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Cofton Reservoir

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Old Wednesday 27th March 2013, 20:16   #1
Ravenwing
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Cofton Reservoir

Cofton Reservoir lies in the area between Cofton Park, the Lickeys and Upper Bittell Reservoir. Its environs are now owned by Cofton Conservation Ltd which is made up of local residents, some interested nature and ecological groups and a local fishing club. The reservoir is closed to the public but much of it can be viewed from the footpath over the weir at its North East end. The reservoir flows over this weir to a couple of small ponds which again can only really currently be viewed from the footpath. This will be the source of water when they open up the Arrow as it flows through the old Longbridge car plant site. The reservoir was drained three years ago to repair the valves and it has only been full again since the end of 2011. I have lived in the area for over three years and in that time I have seen 59 species of bird in the area, 12 on the water and the rest either overhead or in the trees and gardens around the reservoir. I hope that, as the environment becomes re-established, a few other species, particularly summer birds, will start to show up. The only downside is that sometimes the fishermen scare off some birds but the fish attract others!
The birds that I have seen on the water are: Mallard (plus hybrids), Tufted Duck, Teal (only when the reservoir was part full), Goosander, Canada Goose (plus a few hybrids), Black-Headed Gull (the roost can exceed 200 some days), Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Mute Swan, Moorhen, Coot and Grey Herron.
As there seems to be some interest I will try to update this thread on a regular basis, Alex
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Old Thursday 28th March 2013, 18:58   #2
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Nice one Alex. Always good to read reports from a number of different site.
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Old Thursday 28th March 2013, 23:41   #3
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Hi Alex.....I popped down on Wednesday to have a look around and as I have never visited in the winter before it all looked very different to how I remember.
I cannot remember the bottom pond being so big as in the summer it's masked by trees etc.
I saw at least 4 GCGrebe,about 20 BHGulls,1 pr of Tufted,Mallard,Coot ,Moorhen,Robin,Blue Tit,Song Thrush,Crow,Magpie,and on the overflow steps a Grey Wagtail (exactly like in the 70's),with a pr of Teal on the bottom pond.

I see they have started building the new homes now...is the river being bought up to the surface by these as well as the one through by Longbridge Lane.
Keith
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Old Friday 29th March 2013, 08:15   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithr View Post
Hi Alex.....I popped down on Wednesday to have a look around and as I have never visited in the winter before it all looked very different to how I remember.
I cannot remember the bottom pond being so big as in the summer it's masked by trees etc.
I saw at least 4 GCGrebe,about 20 BHGulls,1 pr of Tufted,Mallard,Coot ,Moorhen,Robin,Blue Tit,Song Thrush,Crow,Magpie,and on the overflow steps a Grey Wagtail (exactly like in the 70's),with a pr of Teal on the bottom pond.

I see they have started building the new homes now...is the river being bought up to the surface by these as well as the one through by Longbridge Lane.
Keith
Keith, Grey Wagtail is not very coomon around the reservoir so a good find. As you say Teal appear on the bottom ponds but I haven't seen any on the main reservoir for over two years.
I believe that they plan to open up the Arrow through much of the old Longbridge site. There also seem to be plans to put a new foot path along by the lower ponds to give new residents more access to the countryside. The total list of species that I have seen on, over and around the reservoir in the past three years is :
blackbird
blackcap
black-headed gull
blue tit
brambling
bullfinch
buzzard
canada goose
carrion crow
chaffinch
coal tit
collared dove
coot
cormorant
dunnock
feral pigeon
fieldfare
goldcrest
goldfinch
goosander
great crested grebe
great spotted woodpecker
great tit
green woodpecker
greenfinch
grey wagtail
heron
herring gull
house martin
house sparrow
jackdaw
jay
lesser black-backed gull
linnet
little grebe
long-tailed tit
magpie
mallard
mistle thrush
moorhen
mute swan
nuthatch
pied wagtail
redpoll (lesser and mealy)
redwing
reed bunting
robin
sand martin
siskin
song thrush
sparrow hawk
starling
stock dove
swallow
swift
teal
treecreeper
tufted duck
willow warbler
wood pigeon
wren
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Old Saturday 30th March 2013, 15:47   #5
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Saturday 3oth March

Walked round today and saw the following on the main reservoir:
11 Mallard (3 Female, 8 Male)
2 Tufted Duck (pair)
6 Coot
5 Moorhen
2 GCG (pair)
1 Little Grebe
9 Black-headed Gull including one first winter bird
1 Lesser Black-backed gull, first winter bird I think.

Lower pool had 2 Coot and 3 Moorhen on it

Woods around main reservoir "alive" with Blackbirds ! Trees full of Siskin.
Alex
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Old Sunday 31st March 2013, 00:19   #6
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Had only about 10 mins to spare on Friday Evening so popped along.
A dog walker got in front so hung back a bit but he put up the Grey Waggie off the overflow steps and it went off over the trees towards the new builds.
Wood Pigeons everywhere doing what they do best...bickering.
Not a lot on the pool but spotted a pair of GC Grebes mating.....on right bank-they have a nest in bottom of 1st bush.(see pic).
Lots of non discript birds too far off to tell what but a couple landed in the tall poplars and think they were Fieldfares.

Cheers
Keith
PICS...
1 +2 Grebes mating
3+4 Fieldfare ????
5
Nice clean Pigeon.
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Old Sunday 31st March 2013, 15:34   #7
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Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday, start of British Summer Time and the centre of the reservoir was frozen over for most of today !
I counted 40+ Black-headed gulls, 2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 2 pairs GCG, 2 pairs Tuftys, a Buzzard circling overhead plus the usual Mallard, Coot and Moorhen on the water. No sign of Little Grebe today.
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Old Sunday 31st March 2013, 16:37   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenwing View Post
Easter Sunday, start of British Summer Time and the centre of the reservoir was frozen over for most of today !
I counted 40+ Black-headed gulls, 2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 2 pairs GCG, 2 pairs Tuftys, a Buzzard circling overhead plus the usual Mallard, Coot and Moorhen on the water. No sign of Little Grebe today.
5.30pm and a Little Grebe has just gone swimming by :-)
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Old Thursday 4th April 2013, 21:11   #9
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For the last three years I have been viewing a Water Rail on the sluice/ramp to the old Rover works. Very close to the railings at the very bottom of the sluice.
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Old Thursday 4th April 2013, 22:15   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veracocha View Post
For the last three years I have been viewing a Water Rail on the sluice/ramp to the old Rover works. Very close to the railings at the very bottom of the sluice.
Nice one......will keep an eye out for it......those railings and wire do my head in though.

Keith
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Old Sunday 7th April 2013, 09:19   #11
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A good quite evening last night but still cold as the sun dipped below the Lickeys....

Now there are TWO Grey wagtails at bottom of steps and in the surrounding trees.
Think I made out the Little Grebe at far end of resa....
Thought I had nabbed the Water rail but it was only a Moorhen...he he
Keith
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Old Sunday 7th April 2013, 17:05   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithr View Post
A good quite evening last night but still cold as the sun dipped below the Lickeys....

Now there are TWO Grey wagtails at bottom of steps and in the surrounding trees.
Think I made out the Little Grebe at far end of resa....
Thought I had nabbed the Water rail but it was only a Moorhen...he he
Keith
Keith,
Friday evening there were two Canada Geese on the reservoir then yesterday morning there was a pair of Mute Swans, first swans I have seen there this year. I had a check about 5pm and saw 5 Tuftys (3 male, 2 female), 2 pairs GCG, 1 Little Grebe ( far end from the dam) and the usual complement of Mallard, Coot and Moorhen. This morning there were about a dozen BHG on one of the artificial islands. Around the reservoir there are fewer Siskin, down to about 30, about a dozen Redpoll and I saw 1 female Brambling. On top of that the usual numerous Robin, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Goldfinch. I also spotted my first Coal Tit for a couple of months. Sadly I still haven't caught up with the Grey Wags this year but I see much more of the other side of the reservoir, Alex
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Old Tuesday 9th April 2013, 10:01   #13
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Sunday 7th ...

Finally got the Little Grebe ..close in by the right hand shore but hiding under the bushes.
No Grey wags this time but a couple of Golcrest at same place.
Keith
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Old Friday 12th April 2013, 15:06   #14
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Friday 12th April

Took a strol round the reservoir in early afternoon sunshine !!! Spotted the Grey Wags on the overflow steps and on the stream below (3 birds present at one stage). Very difficult to get good pictures because of the fence. Small flock of Siskin and Redpol still present at the southern end along with a few Goldfinch and 2 Brambling (I don't remember seeing Brambling this late in April before). On the water 11 Mallard (8 male, 3 female), 6 Tufty (1 pair and another female with 3 males), 2 pairs of GCG (one pair now have a nest with female sitting on it), 2 Little Grebe and the usual Coots and Moorhens. No sign of any Martins yet ( they were over the reservoir by this time last year). Pair of Mute Swan were present yesterday but not seen so far today, Alex
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Old Friday 12th April 2013, 20:59   #15
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Good mix of birds there Alex.....yes those railings are a right pain....still you did well to get the Waggies.

Keith
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Old Tuesday 16th April 2013, 15:12   #16
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First Swallows

At least three Swallows over the reservoir this afternoon, the first for this year.
This seems to co-incide with the almost total disappearance of winter finches, only one female Siskin seen today whereas on Sunday there was still a small flock of Siskin and Redpoll with at least four Brambling present.
On the water today two Mute Swans both with orange rings nos 17G and 50A, five male, two femal Mallard, two male, one female Tufty, two pairs GCG, two Little Grebe and the usual Coots and Moorhens.
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Old Tuesday 16th April 2013, 15:37   #17
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So it seems Spring may have eventually sprung...it would be scorching in my garden today if it was not for the wind....

Like the addition of the 2nd Dabchick - lets hope that's a Pair.
PLenty of insects on the causeway at Bittell last nigh but nothing there to eat them....it was cold and windy at 5-6 though.Sometimes it's like a plague of Swallows/Martins here.....

Keith
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Old Wednesday 17th April 2013, 15:56   #18
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Popped in on Tues evening....lovely sunshine...and blowing a gale.
Lots of little bird activity right at start of path with Greenfinch,Goldfinch Thrushes and Tits all singing away...had my hearing aid in and it worked....
Some long views of Warblers at bottom of overflow but could not hear them so only got this pic as an I.D.
A few Swallows somehow catching things in the wind as well.
The Swans were having a preening session on the overflow....too close only got a foot.
Keith

edit...looks like there will be loads of baby Pigeons soon as well.(pic)
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Old Sunday 28th April 2013, 17:56   #19
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Back after a week in Scotland

Back home after a week in Scotland where I added Crested Tit, Dipper, White-billed Diver and Fulmar to my life list and I also added common guillemot, long-tailed duck, common eider, razorbill, kittiwake, shag, rock pippit, yellowhammer, pink-footed goose, gannet, wheatear, osprey, hen harrier, red-breasted merganser, red-throated diver, ringed plover, turnstone, purple sandpiper and sandwich tern to my year list. Not a bad week. On the way home we stopped at Leighton Moss and saw and heard willow, reed, sedge and cetti's warblers plus some very tame marsh tits.
Going round the reservoir this morning I saw the usual coots, moorhens, pair of mute swans, only 3 mallard, 7 tufty (4 m, 3 f), only one pair of GCG with the female on her nest and two little grebe. All siskin, redpoll and brambling seem to have gone. No sign of grey wags or any swallows, martins or warblers but lots of blackbird, robin, dunnock and a few goldfinch.
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Old Tuesday 7th May 2013, 19:34   #20
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Terns

Spent a good hour walking round the reservoir this morning. Two Grey Wagtails on the steps and many House Sparrow around the dam. (Interestingly the north and east sides of the reservoir get House Sparrow but they are virtually unknown in the gardens to the south and west !). Female GCG still on her nest and nearby the Mute Swan female is also on a nest. This is the first time that I have seen Swans nest in the reservoir area. Two Little Grebe present with usual Mallard, Coot and Moorhen. No Black-headed Guls but two LBBGs and no Tufty although yesterday afternoon there was a flock over over a dozen birds.
The most exciting observation however was of two Terns fishing over the water. I think they were Common Terns and this is the first time I have seen any sort of Tern in the area. The attached pics are the best I could do given the lighting conditions and lack of tripod at the time, Alex
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Old Tuesday 21st May 2013, 20:50   #21
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Sunny May Evening

Pleasant stroll round the reservoir this evening with lots of insect life. Swallows and House Martins swooping over the water and Swifts higer overhead. Female Mute Swan still on her nest with the male getting quite agressive and having a go at some anglers :-) Also two GCGs sitting on nests and two Little Grebe diving at the south end. Five Tuftys plus the usual Mallard, Coot and Moorhen. On land one Grey Wagtail at the foot of the overflow to the lower pond and the first warbler I have seen around the reservoir this summer - looks like a Chiffchaff but didn't sound like one! In addition the usual numbers of Dunnock, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit and House Sparrow (North side only), Alex
1. Grey Wagtail
2. Chiffchaff
3. Little Grebe
4. Swift
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Old Thursday 30th May 2013, 21:20   #22
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Youngsters Everywhere

As I walked round the reservoir this evening it was great to see baby Moorhen, Coot and GCG. The female Mute Swan is still on her nest and in the surrounding area I saw young Starling, Robin and Long-tailed Tits. Hopefully summer might be just round the corner :-)
1 Moorhen
2 Coot
3 GCG
4 GCG
5 Starling
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Old Sunday 16th June 2013, 13:23   #23
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Young Birds Everywhere

We now have lots of young birds on the reservoir. One pair of GCG with two juveniles in tow, another GCG still on her nest, two Coot families, one with three fairly large chicks, the other with seven smaller ones, two fairly large Moorhen juveniles and three much smaller chicks with their parents and one female Mallard with nine small chicks. The female Mute Swan is still oh her nest. She seems to have been there for a long time so perhaps there was an unsuccessful first breeding attempt. There were also another three female Mallard and over a dozen male Mallard several starting to moult, two Little Grebes (no sign of any young), three male Tufted ducks and a male Grey Wagtail feeding on an artificial island.
In the trees around the reservoir there are lots of Blackbird, Robin, Tits (Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed), Goldfinch, Bullfinch, House Sparrows, Chaffinches, Dunnocks, Jays, Magpies, Jackdaws, Wood Pigeons, Stock Doves and on one tree a pair of Blackcaps.
Interestingly no signs of Swallows etc feeding over the water today.
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Old Sunday 23rd June 2013, 12:06   #24
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Cygnets and a few days away from home

Just got back from a few days in & near the Farne Isles (more below) to find that we now have Cygnets on the reservoir - 5 in total. That means we have young Mute Swan, GCG, Mallard, Coot and Moorhen on the water now :-) I spotted one LBBG showing some interest in the young birds but hopefully the adults will see it off!
On our "away days" I added two new species to my life list, Roseate Tern being very obliging on Inner Farne and Little Tern at Long Nanny (well guarded by National Trust wardens).
Pictures attached are
1) Swans on the Reservoir
2) Roseate Terns with and Artic for company
3) Little Tern with an Artic as a size comparison - best record shot I could get due to the distance
4) & 5) Warbler - can anyone who reads this let me know if it is a Chiffchaff or a Willow?
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Old Tuesday 23rd July 2013, 08:37   #25
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Cofton Update - little Little Grebes !

I spent a very sticky afternoon walking around the reservoir yesterday. Since my last update young birds have continued to appear and grow but sadly the Mute Swan family disappeared. According to a neighbour the parents took the cygnets down the stepped overflow from the main reservoir to the lower pool. As there is no access to it and it is surrounded by vegetation I don't know what then happened to them after that but there has been no sign of parents or young on the main reservoir in three weeks. I assume they left because of a lack of suitable shoreline and disturbance by fishermen. Other than that one family of Coots started with 7 and now have 5 very large young, the original 9 Mallard ducklings are now down to 4 but a new batch of 5 appeared for the first time yesterday. There are two families of GCGs (2 large young, 3 smaller) and a couple of other families of Coots and Moorhens. Best news however is that I spotted a family of Little Grebes yesterday, two adults and four young. This is the first time that I have seen Little Grebe breed on the reservoir so very good news, Alex
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