"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

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Whitacre Heath NR

D and I paid a visit yesterday afternoon to Whitacre Heath NR - a Warwickshire Wildlife Trust Reserve which we used to visit regularly but haven't been for a number of years. The reserve is one of several wetland sites along the River Tame forming part of the Tame Valley Wetlands. The site was used for gravel extraction during the 1960's and the site was later restored. It consists of a mix of habitats -pools, grazed and ungrazed grasslands and the woodland is dominated by willow and alder. An invertebrate survey in 2000 discovered 1,145 species many of which are nationally scarce. Twenty five species of butterfly have been recorded here including White-letter Hairstreak.

Lots of Himalayan Balsam around the site - I know its an unwanted, invasive species but it was providing nectar for insects.

Bird-wise the reserve was fairly quiet - highlight was a Green Sandpiper sighting (record shot below) (it was on the far pool as seen in photo above) so even with the Canon super zoom the photo below is cropped.

We came across 4 Red Admirals in another area - record shot again.

Interesting to see the new shoots sprouting on this split tree.

Ulia came along and was quite happy in this oak tree :)

Highlight of the visit was a pair of muntjac which crossed the path in front of me - sadly no photo as D with the the Canon was already making his way back to the car!

We stopped off at "Books Revisited" in Coleshill on the way home and I bought a book on "Historic Pubs and Inns in Warwickshire" which is very interesting as is the fact that I seem to have already visited most of the pubs in the book! :)

I'll return to the Yorkshire Posts next week.

(For more information on Ulia and the majickal world of Matlock Hare - please see www.matlockthehare.com.)


Pam said...

Interesting to see the shoots on the tree, I don't recall seeing anything like that before?

Margaret Adamson said...

Lovely to seea Green Sandpiper and a great area to explore

Ragged Robin said...

Pam - Thanks Pam - it did strike me as unusual. I assume parts of the tree were still alive - wish I had looked more closely now!.

Margaret Adamson - Thanks Margaret. Its an interesting little reserve :)

Rosie said...

Lovely photo of the green sandpiper reflected in the water. I bet it was great to see the red admirals and the muntjac deer too. The reserve looks a good place to visit and followed by a book shop visit it sounds like a perfect day out:)

Ragged Robin said...

Rosie - Thanks Rosie - it was good to see the Red Admirals - I spotted one and as we approached the other 3 flew up :) I know muntjac can be a pest but its always good to have a close wildlife encounter :)

Wendy said...

It sounds a great place to visit. Lovely photo of the green sandpiper. I wanted to see and photograph a White Letter Hairstreak this summer, but didn't have any luck. It's good to see they're here. Himalayan Balsam is very unwanted but my bees love it!

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy - Thanks Wendy - it is a good little reserve and, as it is members only, nice and quiet :) I've missed out on a lot of butterfly species this year too :( Someone saw a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at the reserve on Sunday so I shall be keeping my eyes open if/when we go again! I've noticed HB flowers are very attractive to bees! It is a shame it is so invasive :(