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Birding Heritage

Bartley Reservoir's surrounding green spaces are designated Green Belt Land. Within this relatively small area there is a Local Nature Reserve (Bromwich Wood), three Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (Bromwich Wood, Cutlers Rough, and Bartley Reservoir), and three Sites of Local Importance for Nature Conservation (The perimeter of Bartley Reservoir inside the fencing, Hedgerows along Frankley Lane, and Kitwell Playing Field and surrounding habitats). These official designations afford the habitats and wildlife some protection where bird life has continued to thrive. 

Bartley Reservoir is designated a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation specifically for its bird population it attracts. Birds are the main wildlife interest at the reservoir with a long list of species recorded over the last 90 years. Bill Oddie grew up birding here and produced his first report for the West Midlands Bird Society on the bird of Bartley Reservoir in 1962. The main interest centres on wildfowl, passage waders and terns, and roosting gulls. The reservoir is particularly known for its variety of gulls.  Due to the reservoir's depth, it has always been one of the last waters in the region to run dry in the summer resulting in higher visitations, particularly from migratory species. 

The wild grass lands in the field to the south of the reservoir are also responsible for attracting many summer visitors and migratory bird species. Long time local birder Paul Bateman reports the bird species passing through on migration  include ;  Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Reed Bunting, Wheatear, Whinchat, Stonechat, Ring Ouzel, Yellow Wagtail , Redstart, Barn Owl ,Short-eared Owl, Kestrel, Hobby, Woodcock, Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Tree Sparrow and many more. The area around St.Leonard's church is good for wildlife, holding butterflies and small mammals ideal for Kestrel and Barn Owl. Small Finches and Buntings dive into it for seed and other species like to sit on the fence.

All that before you've even stepped foot in Bromwich Wood which the Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust reports ...has a good compliment of nesting birds - listen and look out for Jay, Blue Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Magpie, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Robin and Owl. So why not familiarise yourself with our birding heritage and look out for a bird or two to identify to grow your knowledge? If you're keenly interested then check out the West Midlands Bird Club's website.