Trip reports

FIELD TRIP BELVIDE RESERVOIR SUNDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER

FIELD TRIP BELVIDE RESERVOIR SUNDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER

Sunday, 17 September 2017

There was a distinct autumnal feel when 11 members of the club visited Belvide reservoir near Weston Park on Sunday; there was some discussion that we would have to start bringing our gloves and hats on future trips! The reservoir feeds water into the Shropshire Union Canal. This reserve belongs to the West Midland Bird Club and can only be visited by members, or, as part of an organised birding group event. Since the club's last visit two years ago one hide has been enlarged and two eco-toilets have been installed on the site.
On the lake itself the most numerous birds were coot. Other sightings included mute swans, Canada geese, mallard, tufted, gadwall, teal, shoveler, pochard, pintail, moorhen, great-crested and little grebes. Cormorants and a variety of gulls were also to be seen and swallows were still feeding over the water. Probably due to a rather wet August and September not much mud was exposed at the water's edge so waders were less common heron, lapwing, two ruff, four ringed plover and three dunlin were spotted.
Strolling between hides many common woodland and hedgerow birds were seen. The most notable was a family of goldcrest and several sightings of chiff chaff which haven't flown south yet. The hedgerows were very colourful in the weak sunshine with viburnum leaves turning red and yellow, orange rosehips and red hawthorn berries. Four species of butterfly (red admiral, comma, spotted wood and peacock) were out and about with ivy flowers being favoured. Buzzards and a kestrel were the only raptors seen.
Next to one hide a pair of ringers were using a couple of mist nets so members were able to watch them at work, see some birds close up and listen to some ringing anecdotes. We heard that the tree sparrow population on site had bred well this year so the population size had increased significantly. It was the first time this year that some members had actually seen tree sparrows so the sighting was enjoyed by all.
A hornets' nest was discovered in a hole in the ground in the wood and one lucky driver followed a brown hare down the narrow lane to the car park. All in all a very varied and enjoyable outing even if some of us got soaked in a downpour on the way back to the car park!