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

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

10th April 2021                      2 p.m.

22nd April 2021 – Please note there will be a work party on site and thus some disturbance in the morning on both pools.

Link to bird ringing group –

Lost and Found

A pair of glasses have been found on the footpath – which have been left in the record box.



15th April 2021 – final paragraph added

Work Party Dates – addition added being 22nd April 2021.

12th April – Final paragraph added.

11th April – Final paragraph added.

10th April – Third paragraph, seven Sand Martins changed to Seven House Martins.


16th April 2021

Frosty, cool northern wind, mostly sunny.

There was a Green Sandpiper on Car Park Pool at 8.30 am this morning along with two Redshanks, three Common Terns and three Little Grebes.

The Great Crested Grebes were mating today. The female Wigeon was still with the male and the Reed Warbler was again singing in the Reedbed. Common Terns were up to five and there were a pair of Grey Wagtails on the flood plain.

The pair of Redshanks included the bird with the colour-rings.

15th April 2021

Frosty start, mostly sunny, cool light north easterly

An early morning ringing session was concentrated around the reed bed, causeway and central stream. A pair of Cetti’s Warblers were ringed around the Reedbed area with the ringed male from the north causeway bay being re-caught. A third bird was in song opposite Oak Hide.

Other birds ringed today were seven Blackcaps, one Sedge Warbler, two Chiffchaffs, three Reed Buntings, three Dunnocks, a Blackbird; and there were re-traps as follows; one Reed Bunting, one Chiffchaff and one Long-tailed Tit. All of the re-traps were ringed in 2020.

Other birds today included the first Reed Warbler of the year to the right of Reedbed Hide. Common Tern numbers were up to four, there was a Peregrine, five Little Egrets, three Shelduck, two Ravens and a Common Sandpiper.

The male Wigeon remains but there was no sign of the female and a pair of Great Crested Grebes were together and were occasionally seen displaying.

14th April 2021

Frosty start, light cool northerly wind, mostly sunny.

There were three Common Terns present this morning.

At mid-day there were four Yellow Wagtails and a White Wagtail in the field just north of Car Park Pool as viewed from the Old Road and a Red Kite was again over Car Park Pool at a similar time.

Both the Yellow Wagtails and the Red Kite came and went during the afternoon but the White Wagtail disappeared quickly to be replaced by five Pieds.

Other counts today were as follows: one Great Crested Grebe, six Little Grebes, two Little Egrets, seven Shoveler, nine Teal, two Wigeon, two Shelduck, one Pochard, 19 Lapwing, eight Oystercatchers, six Little Ringed Plovers, six Snipe, two Common Sandpipers, three Common Terns, a Peregrine and a Kingfisher.

13th April 2021

Frosty start, light cool northerly wind, mostly sunny.

Red Kite flew over the Reserve to the north at 11.55.  Additional birds included at least three Common Sandpipers, two Redshank, two Common Terns, three singing Willow Warblers (back gate copse, causeway and the Old Road), five Little Ringed Plovers and a Coal Tit in the back gate copse.  A single Snipe was seen on Railway Pool and presumably the same Red Kite was over Hampton in Arden in the early afternoon.

12th April 2021

Frosty start, light cool northerly wind, mostly sunny.

A Yellow Wagtail was a brief visitor to Railway Pool this morning, prior to 8 am, but did not linger. A male Redstart was again seen from the metal gate looking west across the flood plain to the Hawthorn bushes just north of Car Park Pool. This is at exactly the same location as the one in early April but that has not been recorded for a week.

The first Sedge Warbler of the year was singing on the crop field side of the Reedbed at 1.30 pm and there were two Common Terns on Car Park Pool in the afternoon. The lingering pair of Wigeon were back on the grass on the river side of Car Park Pool and there were still five to six Shoveler on Railway Pool. A Mistle Thrush was in song at the back gate, along with a Greenfinch.

Three Common Sandpipers were seen today, two on Car Park Pool and one on Railway Pool with one earlier on the river, but it may have been one of the three subsequently seen.  A Kingfisher was also recorded.  Six Little Ringed Plovers included five on Car Park Pool and one on Railway Pool.  A Water Rail was seen from the causeway hide and two male Orange-tips were noted as the weather improved.

11th April 2021

Cold north-westerly wind, sunshine and wintery showers.

Despite the occasional showers it remains very dry. The morning started with two Water Rails in the north causeway bay with another one seen on the edge of the Reedbed in the afternoon.

There was a singing Goldcrest along the causeway all day and a Kestrel hunting over the Dragonfly Pool.

A Red Kite moved south at 11.45 with probably the same bird seen mid-afternoon over Balsall Common.

On the pools there were six Shelduck, a Common Sandpiper, a Common Tern, seven Teal and five Shoveler, but no sign of yesterday’s Wigeon. A male Peregrine flew through Railway Pool at 2.30 pm, dispersing the Gulls. There were three Little Egrets there. On the crop field there were at least 30 Linnets, 12 Chaffinches, two Reed Buntings and seven Stock Doves, with five further Stock Doves flying over and one singing by the south-west pond.

Two Sand Martins moved north at 2 pm and a pair of Kestrels could be seen distantly interacting at the north end of the flood plain. At least six Buzzards were in the air at any one time and, finally, 40 increasingly late Fieldfares flew over heading west at 3 pm.

In the afternoon, there were seven Little Ringed Plovers and six Little Egrets.

10th April 2021

Frosty and sunny start, then cloud, wintery showers and an increasing north-easterly wind.

A productive day started with two early Yellow Wagtails, progressed to a Marsh Harrier and a Curlew, followed later by an Osprey at 4 pm and a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at 6 pm.

In more detail, the two Yellow Wagtails were only briefly seen prior to 8.30 am. Birders standing on the car park picked up a female Marsh Harrier moving north over the wood which circled at the north end of the flood plain before moving purposefully off to the north again.

There was a Common Sandpiper on the Car Park Pool islands, 50 Linnets, a female Yellowhammer and ten Chaffinches in the crop field, a Peregrine south-east over the tip field at 11.30 am, two Grey Wagtails by the underpass and 15 Swallows, two House Martins and a Sand Martin at Patrick Bridge. There were a further seven House Martins over Railway Pool.

A Curlew visited Railway Pool briefly, mid-morning and there was a third Yellow Wagtail on the Car Park Pool islands in the late morning.

Eight attended the afternoon work party. Some spraying was undertaken to try and eradicate the islands of dock; the spray includes a blue dye. Most of the work was involved in translocating Yellow Flag from in front of Car Park Hide to populate the bays below Oak Hide and in front of Railway Hide. Some lucky members of the work party picked up an Osprey moving north-east at 4 pm, the second in a week. At the very end of the work party at 6.15 pm, a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker called from the oak tree just north of the car park and then flew over the car park landing further south in the top of the tree on the Old Road before continuing away to the south.

Other counts comprised five Mute Swans, 16 Greylags, four Canadas, two Shelduck, a lingering pair of Wigeon, 25 Gadwall, eight Shoveler, nine Mallard, four Teal, 64 Tufted Ducks, one Great Crested Grebe, four Little Grebes, four Little Egrets, four Herons, seven Cormorants, seven Moorhens, 34 Coot, 14 Lapwing, eight Oystercatcher, five Little Ringed Plover, 800 Blackheaded Gulls, three Herring Gulls, 12 Lesser Blackbacked Gulls and the singing Cetti’s in the Reedbed. There were also seven Snipe spread across the site with three dropping into the Marsh at 10 am, one similarly alighting on the shore line between Railway Hide and Oak Hide at 10.30 and a further four around the Dragonfly Pool.

9th April 2021

Showery, cool, south-westerly wind.

The showers probably contributed to a few more interesting birds today with three Yellow Wagtails, 41 Meadow Pipits, 16 Swallows, two Sand Martins and a House Martin present on or over the flood plain with a male Wheatear in the early afternoon. Another Yellow Wagtail went east over the car park mid-morning and the first Common Sandpiper was present on the pool margins. A Green Sandpiper was again seen along the cleared section of the concrete road.

A Redshank, two Willow Warblers (Causeway and along the Old Road), a male Goosander and 25 Linnets in the crop field made up the other records.

8th April 2021

Light overnight rain, mostly cloudy, slightly warmer with the wind swinging around to the south-west.

Today’s star bird was an Osprey which flew over east at 4 pm and was later seen at Packington. A pair of Wigeon continued to linger on site and there were at least six each of Teal and Shoveler. A pair of Mediterranean Gulls were present briefly and there was a singing Mistle Thrush by the back gate and a pair of Linnets around the causeway. A Sand Martin and two Lapwings seemed to head purposefully south and there were, later in the afternoon, 12 Swallows along the Old Road. At least six Little Ringed Plovers were present.

7th April 2021

Cold and frosty start, mostly sunny, cold northerly wind.

Three female Goosanders were present on Car Park Pool in the early morning but they soon departed and a male flew north over Car Park Pool at 11.45.

Eight Meadow Pipits were in the fields south of the phone mast, five Snipe were present around the Dragonfly Pond and there was still a lingering pair of Wigeon, principally on Car Park Pool.

Two Ravens were again present around Siden Hill Wood, there was a Willow Warbler singing on the causeway, a pair of Treecreepers in the back gate copse, 30 Linnets in the crop field, a Green Woodpecker around Railway Pool, a Cetti’s Warbler on the causeway in good song and 18 Stock Dove on the Aero field.

Counts around the pools comprised four Little Egrets, five Shelducks, six Little Ringed Plovers, six Oystercatchers, two Shelduck and a Great Crested Grebe.

6th April 2021

Cold, northerly wind with snow showers.

There was not a great deal of change in the birds today in the inclement weather. There were six Little Ringed Plovers, nine Oystercatchers, two adult Mediterranean Gulls, a drake Pochard, four Little Egrets and four Shelduck on site, with a Treecreeper in the back gate copse and two Sand Martins north over Car Park Hide at 3.15 pm. A pair of Collared Doves were present at the entrance gate cottages.

5th April 2021

Blustery and cold northerly wind, sunny all day, but feeling cold.

The male Redstart was again in the river-side willows, seen briefly from Car Park Hide before relocating back to the north of the pool.

Six Little Ringed Plovers, two adult Mediterranean Gulls (including the white ringed bird), three Little Egrets, eight Oystercatchers, four Wigeon and nine Cormorants made up the other counts.

4th April 2021

A cool northerly wind, but wall to wall sunshine all day after a frosty start.

A male Redstart was found in the hawthorns on the flood plain, just north of Car Park Pool and opposite the first gate, on the left north of the Dragonfly Pond. This is a favoured haunt of the species in both the spring and autumn and occasional Chats can also be found here.

There were four Ravens on the flood plain, three Little Egrets, three Little Ringed Plovers, four Shelduck, two adult Mediterranean Gulls, a female Goosander and a Redshank all on the pools.

As the afternoon progressed, those watching the Redstart picked up two Red Kites, high over Hampton in Arden, after probably one of those had been seen east of the A452, perched in a tree on the Berkswell side. A Green Sandpiper was flushed, by accident, from the stream long the concrete road, where a Willow Warbler was singing in the Weeping Willow.

A total of five adult Mediterranean Gulls and the first-summer were counted in the evening when a Ringed Plover was a brief addition to the year list. Two Siskins were seen in the back gate copse and two Cetti’s Warblers were chasing each other along the causeway with another heard by the Packhorse Bridge.

3rd April 2021

Overcast start, bright, cool north-easterly wind, sunny intervals in the afternoon, remaining dry.

The Common Tern was back on site but is apt to go on fly-abouts and is yet unsettled on territory. Hirundines included two House Martins, ten Swallows and five Sand Martins.

Wildfowl and other counts comprised 55 Greylags, 13 Canadas, seven Wigeon, eight Teal, 46 Gadwall, 16 Shoveler, eight Mallard, five Shelduck, 35 Tufted, the male Tufted/Pochard hybrid, one Great Crested Grebe, seven Little Grebes, 12 Cormorants, one Little Egret, five Herons, ten Moorhen, 43 Coot, ten Lapwing, five Little Ringed Plovers, eight Oystercatchers, 875 Blackheaded Gulls, 14 Lesser Blackbacked Gulls, three Herring Gulls, a Water Rail in the Reedbed, eight Snipe, two Cetti’s Warblers (causeway and Packhorse Bridge), two Ravens and 50 Linnets in the crop field.

In the afternoon, a female Goosander was present on site, three Bullfinches were counted and a Muntjac showed well along the causeway.

2nd April 2021

Sunny all day, 10 to 12 degrees but cool north-easterly wind.

There was a beautiful male Yellow Wagtail on Car Park Pool briefly this morning and the first House Martin of the year and five Sand Martins over the pools.

A Willow Warbler sang in the back gate copse together with two Blackcaps.

Two adult Mediterranean Gulls were with the increasing Blackheaded Gull numbers on Railway Pool.

Other bits and pieces included four Little Egrets, the Tufted/Pochard hybrid and a Snipe on Railway Pool.

Later in the day the Common Tern reappeared on Car Park Pool, the Blackcap along the Old Road towards the Dragonfly Pond was in song and there were Treecreepers heard both there and in the back gate copse.

1st April 2021

Overcast, north, north-easterly wind, strength 3-4.

Today’s undoubted highlight was an Otter, photographed by Steve Pattison, in the north causeway bay in the early morning, probably feeding on amphibians there.
This is the second occasion Steve has photographed Otters in the early morning.

Fishing Otter north Causeway – Photograph by Steve Pattison

In the cool conditions there were 35 Sand Martins and six Swallows feeding over the water. A Willow Warbler sang by the car park and the Common Tern was present again. Six Little Ringed Plovers and six Oystercatchers were spread between the two pools and there was an adult Mediterranean Gull on the Railway Pool islands again.

Three Little Egrets were feeding on the Blythe by Patrick Bridge, there was a Water Rail in the north causeway bay, the Tufted/Pochard hybrid was on Railway Pool, along with three Shelducks and there was a flock of 50 Linnets in the crop field.