Today we went to our local reserve at Belvide Reservoir in Staffordshire. As we set off we could see and hear a Buzzard being mobbed by some Crows over our caravan park. On entering Belvide the first bird we saw was a Chiffchaff singing from a nearby tree. We stopped at the Plantation hide where we saw Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Pheasant, Blackbird and a Jay. While we were there, the female Pheasant brought her chicks out of the grass to feed and within minutes a Sparrowhawk swooped down, took a chick and disappeared into the woods. The Pheasant chased after them but to no avail, the chick had gone. On the plus side she still had about 7 more chicks to look after. All the small birds scattered but a young Great Spotted Woodpecker which was also on the feeders didn’t fly away, it just sat still, afraid to move for quite a while giving us a chance to take a few photos.
A fellow birder came in the hide then and told us about a Black necked Grebe that was showing well in one of the bays further along the reservoir, so we set off to try to find it. After making a few stops on the way we spotted the grebe hanging around with a group of Tufted Ducks. It was great to see a Black necked Grebe in summer plumage as we normally only see them in Spain in the winter when they look a lot duller. We watched the bird for quite a while and took loads of photos, from which we later found about two or three reasonable ones! It was great to get out and see some birds again.
Species list – Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pheasant (and chicks), Great Crested Grebe, Black necked Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Coot, Oystercatcher, Common Tern, Woodpigeon, Swift, Great Spotted Woodpecker (two juveniles), Swallow, Wren, Dunnock, Blackbird, Reed Warbler (HO), Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jay, Magpie, Crow, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting.