Friday 21st January 2012 - Upton Warren

Today was Bev's day off and she fancied popping to a garden centre.  I suggested Webbs of Wychbold as it is over the road from Upton Warren NR, and with that being the case it would be rude not to visit there.

We duly visited the Moors Pool where good numbers of Teal were present around Amy's Marsh.  Also of note on the Pool were 8 Shoveller.   As there wasn't much to see from the East hide we decided to pop over to the West side of the pool to view the feeding station.  On the walk along the West side we picked up 8 Curlew that were having a good fertile around in the field opposite.

In the hedge next to the feeding station were a stunning pair of Bullfinch.   At (and around) the feeding station good Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Reed Bunting, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tits, Great Tits and Long-Tailed Tits were observed.

We then decided to walk along the River Salwarpe and look for the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker that had been present the previous couple of days.  We had no joy on that front but we did get cracking views of a Kingfisher.  c.20 Siskin and 6 Goldfinch were also noted.
Our final stop was the concrete hide back at the moors pool.  This is one of the best hides for seeing Water Rail and it wasn't long before one was seen skulking about at the edge of the reeds.  Whilst we were sat in the hide we were joined by Upton Warren regular and work party leader John Belsey.  As we were having a natter John picked up on a 1st winter Little Gull that had just flew in.  The bird performed well for us for a few minutes and even rested for a short while on the water near the East side reeds before taking off and flying North.  What fortuitous timing and a welcome year tick.  

All in all it had been an enjoyable visit to Upton and it was good catching up with a few familiar faces (Andy P,  John B and Terry N), all that was left to do was the shopping...Webbs was calling...ah well!

Water Rail - Upton Warren
(photo from the archive)

Click on image to enlarge


  1. I've yet to see Water Rail this year, and Little Gull was a real 'Brucie bonus' ! Nice one.

  2. Cheers Mark. Little Gull was def a bonus bird. I'm more used to seeing them during the migration periods

  3. I reckon 90% of the time, birding is a fortuitous thing. Little Gull is one of my top want to see (on my patch) species.

  4. A choice variety of species there, Jason.
    My favourite area of a garden centre is the cafe.

  5. Hi Jason :-) it's nice to be back!

    How odd that you picked a garden centre close to a Nature Reserve, what a coincidence!! ;-) It sounds like you had a good time, a shame you didn't catch up with the Lesser Spot but there was obviously lots of other interest there. Lovely archive photo of the Water Rail!

  6. A Winter Little Gull is notable now what about one of the 300+ Icelands' that are present !

    Laurie -

    p.s. it is rumoured that John actually lives down there now........

  7. Dean - I think with birding its a case of if you put in the efort at the right place at the right time of year your are 50% there. The other 50% is def luck!

    Rob - Cheers, it wasnt a bad mix of birds. As for the cafe...funily enough that was the first port of call ;-)

    Shy - Welcome back!!! Yes, funny choice of garden centre to visit. Anyone would think that I had alterior motives

    Laurie - Who knows..Those Icelands are out there to be found. Haha, I think your probably right about john...I'm sure I saw a sleeping back on the back seat of his car