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Bittell Reservoirs and Hopwood area

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Old Tuesday 20th November 2012, 09:43   #76
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Well done to everyone who spotted the Long-Tailed Duck.
Miles to far away for me though.
One day THEY will allow the plebs in and around OUR resa.

Mill Shrub Pool...not up on all the local names...only been visiting 50 odd years.....but where is this.
Seen Water Rail in reeds by the gate (near where road has fell in) before now.

Apart from the few Goosanders (see above) the only other things on the lower waters was 1/2 doz Pochard.
Keith

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Old Tuesday 20th November 2012, 10:05   #77
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Morning Keith
Mill Shrub Pool is the inlet pool at Lower Bittell, on the left of the causeway coming from Barnt Green, that runs along side the 'ash' path leading to Upper.
The best views Ive had of the LT Duck are from the top of the stubble field on the path that runs from the side of Cofton Richards farm. Now the leaves are falling you can see limited views through the hedge from the North Worcs path but it very muddy and frustrating as its low. If you have scope the top of the field is the best place.
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Old Wednesday 28th November 2012, 22:23   #78
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Tuesday 28th Nov....11am.
Popped in not expecting anything on the lower resa with the water being high and muddy...but there were 2 of these....think they are Female Goldeneye......but will happily be corrected.
They were in the middle of the Mill Shrub pool - so a BIG crop.
Keith
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Old Wednesday 28th November 2012, 22:47   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithr View Post
Tuesday 28th Nov....11am.
Popped in not expecting anything on the lower resa with the water being high and muddy...but there were 2 of these....think they are Female Goldeneye......but will happily be corrected.
They were in the middle of the Mill Shrub pool - so a BIG crop.
Keith
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Completly right, Female Goldeneye

Well done
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Old Thursday 29th November 2012, 09:09   #80
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Thanks M.B. good day all round...a 1st of a Goldeneye here and a 1st of a little flock of Waxwings.......sorry not saying where though.
Not being nasty but it would cause disruption if I said where.
Keith
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Old Friday 30th November 2012, 10:16   #81
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Thurs 29th Nov

Stuck my head over the hedge and off he went.....Male gooseander,at Mill Shrub Pool.
Keith
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Old Friday 30th November 2012, 16:45   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithr View Post
Thanks M.B. good day all round...a 1st of a Goldeneye here and a 1st of a little flock of Waxwings.......sorry not saying where though.
Not being nasty but it would cause disruption if I said where.
Keith
Looks like you'll fit in with the Bittell crowd (save a few good-uns!) no worries then!
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Old Tuesday 4th December 2012, 22:45   #83
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Looks like you'll fit in with the Bittell crowd (save a few good-uns!) no worries then!
They were about 10 miles from here and just passing through I think.

These were on Upper on Friday 30th.
11 in total
Keith
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Old Wednesday 5th December 2012, 06:28   #84
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Shoveler Feeding techniques

Great pic of Shoveler Keith. There have been up to 50 on Upper about a month ago. Your pic shows the circling feeding technique that was discused on the Upton thread where they seem to do it in shallow water stirring up the bottom to filter food by dabbling but these Bittell Shoveler fed using this group gyrating method in the middle of Upper obviously not stirring the bottom so maybe just concentrating food in a vortex, Upton birds were seen diving in water too deep to dabble in. All interesting observations just shows what we have to learn especially when trying to create the best habitats for birds and how some species are able to adapt feeding methods.

Have you managed to see the Long tailed Ducks yet? Just goes to show how the disturbance factor affects different birds with how long this pair has stayed. I was suprised that Shustoke Reser also has a Sailing club when I went to see the 2 Gt Northern Divers would have thought they wouldnt tolerate boats heres hoping the cold spell will bring some our way if it doesnt freeze solid!
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Old Wednesday 5th December 2012, 19:39   #85
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No Trevor no Long tailed Duck yet.
Was at Upton this afternoon......went to Webbs 1st for the Waxwings but non there (2nd day running) and someone in the hide said they had gone to Evesham.
Went to the concrete hide and around 3.30 saw a waxwing circle the feeder and back over the hide....rushed out and there were 30 on the tree.....only about 10 berries on it so they flew off towards the car park.
I left then and drove passed Webbs and they were there but flew off again- wonder if it's the same ones as last weekend.

Is the re an Upton thread on here then ?

Really crap pic of one of the Upton Waxies....it was almost dark !!
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...years/WAX3.jpg


Keith

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Old Wednesday 5th December 2012, 21:39   #86
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Originally Posted by keithr View Post
No Trevor no Long tailed Duck yet.
Was at Upton this afternoon......went to Webbs 1st for the Waxwings but non there (2nd day running) and someone in the hide said they had gone to Evesham.
Went to the concrete hide and around 3.30 saw a waxwing circle the feeder and back over the hide....rushed out and there were 30 on the tree.....only about 10 berries on it so they flew off towards the car park.
I left then and drove passed Webbs and they were there but flew off again- wonder if it's the same ones as last weekend.

Is the re an Upton thread on here then ?

Really crap pic of one of the Upton Waxies....it was almost dark !!
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...years/WAX3.jpg


Keith
Keith - there is a very very active Upton thread on Bird Forum (1.15 million view, 15000 posts) with up-to-date news on sightings, management work, future developments and a look back at past glories.
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Old Thursday 6th December 2012, 20:52   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discors View Post
Great pic of Shoveler Keith. There have been up to 50 on Upper about a month ago. Your pic shows the circling feeding technique that was discused on the Upton thread where they seem to do it in shallow water stirring up the bottom to filter food by dabbling but these Bittell Shoveler fed using this group gyrating method in the middle of Upper obviously not stirring the bottom so maybe just concentrating food in a vortex, Upton birds were seen diving in water too deep to dabble in. All interesting observations just shows what we have to learn especially when trying to create the best habitats for birds and how some species are able to adapt feeding methods.

Have you managed to see the Long tailed Ducks yet? Just goes to show how the disturbance factor affects different birds with how long this pair has stayed. I was suprised that Shustoke Reser also has a Sailing club when I went to see the 2 Gt Northern Divers would have thought they wouldnt tolerate boats heres hoping the cold spell will bring some our way if it doesnt freeze solid!
Hi Trev
Although they do feed regularly in their gyrating circles, they tend to do it deep water. At the Flashes where the water is shallow they generally feed as individuals, either up-ending or simply sieving as they swim. The diving birds are specialists and it would appear that only the same 6 birds have been doing it - Possibly a family trait passed onto the next generation.
Its interesting to see you have 50 birds there, I wonder if the birds coming and going over the last few weeks are commuting between the 2 sites (upton and Bittell). What kind of numbers have you been getting this autumn? I think our maximum was 97 at the moment there are 8.
John

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Old Friday 7th December 2012, 20:30   #88
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Hi Trev
Although they do feed regularly in their gyrating circles, they tend to do it deep water. At the Flashes where the water is shallow they generally feed as individuals, either up-ending or simply sieving as they swim. The diving birds are specialists and it would appear that only the same 6 birds have been doing it - Possibly a family trait passed onto the next generation.
Its interesting to see you have 50 birds there, I wonder if the birds coming and going over the last few weeks are commuting between the 2 sites (upton and Bittell). What kind of numbers have you been getting this autumn? I think our maximum was 97 at the moment there are 8.
John
Upton's peak count this year was 96 on the 26th October.
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Old Saturday 8th December 2012, 15:43   #89
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long Tailed Ducks Upper Bittell

I have spoken to a few birders recently who have failed to see the L T Ducks.They are now regularly favouring the North shore even when the boats are out,so are viewable from the dam wall.A 'scope is necessary(760yds from dam wall to N.shore as per Google Earth)as they are close in to the shore.

When in feeding mode they are up for 5-10 secs and under for 25 secs so it may take a while to connect.

Chris. T.
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Old Sunday 16th December 2012, 22:17   #90
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Thursday 13th Dec.2012
Was just taking pics of the heavy frost in the fields around Hopwood but took the long lens and disturbed the local Buzzard - he flew from tree to tree before going off over the back of the canal.
Also almost on the Island small flocks of tits etc with this reed bunting catching my eye.
Keith

both large crops.
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Old Sunday 16th December 2012, 22:37   #91
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Quote:
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They were about 10 miles from here and just passing through I think.

These were on Upper on Friday 30th.
11 in total
Keith
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y.../Shellduck.jpg
Timmy -It was at Feckenham and last time I mentioned something was there the lane got clogged up with cars and the Trust were in danger of getting a hefty bill for maintenance.
As it was weeks ago and they were just passing through and there are better places to see them now I have entered them in the book and people can tick them off as being in the area.
Cheers
Keith
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Old Thursday 27th December 2012, 00:01   #92
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Boxing Day...popped in around 10am before the weather turned even wetter.
30 + Goosander on Lower along with a few Pochard.
2 Male Goosander and a Female on Mill Shrub Pool coming quite close until someone walked past and off they went to join the rest on Lower.
Waiting for some winter Thrushes to show ...with nice light...I don't want much...
Keith
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Old Thursday 27th December 2012, 21:00   #93
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Thursday 27th Dec.....only a Mallard on Mill Shrub Pool as the water level is SO high.....hard to see across Lower with the bright sun but with naked eye not as many birds on here also.
Just out of the area south of Barnt Green a couple of "my" Kestrels were at their usual haunts and 1st time I have seen this female in a tree.Sun very harsh (photers grumble).
Keith
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Old Friday 4th January 2013, 22:54   #94
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4th Jan 13
Lower Bittell...both sides of the road still really coloured (orange/brown) and nothing really on the water apart from the Goosanders in far right corner of lower.
Popped over the fields at back of fishery for the 1st time in weeks due to the flooding and the stream is still high but you can see where the torrents have been down making the stream about 4 times as wide in the slower parts.
I hung around hoping for some birds but only a couple of tits and a robin.......until 2 people walked past and did not see me.....one had a spade so I hid a bit more.When they had gone I saw a HUGE silhouetted bird coming towards me at the top of the trees and land in the next tree.Just wondering if I could get a pic through the branches and another one did the same...both appeared to be carrying something that trailed by the tail...as soon as I got one in the lens I knew what was going on.
Got 2 shots and they went ...towards the 2 men.
I had to get off to work then and there's only one way out.I had to talk to the men and SEE what they were doing.
The birds were Harris Hawks and the men were skinning about 10 Rabbits...YUK.
Keith
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Old Thursday 10th January 2013, 19:52   #95
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Quote:
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Morning Keith
Mill Shrub Pool is the inlet pool at Lower Bittell, on the left of the causeway coming from Barnt Green, that runs along side the 'ash' path leading to Upper.
The best views Ive had of the LT Duck are from the top of the stubble field on the path that runs from the side of Cofton Richards farm. Now the leaves are falling you can see limited views through the hedge from the North Worcs path but it very muddy and frustrating as its low. If you have scope the top of the field is the best place.
These limited views of the Resa have frustrated (pissed me off) for about 50 years as well as the terrible state of the paths.Give up even going near here for years.
Dream plan is to win the lottery and do a dirty deal with whoever and buy it up and charge for the fishing and boating but do all I could to make things a pain for them.....Ho Ho.
In the meantime another dream is to have a negotiated deal to have a couple of viewing screens around the North shore area with a gate that can only be accessed by code number (as Belvide) or keys,so only interested people could get in.A nominal fee around 10 could cover things.There's a gate at the opposite end to keep US OUT so why not flip it to let us in.
When I have contacted the people who matter with my groans about it being an SSSI and could they give a list of what I am not allowed to see I got a very vague answer of a few waders and Dragons.....seen more in the fields between Canal and Redditch road.
If only a case could be put to let qualified (by being local amateur experts)in to study the flora and fauna etc on a formal basis - surely if you know what's there some effort could be made to protect and help it spread.
Just stating SSSI and letting it get on with it cannot be right.

Keith
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Old Friday 11th January 2013, 17:32   #96
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11th Jan 1013....3.20pm.

Just popped by Lower after work and SUN was out at last - but going down by now.
Just about 10 Tufteds on Mill Shrub with 2 male Pochards mixed in.
Water looks to be gettin a bit lighter.
Keith
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Old Friday 11th January 2013, 22:48   #97
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Birds I.D'd in Hopwood fields

Only been visiting the fields below Hopwood for 2 years and not a lot in 2012 as they were so wet and flooded at times.....
These are the birds I have seen and got a snap of to do an I.D.

Blackbird Blackcap B.H.Gull BlueTit Bullfinch Buzzard
Carrion Crow Chaffinch ChiffChaff Common Sandpiper * Cuckoo(male calling in Summer and pic of Juve later)
Dunnock Goldcrest Fieldfare G.S.Woodpecker Great Tit
Green Woodpecker Grey Heron House Sparrow Jackdaw Jay
Kestrel Kingfisher L.B.Gull Long Tailed Tit Magpie Mallard
Morehen Mute Swan Nuthatch Pheasant Raven Reed Bunting
Sparrowhawk Starling Song Thrush Swallow Teal Tree Creeper
Whitethroat Woodpigeon Wren Yellowhammer

*no picture as yet.

Lots and lots of near misses where I thought they might be something e.g. LSW but no pics.
Added to this many many Dragons and Damsels and Butterflies/moths,as well as Rabbit,Squirrel, Fox,Muntjack,Roe Deer,Mink - many non I.D'd voles etc. Also Grass Snake.
Think some Badgers as heard the foot stomping noise they make underground before exiting a set but no sighting -think they could smell me waiting...lol
Some other unusual sight are Feral cats and a couple of Harris Hawks flying/hunting as wild then coming to hand.

Lets hope for better weather this year for us but especially the wildlife.
Keith
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Old Wednesday 16th January 2013, 00:04   #98
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Tues 15th Jan 2013
Strangely quiet all around Bittell and surrounding fields.....and COLD.
Only good thing on Lower was an increase of 2 Male Pochard to 4-5.Crap to watch them - or anything with the road repair barriers and sun always in the face.
Grey Wagtail on and around the slope where water runs under the road.
Of over to Cofton Church area and loads of Fieldfare with the Corvids and Gulls in the muddy fields before the Church.Also a lot of Pied wagtails.
Walked along ponds and up to Upper with nothing at all in trees/bushes with just the GCGrebes (10ish)near enough on the Resa.Resa full so nothing around the edges.
Back to car Park and up to Cofton Richards Farm and up onto North Worcester Path.....At highest point looking down on Resa - at 1st nothing then spotted way off something in middle of field.Looked like a Buzzard on the floor and another (smaller bird beside it.The smaller one flew off and did not fly like a Buzzard and looked very grey with long wings.Followed it till it went into some trees.As I panned back another one (the same ) came along the hedge on edge of Resa and followed 1st one into trees area.Went back to look at the Buzzard one and it was gone ....no sight of it anywhere.
Went down for look if I could see signs of a kill...nothing - field was a mass of thawing streams and hard work walking on it as I went over to where the Mystery birds flew....over to the large dead tree.Then a crow and one of the mystery ones flew up and into a copse some way off...
.gave up and turned to get back up to Cofton Richards and spotted largish bird in tree...A Male Kestrel which toerated me a bit as I crunched my way over to it.It soon flew though up to Richards - had a hover then swung about and eventually quartered the trees/bushes on edge of Resa, land a few times in the trees as a lookout.This Male seemed to only go in the trees whereas others always stay on the wires and poles....there are lots of wires/poles here but he did not try them - maybe as fields frozen he knew there would be nothing in the icy bits.
Drove slow back along Cofton Church lane hoping to snap the Fieldfare but they were too far away and all of a sudden it was like busy with cars so had to try and keep moving...hard anyway as road was icy.
Suddenly spotted a Buzzard through the hedge to right on the deadish small trees .Couldnt get car on verge as would not get off so just stopped and slowly got out- crept along hedge and just sticking lens though a hole and it flew onto the tussocks.A b***** car came and had to get in and move so chance gone.
Getting late for work now so had to get over Liockeys towards J4 M5 and got another Male Kestrel (in tree again) on Alvechurch Highway just before the houses before the garden centre....it flew off towards garden centre...must be one of the ones that live off the Old Birmingham road.

As I said not alot about but what there was all birds of Prey...great.

Keith
ANYONE GOT AN IDEA WHAT THE ONES WERE ON THE GROUND IN TEH FIELD....see large cropped pics.Thanks.
1.The field....2 specs in middle.
2. Large crop of birds on ground
3 + 4..Male Kes on the run....
5. Kes going at Alvechurch Highway.
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Old Wednesday 16th January 2013, 07:54   #99
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Hi Keith,

The birds in question are Peregrines, presumably a pair -the larger bird on the right is a female.

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Old Wednesday 16th January 2013, 09:05   #100
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Thanks Brian......I do hope so...1st time I have a pos I.D. of them.They are spotted regularly around here...I wonder where they breed,as young ones are also noted....I think there were at least 3 in this case.
The fields around here offer plenty of scope for good hunting for them.

Crap shots but just why I always try for a snap to I.D. later

Forgot to put the buzzard shots on from yesterday......
Keith
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