A va­ri­ety of wildlife with a river and canal to ex­plore

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - PETE HACK­ETT

This small re­serve ly­ing along­side the River Tame com­prises 18 hectares of former pas­ture­land, cre­ated in part from road work on the nearby A5. Sit­u­ated at the north­ern end of the Tame Val­ley wet­lands, the site is some­what over­shad­owed by the likes of Kings­bury Wa­ter Park and Mid­dle­ton Lakes, but, none­the­less, of­fers a good va­ri­ety of in­ter­est­ing wildlife. The lake is the main fea­ture, with small is­lands

in­ter­spersed with reedbed and wil­low carr. The re­serve, which is also bor­dered by the Birm­ing­ham and Faze­ley Canal, is well sup­ported by its vol­un­teers, who have done much to im­prove the habi­tat. Spring her­alds the ar­rival of Reed and Sedge War­blers, be­ing joined by a reel­ing Grasshop­per War­bler from time to time. King­fish­ers join Grey Herons on their feed­ing for­ays along the river and sur­round­ing pools. Gad­wall, Mal­lard and Tufted Duck breed, with Great Crested and Lit­tle Grebe some­times at­tempt­ing to. Au­tumn brings Meadow Pipit, Grey Wag­tails, and some­times a Stonechat. Thrushes such as Red­wing and Field­fare join the res­i­dent Song and Mis­tle Thrushes while, as au­tumn pro­gresses there will be the first ar­rivals of Snipe and over­win­ter­ing ducks. Win­ter brings small groups of Teal, Shov­eler, oc­ca­sional Goosander with Shel­duck also ap­pear­ing on oc­ca­sion. Re­cent no­table ad­di­tions to the re­serve list of Cetti’s War­bler and Great White Egret show the po­ten­tial of the area.


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