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Woodgate Valley CP & Quinton Meadows (1 Viewer)

baggie_dave

Something Witty
Hi

I thought I should start a thread to cover this little mentioned area of south-west Birmingham which I have decided to adopt as my local patch.

I work the 9-5 in Birmingham and being very much an amateur at this birding lark (no pun intended) I thought I would try and find somewhere close to home where I can regularly visit which has decent size and potential but also somewhere off most people’s radar.

The area I will be working is in excess of 1.4 sq.km and is mainly made up of scrub, fields (grazed) and deciduous woodland. The Bournebrook runs through the entire width of the park but is not big, ducks are unlikely but a Kingfisher or Grey Wagtail is possible. There are a lot of joggers, dogs, kids (being surrounded by urban sprawl) but early mornings are generally quiet. I have put some links below showing the general location and some links for further information.

http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/woodgatecountrypark

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodgate_Valley_Country_Park

As well as the country park I will be looking at a small area known as Quinton Meadows. This is located right next to Junction 3 of the M5 and is bordered by the motorway to the west, the A456 to the south and east with a business park to the north. The area has a nice section of meadow to the south and woodland elsewhere which look useful. The motorway roundabout itself also seems to have a lot of pine trees on which could encourage a passing Crossbill or Goldcrest. It’s also very quiet bar the odd dog-walker so might be as inclined to go here as the country park itself.

Around 80 species of birds have been seen at Woodgate according to a few sources so next time I will go to the visitor centre I’m hoping to see if I can find out what they are. Birdguides gives historical records of Red Kite, Little Egret (can’t see where!) and even Hoopoe!! All in all I don’t expect to uproot any trees here but the amount of joy I would get from seeing something like a Stonechat or Wheatear on my patch would mean as much as seeing a lifer like the Great Grey Shrike in Staffs a few weeks back. Possibly disappointed that waders and wildfowl are unlikely to be seen but I can go elsewhere to see them, and flyovers are always possible with Bartley reservoir only a few miles to the south!!

I will update this thread with my sightings as regularly as I can, first report coming up shortly but would really appreciate any advice or experiences of this site and if anyone else ever decides to visit, i'd like to hear about it.

Cheers
:t:
 

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baggie_dave

Something Witty
19-1-13

Snow!!

Walked around the west end of the park to the visitor centre and along the brook and then onto the Meadows. Actually found it was easier to spot and ID birds with a snowy backdrop than normal.

Species Seen: Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-Tailed Tit, Blackbird, Redwing, Feral Pigeon, Robin, Chaffinch, Jackdaw, Jay (quite a few of these around lately), Wren, Siskin (flock of 20ish passing through), Black-Headed Gull, Herring Gull, Kestrel. The big one though was a fly-over LAPWING which I wasn’t expecting to see at all. Harsh weather I guess is the reason for it but I’m not complaining, very pleased.

2013 Count: 19
 
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Phil Andrews

It's only Rock and Roller but I like it
Hi Dave,

I used to live in Camino Road, Harborne which backs onto the eastern end of Woodgate Valley CP. Whilst I rarely walked the country park, sightings in the scrub along the river at the back of my house included Grey Wagtail, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Jay, Willow Wabler, Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Whitethroat, Siskin, Redpoll, Grey Heron, Tawny Owl and various large gulls winging their way to Bartley; Honey Buzzard has also been "reported" over Northfield Road.

I recall Quinton Meadows has had historic records of Corncrake and Quail.
 

baggie_dave

Something Witty
Hi Dave,

I used to live in Camino Road, Harborne which backs onto the eastern end of Woodgate Valley CP. Whilst I rarely walked the country park, sightings in the scrub along the river at the back of my house included Grey Wagtail, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Jay, Willow Wabler, Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Whitethroat, Siskin, Redpoll, Grey Heron, Tawny Owl and various large gulls winging their way to Bartley; Honey Buzzard has also been "reported" over Northfield Road.

I recall Quinton Meadows has had historic records of Corncrake and Quail.

Hi Phil, thanks for the info. I'll be sure to take a look at the east end too then!! When you say historic, i'm guessing we are talking quite a while ago for the Corncrake. I'd love to be able to get hold of historic records for the site at some point, from somewhere.

Cheers
 

Phil Andrews

It's only Rock and Roller but I like it
Having just checked RBA's database there are also the following reports from Woodgate Valley:

Red Kite (15/05/2010) - referred to as "unsubstantiated" in the WMBC annual report
4 Wheatear (26/03/2010)
Med Gull (21/10/2008)
Hoopoe (05/05/03) - not mentioned in the WMBC annual report
Little Egret (11/07/2004) - not mentioned in the WMBC annual report
Hobby (11/07/2004)

Honey Buzzard was reported over Northfield Road on 02/05/2005 (not mentioned in the WMBC annual report)
 

Phil Andrews

It's only Rock and Roller but I like it
Hi Phil, thanks for the info. I'll be sure to take a look at the east end too then!! When you say historic, i'm guessing we are talking quite a while ago for the Corncrake. I'd love to be able to get hold of historic records for the site at some point, from somewhere.

Cheers

Hi Dave - you need to do what I did when I wrote the history of Upton Warren and trawl through every annual report of the West Midland Bird Club (and its predecessor bodies)! B :)

Think those two species for Quinton Meadows were from the 1950s; it has also been suggested to me that Marsh Tit have been recorded at Woodgate Valley
 

upstarts1979

Well-known member
Hi Dave - you need to do what I did when I wrote the history of Upton Warren and trawl through every annual report of the West Midland Bird Club (and its predecessor bodies)! B :)

Think those two species for Quinton Meadows were from the 1950s; it has also been suggested to me that Marsh Tit have been recorded at Woodgate Valley

I seem to remember a few people used to do it in the 70's/80's and short eared owl was recorded.
 

rollingthunder

Well-known member
Good call Dave - it's nice to hear what people are seeing in the lesser known and more obscure areas of the West Midlands - let's try and keep Kevin Clements bizzy;)

Laurie:t:
 

baggie_dave

Something Witty
27/1/13

Spent an hour and 15 mins walking around this morning. Very boggy and hence not too many people around. Managed to add a further 4 species to the list in the form of a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Dunnock, Fieldfare and a Mallard which was feeding amongst the horses.

Cheers:t:

2013 Species Count: 23 Species
 

baggie_dave

Something Witty
02-02-13

Another good walk around the country park and meadowes yielded a further 5 new species for the 2013 list!!

New to the list were Greenfinch, Bullfinch, Green Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush and a fly-over Cormorant heading eastwards, maybe towards Edgbaston Res??

I also took a quick look in the wildlife sightings book in the visitor centre. Although it only contained a handful of records for 2012 I was impressed to see a Kingfisher had been recorded along Bournebrook so i'll be keeping even more of an eye out down that part now.

Also interesting to note that there are a LOT of redwing here, also quite a few fieldfare in the fields next to the visitor centre.

2013 Species Count: 28

I'm still curious to get a list of historic records for the site. It was mentioned above by Phil that one could trawl through all annual reports of the WMBC but not sure how i would go about this. The website says they are available to view at Birmingham central library but that floor is closed in preparation for moving to the new building in September, am i going to have to wait till then to get my hands on them? I might also try dropping an e-mail to the visitor centre and seeing what records they may hold.

Any other ideas would be appreciated.

Have a good weekend all!!:t:
 

Phil Andrews

It's only Rock and Roller but I like it
02-02-13
I'm still curious to get a list of historic records for the site. It was mentioned above by Phil that one could trawl through all annual reports of the WMBC but not sure how i would go about this. The website says they are available to view at Birmingham central library but that floor is closed in preparation for moving to the new building in September, am i going to have to wait till then to get my hands on them? I might also try dropping an e-mail to the visitor centre and seeing what records they may hold.

Any other ideas would be appreciated.

Have a good weekend all!!:t:

I suspect a wait until autumn will be the only realistic route. You could try dropping the WMBC a line to see if the club have them held anywhere. I was lucky enough to get a loan from a longstanding member who had collected every edition over the years. One problem you may encounter is knowing what these areas may have been known as in say the late 1930s.
 

baggie_dave

Something Witty
10-02-13

Managed 45 mins this afternoon but very boggy and wet with Bournebrook running particularly quickly. Didn't venture as far as Quinton Meadowes today as the weather was just too bad.

No new birds to add to the year list but there were 2 Mistle Thrush fighting each other near the visitor centre and the Green Woodpecker was in its usual haunt along with a Jay. Also noted a high count of 6 Mallard who were feeding in the small pools forming in the fields.

Zomerset - Had a look for a Kingfisher but no luck today, fingers crossed i might bump into you one day.

Also had a strange sighting of a man drinking a can of Fosters and taking shelter under the children's climbing frame talking to himself...what a patch I have!!

Cheers:t:
 

rollingthunder

Well-known member
Living the dream!;)

I have a sign near to me with regard to car parking and it clearly states 'for Tennants only'! - I blame the skools.....

Laurie:t:
 

zomerset

Well-known member
Hi Baggie Dave!! What a day I had - Saturday 16th Feb from 4.00 till 5.00 per unbridled kingfisher joy at Woodgate Valley CP. I could not believe it. Here's my blog. I am so sad keeping a kingfisher blog;
http://kingfisherspotter.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/woodgate-valley-country-park-kingfisher.html
Also how will I know it's you Baggie Dave if you should be down Woodgate Valley? The way to tell it's me - is I carry a grey camera case over my back!! And I stomp up and down after that kingfisher.http://kingfisherspotter.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/woodgate-valley-country-park-kingfisher.html
 

zomerset

Well-known member
Woodgate Valley Kingfisher

Woodgate Valley Kingfisher side
 

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baggie_dave

Something Witty
17-02-13

A productive morning spent at the country park. Started around 8:15 from the visitor centre. There was a lot of birdsong today and despite the frost and ever increasing fog, spring really feels like it is just around the corner.

My route today took me adjacent to the playing fields through one field north, along bournebrook up to the meadows and back to the visitor centre. All in all it took about 90 minutes. 6 (7?) New birds for the year list though (highlighted in bold)!! :t:

Birds sighted: Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Collared Dove, Song Thrush (of which i had at least 4-5 individual singing birds), Blackbird, Bullfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard (at the meadows), Mallard, Goldfinch, Stock Dove, Redpoll, possible Meadow Pipit but hard to tell, i will upload a picture i took (from distance, on an iphone through bins so not great!!) and get some feedback to check.

2013 Species Count: 34

I am still missing several more common species i might have expected to have seen by now including Coal Tit, House Sparrow, Goldcrest, Nuthatch and Treecreeper but still plenty of time for that.

No sign of the Fieldfares or Redwings today either.

Zomerset - Its good to know the Kingfisher is still around, i'm sure i'll catch up with it soon enough. If you want to say hi then i am usually the only person with bins around his neck but sometimes have a black camera bag with me too. I only really try and get there in the very early mornings on the weekend though during winter but hope to get there more often in the summer months.

Cheers :t:
 

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