No dabchicks this winter

No dabchicks this winter

No sign of dabchicks (little grebes) on their usual winter territories on the urban stretch of the canal from Wightwick northwards this year. These pictures are from six years ago, when one hung around long enough to develop its breeding plumage before moving off to its summer residence.

Time to look out for this

Time to look out for this

Well into February, so its time to be on the look out for frog spawn like this. It’s probably not worth making a special excursion to where these pictures were taken a few years ago. The pond in Turner’s Field has recently been very disturbed, and may well have lost its attractions as a breeding spot for amphibians.

Time to look out for this

Turner’s Field pond, then and now

Turner's Field pond, February 2019

The pond at the top end of Turner’s Field in the Smestow Valley Nature Reserve recently. The water level lowered, and all the willows around and in the pond felled, reduced to logs or wood chips. For comparison, this is what the pond looked like from roughly the same spot back in February 2014.

Turner's Field pond

Presumably related to the work to develop housing on the nearby site, formerly the location of the local authority plant nursery. Apart from the destruction of a fine set of mature trees, the pond has been reported in the past, IIRC, as a location where newts spawn.