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Monday, March 09, 2009

Ufton - 09/03/09

A quick tour this morning of the marina bird feeders before leaving to complete my weekly shop came up trumps with a pair of Tree Sparrows happily feeding away. I was amazed and delighted when on close inspection the 2 visitors were revealed! The feeders also produced the usual Tits and Finches plus a Reed Bunting feeding off the overspill. The constant call of our resident Great Spotted Woodpecker left me in no doubt that he was around somewhere too.
On route to do my weekly shop at Asda I have, for the first time, paid a visit to Ufton Fields Nature Reserve, which in fact is only around 6 miles from the marina. The 31.8 hectare reserve is owned by Warwickshire County Council whose Countryside Ranger Service ensures that it can be enjoyed by anyone. The land is leased to Warwickshire Wildlife Trust who manage the reserve for wildlife and public access.
Having completed the 2.1 km trail I found the reserve reasonably quiet, mind you early afternoon isn't the best time for birding and it was quite windy too. I found the reserve well maintained however, the disappointing thing for me was that the local dog walking population appear to have complete disregard for the rules and regulations, which clearly state that dogs must be kept on a lead at all times. In fact at one stage of my walk I was accosted by a Boxer, dog that is, not a person.
I found the walk quite pleasant but revealed nothing out of the ordinary, with decent numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare still around. I also managed to pick up a couple of Buzzards, a small flock of Goldfinch and also noted Green and GS woodpeckers. The pools revealed nothing other than several Coots.
On my return to the marina, laden with the weeks shopping I got some good views of a large flock of around 50+ Redwing which had dropped in but by now my thoughts were only of Tree Sparrows!