"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, 13 May 2018

Ladywalk Nature Reserve

Last Thursday afternoon B and I spent a couple of hours walking around Ladywalk Reserve which is only about 20 minutes from home by car and our closest nature reserve.

Ladywalk NR is part of the the Tame Valley Wetlands and is a West Midlands Bird Club Reserve set in a loop formed by the River Tame. It has a variety of habitats - lagoons (the result of flooded gravel extraction workings), Reedbeds, Wetlands and Birch and Alder Woodlands.

It is a members only reserve so is usually very quiet. We only saw 2 people the whole time we were there.

Leaving the car park you walk along a public footpath alongside the

River Tame.

White Dead-nettle and

Hawthorn are starting to flower.

This is the path my son and I follow in late Summer when we go looking for blackberries.

If you continue along the footpath it does eventually arrive at Lea Marston church - a place I have written several posts about in the past.

These days there is a secure gate and a combination padlock you have to open to get onto the reserve.

Garlic Mustard along the bank of the stream.

Since we last visited a new hide has been erected overlooking the lagoons and feeding stations.

While we were in the hide a muntjac deer ran across the open area just behind the pool - no photo I am afraid I wasn't quick enough!


Cormorants on one of the islands

Canada Geese

We saw a variety of birds on and around the feeders - Pheasant, Blue and Great Tits, Greenfinch, Reed Bunting, Dunnock and Robins.

Saplings have been planted around the hide.

I was wearing my old and trusted green wellies which was just as well because

although it was nowhere near as wet and muddy as Ryton Woods, there was mud in places.

Lady's Smock/Cuckoo Flower

Beehives in a clearing

"B" Hide is also new

Sorry not the best of pictures - they were too far away but on the right is a Great Crested Grebe on the nest and on the left a coot.

Distant view of an Orange Tip (female)

Ground Ivy and

Red Campion flowering.

Butterflies seen

Orange Tip
Speckled Wood
Holly Blue
Green-veined White (my first this year)
Large and Small Whites

Two unidentified damselflies were seen by the stream


Canada Goose
Reed Bunting
Mute Swan
Tufted Duck
Great Tit
Blue Tit
Black-headed Gull
Wood Pigeon
Great Crested Grebe
Stock Dove
Grey Heron
Little Grebe
Green Woodpecker


Deborah O'Brien said...

How wonderful to have a members only reserve like this so near to you! That's a good list of sightings, but my, isn't that female orange tip incredibly well camouflaged? Sorry you weren't quick enough to snap the Muntjacs; it's annoying when we are caught out like that. Maybe next time?

David Gascoigne said...

Looks like a wonderful, tranquil area. This is the kind of place that should be visited over and over again, in all the seasons,
to really get a handle on all the wildlife it contains.

Ragged Robin said...

Deborah O'Brien - Thank you. Yes it is a good reserve and I love the underside of Orange Tips wings! To be honest I was that busy trying to work out what was running through the grass that I completely forgot the camera!

David Gascoigne - Thank you. It is very peaceful there and you are right it would benefit from more frequent visits :)

Rosie said...

What a wonderful reserve to visit and have a membership for. It must always be quiet and peaceful and the number and variety of your sightings shows how beneficial that is for the wildlife there. Lovely photos of the wildflowers and now I think I could recognise ground ivy and garlic mustard, I must look out for them on our next walk:)

Ragged Robin said...

Rosie - Thank you. We are fortunate to live so close to it. I've only ever seen it busy there with a full hide when there have been reports of Bittern sightings. Ground Ivy and Garlic Mustard if flower everywhere at the moment! :)

Caroline Gill said...

A very impressive bird list, RR, and a good butterfly one, too. Sadly I have hardly seen any butterflies over the weekend (though/so we planted a new buddleia). There were a few distant white ones over the reed beds at Snape, but too far away to see properly. And I'm still waiting for my first 2018 dragonfly. What lovely new hides you were able to visit in what is evidently a wonderful reserve. Everywhere is at last beginning to look more springlike ... and strands of goosegrass are running amok in our garden!

Ragged Robin said...

Caroline Gill - Thanks so much. It is warmer here today than it has been for a while so hopefully you will see more butterflies here. I find white butterflies at a distance hard to id unless they come closer! Couch grass and cleavers are what cause problems in our garden!

Dean Stables said...

Looks like you had a good day Caroline. No Damselflies up here yet but i suspect they'll not be long before they emerge.

Pam said...

It's a lovely place to have so nearby and nice to be able to see how it changes with the seasons!

Ragged Robin said...

Dean Stables - Thanks Dean. The two at Ladywalk were the first I had seen this year - hope yours emerge soon :)

Pam - Thanks Pam. I really should make the effort and visit the reserve more often.

amanda peters said...

Another lovely place , would like it here too. There is some comfort revisiting the same place, I like order. Once you have been a few times you soon notice if something is new.

Lovely post and great photos.
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thank you. Yes, you would enjoy it there. I also like revisiting places as you say you get to notice where things are and what changes there have been. Must admit I do go through phases with places and visit a lot and then move on somewhere new - Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens, Winterbourne Gardens and Marsh Lane spring to mind. Although main reason for not going to latter is because B not so keen on it - he prefers Brandon Marsh.