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 is 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 5th January 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 two people, per hide at any one time, subject to (1) above.
  3. Whilst in Lockdown, 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. 
  6. Only visitors accompanied by a Member are permitted in the Reserve and the fee for Visitors should be left in the record box (in a sealed envelope noting the members name and visitor numbers).

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

Subject to the Government lifting the lock-down restrictions, the proposed Work Party dates are:

6th February 2021                2 p.m.

6th March 2021                     2 p.m.

10th April 2021                      2 p.m.

Link to bird ringing group –


14th January 2021 – New final paragraph added and minor correction made.

13th to 14th January 2021 – Records added

12th January 2021 – Records updated

6th January 2021 – Photograph added

15th January 2021

Overcast, misty, cold but relatively still.

Yesterday’s pair of Pintail remained on Car Park Pool today, spending much of the time asleep. The crop field held 50-60 Chaffinches, ten Reed Buntings and a Lesser Redpoll and along the concrete road, after HS2 contractors had departed, there was a male Stonechat and a flock of 25 Siskins. Further, on the tip field, there were 30 Redwings and up to ten Fieldfares.

14th January 2021

Wet overnight and continuing into today.

There were 12 Goosanders at dawn, four males and eight females but they had all left by 08:00.  In the meantime, a small Starling roost of about 300 birds left the Reedbed at 08:20.

At dawn there were few birds in the crop field but by 09:00 there were at least 50 Chaffinches, one Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting with a further five Reed Buntings alongside eight Green Finches at the car park feeder.

A Water Rail showed well swimming across the channels in the north causeway bay and 14 Snipe were visible to the right of Oak Hide in the marsh.

After little song from the Cetti’s Warblers during the cold snap there was one singing in the north causeway bay this morning and there was a male Linnet, part of a pair, singing briefly on the causeway.  Three Song Thrushes were in song at dawn, one at the cottages and two by the back gate.

Later in the day a pair of Pintail were new arrivals on Car Park Pool and a Peregrine was watched on a kill from the same hide. There were two Lesser Redpolls in the crop field and a male Kestrel hunting along the side of the A452.

13th January 2021

Mostly Drizzly and wet all day, no records.

12th January 2021

Sunny intervals, significantly milder than of late.

More Goosanders must have arrived at dusk or into the night as 35 were present this morning 25 females and ten males.  This is site record.

In the afternoon there were 21 Linnets in the crop field along with ten Chaffinches and a Yellowhammer.  A Water Rail called from the causeway bay and five Snipe were visible in the Reedbed.  Singing Greenfinch and Goldfinch were heard at the back gate and by 15:45 six Goosanders had come into roost.  Approximately 100 Starlings came in to roost.

11th January 2021

Occasional sunny intervals, westerly.

The milder conditions this morning together with a brisk westerly wind began to clear some of the ice off the pools.  The quantity of wildfowl had kept two areas open, around the islands on both pools, and as birds have been flighting in and out their action together with the wind is driving back the ice.

Mowing of some of the banks was taking place this morning and the proximity of the mower to the marsh flushed about 15 Common Snipe and two Jacks from there.

Amongst the duck on Car Park Pool there were four Goosanders with birds coming and going during the morning.

The crop field held at least 25 Chaffinches, 12 Reed Buntings, a Yellowhammer and a Lesser Redpoll and there were four further Lesser Redpolls along the concrete road.

239 Canadas were counted on the flood plain and other bits and pieces included a Treecreeper along the Old Road, two Mistle Thrushes over the Old Road and in the milder weather some Great Tit song.

A noticeable decrease in ice levels by the end of the day had opened up the water and was significantly enticing to bring in more Goosanders with 26 arriving before dusk this evening.  A Peregrine was also active but there was no Starling roost.

10th January 2021

Cold, overcast and calm, still ice on the pools.

The pools remain partly iced up with the Reedbed completely so and just areas of open water around the islands on both Car Park and Railway Pool.

Highlights today included a female Merlin, seen briefly, hunting along the edge of the railway embankment and a female Peregrine which came over Railway Pool.  There was also a Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk seen.  Eight Goosanders were present on Car Park Pool in the morning and four in the afternoon.  Within the crop field there were again at least 30 Chaffinches, six Reed Buntings, two Yellowhammers and three Lesser Redpolls.

Around Railway Hide, principally feeding on the Guelder Rose berries, were 15 Redwings, ten Fieldfares and a Song Thrush.  A pair of Green Woodpeckers showed well on the disturbed ground below Railway Hide and a Chiffchaff was heard calling this afternoon, though not seen.  There were also a pair of Bullfinches present.

Other bits and pieces included two Snipe, four Common Gulls, five Herons, one Little Egret, a Water Rail and a Cetti’s Warbler.

9th January 2021

Cold, misty and still, lockdown is reducing coverage and there were few sightings today within the log.

Nevertheless, a Chiffchaff was a surprise on the railway embankment (although birds have been seen in this area before in previous winters), together with a pair of Bullfinches (picture that Mike Johnson sent) and Green Woodpecker.

The supplementary feeding in the crop field had increased the number of Chaffinches to between 50 and 60 this afternoon as well as 40 Jackdaws.

Bullfinch outside Railway Hide – 9th January 2021 – Photograph by Mike Johnson

8th January 2021

Grey, misty, cold, light snow covering.

The main action was again centred around the crop field Oaks with birds commuting between there and the Old Road hedge. Approximate totals included 30 Chaffinches, three Yellowhammers, two Reed Buntings, 20 Jack Daws, 15 Pheasants and four Stock Doves.

7th January 2021

Cold, foggy and frosty. – 2 degrees.

There were definitely more Finches and Buntings in the crop field this morning with at least 40 Chaffinches, two Reed Buntings, Greenfinch and Yellowhammer along with 20 Pheasants, 13 Stock Doves and 20 Jackdaws. One male and four female Goosanders were present on Car Park Pool.

6th January 2021

Overcast start with snow showers, cold north-easterly wind, sunny but remaining cold in the afternoon.

Following the breaking up of some of the ice in the strong north-easterly wind on the 4th, the pools have largely re-frozen with relatively small open areas lingering around the islands on both pools.

The adult Greater Blackbacked Gull was back on Car Park Pool with two Lesser Blackbacks and four Common Gulls. There was also a female Goosander briefly.

The crop field held at least 20 Chaffinches and Buzzard, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk were all seen there.

In the back gate copse there was Nuthatch, Treecreeper and a singing Bullfinch.

With much of the Marsh now frozen, there were only seven Snipe visible today.

Other bits and pieces included Fieldfare, two Redwings and a Song Thrush on the railway embankment with a further two Redwings and a Song Thrush along the causeway, with the Song Thrushes favouring the unfrozen areas under the gorse bushes. A single Meadow Pipit, two Collared Doves and a Green Woodpecker were all noted in the log.

Meadow Pipit – 6th January 2021 – Photograph by Paul Casey

5th January 2021

Mostly sunny and frosty, with a cold but less severe north-easterly wind.

A drake Pintail was a new arrival today sharing Car Park Pool with a reasonable number of other duck including a female Goosander. 15 Snipe were visible in the Marsh (which later increased to 23) and a Cetti’s Warbler showed well in the north causeway bay where Water Rails were again vocal.

The supplementary feeding in the crop field seems to be slowly pulling in more Chaffinches with over 30 today. A Lesser Redpoll was feeding on the Willowherb seeds by the crop field willows and there was a Bullfinch calling nearby.

There were only single figure counts of winter Thrushes today with most berries having been consumed.

Around the back gate area there were six Siskins, two Greenfinch, a pair of Bullfinch and three Nuthatches.

4th January 2021

Grey, overcast with a brisk north-easterly wind.

No records.

3rd January 2021

Cold and grey.

Seven Goosanders were present in the patch of open water on Car Park Pool for some of this morning and the crop field was quite lively with at least 20 Chaffinches, ten Reed Buntings, a Greenfinch and a pair of Bullfinches, most frequenting the hedge on the east side of the field. Some seed has been spread on this side and around the crop field Oaks to try and attract in finches and the buntings.

There were three more Bullfinches in the back gate and at least two Fieldfares there were feeding on the Guelder Rose berries both in the compounds and behind Railway Hide.

A Cetti’s Warbler showed well below River Hide on the Railway Pool side and another was heard in the vegetation around the south-west pond. At least 30 Redwings and two Fieldfares were feeding in the tip field, there were 18 Snipe visible in the Marsh and at least two Buzzards were seen.

Both Grey and Pied Wagtail were present around the old dung heap on the Old Road.

2nd January 2021

Sunny intervals with snow showers.

Today’s undoubted highlight was a male Merlin which came in over the crop field and disappeared to the north west over Car Park Pool at 11.25.

Other counts comprised three Mute Swans, 275 Greylags, 120 Canadas, 27 Mallard, 215 Teal, 340 Wigeon, 15 Shoveler, 25 Gadwall, a single drake Pochard, nine Tufted Ducks, four Goosanders, 16 Cormorants, two Herons, five Moorhens, 25 Coot, 50 Lapwing including the colour-ringed individual, 21 Snipe in the Marsh, 55 Black-headed Gulls, two Common Gulls, 45 Lesser Blackbacks and ten Herring Gulls most of which were flying over; whilst in the back gate copse there were 30 Siskins and five Bullfinches. A Grey Wagtail was again present on the muck heap, nine Linnets were feeding in the crop field and on the flash north of Patrick Farm, there was a Green Sandpiper and two Yellowhammers.

As usual, east of the A452, there was a male Stonechat, 25 Skylarks and 30 Linnets.

1st January 2021

Grey and damp start, icy, sunny intervals mid morning, before light rain from 2 pm.

A commendable 68 species were recorded today with principle counts comprising as follows. 260 Greylags, 180 Canadas, both male and female Goosander, five Little Grebes including four together on Car Park Pool and one on Railway Pool, 18 Snipe, both male and female Sparrowhawk opposite Car Park Hide with the male sitting out on top of one of the river side bushes for some minutes, a Grey Wagtail by the muck heap, ten Siskins along the concrete road and at least 13 in the back gate where there were also two Lesser Redpolls. A further two Lesser Redpolls were at the south end of Side Hill Wood.

Many Redwings included 100 on the tip field, at least ten around Oak Hide, 20 to 30 on the flood plain, but far fewer Fieldfares with probably no more than 15 across the Reserve.

It was pleasing to still find House Sparrows at Patrick Farm despite the vegetation removal with at least four there.

Two male and a female Stonechat were east of the A452 along with 21 Skylarks.

In Siden Hill Wood, there were the usual birds with Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Goldcrest and Jay, whilst Mistle Thrushes which can be difficult to see at any time of year included one in the fields near Packhorse Bridge and the other east of the A452.

Lastly, there were three Bullfinches on the railway embankment at the south end of Siden Hill Wood, a further pair by the mobile phone mast and another pair at the back gate copse. At least 20 Linnets were present in the crop field Oaks and there was a Yellowhammer briefly there.