitethroats in full song along Ash path. Upper Bittell covered with Hirundines 2000? impossible to guess. Dramatic low flying Swifts sything through flocks of Swallow, Sand and House Martin covering the whole reservoir, impressive.
__________________
Trevor Jones
Twitter @ discors1
discors is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 9th November 2010, 14:14   #18
discors
Old Timer
 
discors's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: West Heath, Birmingham England
Posts: 266
Chiffchaff down the ash path between Upper and lower Bittell. Two drake goosanders on lower with 2 females on shrub mill. Upper was very choppy with the wind whistling across the dam no sign of the Whitefronts or pinkfoot among the Canadas and Greylag but numbers were down probably out feeding on the fields. Chaffinch flock in hedge opposite stile on path across field by the end of the private road leading to sailing club.
__________________
Trevor Jones
Twitter @ discors1
discors is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 17th November 2010, 18:55   #19
SJPortugal
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Birmingham
Posts: 37
Hello - I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good reliable spot or site during the winter to see either Barn Owls or Short-eared Owls?
Any help very much appreciated.
SJPortugal is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 3rd January 2011, 16:01   #20
Veracocha
Registered User
 
Veracocha's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Birmingham
Posts: 559
Barnacle goose amongst the Canada geese at the trout lakes by Bittell. Strange sight amongst the many canadas, so small.
Veracocha is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 3rd January 2011, 16:47   #21
timmyjones
Registered User
 
timmyjones's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: York, England
Posts: 1,670
Popped into Bittel yesterday, Lower was completly frozen and only a small patch on Upper ice free, did see an Adult Yellow-leeged Gull though along with 2 Ad GBBG.

Distant Video of the YLG here http://www.vimeo.com/18366956
__________________
Tim Jones
My Blog
Me on Twitter
timmyjones is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 15th January 2011, 14:12   #22
discors
Old Timer
 
discors's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: West Heath, Birmingham England
Posts: 266
1st winter drake Scaup Lower Bittell this morning seen from causeway with Pochard and Tufted on far side towards Dam. At least 10 Goosander and 3 Gadwall back again after the ice has finally disappeared
__________________
Trevor Jones
Twitter @ discors1
discors is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 6th May 2011, 13:16   #23
discors
Old Timer
 
discors's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: West Heath, Birmingham England
Posts: 266
Osprey on Upper Bittell caught fish and we (Chris Thomson) hoped it would land and eat it perhaps staying a bit so others could see it. However after circling the reser being mobbed halfheartedly by Buzzards and Swifts it continued to gain height and drifting off north carrying the large fish occasionally adjusting its grip. Fantastic views as it dived and caught the fish but it would have been good if it had stayed about
__________________
Trevor Jones
Twitter @ discors1
discors is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 6th May 2011, 14:55   #24
Gavo
Registered User
 
Gavo's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Upton Upon Severn
Posts: 442
Quote:
Originally Posted by discors View Post
Osprey on Upper Bittell caught fish and we (Chris Thomson) hoped it would land and eat it perhaps staying a bit so others could see it. However after circling the reser being mobbed halfheartedly by Buzzards and Swifts it continued to gain height and drifting off north carrying the large fish occasionally adjusting its grip. Fantastic views as it dived and caught the fish but it would have been good if it had stayed about
You are honoured to see something like that in England, it's hard enough to see in Scotland outside of paying for the privilige at one of the fish farms. Fair play, and I am sooo jealous
__________________
If only I were a bird! Ah, but eating caterpillars?
Gavo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 14th May 2011, 22:36   #25
Duck_Pond
Professional Wildlife Photographer
 
Duck_Pond's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: South Birmingham, England
Posts: 8,081
Just posted some shots from Bittell over in the Worcs thread, featuring the black necked grebe and osprey from today.
Duck_Pond is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Common Scoters, Bittell, Worcs, UK StarainBoy Sea Watch 4 Monday 26th October 2009 11:10
New Video: Osprey Logie at Bittell April 08 (added by Mary) BirdForum TV BirdForum TV Discussion 4 Tuesday 22nd April 2008 15:25
Reservoirs CBB Birds & Birding 3 Tuesday 14th February 2006 12:29
Many thanks. Reservoirs. CBB Your Birding Day 0 Monday 13th February 2006 23:03
Trimpley, Wyre Forest and Bittell Reservoir Duck_Pond Your Birding Day 4 Thursday 26th January 2006 20:40



Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.24957991 seconds with 38 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 13:15.