"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Visit to a Local Nature Reserve

As planned we visited Ladywalk Nature Reserve last Saturday afternoon. Ladywalk is a West Midland Bird Club Reserve, located on the edge of the Hams Hall Distribution Centre, consisting of woodland, wetlands, pools and reedbeds. We've been visiting intermittently for about 20 years.

We've seen Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (one of only three sightings I've ever had of this species) in the past along this public footpath which leads to the Reserve.

The River Tame runs alongside the Reserve.

Views of the Reserve from the Hide which overlooks the feeders.

Unfortunately, it was not (yet again) to be a good day for photos. We didn't arrive at the hide until 2.30 and 5 minutes later it began to rain. The light was really poor and its not easy taking photos of birds at one fiftieth of a second :( Most photos went straight into the recycle bin once I'd uploaded them later so I've included a few of the slightly better shots.

The first set are taken with my Olympus dslr and the 70-300mm lens.

Canada Geese

Mrs Pheasant

You might be able to make out River Walk Hide in the distance - we used to find this a good place to watch Bitterns and even spotted a Woodcock at dusk on one occasion.

Grey Squirrrel

The photos below were taken by D with the new Canon Bridge Camera

Canada Goose

Reed Bunting


Grey Squirrel

Birds seen at the feeders included Greenfinch, Blue Great and Coal Tits, Chaffinch, Jay, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Reed Bunting, Pheasant, Goldfinch and Blackbird. We will return - but next time will make it a morning trip when its bright and sunny and when we've studied the manual to the new camera more assiduously!

Here's an example of one of the shots that went straight into the recycle bin! Although I have to say there is something about this photo I quite like :)

To finish a photo of Great Spotted Woodpecker in our garden.


Deb said...

I like the photo of the pheasant too, it reminds me of the cartoon, Roadrunner. Lovely photos, especially the Squirrel and the Woodpecker. :-)

Toffeeapple said...

At least you managed to capture some images.

It looks like a lovely reserve, shame about the light.

I rather like the feeling of movement in your last pheasant picture.

Margaret Adamson said...

looks like a lovely place to visit and explore and you managed to see a lot.

Ragged Robin said...

Deb - Thanks so much. Yes, I thought the pheasant photo was a bit different :) Most of the shots had just the tail or head out of focus where the birds had moved but that one was totally out of focus!

Toffeeapple - Thanks so much :) Yes, the photo did contain a sense of movement :) Will hopefully return at some stage when conditions better - its not far from home.

Margaret Adamson - Thanks Margaret. Yes, its a good reserve although this time round we just stayed in the hide near the feeders.

Countryside Tales said...

Love the Reed Bunting- never seen one before. Greenfinches are about here but I can hear rather than see them :o)

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thanks :) It was good to see Greenfinches at Ladywalk - only get occasional visits here in the garden.

amanda peters said...

The light and the weather has not been the best this last month, but you still managed to get out..reading through the comments, I have to add we get quite a few Greenfinch round here and they will visit the garden during winter.
Well it looks a nice place to visit even if the weather was pants.
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thanks Amanda. Yes November was gloomy and when it was sunny I was otherwise committed and couldn't go out :( Good to hear about your Greenfinches - they always seem to go through phases here but I've never seen any diseased ones which is a relief :)

Lou Mary said...

What a lovely lot of birdies you saw :) all photos great! I haven't ever seen a lesser spotted woody so it's lovely that you can associate that nature reserve with a less common species!

The Wessex Reiver said...

Love that image of the running pheasant Caroline, got a great quality to it. I like these damp winter days as it's time to enjoy what's around but reflect underneath the soil, things are beginning to stir....not long to the shortest day :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Lou Mary - Thanks so much - every single LSW sighting etched in my memory. The first (35 years a go eek!) at a local wood we immediately christened Woodpecker Wood, one in Horsetail Glade at Brandon Marsh and the Ladywalk one :) There was an excellent article in Birdwatching magazine a few months ago about their decline and what needs to be done to assist recovery.

The Wessex Reiver - Thanks so much Andrew - glad you liked the pheasant image too :) We were talking of the shortest day last night - and I love your thoughts of things beginning to stir - that will be my image of the day :)

NatureStop said...

Greetings from Dubai! Really enjoyed going through your blog. Have a great week ahead! Will be back soon...


Ragged Robin said...

NatureStop - Welcome to my blog and thank you so very much for leaving a comment :) I am so glad you enjoyed looking at my blog and do hope you will return :) Have a great week too and I will check out your blog tomorrow :)