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Bittell Reservoirs and Hopwood area

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Old Sunday 15th May 2011, 14:50   #26
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A couple more pics of the black-necked grebe from Lower Bittell, this afternoon.

More: http://www.flickr.com/photos/petewalkden/
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Old Wednesday 18th May 2011, 09:19   #27
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Heard there was a certain amount of poor behaviour at Bittell ....even the playing of a tape lure... for a grebe
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Old Wednesday 18th May 2011, 09:41   #28
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Also heard from one of the permit holders that people were getting in to get closer to it. It was 40 yards from the road for g*d's sake, how close do you want to get?
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Old Wednesday 18th May 2011, 10:46   #29
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There was also a problem at the night heron earlswood. If local patch workers find birds it is (or was ) great to get other birders on site to enjoy your find. However with the amount of 'selfish' behaviour from the few recently, it is understandable why some 'patchworkers' are seriously contemplating the thought of suppression. Anybody not doing a 'local patch' would not necessarily understand the toil, restrictions and hassle that landowners can put on a patchworker. Away from wildlife reserves this can cause that patch worker to be thrown off the land and that site is then lost to all of us. Those people visiting someone else's patch should try and understand that once you have seen the targeted species you will probably never visit that site again. Any bad behaviour is left to the patchworker to pick up the pieces and regain the trust of the landowner which in some cases is untenable. Suffice to say that if visiting other people's patches treat it the same as you would your own (and I know that most people do but there is a definite increase in bad behaviour). With the cost of petrol increasing more pressure is on local (Midlands sites) birding sites and we all depend on 'patch workers' for our rarities, so just respect their places.
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Old Wednesday 18th May 2011, 11:39   #30
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The only permit holder I know of is Stuart, for Bittell, so it makes me wonder how many of the "water level" shots I have seen aired by folk (on Bird Guides for example), have been from them trespassing. I took mine from the road, as has been said, it was probably closer to that location than the water's edge in the woods.

It took about half a dozen visits and a lot of patience from me, to see it close up and obtain my shots, and not once did I even contemplate trespassing. Who knows what's nesting within the safety of the site?

That said, whenever I was there, and birders came to see it, they behaved properly.
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Old Wednesday 18th May 2011, 18:42   #31
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There was also a problem at the night heron earlswood. If local patch workers find birds it is (or was ) great to get other birders on site to enjoy your find. However with the amount of 'selfish' behaviour from the few recently, it is understandable why some 'patchworkers' are seriously contemplating the thought of suppression. Anybody not doing a 'local patch' would not necessarily understand the toil, restrictions and hassle that landowners can put on a patchworker. Away from wildlife reserves this can cause that patch worker to be thrown off the land and that site is then lost to all of us. Those people visiting someone else's patch should try and understand that once you have seen the targeted species you will probably never visit that site again. Any bad behaviour is left to the patchworker to pick up the pieces and regain the trust of the landowner which in some cases is untenable. Suffice to say that if visiting other people's patches treat it the same as you would your own (and I know that most people do but there is a definite increase in bad behaviour). With the cost of petrol increasing more pressure is on local (Midlands sites) birding sites and we all depend on 'patch workers' for our rarities, so just respect their places.
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Old Sunday 17th July 2011, 19:28   #32
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Water levels on Upper Bittell continue to be low, attracting a great range of waders.
Sanderling, Dunlin, Greenshank, Black tailed Godwit and LRP. Even Whimbrel was seen this morning,all the rest were still present this afternoon but only 1 Blk tailed not the 7 seen by Chris Thomson this morning. Views a bit distant but the dam gives the full panorama from the Ravens to the Common Terns looking good for the rest of the 'autumn'!
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Old Monday 19th September 2011, 11:44   #33
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Nice group of waders still present on Upper Bittell. 2 juv Curlew Sandpipers, 3 Ringed Plover and 4 Dunlin. View from Dam a bit distant but getting closer as levels still very low. Work being done on dam but not causing too much disturbance as waders far enough away
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Old Sunday 25th September 2011, 18:40   #34
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Major fish kill at lower Bittell, dead fish (loads) both sides of the road. Could this affect the waders?
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Old Monday 26th September 2011, 12:56   #35
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Major fish kill at lower Bittell, dead fish (loads) both sides of the road. Could this affect the waders?
On Saturday we noticed the Arrow here in Alcester was a weird colour and very cloudy, and a dog walker said the Environment Agency were taking samples. Yesterday, a Mute Swan that has been here a while had a 'tidemark' of orange feathers where it had put its head and neck underwater to feed. We couldn't see any dead fish anywhere. Has there been any report about what the pollution was caused by?
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Old Monday 26th September 2011, 16:02   #36
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. Has there been any report about what the pollution was caused by?
Not to my knowledge.
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Old Thursday 24th November 2011, 09:57   #37
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Not into these sort of forums usually but just popped in to see if there was a page somewhere that someone uploads info/sightings for Bittell .
I have been an almost daily visitor to the Reservoir/ponds for the past couple of years - mostly around lunchtime before getting off to work.
I just like seeing what's about and hopefully getting a quick I.D. snap of anything so I can look closer at home.
Spent most of the summer in the surrounding fields where I so far have got snaps - so I.D's of around 45 species...highlights being Kingfisher (12-15 foot away),Buzzard,Kestrels,Ravens,Cuckoo (juve),must have bred in the fields (I hope).Also on a very very small pond about 10 Teal and a wader which is so far un snapped and so not I.D'd.
Coupled with loads of Dragonflies/Damsels and Butterflies this is an excellent area which could be passed over but gives rewards if time is invested.
The last few days there's been some activity on Upper Bittell with sightings of Bean and Brent Goose,Golden Plover and Ruff.
I did not really see them as I do not have a scope but thanks to all the fantastic friendly chaps who passed on the info.Also yesterday I just missed a Juve peregrine which quartered the Resa and landed a few times on the far shore.
From reading all the above comments I did not realise so many people took the time to visit the area - I probably have seen a few about but do not know whose who apart from (Duck Pond),a.k.a. Pete.
On a down beat please be aware of cars broken into on the bend area,so keep everything stowed away out of sight...I try not to park there now.
Off now to guess where.......hopefully to see one of the elusive kingies on the outfall rails and snap it...not happened yet.
Here's a couple of them in the fields from the summer.(2nd one a Juve)
Cheers
Keith
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...y_filtered.jpg
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...w_filtered.jpg

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Old Thursday 24th November 2011, 10:44   #38
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Whilst Bittell is very close to my home, it remains an unknown entity to me because of the need for exclusive membership which (it has been said) is somewhat difficult to secure.
As I understand it, there are places that Joe Public can access but I've never had the rules nor how to go about securing membership explained to me.
I've attached a map, perhaps someone would like to explain the public/non public areas (apologies for the dodgy scan but the Ordnance Survey servers were down when I wanted to get-a-map).

SJV
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Old Thursday 24th November 2011, 10:52   #39
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Whilst Bittell is very close to my home, it remains an unknown entity to me because of the need for exclusive membership which (it has been said) is somewhat difficult to secure.
As I understand it, there are places that Joe Public can access but I've never had the rules nor how to go about securing membership explained to me.
I've attached a map, perhaps someone would like to explain the public/non public areas (apologies for the dodgy scan but the Ordnance Survey servers were down when I wanted to get-a-map).

SJV
Hi simon
The Black Circles are where non permit holders can view from, the red circles are the parking spots, and the Blue Lines are where public can walk down to offer views over the lakes, well thats all i know oh, and the public footpaths you can walk along, but you know that!
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Old Thursday 24th November 2011, 11:16   #40
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Great work Craig - cheers!
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Old Thursday 24th November 2011, 11:56   #41
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Craig (and others). I have had a play with a tighter cropped Bing Map.
Please see attached map.
Am I right in assuming that Craig's lower Red Circle is the 'bends area' which has a reputation of being prone to car contents theft?
Is the upper Black Circle the 'Reservoir Wall' that folk refer too?
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Old Thursday 24th November 2011, 12:29   #42
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Craig (and others). I have had a play with a tighter cropped Bing Map.
Please see attached map.
Am I right in assuming that Craig's lower Red Circle is the 'bends area' which has a reputation of being prone to car contents theft?
Is the upper Black Circle the 'Reservoir Wall' that folk refer too?
Right on both counts Sy.

It's a good place to walk round all-year round really, but parking is something of an issue. Not sure how easy it is to get a permit these days (gave mine up a couple of years ago as a) I didn't get there much and b) you're not supposed to broadcast news of any bird sightings). Not sure who the membership secretary is these days, but I think you just need to apply. About £30 a year I think.
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Old Thursday 24th November 2011, 12:56   #43
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Thanks Mike.
Whilst trying not to instigate a suppression/non-suppression debate.
"...you're not supposed to broadcast news of any bird sightings..." Why do people do this? Is it to maintain site privacy/environmental sensitivity? To protect breeding birds? In this case [Bittell] is it the fact that there are insufficient wardens to manage a twitch-related influx of birders in the event of the discovery of a MEGA?
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Old Thursday 24th November 2011, 14:45   #44
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In my opinion Sy it emulates exactly the bahaviour of those associated with the boating club, pure snobbery and possibly the most unwelcoming committee of stuck up ponces possible. I have walked these paths for 35 years and its a struggle to get a "good morning" from them. There is nowhere around these lakes that provides a member with any better views than is available from the paths/roads. God forbid if you manage to get below the wall for a quick shot of the Kingfisher on the white posts :)

There's some good stuff here for sure and you can rely on us to post any sightings of note. Keith, I think it was you I bumped into that day by the road and then the pumping station ?
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Old Thursday 24th November 2011, 15:37   #45
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..."In my opinion Sy it emulates exactly the bahaviour of those associated with the boating club, pure snobbery and possibly the most unwelcoming committee of stuck up ponces possible."........Yes Veracocha.....the above quote leads me to think it was me you met...He He...

As you are a mere beginner at walking these lanes it's hardly likely we had met before.

Down there today and met quite a few regulars (if I knew their names I would have forgot by now) and had no luck in seeing the Hawfinch around the old Pump house or in the lane but a couple of Goldcrest turned up...too fast for me in the bad light.
The Redwing and the Perergrine showed again but too late for the latter again.
A Redwing today in poor light.
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Old Thursday 24th November 2011, 22:35   #46
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Hi Sy V...had a go on google earth and tried to put the areas you can walk with the parking etc.
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...opyjpgDDDD.jpg
A...4/5 cars can park here...it's a dead end so don't go past here.Also you can walk north up the track and over the fields on the North Worcester Path but some of the signs have "gone missing"..maybe THEY don't want us going past their palaces.
B...this is the dam- wall - bank etc and the only view you get of upper Bittell.
CParking along road and at end of the path between upper and lower Bittell.Watch out here as some cars have been broken into here.
D...the road between the 2 small resers.
EDon't walk down the path to the cottages along side the canal but use the towpath on the other side of the bridge.

I hope some of this is useful to you.
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Old Friday 25th November 2011, 04:46   #47
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Excellent précis, cheers Keith.
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Old Friday 25th November 2011, 10:14   #48
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C - yes, mine. :-(

Whenever I've spoken to the manager (guy who walks the big alsatian dog) he's stressed not to say anything as they seem to live in fear of anyone straying into the boating club area.

Annoys me as it's local to me, and would provide some great photo opportunities, if access was permitted, even occasionally.

But, going back to the car break-ins, perhaps they have good reason to be worried. It's a wealthy area, around most of it, so will attract the local scum. And given the Police response to my incident, i.e. nothing even when I provide the details of the people who committed the crime (car plate and address!!), keeping quiet and hoping no-one will look might be the tried and trusted method of being secure.

I find the field, that is off to the left of the bridle path (as you walk from Bittell Farm Rd to Upper Bittell) that goes over to the railway, can be great for wildlife. Flocks of long-tailed tits in the hedges and sightings of the lesser spotted woodpeckers in the dead trees.

Also get skylarks and mipits in the field.

Best time is early morning after a snow fall. The area is beautiful and at such times, virtually folk-free.
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Old Friday 25th November 2011, 16:06   #49
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......" lesser spotted woodpeckers in the dead trees"....I was speaking to one chap who turns up most days and he assured me that they had been absent for the last few years.
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Old Friday 25th November 2011, 16:18   #50
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......" lesser spotted woodpeckers in the dead trees"....I was speaking to one chap who turns up most days and he assured me that they had been absent for the last few years.
Haven't seen one up there for a while either, can remember seeing them regularly, along with Willow Tit!
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