A record of wildlife in my garden and various trips to the Warwickshire countryside and occasionally further afield.
"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
Saturday, 5 March 2016
Another Bird "Lifer", Brief Church Visit and the Davis Cup
I managed to persuade B to go on a local "twitch" one afternoon last week. Sightings of a Great White Egret had been reported from Middleton Pool and if I managed to see this bird it would be a "lifer" for me.
Middleton Hall where the pool is located is an interesting place in its own right. There has been a residence on the site for almost 1000 years and it was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 although the oldest building that remains today is the Stone building constructed for Philip de Marmion of Tamworth Castle in 1285. Elizabeth I stayed at the Hall for a week in 1575 and knighted the Hall's owner a Sir Francis Willoughby. The Hall has also been home to 2 renowned naturalists - Francis Willughby FRS and John Ray who published the first book on ornithology.
The West Midland Bird Fair which was a great event was held here for several years although, sadly, the Fair hasn't taken place for some years.
Middleton Pool - please note how distant the far reedbed is - top right of photo (will be mentioning this again later!).
Typically, there was no sign whatsoever of the Great White Egret although we did see a Grey Heron,
Cormorant, Coot, Mallard, Tufted Duck and Great Crested Grebe.
Another view of the Hall on our way back to the car park - it seems to be open quite regularly in the Spring and Summer so I may return and have a look round when I
will also check out the Cheese and Ale Barn advertised on this sign!
The RSPB Middleton Lakes Reserve is very close to the Hall. We didn't go on the main wetland part of the reserve (its a long walk to get there through very muddy woodland and, although I had my wellies, B didn't :( ) but we did have a look at birds on the feeders and the heronry.
The feeders were full of birds - Blue, Great, and Long-tailed Tits, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Lesser Redpoll and a
Great Spotted Woodpecker (hidden behind branches!).
Coot sitting on a nest - the male was bringing pieces of reed to her to add to the nest.
As we drove past Middleton Pool on the way out the Great White Egret was visible just in front of the reedbed right at the back of the pool (see photo above!). Just a few record shots of the bird - have discovered its very difficult to keep the Canon bridge camera steady when the zoom lens is fully extended :( In fact, I've more or less given up trying to use the fold-out screen (I find it hard to locate birds with it and B was getting exceedingly impatient with my ineptitude!) and will try using the viewfinder in future.
Cropped version of the above photo.
I was hoping to visit a church in a nearby village but in the end B only agreed to go there for me to see if the church was open so I could revisit on another occasion on my own! As you may have gathered he is even less keen on church exploring than D!
Ooh look! A Green Man pub :)
The church (and yes it was open so I will return) although I did rush in and out to get a few photos
of the stained glass - the zoom on the Canon came in handy!
D and I had tickets today to watch Day 2 of the Davis Cup matches between Great Britain and Japan at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham. It was the doubles match today and we were really thrilled to discover that Andy Murray was playing with his brother Jamie.
Great Britain won 6-3, 6-2,6-4 and it was a great afternoon out with a superb atmosphere.
All the photos were taken by D with the Canon Bridge Camera.
Finally, some good news the National Wildlife Crime Unit I featured in a post recently has secured funding for another 4 years which is great for wildlife.
I think I have finally (thanks to D's help) discovered what I have been doing wrong when trying to insert a link so hopefully this link to an article in the Guardian will work! Please see here
Welcome to my blog. I have been interested in natural history from an early age and we have tried to create a garden attractive to wildlife. I also enjoy reading, photography, collecting fossils, visiting historic buildings and gardens and supporting Aston Villa. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like to email me, my email address is ciraggedrobinsATgmail.com - remember to replace AT with @. Thank you for visiting.