2nd of March 2013.

Swift Valley Nature Reserve.

Species seen 30.

After a really busy week, I decided to stay local, so I visited Swift Valley Nature Reserve and took a leisurely walk around. Signs of spring are about with wild flowers such as Snowdrops covering the woodland floor. 

The copse area was busy with Blue, Great, Willow and Long Tailed Tits. Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers were heard drumming high in the trees and then found, both the male and female were later seen lower down checking out some of the shorter trees. Dunnock, Blackbird and Chaffinch were also seen foraging on the ground for food. The trees with Ivy had numerous Goldcrests showing well, albeit moving from branch to branch in a very rapid manner, which made it harder to follow them!

This Squirrel also joined in looking for food and was soon enjoying feeding on the feeders behind the screen hide.  

Also found were Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Buzzard, Blacked Headed Gull, Herring Gull, Feral Pigeon, Wood Pigeon, Jay, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Bullfinch and Goldfinch.

High feeding on the Catkins were a few Redpoll and Siskin.

Later in the afternoon I went in to Rugby town centre the watch the huge Starlings murmuration. This occurs every evening before dusk at this time of year and I normally watch it from the comfort of my home, albeit from two miles away. 

My observation point today was very high which gave me fantastic close views; this was thanks to the permission of the high storey building’s manager. As the clouds of Starlings flew overhead and past, I could hear the whooshing sound made by thousands upon thousands of birds. The Ariel display continued until it was almost dark and during the course of an hour there must have been over ten thousand Starlings if not more performing their spectacular murmuration?

Also seen from this advantage point were the hundreds of gulls heading in the direction of Draycote Water. Having recently read David Lindo's book "The Urban Birder" and his birding experiences from similair locations, I think this kind of birding should and will be done again.

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