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Bittell Reservoirs and Hopwood area

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Old Friday 25th November 2011, 16:30   #51
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Originally Posted by Sy V View Post
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?
Not totally sure of the reasons, but I recall the lack of parking was one argument put forward within the paperwork that came with the last permit (that I declined to renew). This covered both the parking available within the sailing/fishing club itself and also on the narrow roads bordering the lower res. Mind you, as the road on the causeway seems to be gradually sliding into the res., perhaps parking there wouldn't be advisable anyway
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Old Sunday 4th December 2011, 12:01   #52
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Juvenile peregrine harrying gulls at the far side of the upper Bittell. 30 minutes later took pigeon in recently sewn field beyond the railway crossing. Viewing from 60 yard was a privilege.
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Old Sunday 4th December 2011, 13:55   #53
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Must have been great to witness.
It's a good place for them here as the fields are always full of Gulls.Pigeons and Corvids.
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Old Sunday 4th December 2011, 16:13   #54
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Juvenile peregrine harrying gulls at the far side of the upper Bittell. 30 minutes later took pigeon in recently sewn field beyond the railway crossing. Viewing from 60 yard was a privilege.
wish I went up there today. Instead I had to clean the house.
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Old Tuesday 13th December 2011, 23:11   #55
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Monday 12th Dec
The Redwing all around the site are showing better due to the lack of foliage but it just makes them even more jittery.
Every day I pop in to keep tabs on the Kingfisher(s) at Lower and hope to nab one on the rails around the outfall BUT yesterday just before leaving I went to have a last look and as I stuck my head over the hedge a few redwing flew over to the small tree by the No Fishing etc sign and then the Kingy followed from out of the trees in front of me.
No clear view but just as I thought he had gone he dived and caught a fish and back to the tree nearer to the sign.Stayed 1/2 an hour but he did not come out to play but got a couple of snaps through the gate and could make out it was a Male.He must have seen me going back/forth and being very me (noisey) but could not have given a toss.
One of the Redwing
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7164/6...f66ec82f_b.jpg
and the Kingy hiding just below it.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7172/6...566fe1da_b.jpg

Last edited by keithr : Wednesday 14th December 2011 at 21:34.
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Old Wednesday 14th December 2011, 21:38   #56
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Weds 14th Dec
Weather has been a bit wet and windy last 2 days.
Only popped along for 1/2 an hour around 12.30 and still lots of Redwing on causway and at car park at Cofton Church end.
Highlight today was this Male Pochard in the rough water on Lower Bittell.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7153/6...59bb4283_b.jpg
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Old Wednesday 4th January 2012, 22:39   #57
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6 Egyptian Geese on Lower today, more on my blog

http://timsbirding.blogspot.com/
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Old Thursday 26th January 2012, 09:34   #58
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I missed the Egyptian Geese and it's been SO quiet while walking around but the weathers been really bad.
Redwing and Fieldfare have moved off into the fields and all the usual small stuff in the trees.
Without a scope I do not see a lot at Upper but thought there was a Curlew on the far shore(?) but maybe not.
The only thing to cher me up is the flights of the flock of Lapwings.
Keith
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...years/Lap1.jpg
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Old Thursday 2nd February 2012, 10:06   #59
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On every visit this week I have had encounters with Kestrel both at the road from Hopwood to Lower Bittell (also Buzzard hanging around small resa)and also in Cofton Church Lane.
Also the Green Woody always puts in an appearance here as well.
In the Pines at the Boat Club I have seen Goldcrests but too fast to get any decent shots.
A lot of Song Thrushes about finding snails under all the leaves - great as they are one of my faves and I don't see as many nowadays.
Most of the weeks been very cold but O.K. in the sun except on the dam at Upper where it's eye streaming time.
Large flock of Goosanders near dam until I put my head up and they were off.
Think they were practising for the 100metres dash at London 2012.
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...anderflock.jpg
Thanks
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Old Monday 6th February 2012, 09:59   #60
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Week Feb 6th to 10th.
Very cold with one day really sunny and next grey.
Loads of Redwing,Fieldfare and both Thrushes in trees and fields around Boat club road.
Lapwings and the elusive Green Woody in field on one side of Cofton Church Farm by car park and on the other side a little Male Muntjac,which scuttled off into the hedges to the left.
Keith

The Muntjac

http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...ears/Munt2.jpg

http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...ears/Munt1.jpg

One of the Thrushes

http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...ars/Thrush.jpg

and the Lapwing

http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...rs/Lapwing.jpg
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Old Monday 6th February 2012, 10:17   #61
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Nice report Keith, nice shots too.
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Old Wednesday 8th February 2012, 21:43   #62
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Some more birds from all around the area.
Robin @ Boat club...
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...RedBreast2.jpg

Long Tailed Tit.....By on road - lower Bittell....
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...years/LLT3.jpg

Mistle Thrush on Mole Hill in field by railway......
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...stleThrush.jpg

Female Bully in the tangled undergrowth @ the Old Pumphouse.
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...FemBittell.jpg

Last edited by keithr : Wednesday 8th February 2012 at 22:38.
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Old Sunday 19th February 2012, 17:47   #63
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Really cold over the last 10 days,with eventually ALL the 3 resers frozen.
A small Flock(?) of Teal stayed in virtually the same place for a week - on the very edge of the only part not frozen.
A cluster of Swan,Teal,mallard,coot and tufted were keeping it clear and on the very last day of the freeze (Monday 13th ) 3 goosander (1M + 2 F) joined in but soon flew off towards the canal end when they spotted me on the road.

http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...s/Icybirds.jpg.

Elsewhere on the Redditch road edge of the area I study I got a close view of one of the Buzzards in the field...this one always stays right near the road and does a fair impression of the Kestrel - hunting by hovering.

http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...ears/Buzz2.jpg

On the Sunday before it was up by the Hopwood end in it's fave tree.

http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y.../Buzz1crop.jpg

And good news from the stream this past week...have had several sightings of Kingfisher flying up and down and perching in the low trees.
Keith
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Old Friday 24th February 2012, 23:19   #64
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Well the weathers changed a bit.Some days are really warm but when the suns been in the wind took over...lower Bittell was like the sea one day.
Not a lot happening around the resers this week but a Kestrel has been hanging around the road just before Cofton Church and asI went under the railway bridge one day something was in the road...this......
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...rs/2012Rat.jpg

The last few days of the week I visited the fields behind the Fishery and it looked like spring was about with a pair of Muntjac by the stream and 2 firsts here in a Grey Wagtail in the stream and a Golcrest flitting about with the tits.
While looking out the KIngs I was buzzed by a GSW while at least 3 Buzzards and a Kestrel were quartering the fields.
My best flight shot to date....
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y.../2012Buzz1.jpg
After waiting an hour on Friday and while being thrilled to see the Wagtail -
even though it was a long way off a Kingfisher flew past him and up into the bare branches...this is where the female used to go when I 1st saw them last year.Some work to do to get them in the open and lower.
Wagtail uncropped showing he was miles away and shot at 1/20 sec
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...12GreyWag1.jpg
And a bit closer on the "WATERFALL"...
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...12GreyWag2.jpg

2 of the Male Kingfisher at 1/40 sec - even with no leaves on teh trees it's still damn dark.
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y.../2012King1.jpg

http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y.../2012King2.jpg

Hoping for some sun over the weekend .....
Keith
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Old Wednesday 7th March 2012, 23:33   #65
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7/3/12...

Not a lot around Lower Bittell as they are dredging the far side.
The Great Crested Grebe have paired off and stay around the old nest site....but this other one was keeping out of the way by the outfall area- but the water was very rough....
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...12Grebelow.jpg
The end of last week the Female Kestrel was hunting over the upper side of the road and I caught her on the wires by the hay barn/horse field.
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...estrel2800.jpg

I have been spending most of my time around the fields and while watching/photing the Kingy the Grey Waggy almost landed in my lap before landing on this rock right under the Kings perch....
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...IEROCKPano.jpg
The King dived and came up nearer but then was having trouble on a thinner branch and flew back to a thicker one to bash the fish....
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...ars/Bashim.jpg.
Yesterday (tues the 6th) he played ball and dived almost under the waterfall and stayed down for ages before showing me the fish...don't know if it's a Ruffe or Bullhead but it beats a stickleback...
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y.../2012KING9.jpg
Torrential rain most of today so even less about.....

Thanks
Keith

Last edited by keithr : Thursday 8th March 2012 at 08:36.
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Old Friday 9th March 2012, 20:15   #66
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Nice report again Keith. The fish looks like a gudgeon to me?
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Old Tuesday 17th April 2012, 15:29   #67
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Black Tern showing well on Upper with large flock of Swallow, House and Sand Martin.
Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap singing along Ash path to Lower.
Very pale brown 'Peregrine' Seemed too pale for Immature bird possible Saker/Hybrid?
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Old Thursday 3rd May 2012, 12:15   #68
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3 Black necked Grebes in full summer plumage (well one a bit greyer on the body)
Showing very well from road on causeway Lower Bittell
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Last edited by discors : Thursday 3rd May 2012 at 18:21.
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Old Tuesday 22nd May 2012, 21:21   #69
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Pleasant work this evening from Barnt Green up past both upper and lower reservoirs and fields. Highlights include:

Green Woodpecker, Jay, Whitethroat, Grasshopper Warbler, Several Yellowhammer, 6 Grey Heron on Upper, Chiffchaff, Bullfinch. Nothing much of note on the water though.
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Old Tuesday 22nd May 2012, 21:46   #70
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Evening Dave
Where abouts did you hear the Gropper reeling?
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Old Wednesday 23rd May 2012, 07:12   #71
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Evening Dave
Where abouts did you hear the Gropper reeling?
Hi

It was near the gate at the back of the playing field which goes through to the fields behind the sports club in barnt green. Flew off before I could get a good look but was heard at least twice. Wasn't far from the yellowhammers.

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Old Tuesday 30th October 2012, 22:03   #72
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Surprised about 6 Goosander this morning on the smallest Little Resa.I stuck my head over the hedge and they immediately got spooked- managed a couple of shots before they flew as an Angler entered the gate.
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...Goosander2.jpg

http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...Goosander1.jpg

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Old Wednesday 14th November 2012, 10:06   #73
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Finally caught up with the elusive but thankfully longstaying Long-tailed Duck.
4th trip to Upper Bittell was rewarded when Chris Thomson pointed out the little blighter tucked away in the North west inlet corner feeding in the shallows up against the trees. Viewed from path over the stubble field behind Cofton Richards farm
With the distant views I had I would say it is a winter female, dark crown and white eye patch. Great bird to finally connect with, perseverance pays.
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Old Wednesday 14th November 2012, 15:24   #74
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I went for the Long-tailed Duck today too, seeing it distantly in the NE corner early afternoon and concur with winter female ID, although views poor and just 2-3 seconds long between dives. Surprisingly just 1 Goosander seen. Possibly heard a Water Rail (single call) around the Mill Shrub Pool but not sure.
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Old Sunday 18th November 2012, 15:25   #75
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Ltd

After hearing on Birdguides that the Long-tailed was still present this morning I decided to have a gander and see if I could finally find it after being at work all week.

Standing on the dam, it was elusive for far too long when it eventually flew across the far bank and landed near a group of canadas and greylag. Diving for a few minutes and moving to behind the netting/fencing that protrudes into the reservoir beyond the sailing club (as viewed from the dam) it then flew back in the direction its seemingly favourite spot in that top tucked away NE corner - dammit...

TOP DUCK all the same and a nice little tick for me.
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