We decided to take advantage of the seasonably normal weather and our recently purchased membership to the West Midlands Bird Club and took a drive over to Ladywalk Nature Reserve in the heart of the Hams Hall distribution centre in the outskirts of Birmingham.
Now a bigger than huge industrial area in close proximity to the urban sprawl seems an unlikely location for much in the way of wildlife but it turned out to be a real gem with a number of well situated hides, pleasant paths and varied environment. The car park leads you along the river, through woodland, and into wetland and lakes. The margins were a flurry of activity and the sight of Cormorants nesting in the trees was more akin to a Attenborough documentary for far flung shores than the West Midlands.
In all we saw 37 species of birds, 3 Muntjac deer and a number of bees and butterflies. Of highlight for me was a first ever sighting of Little Grebe, Redshank, Redpoll and Dunlin. The slightly unusual sighting of Little Egret, Common Sandpiper, Oystercatchers and Grey Wagtail were amongst those recorded and just this one trip was worth the joining fee alone.
Linda managed to get quite a few shots of the sightings as I elected to carry my spotting scope rather than the camera on this occasion which usually ensures we get a host of unusual sightings.
Without doubt, with the compact nature of the location and the short distance from our house Ladywalk has just topped my list of favourite birding spots.