I thought I'd start a new thread for this relatively new wildlife reserve between Droitwich and Salwarpe. I've been birding the general area for the past 10 years (it's literally on my doorstep), although the centrepiece, 'Coney Meadow Reedbed', was only constructed in 2008 - as mitigation against loss of fringing reeds along the Droitwich canal when it was dredged to make it navigable. Since then, the wildlife interest has developed further and the whole area has a great deal of potential. The habitat includes a 2.5 hectare reedbed, grassland, scrub and thick hedgerows. It is bordered to the west and south by the River Salwarpe, to the east by the Droitwich Canal and to the north by 'Droitwich Woods NR'. Complimenting this variety of habitats is a small area of mature woodland, the churchyard and gardens of Salwarpe village plus farmland (permanent pasture and arable).
My own birding highlights over the years have included Pied Flycatcher (recorded once), Common Redstart (once), Tree Pipit (2 records), Little Egret (once), Lesser-spotted Woodpecker (twice), Hobby (frequent), Tawny Owl (frequent), Common Tern, Little Owl (very scarce), Cuckoo (regular), Grasshopper Warbler (regular), Brambling, Green Sandpiper (occassional), Spotted Flycatcher (regular) and Grey Partridge (once, 'wild' credentials unknown). Marsh Tits used to occur but I haven't seen them here since 2005. Over the past couple of years the site has provided a roost for impressive numbers of hirundines (e.g. up to 700 Sand Martins) at various times of the year but especially late March/ early April. Other notable wildlife recorded includes noisy Marsh Frogs, Badgers, Roe Deer, various species of Bats including Noctules, Marbled White butterflies and, last year, I saw and photographed an Essex Skipper. The area is also pretty good for Dragonflies (especially Brown Hawkers, Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters). Several good plants are present, including Dittander, and there is a small colony of Pyramidal Orchids further down the canal.
A quick stroll this afternoon produced a singing male Blackcap, Raven, Buzzard, Nuthatch, Mistle Thrush, singing Skylark, Green Woodpecker, Reed Buntings, Water Rail (heard), 2 Linnets, Greenfinches, Kingfisher and Grey Heron.
The best time to visit, however, is spring/summer when the site can be heaving with Warblers (Reed, Sedge, Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff are common, Willow, Grasshopper and Lesser Whitethroat are regular and Garden Warbler is occasionally seen and has bred nearby). I tend to visit at least twice a week during the summer (usually in the evenings after work).
Anyway, it's well worth a look if you're in the area and it would be great if anyone visiting the site could post their sightings on this thread. Many thanks.