Wednesday, 22 July 2009

A Sneak Peek at RSPB Middleton

Little egret

And it was sneaky. They're nowhere near ready for visitors yet but we were at Broomey Croft and it was just a short stroll up the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal. So we went.

The water levels were high, not surprising after all this rain, and the wader habitat was swamped. A couple of little plovers, one green sandpiper, an oystercatcher and a few lapwings stuck it out regardless. Little egrets found the conditions more to their liking, as did a goodly selection of wildfowl. One hobby glided through low-level.

The boundary between Warwickshire and Staffordshire snakes through the reserve and it wasn't always clear where to assign sightings. The border zig-zags enough that I had previous visits to Middleton Hall and Dosthill incorrectly down for Warwickshire. So much for accurate county listing.

Consequently Broomey Croft today actually added ten species to my Warwickshire total, including eclipse-plumaged gadwall and shoveler and a juvenile whitethroat. None of these birds looked like their distinctive breeding pictures in the field guides. What with that and the waiting for autumn migration, it’s a hard time of year to bird.

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