This article first appeared in the Annual Report of
the Birmingham (latterly West Midland) Bird Club for 1947.
Bird and place names were spelt as shown.
Bartley Reservoir, 1947.
Shortly after the beginning of the year the reservoir was almost completely frozen over for the first time in its history. This had the effect of driving off all the duck, although two Slavonian Grebes were present for some time before they too were frozen out. The ice was used for a Gull roost for some time when the first Warwickshire Scandinavian Lesser Black-backed Gull was seen. A number of the ducks remained on Frankley Reservoir during this period.
Twice during April, the water-level was lowered exposing a stretch of level concrete.
The first time, a Sanderling appeared (the first for the reservoir and the second for the county) to be followed by a White Wagtail.
The second time brought a number of Wagtails (including White and Yellow), Wheatears, a large number of Common Sand-pipers, a flock of Dunlin with some Ringed Plover, two Sanderling, a Whimbrel, an Oyster-catcher, and several Curlews. The only Terns were a few Arctic and Common/Arctic. This was followed by two Common Scoters and, later, another Sanderling.
Little was seen throughout the summer and there were few waders of interest in autumn apart from an Oyster-catcher and several Golden Plover.
Normal numbers of duck were seen from September onwards, although there were four Sheld-Duck records during the year which is an unusually large number. Most of the duck were day visitors from Bittell, Rotton Park and Edgbaston, and the only permanent birds were the Goldeneye. There were two records of Water-Pipits, the first for the county and in October four immature Velvet Scoters, also the first for the county. Later a drake Common Scoter and a Sanderling appeared.
Towards the end of the year, Gulls began roosting and amongst other species seen passing through were a Scandinavian Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Greater Black-backed Gull. The year ended with two Bewick's Swans and a slightly oiled Red-throated Diver.
Some Shooting occurred at the Reservoir and the continual explosions in December to remove the roosting Gulls which foul the water, also lowered the number of duck considerably.
A. R. M-B
Ornithology in Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire & the West Midlands county, since 1929.
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