Thursday 6th December 2012 - Upper Bittell

Today I decided to pop to Upper Bittell Reservoir which lies in Worcestershire near the county border with Birmingham (West Midlands).  The reason for this visit was to catch up with the 2 Long-tailed Ducks that have been present there for a number of weeks now.  With very little doing locally an away day seemed like a good idea.

Long-tailed duck is actually a species that I needed for my county life list.  That said I am not much of a list chaser these days hence the couple of  weeks delay before deciding to go and see the birds.

On arriving at the reservoir I headed to the dam first on the off chance that I could pick the birds up from there to save trekking over the fields to view the NE corner.  I was out of luck and there was no sign from here.  That said there were 49 Goosander (16 ♂) on the water not too far out from the dam.  My scanning also picked up an adult Yellow-legged Gull perched on buoy number 4.  Along the edge of the opposite shore 44 Shoveler and 2 Gadwall were also noted.

After giving it a while on the dam I decided to walk back and head up the lane to the stubble field to scan for the LT Ducks.  Stood at the edge of the field I set my scope up and scanned the north east bay.  It wasn't too long before I picked up the ♀ Long-tailed Duck and had distant views of it before it dived and disappeared out of sight.  I then walked down the stubble field path attempting at various points to view through the hedgerow branches and fencing...yes it can be that crap at times to see Upper Bittell birds.  Eventually I managed to pick up the 1st winter ♂ Long-tailed Duck, which was the nicer looking of the 2 birds.  Before it disappeared out of sight tucking in by the near shoreline and that was that.  I was cold and rather uninspired so I headed back home.

So there you have it, not the greatest views of Long-tailed Duck I have ever had.  I have had far more satisfying ones at coastal regions in the past.  They were also way too distant to even digiscope a record shot.  Bittell has its merits and does attract some good birds but I'm b**gered if I would pay £30+ a year for the privilege of viewing them from the sailing club...if I lived closer or membership was half the cost it may be appealing but as I only visit 3 or 4 times a year I cant justify it.

Goosanders - Upper Bittell


  1. Always nice to see Goosanders and even distant LT Ducks :-)

  2. Blimey - Goosander galore Jase. :-)

  3. Cheers both. Personally I found the Goosaanders more enjoyable