Latest News


Please note that with effect from 20th January 2021 Marsh Lane, Hampton in Arden will be gated just north of the railway bridge which accesses the Marsh Lane Nature Reserve car park, to the west of Siden Hill Wood.  The gate is going to be locked overnight.  Solihull Council have deemed this has become necessary due to frequent problems of anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and other forms of environmental crime at Bradnocks Marsh.

The closing/opening times will be as follows:

  • 1st April – 30th September 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.
  • 1st October – 31st March 6 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) – Updated 15th April 2021

The Reserve remains open.  Members have been helpful and responsible during the Covid-19 Pandemic.  Please continue to co-operate by:

  1. Remembering social distancing – 2m minimum between people.
  2. No more than three people, per hide at any one time, subject to (1) above.
  3. For the time being, please leave two hide flaps open permanently, one on each side, to allow for air flow.
  4. A spray and cloth has been put into the six main hides so that if people wish to, they can wipe down doors, flaps, shelves etc.
  5. A mask is preferred for people using hides. 

Can all visitors please ensure they follow HM Government guidance in respect of hand sanitisation and social distancing, and ensure they avoid the Reserve  if they or any family members (or anyone else you may be in contact with) are showing any symptoms associated with Covid-19.

Work Party Dates

October 9th – 2 pm

November 6th – 2 pm

December 4th – 2 pm

Link to West Midland Bird Ringing Group:


18th October – Record Updated

15th October – Record Updated

13th October – Record updated

5th October – Photograph added

8th October – Record updated

29th September – Photograph added

1st October – Record updated

30th September 2021 – Record added

29th September 2021 – Record updated

25th October 2021

Sunny intervals and a light SW breeze . 14 degrees.

An adult Whooper Swan was present on Car Park Pool this morning, between 9 and 10 am, probably the annual returning bird. Also there was the adult Greater Blackbacked Gull, 11 Common Gulls and eight Pochards .  A pair of Stonechats were feeding in the rough ground north of the farm and three Skylarks flew over .

24th October 2021

Partly cloudy with light rain showers , SW

The adult Greater Blackbacked Gull was back on Car Park Pool today , after an absence of 19 days (assuming that no-one has forgotten to put it in the logbook), along with 11 Herring and six Common Gulls. A Water Rail scurried across the cut channels in the North Causeway Bay and two Cetti’s Warblers were in song – causeway and behind Oak Hide.

A female Sparrowhawk was plucking a Pigeon behind Railway hide in the afternoon when a flock of 16 Linnets were feeding on the seeds on the railway  islands and two redhead Goosanders came into roost in the evening as did a few Redwings.

21st October 2021

Cold northerly but sunny all day.

Following the very heavy rain yesterday the Blythe had broken it’s banks and much of the floodplain was underwater. With the change in wind direction, the temperature had dropped but there was some movement throughout the Midlands and the Reserve benefitted with 18 Whooper Swans, eight on Car Park Pool and a further ten on the floods towards Patricks Bridge. All were adults bar four juveniles on Car Park Pool. A single Egyptian Goose flew through, there was a female Goosander at dawn and a total of 13 Pochard around the pools plus 30 Redwings by the mobile phone mast.

Whooper Swans – Photograph by Stef Fraczek

Whooper Swan – Photograph by John Coakley

20th October 2021

Bouts of very heavy overnight and early morning rain slowly clearing by 8:30am, sunny intervals light south-westerly remaining mild.

The causeway was busy with birds this morning. The Hawthorn bushes are still full with berries, despite the presence of a few Redwings and Blackbirds and a smart male Blackcap. There were also a number of Tits, Goldcrest and Linnets present.

On the margins of Railway pool both male Cetti’s Warblers were heard either side of Oak Hide. Two Grey Wagtails were feeding on the margins there and there was a flock of 12 Linnets on the islands.

With the heavy overnight rain, there was more water on the Marsh and the Teal and Mallard in particular had moved in in some numbers. The Mallard are now in full plumage and are looking particularly smart. The Teal and Wigeon are taking longer to come back into breeding plumage.

17 Mute Swans and nine Pochard were counted across the pools and other bits and pieces included a pair of Goldcrests by the Back Gate along with a Bullfinch. A Lesser Redpoll flew over the Car Park going west and a male Sparrowhawk over Siden Hill Wood was being harassed by Corvids.

Following one of the biblical downpours that caused all hide flaps to be shut, four Mandarin Ducks appeared on the far shore of Car Park Pool late morning, comprising three males and a female. Unsurprisingly this is the largest count for the Reserve and one pair was still present early afternoon.

Other bits and pieces comprised two Common Gulls, a single Little Egret, 28 Cormorants and a female Sparrowhawk.

19th October 2021

Overcast and drizzly all day but mild. Strong south-westerly wind.

Counts on Car Park Pool this afternoon included 11 Pochard, five Lesser Black Back Gulls, four Herring Gulls and three Common Gulls. A Raven and a Buzzard were over Siden Hill Wood and a Nuthatch and Coal Tit visited the old Oak Hide feeders.

Despite the weather, it was mild enough for a Common Darter to be on the wing.

18th October 2021


At least 40 Redwings were seen over the Back Gate Copse with another 10 feeding in the Hawthorns on the Causeway. One was ringed in the Back Gate area. Both Yellowhammer and Skylark went over, there were at least 120 Wigeon on Car Park Pool, 25 Linnets on the Railway Pool islands and other birds ringed in the Back Gate on a quiet morning; four Goldcrest, two Chiffchaffs, two Blackcaps and a Robin.

Wildfowl counts during the day yielded 463 Greylags, 415 Canadas, 120 Teal, 73 Wigeon, 45 Shoveler, 14 Pochard, 68 Lapwings., 33 Cormorants, 25 Lesser Black Back Gulls, eight Herring Gulls and 197 Black-headed Gulls.

17th October 2021

Wet AM, clearing late morning, dry afternoon.

150 Mallard flew into the pools from the floodplain mid-morning before eventually dispersing and Pochard numbers had increased to 13 today. There were also 40 Shoveler.

Six Common Gulls included four adults and two second-winters. There were a pair of Ravens over Siden Hill Wood again and Water Rails were seen or heard both from the Reedbed and in the Marsh.

Male Cetti’s Warblers were vocal along the Causeway and at the north end of Car Park Pool with a female type heard in the Marsh. 30 Skylark were present in the stubbles east of the A452 and a Coal Tit was a surprise visitor to the Oak Hide feeders. There was a regular Grey Wagtail present as well and a Sparrowhawk terrorised the Car Park feeders.

16th October 2021

Sunny and warm with a light Southerly.

Movement today comprised at least 320 Wood Pigeons south before 9:30am, along with ten Skylarks and six Meadow Pipts. A total of 110 Redwings consisted of 50 along the Old Road, 40 by the mobile phone mast, ten in or around Siden Hill Wood and a similar number on the Railway Embankment. A pair of Stonechats were on the fence posts by the mobile phone mast and there were two Grey Wagtails on the Railway Pool margins and a pair of Mistle Thrushes in the Hawthorns by Railway Hide.

21 Siskins comprised 14 over the Car Park, six along Central Streamline and one on the Railway Embankment and there were three Lesser Redpolls over Oak Hide. Nuthatch, Coal Tit and Treecreeper were seen or heard in Siden Hill Wood.

In the afternoon, three Grey Wagtails, a Common and a Jack Snipe and two Green Sandpipers were all seen from Oak Hide.

Wildfowl counts today were as follows; nine Mute Swans, 169 Canadas, two Canada / Greylags, 649 Greylags, three Farmyard Geese, 36 Shoveler, 83 Mallard, 21 Gadwall, 159 Teal, 122 Wigeon (including a bracket with a metal ring on the right leg), nine Pochard, 12 Tufted, six Little Grebes, 24 Cormorants, four Herons, one Little Egret, 16 Moorhens, 64 Coot, 90 Lapwing, 135 Blackheaded Gulls, six Common Gulls, two Lesser Black Back Gulls and two Ravens over the floodplain.

15th October 2021

Initially overcast with some bright spells before it became sunny and warm on a light north easterly.

The Avocet returned to Car Park Pool this afternoon and at least 80 Redwings had gone through by 9:00am (with a further 30 feeding on berries on the Causeway) with this total reaching 280 by 10am. Four Siskins also flew over the Causeway and the 13 Goldfinches dropped into the riverside willows.

Some Wood Pigeon movement was also underway with at least 180 through by 9:00am including one flock of 110. Other bits and pieces included a Bullfinch and five Reed Buntings, Skylark, two Meadow Pipits and three Pied Wagtails, all over in one direction or another.

Other records throughout the day comprised eight Pochard, three Common Gulls, three Ravens, an adult Peregrine, two different Cetti’s Warblers, a Green Sandpiper, three Grey Wagtails and at least 20 Linnets.

14th October 2021

Principally overcast.

Further Redwing movement yielded at least 800 through between 9:00 and 11:00 this morning. This included one flock of 120 and another of 80 with the rest comprising of 10-20 birds. They were all heading south-west. Three late Swallows also moved through and there were 15 Siskins around the back gate area. Other birds on the move included four Meadow Pipits and three Skylarks.

13th October 2021

Weather has been mostly overcast , light NW.

Twitter was busy with comments on audible overnight Redwing passage though only one flock of 17 was seen early on , by daylight.

Other passage included an  Avocet which was present on Car Park Pool at 8.20am, left and then returned for a fly around Railway Pool. Three Pintail soon rose to six , all on Car Park Pool (with a record 788 Greylag and eight Pochard) . They were all thought to be females or juveniles. Later in the day however, more Redwings were recorded with at least 300 in the period from 15:40 to 17:45. This included 60 in the Back Gate Copse and then flocks of 85, 15, three and 140 over Railway flying West between 16:30 and 17:00.

The Avocet returned to the pools in the late afternoon though it remained mobile. The six Pintail were also still present until 17:45 at least. Additional birds included two Redpoll over Railway, a Treecreeper in the Back Gate Copse, a Green Sandpiper from Oak Hide, where there was also at least one Snipe, 20 Linnets on the Railway Pool Islands and two Common Gulls.

12th October 2021

Occasional sunny intervals, mostly overcast , light NW.

No records

11th October 2021

Overcast start, warm and sunny later, westerly.

A male Stonechat was present around the Dragonfly pond for the day and a Peregrine put in a number of appearances during the day. Pochard numbers increased to six. A Nuthatch visited the Oak hide feeders , a Water Rail called from the north causeway bay and two Great Crested Grebes were present on Car Park Pool.

The warm weather suited some late insects and included a Comma, a Red Admiral , at least 25 Common Darters and 10 Migrant Hawkers.

10th October 2021

Light overnight rain, sunny intervals in the morning with a cool north westerly clearing to warm sunshine as the day progressed.

A productive ringing session centred on Oak Hide this morning led to 47 new birds and 3 re-traps being caught. The totals were as follows, 12 Reed Buntings, eight Chiffchaffs, seven Blackcaps, two Robins, a Dunnock, two Blue Tits, 5 Great Tits, three Song Thrushes, two Black Birds, 2 Wrens and singles of Goldcrest, Grey Wagtail, Kingfisher and Stonechat, the latter, a male, at Patrick bridge (which was colour – ringed).

The first visible Redwings went over today with six south and seven south west prior to 10am followed by two more, late morning. John Hunt’s audio recording equipment picked up a Redwing going over on the night of the 8th October.

Other visible migration this morning included; a trickle of Wood Pigeons with at least over 100 going south-west, quite high, along with 6 Stock Dove. 35 Meadow Pipits, five Skylarks, three Pied Wagtails, one Grey Wagtail, one Jay and one adult Herring Gull were all on the move prior to 10am.

50 Linnets fed on Railway Pool islands and on Car Park Pool, there were two Pochard and an adult and first-winter Common Gull.

Later in the day, three female / juvenile type Stonechats were found on the HS2 fences, across the flood plain, west of Patrick Farm. A single Egyptian Goose was amongst the Geese along the riverside north of Car Park Pool.

Kingfisher – Photograph by Ben Dolan, West Midlands Ringing Group

Reed Bunting – Photograph by Ben Dolan, West Midlands Ringing Group

Grey Wagtail – Photograph by Ben Dolan, West Midlands Ringing Group


9th October 2021

Sunny still and warm.

Early passage this morning comprised of eight Skylarks, at least five Meadow Pipits and a Swallow. There were four Siskins in the Back Gate Copse and 30 Linnets feeding on the islands. Blackcap and Chiffchaff were seen along the Old Road. In the afternoon, two Jack Snipe were flushed by the work party; one from the Marsh and one from Tern island.

Wildfowl counts continued to improve and the Greylag count listed was new record. These were as follows; nine Mute Swan, 326 Canada, 707 Greylag, two Canada/ Greylag hybrids, 3 Farmyard Geese, 4 Egyptian Geese, 109 Wigeon, 28 Gadwall, 170 Teal, 57 Shoveler 75 Mallard, a female Pochard, four Tufted, four Little Grebes, 11 Cormorants, seven Herons, one Little Egret, 14 Moorhen, 54 Coot, 90 Lapwing, three Snipe, 210 Black-Headed Gulls, a Common Gull and nine Lesser Black-backs.

The warm weather was good enough to attract some late insects including a Comma along the Old Road and also a Red Admiral there, seven Common Blue Damselflies, eight Migrant Hawkers and 40 Common Darters.

Ten attended the afternoon work party in the warm sunshine. The Marsh was opened up and the islands on Railway Pool were strimmed and are now mostly clear. Thanks to all those who attended.

8th October 2021

Still and misty start.

Two Cetti’s Warblers were singing against each other this morning, one by the Oak Hide feeders and the other along the streamline. Ten Linnets were feeding on the islands and at least one Grey Wagtail was present around the Reserve.

In the murk, two Meadow Pipits, a Skylark and two Chaffinches were heard or seen flying over. There was a Common Gull on Car Park Pool and a Treecreeper by the top gate.

As the morning unfolded, a pair of Stonechats were found on the rough ground left by HS2, north of Patrick Farm. Wildfowl and other counts that were made between 1:30pm and 2:30 pm today yielded 12 Mute Swans, 320 Greylag, 108 Wigeon, 54 Shoveler, 79 Teal, 12 Gadwall, 18 Tufted, a pair of Pochard, 5 Little Grebes, 14 Cormorants and 20 Lapwings.

In the afternoon, a Green Sandpiper was feeding around the margins of Railway Pool along with four Snipe, a late Swallow went through along with 20 Meadow Pipits. An adult Water Rail showed well from the North Causeway Screen.

7th October 2021

Sunny and mild.

A Pintail was a new arrival on Car Park Pool this morning but was the only bird recorded in the log.

6th October 2021

Sunny and mild with a strong south-westerly wind.

A un-ringed male Stonechat was present around the Dragonfly Pond area which has become the favoured location for this species over the last few months. At least 35 Meadow Pipits were in the adjacent fields with a further 20 flying over.

The female Pochard had relocated to Railway Pool today and there were two Grey Wagtails feeding around the margins and ten Linnets on the seed heads of the Redshank and Persicaria, on the islands.

22 Swallows flew through, south, and two Water Rails were recorded in the pond by the Car Park. A Comma butterfly was seen along the Concrete Road and other birds making the log included a Common Gull, Sparrowhawk, Blackcap, two Chiffchaffs and at least one Cetti’s Warbler.

5th October 2021

Heavy overnight rain, sunny start with periods of further rain later. Increasing south-westerly wind.

In the brighter weather in the early morning period, at least 15 Meadow Pipits went over with five further birds at least on the Tip Field. Three Jays included one that came over the flood plain from the north-east at some height and was then mobbed and appeared to drop into Siden Hill Wood. The other two flew over from the Reedbed towards the Back Gate area. There has been a noticeable influx of this species into Britain in the last few days.

13 Swallows and 15 House Martins also went through along with two Pied Wagtails. 50 Starlings emerged from a nearby roost (not on the Reserve) and flew over, low, towards the railway line just after dawn.

Other bits and pieces included a Grey Wagtail in the Marsh and a Chiffchaff which was working its way from the Causeway towards Oak Hide and the South-west Pond. The female Pochard was still present.

Rainbow from Oak Hide – Photograph by Nick Barlow

4th October 2021

Sun and showers on a south-westerly wind.

The Hobby was again present today, hawking Dragonflies over the Reedbed (the age of the individual was not actually recorded in the log but was presumably the juvenile from the last few days).

The adult Greater Black-backed Gull roosted on the Car Park Pool islands along with at least three Lesser Black-backs and there was a female Pochard in the deeper water of the same pool.

3rd October 2021

Blustery south-westerly wind, sunny intervals.

The bird of the day was undoubtedly a Golden Plover found amongst the wildfowl and other waders on Railway Pool by Martin Durkin at 10 am, but it did not linger.
When the Reserve opened, Golden Plover were a regular wintering bird, in their hundreds, but to get a single record now is unusual.

Morning migration included two House Martins, one Swallow, at least 15 Skylarks, 25 Meadow Pipits and the first Siskins of the year (the latter over the Back Gate Copse). There were a further 13 Meadow Pipits on the Tip Field and at 1 pm a first-winter Common Gull dropped into Car Park Pool for a bathe.

The juvenile Hobby was seen again and other birds making the log were a female Pochard, a Kestrel, the adult Greater Black-backed Gull and two Buzzards.

2nd October 2021

Overcast with drizzly rain on and off from first thing, merging into a pretty steady downpour from 11.30, all day. South-westerly wind.

Early passage before the rain set in comprised 30 Meadow Pipits, five Swallows and five Pied Wagtails. Two Grey Wagtails were again present on the margins of Railway Pool, often frequenting the Marsh, where there were also ten Snipe. A Chiffchaff was singing by Oak Hide and the adult Greater Black-backed Gull put in an appearance on the Car Park Pool islands.

In the afternoon, a Redshank was a brief visitor to the same pool, both mobile and vocal but could not be found after 3 pm. The single House Martin also went south in the rain.

Morning wildfowl counts were as follows: 21 Mute Swans, 22 Canadas, 352 Greylags, the Greylag / Canada Hybrid, two Farmyard Geese, 41 Wigeon, 30 Gadwall, 53 Shoveler, 65 Mallard, 122 Teal, 17 Tufted, six Little Grebes, one Little Egret, four Herons, 20 Cormorants, 17 Moorhen, 43 Coot, 111 Lapwing, 51 Black-headed Gulls, nine Lesser Black-backed Gulls and, last but not least, a Sparrowhawk.

1st October 2021

Heavy overnight rain, clearing at dawn. Sunny, bright and still; south-westerly wind increasing quickly and bringing in rain by 11.15 am.

Yesterday’s female Garganey showed well, but briefly, in the channel between the island just in front of Oak Hide and the large island behind; it proved equally illusive last night.

Three Grey Wagtails were present, one flying over and two in the Marsh and three Skylarks also went over. Chiffchaffs were either calling or in song in the Back Gate Copse and along the Central Stream and there was a male Blackcap on the Railway Embankment. Bullfinches were heard in the compounds by the Back Gate and a House Martin went over at 8 am.

Three Ravens showed well over Siden Hill Wood with two subsequently flying towards Berkswell. Around 10.30, an immature Hobby appeared over the pools.  This is confirmation that there have been at least two different birds over the last few days with the other bird being an adult.   A Cetti’s Warbler was in song along the streamline in the North Causeway Bay area.

Afternoon counts care of John Belsey were as follows: 17 Mute Swans, 43 Shoveler, 108 Teal, 38 Gadwall, 59 Wigeon, 19 Tufted, a female Pochard, four Little Grebes, ten Cormorants, 158 Lapwing, an adult Greater Black-backed Gull, five Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 130 Black-headed Gulls.

Some work is being undertaken around the stream crossing to stabilise the bank over the next couple of days.